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Proverbs 1-1:33
Proverbs 2:1-22 Proverbs 3-4 Proverbs 5-6:16 Proverbs 6-7

 

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Proverbs 1:1-33

 

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.  5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13 we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14 cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. 18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. 20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates:  in the city she uttereth her words, saying,22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?  and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof:  behold, I will pour out my spirit [Spirit] unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 but yet have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel:  they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”

 

Introduction

 

It begins “The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David,” it will give us in that sense, the easiest way to divide the Book.  There’s lots of different approaches, different people have lots of different opinions about how it should be divided. But chapter 10, verse 1 says “The proverbs of Solomon,” and then once again, chapter 25 says “These are also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king if Judah copied out.”  So, chapter 1, chapter 10, chapter 25 seems like a very natural way to divide the Book.  And then of course in chapter 30 we have “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh” and chapter 31 “The words of king Lemuel” so the Book divides up nicely.  But primarily, “The Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel;  We’re told in the book of 1st Kings, Solomon was by God’s doing, the wisest man that ever lived.  It tells us that ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore.  And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all of the children of the east country, and all of the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all nations round about.  And he spake three thousand proverbs:  and his songs were a thousand five.” (1st Kings 4:29-31) we have about 600 of them surviving, that the Holy Spirit gives to us, “he spake three thousand proverbs:  and his songs were about a thousand five.”  and it goes on to tell us that he spoke of trees and nature and work and life and all kinds of things.  But we have these specifically put to the page by the Holy Spirit in this Book of Proverbs.  Now, as we go into this Book of Proverbs, Proverbs is just kind of a short way of saying something very pointed or very concise.  It’s interesting, you read all the commentaries and old sayings, books of pithy sayings, like we all lived 400 years ago and knew exactly what they were talking about.  Proverbs, just kind of pointed, you know proverbs, “A stitch in time saves nine,” “If the shoe fits, wear it,”  “Confucius said he who slings mud looses ground,” Dutch proverb, “Good looks don’t last, good cooking does,” you know, there’s proverbs, you’re familiar with all kinds of proverbs you yourself.  These are distinctly different, because this is heaven’s catalog of proverbs, given to human beings on earth so that they might live out the Statutes and the wisdom of heaven in this pilgrimage that we’re making.  So, it isn’t just some type of human wisdom, though even though Solomon was the wisest man that lived, when he puts his quill to the page the Holy Spirit is giving us these Proverbs.  Great thing to do on your own, read a chapter a day, read a chapter a day, read a chapter a day  [there’s 31 one of them, so you can read the whole Book of Proverbs within a 31-day month, you’ll miss Proverbs 31 on September, April, June and November].  I remember, Billy Graham, one time I heard him say he’d been reading for 25 years, once a month he read all four Gospels, the Book of Psalms and the Book of Proverbs, every month, for 25 years.  That’ll change you.  But just one chapter a day of Proverbs, I don’t want to jam all that other stuff on you right away.  Just start with one chapter a day in the Book of Proverbs.  Ben Carlson, Dr. Ben Carson when he was here, he said he reads one chapter a day every morning, and every night before he goes to bed he reads the same chapter again, and he’s done that for years.  So, just, it tells us that it will give wisdom.  Here’s the deal with it, the Greeks and other cultures have a different philosophy, their philosophy was you go out and you try everything, you try drinking, you try indulging yourself, you try listening to this philosophy, that philosophy, you try indulging yourself sexually, you try doing all of these things, and through that, then you gain experience, you gain wisdom.  The Hebrews always believed that wisdom was contained, it was in a Book, it was in the Word of God.  Sadly, Solomon will tell us, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, ‘I tried, I filled my house with peacocks, with apes, with Rock Bands, with wine, I did all of these other things,’ and he said, you read the last chapter, and he said ‘Ultimately you just get old and you wear out, even of making many books, it’s weariness to the flesh, the whole duty of man is to serve God.’  So, here we have wisdom, God’s instruction, placed in front of us, so that we don’t have to go out there and try to cull that or scavenge that in the world, to be wiser, ‘I’m smarter because I bang my head 42 times on the same mistake.’  [Comment:  the entire history of mankind in Satan’s world, from the time of Adam and Eve right up to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, has been allowed and designed by God to allow mankind, on his own, without God, without God’s indwelling Holy Spirit for 99.99 percent of mankind from then to now. to learn these lessons the hard way.  Then, as the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God believe the Bible teaches about the great 2nd resurrection the Bible prophecies, there is a massive resurrection back to physical life where all of “unsaved mankind” not previously called gets a chance to live God’s way and be offered salvation for the first time in their lives.  Most of mainstream Christianity does not believe in such a Bible teaching, and we’ll have to await Jesus’ return to earth to see if it’s true.  It is a secondary doctrine though, you can believe it or not believe it, we’ll find out later.  But to view what these Sabbath-keeping Churches of God believe, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/June%2014/FallHolyDays-short.htm and scroll to the paragraph title “The Last Great Day of the Feast, What Does It Represent?—the 2nd Resurrection, Heaven or Hell or The Choice Is Yours? and read from there down.  It may answer a lot of unanswered questions about God’s overall justice and mercy, and why he has allowed so very much suffering of humanity on this earth.  But it seems mankind throughout his history has followed the Greek and Roman philosophy about trying out everything in a vain attempt to gain wisdom.  If this doctrine is true, in the end God and we will end up teaching all of mankind the true Wisdom of God contained herein.]  You’d be smarter if you could just get it right the first time, because it’s going to bring you back here anyway [as Solomon said throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes]. 

 

Hebrew Poetry, What Is It?

 

Hebrew poetry, I think as we’ll see, somewhat in the Book of Job, Job’s very difficult grammatically, Psalms, Proverbs, some places in Lamentations, Hebrew poetry is much different than poetry the way we understand.  We understand poetry with meter, with rhyme.  Right?  We grew up ‘Mary had a little lamb, her fleece was white as snow, and everywhere Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.’  That’s meter.  Rhyme, ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, you’re kinda cool, and so am I’  no, that’s the wrong one.  Ah, ‘People like me, and so do you.’  you know.  ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, your nose looks like B-52,’ you’ve heard all of these.  We’re used to meter and rhyme, but the Eastern mind, the Jew, thought in conceptual, comparing of conceptual ideas.  Let me just go through a few, you’re going to find in here there’s contrasting proverbs that are short, they make a point, and they contrast, and it helps you to memorize it.  It says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  So that’s contrasting ideas, it puts them together, and it becomes so concise and so obvious, that then it becomes easy to memorize.  So, it’s poetry by concept, not by meter, not by rhyme the way that you and I might understand it.  Certainly, they have what they call constructive, they’re longer, or sermon-type proverbs.  For example, “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions, who hath babblings, who hath wounds without cause, who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine.  They that go to seek mixt wine.  Look not though upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and it stingeth like an adder.  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.  Yeah, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or he that lieth upon the top of the masts.” some of you have been that drunk, and you know what it feels like to lay down and have to put your foot on the floor so your bed stops moving, “They have stricken me, shalt thou say, I was not sick, they have beaten me, I felt it not, and when I shall awake, I will seek it yet again.” you know, just a longer type of sermon.  There are those that are couples, two verses kind of go together, ah, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” those are verses that are coupled, they go together.  Not poetry the way we would understand it.  But they have what they call “completum” where in one verse everything is said very concisely, it says “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” that’s just a complete thought also.  As we head into this, there’s different forms as we go through.  I encourage you just, you know, to listen to what the Holy Spirit says to us, certainly through Solomon, as we move into the Book.

 

‘The Proverbs Are For Getting Understanding Of Wisdom, Justice, Judgment, Equity, To Give Subtilty, Craftiness To The Simple’

 

He begins by saying, “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;” (verse 1) we’re going to find out these Proverbs, these sayings are practical, whereas verses in the Book of Psalms are more devotional, but Proverbs, extremely practical.  And understand, Solomon now, growing up under David, he’s born out of David’s adultery, though David is married to Bathsheba by that time.  David had killed Uriah, Bathsheba’s first husband.  David is a broken man that Solomon grows up under.  Solomon is mentored by a man named Nathan the prophet, who stands in Jerusalem with David, and very, very Godly counsel hearing from a broken man, hearing from a very Godly man, Nathan, listening to the instruction of his father.  Many of the things that you can hear in here, you know David said them, about the adulterous woman, about this situation.  And sadly, Solomon, whose the wisest man that ever lived, transgressed most of the things he wrote in the Book of Proverbs.  Just being wise in itself is not the key.  It’s being obedient to the things that are said.  So, this, “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;” and he gives us now the purpose of them, verses 2 to 6, he says, “to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:  to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  So, he gives us an introduction, ‘this is what they’re all about,’ and he says, look this is without formal training, this is without seminary, this is without a PhD, this is for you and I, this is for the normal person, it’s going to tell us ‘Wisdom crieth aloud in the streets, without in the chief places, in the opening of the gates, in the city,’ you know, that’s the classroom.  And it says here, ‘that these things are written to know, to perceive, to receive, to give subtilty, to give understanding, there’s a purpose in them.’  ‘Those sayings,’ it says, ‘have the power, as the Word of God is alive and sharper than any twoedged sword, to enable us to  make great headway in our lives as God’s children.’  He says first, “To know wisdom and instruction;” and it isn’t as though you’re going to learn this and you’re going to know it.  The Hebrew is “For knowing wisdom” is the first thing that’s written, ‘for knowing wisdom.’  You’re going to know it all the more, it’s not just ‘To know wisdom, ok, what do I know next?’ no the idea is ‘knowing wisdom is an ongoing process, wisdom is the application of knowledge,’ it’s not just information, it’s you hear the facts, you hear what’s right, you hear what’s discreet and prudent, and then you know how to make wisdom apply these things.  So first of all, he says the purpose is ‘For knowing, to be in the process the rest of your life, knowing wisdom and instruction,’ in the Hebrew is “for discerning,” the idea “to perceive” there “for discipline and discerning in the words of insight.”  So, first, “To be knowing wisdom and discipline” to act wisely is certainly then “to be under a measure of discipline.”  You can’t do that without curtailing something in your own fallen nature.  So “To be knowing wisdom and discipline,” secondly, “to perceive the words of understanding” or ‘to be discerning the words of insight, to know them.’  ‘I know what that’s saying, LORD I know what you’re trying to tell me, I recognize that.’  “To receive,” literally ‘for getting the instruction of wisdom,’ “instruction” there is “discipline or understanding,” so it’s “For getting understanding of wisdom, and justice” which is righteousness, “and judgment,” which is “justice,” “and equity,” what’s right, what’s fair, to be able to get ahold of that.  And look what it says in verse 4, “To give subtilty to the simple,” so I need that.  It’s “To be giving subtilty” “subtilty” in the negative sense, it’s “crafty,” it tells us in Genesis chapter 3 that the serpent was more crafty, is the idea.  You know, it’s kind of, you’re not street smart because you grew up on the street.  People play that card all the time.  It says here, that God’s Word can give craftiness, subtilty, that kind of street-smartness, understanding to the simple.  He makes the simple smarter, more crafty, more wise, to not be taken advantage all the time.  to the young man knowledge and discretion.” (verse 4b)prudence,” the wisest way to act.  Because it says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;” already insinuating that a fool will not.  So, we’ve only gotten this far into it, and you’re thinking ‘I don’t want to hear this.’  Oh yeah, look what it says here, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” (verse 5) the idea is, ‘he will attain unto guidance,’ not just information, but that it has an effect on his life, to guidance in regards to what is true.  Then it says again, “to understand” for discerning “a proverb, and the interpretation;” the Hebrew indicates that there’s an allegorical aspect to it, “to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” (verse 6) King James says “their dark sayings” the idea is, they’re difficult sayings, there’s riddles sometimes, there’s a whole lot boiled down into one verse.  We said that as we look at, just a whole lot of information in one place.  It says the Word of God can give that to us, it can work that way in our lives.  So, again, you go through, there’s wisdom, there’s understanding, there’s discernment, there’s justice, there’s equity, subtilty. And the words he uses here, he says, ‘I want you to be knowing, to perceive, to receive, to be able to give this to you, I want you to understand,’ you go through the words, very interesting.

 

“The Fear Of The LORD Is The Beginning Of Knowledge:  But Fools Despise Wisdom And Instruction”

 

And now in verse 7, here’s the crux, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:  but  fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  So the first thing that it tells us here, that separates us now from fools, you remember it said that Solomon was wiser than all of the other sages, all of the other wise men of the East.  I mean, Buddha said some remarkable things, Confucius said some remarkable things.  It says here, what separates all of this, the dividing line is, that it is the fear of the Jehovah God that is the beginning of knowledge.  It tells us this in chapter 8, so we can be clear about this, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil:  pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (verse 13) here it says the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.  That fear of the LORD, what it knows, what it understands, is there are lines that are drawn.  There is, and in our culture, if you believe something, you’re a bigot or you have a problem.  If you say you believe in anything you have a problem.  You just have to be so broad and so inclusive that you can’t say anything about anything.  Well it says here, ‘The fear of the LORD, this is what it does, the fear of the LORD hates evil, it’s the beginning of knowledge, it hates evil, pride and arrogancy and the evil way.’  And wisdom itself says ‘the proud mouth do I hate.’  It tells us this in Psalm 128, ‘Blessed is everyone that feareth the LORD,’ and what does that look like?  that walketh in his ways.’  So, the fear of the LORD is ultimately practical, it isn’t just, it isn’t a cowardice, it isn’t a groveling.  We’re going to read three times here in the next few verses ‘my son, my son, my son,’ from the heart of God through the quill of Solomon.  You know, God doesn’t want his children groveling and terrorized, he wants them respectful.  Any of you who grew up with a good dad, and I grew up with a good dad, I knew two things, I knew he loved me, and I knew I didn’t want to mess with him.  Both of those things are true.  Because he would whup me when I needed it, but I knew he loved me deeply.  I had great respect for him, and I had a great, great warm feeling for my father.  I look forward to seeing him again.  The fear of the LORD, it looks like something, it hates evil, it’s walking in his ways.  It tells us, that is the very beginning of knowledge, not just information, knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (verse 7b) they want no part of that.  A fool is not going to walk in the way of the LORD, a fool is not going to hate evil, they’re going to broaden everything out so everything’s ok, nothing’s offensive.  Look, he says this is the way it is. 

 

‘My Son, Hear The Instruction Of Your Mom And Dad’

 

Now look, verse 8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” look at verse 10, “My son,” verse 15, “My son,” listen to what he’s saying here.  Is Solomon thinking about David saying this to him, is Solomon thinking about Rehoboam, was he hard to raise? he ruined the kingdom, of course Solomon’s example was terrible, he was in idolatry, had 700 wives, 300 concubines, a thousand mother-in-laws, tough house to grow up in, but he says “My son,” no doubt, this is, I will take this personally as the heart of God, ladies you can add here “my daughter” as we look at this, ok, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” (verse 8)  “Hear” is the structure that means “listen to,” it’s not just “hear.”  It’s bending towards ‘Listen to instruction’ instruction here is “discipline,” and we’ll go into it.  listen to the discipline of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”  So it tells us several things here.  It says first, “My son” there’s parental relationship here.  You know, if somebody tries to tell you about wisdom and understanding and discretion, that’s not just an abstract thing for some theological professor or something, these are the kind of things that a parent tries to get to their kids with, this is the kind of thing that a son hears from a father or hears from a mother.  The challenge certainly in this verse for parents is, moms, dads, front and center, stand up, we have to ask ourselves a question here.  It says to this son, hear the discipline [King James “instruction”] of thy father,” and that’s the father’s responsibility in the home, the disciplinary part of it, that’s not just talking about spanking, the father should set rules, he should be the authority in the home.  And it says then “and forsake not the law of thy mother” (verse 8) literally it says “do not disregard the instruction of your mother.”  Kids can just blow that off in the world we’re living in.  Moms, dads, dads got to be the high priest of the home, you have to stand up.  Grandpa’s have a place, patriarch, you should set standards, the elder’s rules…it says this should be the discipline of a father, and do not disregard, moms, you should be instructors, instructors.  And when your dad, if he’s a reasonable human being, when dad wants to discipline a child, mom’s not supposed to day ‘No, don’t do it, don’t do that,’ those things go on too, you gotta be a team here.  [Comment:  and you mom’s, he’s got it right here, it’s team-work.  The two of you, moms and dads, should work out the discipline together, in advance.  And if discipline is necessary, there’s nothing wrong with the two of you going into a huddle, out of hearing of the child, of course, and agree upon, work out what discipline is to be meted out here, and when you’re both agreed, go forward with it.  Because the child, especially if it’s an only child, will try to divide the two of you over this.  In marriage and child rearing, the authority in the home is really like a pilot and copilot of a bomber, where the two of you sit side-by-side, not one over the other, or behind the other, but side-by-side, and the two of you are responsible for safely flying the family aircraft, for the health and well-being of the rest of the crew, your kids.  That’s my analogy for authority in the home.]  But it’s saying to you and I, listen, you grew up around Christian folk, you have this kind of thing in your life, what was the discipline of your father in your life, what was the instruction of your mother like?  Don’t cast those things away, they should be part of your life, these are not meant to cramp your style, “for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” (verse 9) like a crown of grace upon your head, like chains of gold around your neck, it’s just to listen to your parents.  There’s something in that, in the heart of a child, God tells that child to obey their mother and father.  There’s only three verses in the entire Bible that are written directly to children, and it’s always that [see Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee”].  Because that is to the child, God says ‘I want you to recognize God-given authority in your life.  Your mother and your father are a God-given authority in your life.’  And if a kid will recognize that, it’ll make every other lesson in life much easier, much easier.  Look, Jesus, 12-years-old, goes to the Temple, Mary and Joseph are on their way back home.  Mary says to Joseph, ‘Where is Yeshua?’  he said, ‘What do you mean?  You were watching him.’  she said ‘I wasn’t watching him, he was with you.’ he said, ‘No, he wasn’t with me, he was with you!  The angel came to you first, you, right?’  So they go into a panic, they’ve lost the Messiah, it’s a bad feeling, they go back to Jerusalem, you know, ‘Heaven’s gonna be mad at us,’ they find him.  Mary no doubt embarrasses him in front of, the Court of Women, outside of the Temple, there were four rooms in corners there, one was where when Paul was there, he would fast, shave his head, was in no doubt one of those rooms, one of those rooms held wood for the altar, for the fire, one of them actually held salt for the courts in the winter, when the salt has lost its saltiness it’s not good for anything but to be thrown out, trodden under the foot of men, and the fourth room was for instruction, where Jesus no doubt was sitting with the scribes and the doctors of the Law, it says he’s amazing them.  And then his mom comes, and you know, he’s not allowed to forsake the instruction of his mother here, because he wrote the Book [as the pre-Incarnate Yahweh, the LORD God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses], you know.  And wonderfully it says he went with them down to Nazareth, and was subject unto them, a junior high kid that really was God, ‘was subject unto them, and he grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man.’  Our own God who inspired this, did the very thing that he asks.  He says ‘If you do that it shall be an ornament of grace upon your head, chains about your neck.’ 

 

Moms, Dads, Know Your Kid’s Friends!

 

Now again, here comes the instruction that’s so important.  And if you notice here, it’s going to talk about “sinners” plural, as you read through you’re going to see “us,” “us,” “we,” “we,” “us,” “us,” very, very powerful force in the world that we live in.  Peer pressure is a part of that “us,” part of that “we.”  It says, “My son, if sinners” plural “entice thee, consent thou not.” (verse 10) just say “no.”  It’ not that easy.  “If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily [secretly] for the innocent without cause:  let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit.” look, “We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:  cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:” (verses 11-14)  ‘Join us, you’re not going to be out there on the street or out there on the corner by yourself, whose going to back you up, whose going to cover you?  Who are you going to call on when you’re in trouble?  You know we rule this area.’  Very powerful force in our culture.  [Comment:  And to those “innocent” ones named in this Proverb, this is saying something really important too, that you should have wisdom and foresight, always be aware of your surroundings, look ahead and around you, and when you see two, three or more people who are together, who may or may not look suspicious, steer clear of them, they may be together and up to no good.]  Very real.  Because all of us want to belong to something.  All of us like to feel inside that loop.  [I grew up as a loner, partly because I spent 8 years in a remedial reading school where kids came from halfway across the state to attend, so close friendships because we lived near each other never formed, it just wasn’t possible.  Then coming into high school, right after those 8 years, I really didn’t know anyone from having come up through the local school system with them, so I remained a loner, I got used to being a loner, and surviving as such.  But it wasn’t easy for me. So as a result I was never really exposed to some of the peer pressure others have been, and learned to do things and think on my own.  The price though was loneliness.  He had selected me early in life for what I am doing now.  So  God used that, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/author.htm.]  Whether it’s peer pressure in high school, or whether it’s a gang on the street, whatever it is, he says “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” ‘don’t consent to it,’ “If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk…let us swallow them up alive…we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil” this is good, man, we’re gonna fill our houses with spoil, we will be set.’  ‘Cast your lot with us, be part of us, let us all have one purse, we’re all in this together, we all divide things up equally, we’re all part of this.’  Look, that is a very, very powerful force in the world. [Comment:  Do you actually want to see, in a historically accurate action-adventure movie, where this reasoning actually led a group of young men?  Order off amazon.com “Public Enemies” about the John Dillinger Gang, starring Johnny Deep, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillaro, to see ultimately where this peer pressure can lead.  The peer pressure of society also leads in many other dangerous directions, not just criminal.  But these verses speak about that criminal direction peer pressure can lead to, so that movie takes it to its conclusion, historically speaking.  This gang brought about the creation of the F.B.I.] And it isn’t just kids, it happens in Washington, it happens in the Intelligence Agencies [order the movie “Snowden” and read the book at this link:  http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/KillingHope_page.html], it happens in places where you’d never think it would happen.  Again, “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.” (verses 15-16)  You have to stand alone.  Sometimes walking with Christ can be the loneliest thing you’ve ever done [amen to that one].  I wouldn’t trade it away for anything, because that loneliness locks us up to him.  walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:” don’t hang out with them, don’t go with them.  Going back to moms and dads here, moms and dads, know your kid’s friends.  That’s your responsibility.  Again, fastest group of pornography readers, 11 to 13-year-olds.  Kids are now sexually active at that age.  Snap-chat, a nightmare for parents, a dream for kids that don’t want to get caught, put pictures on, it’s insanity.  Know your kid’s friends, because the “us” is going to be out there, the “we” is going to be out there.  And if you’re with us, know their friends, you need to know them, you need to watch out for them.  You ain’t one of them.  You ain’t your kid’s buddy.  He’s got enough buddies, he doesn’t need another buddy, he needs a dad.  He needs you to stand up for his life, whether he likes it or not.  He needs you to look at him and say ‘Are we going to go to war, or are we going to be friends?  Just tell me the terms.  Because I would rather go to war with you, and have you dislike me, and see you have a successful life, than to be buddies with you and watch you go down the toilet.’  They got buddies, they need a dad.  They got buddies, they need a mom, they need someone to discipline them, to instruct, to take time with them.  And that parent’s saying Look, don’t go with them, don’t do that,’ “refrain thy foot from their path:  for their feet run to evil, and make hast to shed blood.” (verses 15b-16)  “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.  They lay wait for their own blood; thy lurk privily [secretly] for their own lives.” (verses 17-18) the parent warning.  “So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” (verse 19) that goes for government too [see that link going to William Blum’s book, which is online as well as available in print], “which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”  takes hard-earned income from people.  But the idea is, he’s saying ‘Look, kids, crime doesn’t pay, our prisons are full, it doesn’t pay.’  And you know, it’s interesting, criminal lawyers, again, when it comes to murder, even if they are a defender and get somebody off, and they know they’re guilty, there’s a saying amongst criminal lawyers, they say to each other, “Nobody gets away with the Big One.”  Because they may get you out of court, but sooner or later, they hear, ‘He got ran down, he got cancer, he got shot,’ they have a saying amongst themselves, “Nobody gets away with the Big One.”  That’s what the parent is trying to say to the kid here, ‘Crime does not pay.’  Look, right in the middle of it, here’s a proverb, “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” (verse 17) it’s foolishness to set a trap in the sight of the bird while the bird’s watching, and they have a bird-brain.  But humans don’t get it.  It says in verse 18, “And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily [secretly] for their own lives.” when they act like this.  Don’t go with them, this is all coming down on their own heads, they’re lurking secretly for their own lives.  And God’s Word is warning them.  “So, are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” (verse 19) they think they’re going to take away the life of others?  They’re laying in wait for their own lives. Here’s the warning.  You mean to tell me, you can warn people, and they’ll still do it?  You think that?  You can warn people, and they will still do it anyway?  The Surgeon General says “Don’t smoke these, they will give you lung cancer,” that doesn’t stop anybody from smoking, ‘Hey, light me up, will ya?’  You know, you’re getting the warning, and doing it anyway.  We’re like that, sadly. 

 

Wisdom Protects Us From The Coming Calamity

 

And look what it says now, in verse 20, “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:” and look, as we go down here, “wisdom” is going to be personified.  We’re taking wisdom and giving wisdom a personality, it’s like a mother, wisdom, you know she’s uttering her voice.  And look what it says, again, “Wisdom crieth without;” outside, you go outside, you get in your car, whatever you’re doing, you know when the LORD is speaking to your heart.  In the streets, you go to do something you know you shouldn’t, you know it right now, ‘I should not do this.’  “She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the opening of the gates:  in the city she uttereth her words, saying,” (verse 21), listen, in the opening of the gates, someplace you shouldn’t be walking in, all of these places where we’re going to find out in the Book of Proverbs, you know, the fool walks down the street, and the adulterous woman is waiting there for him, we’re going to see all of these scenes are described to us, in the gates, in the city.  And look, listen to wisdom here, wisdom is crying out, longing for someone to guide and lead.  There’s almost a heartbreak on the part of God, as he puts this to the page.  “Wisdom crieth” you know, as a mother crying for her children, “crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:  she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the opening of the gates:  in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?  and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (verses 20-22) listen to wisdom crying here, “Turn you at my reproof:  behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (verse 23) what incredible grace, what incredible grace.  [this is obvious, “spirit” refers to God’s Holy Spirit, I’m sure here, by the context of what is being promised here.]  Listen, aren’t you glad that God’s grace was there for you, when you were a fool, doing those things, when I was out taking drugs, when I was getting myself into trouble, I was in enough circumstances I could have ended up dead through the years.  I’m glad I got saved, I might be dead by now.  God didn’t blow me off or write me off, he confronted me, he confronted me, and freaked me out, and shocked me, and staggered me, and dropped me to my knees, and made tears run out of my eyes, and he told me he loved me.  And I guess I could have turned away.  The truth is, I was tired of all the rest.  Wisdom crieth without, listen tonight, if you’re in sin, sexual sin, you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing, it’s breaking your heart, you’re convicted, you’re wrestling with the Lord, listen, “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets she crieth in the chief concourse, in the opening of the gates:  in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?  and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?  Turn you at my reproof:  behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (verses 20-23) he’s done that in our lives, hasn’t he.  He’s filled us with his Spirit, he’s opened his Word to us.  I can’t imagine living any other way.  And look how wisdom then warns. 

 

The Coming Calamity For Those Who Refuse God’s Wisdom

 

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;” the world indifferent “but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” (verses 24-27) you know this proverb, don’t you?  “He who laughs last laughs best.”  Here’s another one for you, “God’s Word always laughs last.”  We see people today in the media, recording industry, movies, stars, mocking God, mocking Jesus Christ, it isn’t slowing him down one iota, he’s coming in power and in glory, and he’s going to set up his Kingdom, he sits on his throne in the heavens and he laughs, and he holds the nations in derision.  Does he enjoy that?  Is it cool, no, because he cried out, ‘Turn, turn, in the middle of all your sin, turn, I’ll fill you with my Spirit, I’ll give you my Word.  But because I have called and you refused, I’ve stretch out my hand, and no man regards, you’ve set at nought my counsel, you pushed it away, you don’t want to hear anything I have to say, then I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear comes,’ “when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:  they would none of my counsel:  they despised all my reproof.  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” listen to what he says, “For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” (verses 27-33) not God, the turning away of someone from God, that’s what slays them, sin doesn’t slay them, turning away from the Gospel slays them, turning away from Jesus Christ slays them.  [Comment:  These verses, 24-32, in the end-times we live in, contain a very real prophecy of what is to befall our nation, for following down this road, because of the prosperity of the foolish, how we’ve treated the poor of the third world nations and peoples we’ve taken advantage of for profit and gain.  Don’t believe me, read William Blum’s book.  Our calamity is coming for doing all of this, from 1946 to present.  The vultures are circling and coming home to roost.  How will this come upon us?  God in his Word has not hidden those things, but the foolish, those who reject wisdom, won’t even bother to read of the very prophecies of their coming destruction.  Do you want to be foolish and ignore this prophetic warning, at your very peril, and the peril of your loved ones, as wisdom has said here?  What do those prophecies reveal about our future?  Be wise and read through them, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm.  Or be foolish, be one of those simple, foolish ones, whose turning away shall slay them.]  Sin doesn’t send people to hell, because I have plenty of it and I’m going, I mean, sin doesn’t keep people out of heaven, I’m a sinner, saved by grace, I’m going to heaven [i.e. the kingdom of heaven, eternal life.  Heaven, the kingdom of heaven will end up on earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-23].  Rejecting Jesus Christ keeps people out of heaven.  I’ve sinned, heaven [the kingdom of heaven] is going to be filled with sinners saved by grace.  No one in this room tonight can ever say that God shut the door, and they didn’t have an opportunity to turn to Christ.  I pray you’ll do that tonight.  In heaven [kingdom of heaven] they’re just going to show the video, push replay, you say ‘Well I’ve never had the chance.’  He’ll say ‘Oh ya, what’s that there, Wednesday night, in Philadelphia, you heard, no matter how bad you were, I loved you and you could have turned right then, and you said no.  Right?’  the turning away of the simple shall slay them,” rejecting the Gospel, that’s the greatest folly, “and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” (verse 32)  that’s what they want, it will destroy them.  Listen, “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (verse 33)  hearkeneth” that’s “listens to yield, listens to obey” “whoso hearkeneth to me shall dwell safely,” ah, we need a big load of that in this world, “whoso hearkeneth to me shall dwell safely,” I like that.  It doesn’t say “without aggravation,” it just says “safely.”  You know there’s enough aggida to go around.  [Comment:  seeing this is also speaking to us prophetically, and we’re probably one of the last era’s of God’s Church, let’s read a prophecy where Jesus promised this same thing to these Christians, those of us living in our times.  Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”  That promise is sure, for the wise, those who seek to hear and obey wisdom, who crieth in the streets.]  “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (verse 33)  I can’t see where God has one wrong ulterior motive, he’s not saying ‘I want you to listen to me, because I’m God and people are supposed to listen to me, when you don’t listen to me it makes me look bad.’  There isn’t any of that.  It’s ‘I want your benefit, I want your blessing, I want you to live without fear, I want you to have peace, I’ve let wisdom out on the world, and it’s crying aloud in the streets, of the corners, at the gates, if you’re going in somewhere you shouldn’t be going, wisdom is screaming there, in the city, in the country, and it’s saying ‘If you’ll turn, if you’ll listen, I will pour out my Spirit, I’ll give you my Word, I’ll open the Scripture, fill you with my Spirit.  But I did it with great heartache, I cried out, no one listened.  I stretched out my hands, I stretched out my hands, no one came.’’  It says, in those decisions that men and women make, they set their own destiny.  You can’t accuse God, his will is that none should perish, but that all should come to a knowledge of the Truth.  In Ezekiel, God says ‘Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die? God says to the wicked.’  The challenge here is, ‘I want you to be safe, I want you to be prosperous, I want you to be blessed, I want you to be wise, I want you to be strong, I want you to be crafty [in the right way], I want you to be discerning, I want you to be knowledgeable, I want you to have all of these things, that’s all I want for you.  You’re the King’s kid, you shouldn’t be bumbling around like you don’t know what you’re doing.  Your Father’s the Most High God in heaven, your older brother is Jesus Christ, my Holy Spirit in your heart cries Abba Father, why should you be bumbling around like you don’t know what you’re doing?’  Right?  I know I’m going to have a really hard day tomorrow after preaching this tonight, God’s gonna test every one of these things in my life.  You know how that goes?  I like to read Proverbs in the morning, because then usually during the day I realize why I read that in the morning, and it’ll keep my mouth shut a little longer, it’ll keep my attitude in check a little longer, it just makes it a little bit better, so that at the end of the day I got less to say ‘Lord, forgive me, I blew it,’ those things are a bit shorter when I spend more time with him in the morning, and particularly in the Book of Proverbs, it just seems to have a way to speak to you, before those things develop in your day, they kind of precede those things, instead of reacting after the fact, it’s preparatory, wisdom, so read ahead, chapter 2, chapter 3.  You can read the whole Book of Proverbs, but reading a chapter a day, would be great. I’m gong to have the musicians come, we’ll sing a last song, if you don’t know Christ tonight, and you’re not embarrassed to get out of your seat and walk down in front of everybody, I encourage you to do that.  In fact, let’s stand, we’ll pray.  My challenge to you would be, listen to your heart, see if he’s talking to you.  ‘No matter how off-track you’ve been, if you’ll listen to me, I’ll reveal my Word to you and I’ll fill you with my Holy Spirit, I’m reaching out, crying aloud.’  So if you know you need to get saved tonight, I encourage you to make your way up here.  But for the rest of us, let’s pray, let’s commit these things to memory…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Proverbs 1:1-33, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

Consenting to do evil, following enticement of bad friends, where can it lead?  In our government from 1946 to present, see http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/KillingHope_page.html

 

with bad friendships, to see one extreme historic example, order off amazon.com “Public Enemies” starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

 

The coming calamity for all who reject God’s Wisdom, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm    

 

 

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