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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 5:1-23

 

“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11 and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13 and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. 15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed:  and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. 20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”

 

Introduction: The Honey-Dripping Woman

 

“Chapter 5 begins by saying “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:” (verse 1) so the LORD has a specific wisdom he wishes to apply here, and he has an understanding that he desires to impart.  And particularly in this 5th chapter he’s going to tell us that wisdom preserves from sexual sin, from adultery, from the destruction of the family.  There’s never been a time more important for us to hear, to see, to understand.  I mean, statistically I think 127 marriages an hour are ending in divorce in our country as we sit here this evening.  And over 50 percent of those involve children, you think of, for the first time in the history of our nation over 50 percent of the children being born are born in a fatherless home, outside of wedlock.  And statistics tell us that the percentage of those that are in prison for murder, for rape, for larceny, for all those crimes, the one leading statistic in every category is no father in the home, and it’s so outweighs all the other statistics, drunkenness, drugs, anything else you can image combined or even compare.  So, Satan is doing his work, he understands exactly what he’s doing, he’s breaking down the family, he’s destroying it, he’s taken its definition and thrown it to the wolves, and no one knows what a marriage is anymore, no one knows what a family is anymore.  [Comment:  And that is why God commands in his Word, the Bible, for believers to look after, be a support, both emotionally and financially for the fatherless and their single moms.  Make it a part of your lifestyle, as I have tried to do.]  But the LORD has the right to speak from eternity through every age.  And he asks in this chapter that we pay attention, that we hear his wisdom and his understanding.  He says “That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.” (verse 2) he wants us to be sharing the truth, to be speaking wisely, because he’s going to compare some other lips here, beginning in verse 3.  He says, “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:” (verse 3)  Now, he’s going to warn about the strange woman here, the adulteress.  Gals, you can easily switch that to the lips of a strange man, there’s enough of those around, isn’t there?  You just make application.  “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:  but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” (verses 3-7) i.e. her ways are unstable.  So this warning comes in here, and God’s asking that we listen to his counsel, “my son,” what about our sons, with that lack of the father in the home in our culture, are we warning our sons?  Are we taking the time to as granddads, to speak to young men and to give these kinds of warnings.  Because we live in a culture that realizes sex sells, so every product, everything you see in the marketplace, you see everywhere is sexualized, if you drink this beer babes are gonna hang all over you, if you drive this car, babes are gonna hang all over you, if you get this dog food, babes are gonna hang all over you, I mean it’s ridiculous, and it’s constantly coming into our homes through the computer screen, through the television.  And this is the first generation that’s grown up in the midst of this kind of constant bombardment, you know, an invasion of our thoughts, our hearts, the enemy knowing our sinful tendencies. 

 

Her Lips

 

So the LORD warns here, and he says ‘Look, the lips of the strange woman,’ now there’s several words used through here for “strange women, strange men.”  Ah, this one seems to indicate an apostate, and an Israelitish, a Hebrew woman, we read about earlier, that turned away from her instructors, turned away from her guides.  There is the word that sometimes mentions “a strange woman,” “a foreign woman,” most of them were prostitutes, practiced by the Moabites, the Ammonites and so forth.  This word seems to indicate a woman who has become apostate, whose turned away from the faith, who grew up in the right environment, it seems, it’s hard to be dogmatic.  But it says, he describes them as “the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:” (verse 3) her palate, some translate “speech” is smoother than oil.  So, the sweetest substance known when this was put to the page, was honey.  It’s a no-brainer.  Her lips, like this is a honey-dripping woman, sweeter than honey, and her mouth, her speech, her palate, smoothest thing they knew, oil.  This woman is sweet and smooth, a dangerous combination.  And the challenge is to look out.  When I grew up, my dad didn’t warn me about these things.  He figured, I would find out like every generation since Noah got off the boat found out, and he was a World War II guy, not very comfortable, we didn’t have many uncomfortable conversations, I struggled to at least have several uncomfortable conversations with my sons…as Christian dads, it’s kind of a weird thing to talk to your son about sexuality, but God has much to say about it.  We’re living in a world where one out of four elementary kids in kindergarten have stumbled onto a pornographic site.  Or 11 to 13-year-olds are the fastest growing group of users in our country.  Dads, you know, all of a sudden this responsibility comes, and you think ‘Well, I don’t want to talk to them while they’re too young, because it’ll blow their minds, and I don’t want to wait a little too long, because then they get all of their theology on sexuality from the school-yard, and that’s gonna put it in a context of something unclean, something secretive, something we whisper about, you can’t talk about in front of the teachers or adults, we’ll get in trouble,’ then you have people who develop things like Snap-Chat, which is a Junior High kid’s dream to put out a dirty picture, and it disappears as soon as somebody looks at it, you don’t get caught anymore, you know, we get a lot of help from the world.  But I would encourage you, you know, kids, 11, 12-years old, and younger, are exposed to everything.  Dad’s Mom’s, talk to your daughters, talk to your sons, it’s speaking here, here’s the LORD’s heart, ‘My son, listen to what I have to say.  Understand this, I want sexuality to be in a proper context.’  You know, the Father in heaven would say ‘I designed it, it is my genius that’s behind it, I instituted it, I want the fruit of it [to be blessed],’ he says in Malachi he hates divorce because he wants a godly seed from a marriage.  [Comment: Some divorces are necessary for the health, safety and well-being of the mother and child, when you have an abusive dad.]  And here, he’s saying, ‘Understand, this is not easy to turn away from, this is seductive, it’s honey-dripping, it’s oily smooth, it’s appealing,’ it isn’t ‘Why would anybody do that?’ oh no, it tells us in the Book of Hebrews that Moses, instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, it tells us that sin is pleasurable, for a season.  He [Moses] chose rather to suffer persecution with the children of God.  But that’s of course the problem, with sin, is it’s enticing, it’s pleasurable.  There’s nowhere in the Bible that warns you about chewing on carpet tacks.  You know, ‘I can find 8 places in the Scripture that say do not chew on a mouthful of carpet tacks,’ because nobody’s going to do that, who’s going to do that?  They need to see somebody else besides a pastor.  You know, ‘Don’t eat gravel every Sunday when you leave from the parking lot.’  It ain’t in the Bible.  It warns us of drunkenness, it warns us of immorality, it warns us of pleasurable things that are extended to us, and more in our culture than ever, and it tells us the pleasures of those sins is for a season.  It ends in the grave, it ends in hell it says here, “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (verse 5)  So, you know, here’s this warning that’s put forward, I think it’s God’s concern.  I think that wives can learn something from this, in your marriages.  Because it’s gonna tell us, we’ll find this in chapter 6 again, we’re going to find it in chapter 7, chapter 9, there’s going to be a lot of dialogue in the Book of Proverbs about the way that the strange woman, the foreign woman, the seductive woman gets  [to the husband].  And it says she does it with her palate, the way she speaks, she does it with her speech, it says in one place, with her fair speech she takes hold of him, she persuades him, she overwhelms him.  And ladies, you have to understand about your husband, I am one, they’re different than, as different as wives really are than husbands think they are, so are husbands different than wives think they are, and you spend a lifetime trying to figure out what you got married to.   [I know a gal, and the more I know about her, the more I realize how little I know about her.  That’s what Pastor Joe is talking about.]  Cathy and I have been married for 37 years, I’m still a rookie, I’m still learning.  I’ve learned some basic things, you know.  [She’ll say] ‘You don’t understand.’  I don’t say ‘Yes I do,’ anymore, because I don’t.  I did for the first five or ten years, but I don’t understand, and that’s ok, I’m honest now, I don’t.  I want to, I don’t know if I ever will, but I don’t.  I’ve learned to “break the code” on certain things, um, ‘You don’t have to go with me to the Mall if you don’t want to.’  [laughter]  Now, if you learn to break the code, it’s ‘If you don’t go, you’re going to be knee deep in trouble, but I’m going to give you the option so you feel like you decided.’  There’s certain things you grow in.  Right?  But ladies, here the honey-dripping woman comes, and she says, ‘Hey big boy, I like the way you’re dressed.’  The wife says That doesn’t go together, you’re not gonna wear that to work, are you?’  The honey-dripping woman, of course she’s lying, says ‘You smell good,’ the wife says ‘Did you take a shower?’ [laughter]  Right?  I mean, you can go down the list of those things.  And the man is in need of an affirmation, security, as much as the woman is [and what Pastor Joe is saying is, that after the marriage, the affirmation coming from the wife tends to die out. It also dies out with the husbands giving that affirmation to the wife after marriage, ‘I no longer need to do this, I’ve already won her, or him.’  see http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM]  We’re made differently, constructed differently.  So the wife, we’re going to read about the wife that’s contentious many times as we go through here, she can learn something from the honey-dripping woman, who figures out how to get to someone’s husband through the way she speaks.  And there can be lessons there, I think.  And we’re going to talk about the way she’s dressed, ladies, your daughters, the world wants to dress them, even as they come to school sometimes, we’re saying ‘Who dressed you?  The skirt is too short, the blouse is too tight, did somebody paint that on? or did you get that on with a shoehorn?’  You’re thinking ‘How could any mom let their daughter go to school looking like that?’  And that girl needs to understand she’s stumbling every brother in Christ.  And then you tell the mom ‘Come here and bring some other clothes,’ and the mom walks in, and you think ‘No wonder the daughter looks like this, the mom is dressed just like her.’  And you’re laughing, you understand it’s funny, but statistically, we’re out-manned and we’re out-gunned, and without a revival from the Lord, we’re dead in the water.  Because the world is doing a much better job in understanding human nature and making converts to its own philosophy.  It says Her lips, the lips of the strange woman, they drop as a honeycomb, her mouth, her speech, is smoother than oil.’ 

 

Her End:  And Yours If You Follow Her

 

Now, some of these proverbs are contrasting.  Here’s the contrast, “But her end” and that’s always God’s concern, what’s the end of all this?  Not what’s she doing, but where is it going?  “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.” (verse 4)  The impression she gave was sweet as honey, but the end is bitter, there’s a contrast, bitter as wormwood.  The impression she gave, her speech was as smooth as oil, but the end is as sharp as a twoedged sword, and “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (verse 5) and nobody takes the time to think about that, all they can think about is her eyes and her lips, ‘her feet, they go down to death, and her steps take upon,’ in the Hebrew, ‘Sheol, the unseen realm, the place of the dead.’  [Sheol, literally, “the grave,” six feet under, same as “Hades” which is “the grave” in Greek.]  “Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” (verse 6) the warning is, ‘Don’t, you try to figure that out, her ways are unstable, that you canst not know them.’ so the warning is, ‘Look out, take heed, make application, don’t try to psychoanalyze, because of her, she’s so unstable, you can’t figure out her ways and know them yourself.’  And then the plea comes, “Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.” and it’s the LORD’s words that are life-giving, hers seem sweet and smooth, “remove thy way” look, “FAR from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:” stay away, don’t even go there,  “lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:” (verses 8-9) because if you step across the line, you give your honour, your reputation is gone.  One night, your reputation is gone, one night, and it hits the highway, there’s the highway of facebook, the highway of Snap-Chat, the highway Tweeting, and Twatting and everything else that goes on out there.  You do one thing now, and somebody’s telling their friends, and it’s out there, and it says here, ‘you give your honour to others, it’s gone, it’s gone, one night, it’s gone.’  Now look, there isn’t anything in the Bible that forbids this person whose away from the Lord, to come back, in repentance, to come back and ask God’s forgiveness, to come back and experience God’s restoration, there isn’t anything that forbids that.  [i.e. look at David with Bathsheba.  But don’t forget the penalty David paid, a broken family.]  The challenge is, if you’re on this path, and you continue on this path, this is where it goes.  And you give yourself away to somebody like that, you give your honour to others, “and thy years unto the cruel.”  Billy Graham said, he said “It’s interesting, what God has taken 50 years to establish, I could completely ruin in ten minutes,” the Billy Graham Association, the ministry God had given him, he said “I realized that, every day, what he’s taken 50 years to build, I could loose and ruin in ten minutes.”  He says “Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:  lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,” (verses 9-11) interesting, I just, to keep up with statistics, looked today, right now in America, 2015, there will be 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases this year in America [20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, he means], 20 million.  6 out of 10 sexually active people outside of marriage have Chlamydia, syphilis, AIDS, gonorrhea, human Pamplona virus, you go down the list, 6 out of 10 right now in America, people who are sexually active outside of marriage, 6 out of 10 have sexually transmitted diseases.  Thousands of teenagers everyday in America contract a sexually transmitted disease.  But figure, do the math on that, 20 million a year.  Divide the population into 365, and figure how many that is a day, and how many that is an hour, how many that is a minute, that are contracting a sexually transmitted disease, in the United States [55,000 a day].  “And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,” so it has both spiritual and physical consequences, “and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;” (verse 12) ‘how could I let this happen?’

 

What About In The Church?

 

Now look, part of the reason, we see that some of this is happening, is because the Church sometimes has refused to step up to the plate.  If we have someone in the church, and we find out that they are in sexual sin, in adultery, we will confront them.  If that’s true, then we will begin to meet with them, to seek repentance.  If they decide that they don’t care what the elders of the church say, ‘I’m gonna do this anyway,’ then we say to them, look, then it’s a travesty for you to come here.  If you don’t care what the leaders of the church have to say, and we’re saying what we believe the Scripture says, it’s a travesty for you to come and sit here and listen to the Word if you’re not going to obey through the pastors, if they don’t care what they have to say, and then we will exercise church discipline, and we will put that person out of the church, ah, Paul talks about that in 1st Corinthians 5, he says ‘If a brother or sister, or someone who calls themselves a brother or sister, is continuing to live in sexual sin, don’t even eat with them, don’t fellowship with them.’  And the reason is, because, look, if that person is living that way because they refusing to listen to God in the vertical, so if they can substantiate and calm their guilt on the horizontal, by hanging around Christians, ‘Oh, we all fall, we all make mistakes,’ if they can do that on the horizontal, then sometimes it kind of pacifies them and allows them to continue.  Whereas if the church takes it seriously and says, it doesn’t say I don’t love them, or pray for them, but we can’t break bread with them, we can’t fellowship with them.  And then the shock of that then leaves that person alone, with the one Person they need to make things right with, instead of us making it easier on them to live that way.  So part of the reason we see a lot of that within the Church, is across the country the Church has failed in stepping up to the plate, and exercising its responsibility toward someone whose living in rebellion.  And the Bible tells us rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft, stubbornness is like adultery.  Now look, it’s what we hope, in the encounter, and in the counseling, is the person is going to say ‘You know what, I see that,’ and then we want to do everything we can do to come alongside of them, it’s nobody’s else’s business, we want them to get back on their feet, we want to see restoration, the God that we serve is a redeemer, a reconciler, a restorer, and that’s exactly what he wants to see.  But it says here, somebody ends up saying to themselves, “How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!” (verses 12-13) and interesting, “I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.” (verse 14)  ‘Right in the midst of the congregation, I was playing church, I was right in the middle of the congregation, to the point I’m almost involved in every kind of evil, and I’m right there playing the game in church, I’m right in the middle of the whole thing.’ (expository version of verse 14)

 

Here’s My Design, My Solution In Regards To Sexual Desire

 

Now, verses 15 to 21 God kind of turns this and says ‘Here’s my design, and this is MY solution in regards to sexual desire.’  Sexual desire is like thirst, it’s not wrong, it’s meant to be satisfied, God gave us thirst, and he gave us hunger.  Because if he didn’t, we would die.  So hunger is to be satisfied, he’s given us food.  And it isn’t just that he gave us hunger, think, in Creation, why cinnamon, why garlic?  Why all the spices?  Why cloves?  It isn’t just that he gave us hunger, then he gave us this whole thing with different flavors and different tastes to satisfy, I mean, there’s something to enjoy in it.  He could have just made us eat grass like cows.  And then he gives us thirst, and that’s to be satisfied or you’d dehydrate, you’d die.  Well he’s given us sexual desire.  Jesus specifically says if somebody doesn’t have it, that God has them then to be single for the rest of their lives, if you have this desire, you’re not called to be single for the rest of your life.  And that desire is also meant to be satisfied in the context of God’s design.  It’s not meant to be satisfied however you decide you want to satisfy it.  But God does have a plan, and there’s a way for that to be right.  And because God gave it, you know, he then says ‘This is what I want to see with it in your life.’  And this is where he starts in verse 15, so instead of being with the honey-dripping woman, instead of all that stuff going on, he says “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.” (verse 15)  He says it’s to be satisfied, it’s to be enjoyed, and he compares it to thirst, and it’s to be satisfied, out of your own cistern, out of your own well.  “Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.” (verse 16)  Now, verse 16 is doubtful, I admit that, King James says to allow this to happen, but the Septuagint translated it 285 years before Christ, says, verse 16, “Don’t let this happen,” yours may put it forth as a question, “Are you going to let this happen?”  So, here’s the options, and they’re all correct.  ok?  So, “Drink waters out of your own cistern, be satisfied” and so on.  The idea is, there’s a way for sexual desire to be enjoyed and be satisfied, and God has designed that.  And now if he’s saying “Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets” he’s saying ‘Let all of the blessings of that be observable, your children, the goodness of your life should flow out and should be seen of others.’  That’s one possibility.  If the Septuagint is right in saying ‘Don’t let,’ the idea is he’s saying ‘If you have your own cistern, you have your own well, why should you go out in the streets and try to satisfy, to slake your thirst with anyone else?’  If it’s a question, ‘why should?’  The point is, however you translate verse 16, all of those points of view agree.  If you enjoy the sexuality and the intimacy in your own marriage in your own home, and God made it to be both enjoyed and satisfied, that should be something that has an expression in the health of your marriage, in your family, with your children, and it should be something that is a witness to the world around us.  And also, it should be something that’s not enjoyed outside with others, both of those things are true.  “Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.” (verse 17)  Now verse 18 starts to get more specific, and it’s easier, “Let thy fountain be blessed:  and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”  Ok?  Now we’re going to move into this.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (verses 19-20)  Let your wife be like a wild gazelle or a wild goat, that’s romantic.  Right?  So God says here, ‘Look, I want you to enjoy this, let your fountain be blessed, this is the way it’s supposed to be, I’ve designed it, I designed the nerve-endings, I designed this whole process.’  Because you hear some people, some ‘spiritual sects’ s e c t s, in some spiritual situations and different types of denominations and spiritual strains of things, they say, ‘Well, sex is only for procreation., it’s not for pleasure, it’s only for procreation.’   [He won’t name the main proponent of that false doctrine, but I will, it’s the Roman Catholic Church]  Don’t join those people [laughter], not in my house.  If I have a young couple come in my office, and they’re not married, and they’re dating, and they’re fighting, I sit there and listen to them for awhile, they sound like married people.  And I’m thinking, ‘Hey, there’s lots of fish in the sea, if I was you, and she’s giving them much grief, I’m free, I’m out there finding somebody else,’ I’m thinking ‘What’s your problem?’  Finally I’m saying to them “You guys are in sexual sin, aren’t you?”  and all conversation will stop, and they say ‘Ya.’  And I’ll say “Because you sound like a husband and wife.”  If she’s hassling you, if he’s hassling you, go find somebody else, there’s plenty of people in the church and in Christianity, if you don’t get along, find somebody else.  ‘The problem is, you guys have entered into something, that outside of marriage becomes a bondage.  You’ve given yourself away to someone and you don’t know how to break up with them.’  Inside of marriage it [sex] is a glue.  Inside a marriage it’s a medicine, inside a marriage it’s concrete, it makes this solid, intimacy, pleasure, procreation, it’s all a part of it.  If you do that outside of marriage, and then you go to break up with that person, they’re taking part of you with them, because you gave part of yourself away, and you’ll never have it back.  And it’s a bondage outside of marriage, it’s a glue inside of marriage.  Very important to understand.  Paul will say in 1st Corinthians chapter 7 [the marriage chapter] it encourages the wife and the husband ‘Don’t defraud your partner, your body belongs to them, not to yourself.’  It says if you defraud them, and refuse, because sometimes in marriages there’s arguments, and sex can be used as a manipulative thing, the Bible says that shouldn’t be right.  It is part of a ministry you have to your spouse.  If you withhold that deliberately as a means of punishing them, it says then Satan will get an advantage, the devil understands that perfectly.  It says you can separate for awhile to give yourself to fasting, if you agree on that, but not to treat each other that way.  Because God says ‘Let your fountain be blessed, rejoice with the wife of your youth, let her be as a loving hind, as a pleasant roe,’ you see how beautiful and graceful a gazelle is, “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, be thou ravished” intoxicated “always with her love.”  Because there’s a designer there, and he’s made it to be enjoyed and entered into, it is a form, it is only a form of intimacy, but it is a form of intimacy.  “Why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (verse 20) 

 

God’s Watching All Of Us

 

Look what it says, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” (verse 21) here’s the truth of it all.  If you have never taken anybody in the backseat of a car, or to a hotel, you’ve never had anybody in a private place, you’ve never gotten away with anything, you’ve never sinned when nobody’s watching, it’s never happened, that’s a good thing.  You can lie to your parents, you can lie to your friends, it says here, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” (verse 21)  David, finally, when he would repent of his sins, would say “Before thee, and thee only have I sinned and done this great evil in thy sight.”  [That was over his sin with Bathsheba]  This is the wrong way for it to happen, the first half of the chapter, this is the way God designed it to happen [the second half of the chapter], this is to be satisfied, to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” (verses 21-22) you’re going to get yourself in your own mess, and you’re going to reap what you sow, “He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” (verse 23)  [Don’t you go astray first, and then you die?  I think the order is mixed up.]  You know, there’s constant challenges, people are going to say on their deathbed, ‘I can’t believe I did this, I can’t believe this is what I did with my own life.’  [Comment:  Some of you who have bothered to read this far, out of curiosity, are atheists, and you’re saying to yourself, ‘If there’s no God, how can his eyes be on us?’  You need to click on and read this article, and prove once and for all whether God really exists or not.  see http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/molecularmachines.htm and the whole series of articles at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html] Now, chapter 6…

 

Proverbs 6:1-16

 

“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2 thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?  when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. 12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 frowardness is in his heart, he diviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six things doth the LORD hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 an heart that diviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

 

Co-Signing & Giving Of Loans

 

“Ah, chapter 6, “My son,” again, now the first five verses are going to tell us how you can get into financial problems by doing the wrong thing.  And then verse 6 to 11 are going to tell you how you can get into financial problems by not doing anything.  Then we’ll move on from there.  So again, “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,” (verse 1) now, to be surety, you’re thinking ‘I know I shouldn’t do that, but I don’t know what it is.’  “Surety” means “to be a co-signer,” it means “to be the lender,” you have someone who comes to you and says ‘Let me have a loan, I swear I’ll give it back to you, I swear I’ll give it back to you…’ why’s he giving you all that swearing if he’s going to give your ten bucks back to you tomorrow?  You should just be able to trust him.  Once you’ve put money in his hand, if he comes to you and says ‘Look, I just need you to co-sign, and then the Mercedes, and next week…it says, ‘Once you do that, you’re in, man, you are in,’ once you lend somebody the money, and we hear it in the church all the time, you gotta sit these people down, try to make peace.  Let me say this too, it doesn’t say, if the Holy Spirit tells you to lend, then don’t say in your own heart ‘Don’t lend money to someone to help them.’  That’s a decision.  [i.e. if the Holy Spirit is moving you to lend money to someone to help them, more like giving assistance, and usually in those circumstances, you’re not looking to get the money back, it’s genuine charity you’re being inspired to give.  In such cases, go ahead and give, but give wisely.]  What this is saying, is ‘there is an irresponsible way to be a co-signer, to treat someone whose already being irresponsible, to enable them to then be more irresponsible, because you got yourself involved in it, and they got you all smoked up about it.’  So, “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend,” this kind of thing has come between many friends,if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,” that’s how you would end a deal, then, you hi-five each other, that meant the deal was over, you stand there in the gate, it wasn’t contracted back then, most of the time, it was by word of mouth.  You know, the first half of the last century, the first half of the 1900s, most of the deals on Wall Street were done with a handshake.  Because there was that much trust in the culture.  Now lawyers are involved in everything.  But then, you made a deal, you smacked hands.  You can still see in the Middle East, I’ve been there 23 times, people still do that sometimes.  He says ‘if you’ve stricken hands with a stranger, hi-fived him at the end of the deal,’ he says, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” (verse 2)  “Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure of thy friend.” (verse 3) the idea is, beseech him, do anything you can to see if he’ll let you out of the deal, tell him you were wrong, humble yourself, see if you can get out of it, “Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.” and this is the way he says it, “Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (verses 4-5) deliver yourself as a deer from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler, those are two creatures who want to get away, a doe from the hunter, and a bird from the fowler, because their lives are gone if they don’t.  So, escape that way, don’t lend people money, don’t get tied up in financial things.  You know, you think you have good will, you know, it’s a funny thing, look, in the church, if somebody has the gift of tongues, you’re always going to know about that [sometimes I wish I didn’t know about that].  But somebody who has the gift of mercy, because you can look at the person with the gift of prophecy or tongues, Sunday morning, here’s the prophecy ‘MY CHILDREN,’ must be quarter after 11, my watch is a little slow, because they go off the same time every week.  But if somebody has the gift of mercy, you don’t ever see them use that in the flesh.  But you an use one spiritual gift in the flesh as much as another.  I specifically remember, Cathy and I were going to pay for somebody’s brakes, strange circumstance, their car broke down, and we felt, maybe we should just do this.  And on the way the Lord said, ‘Will you please stop messing with me, I broke them down, and you’re bailing them out.’  And you realize, you have the gift of help, so you just think ‘I can help everybody.’  So you have the gift of tongues, you should use it everywhere? [I wish they wouldn’t], we have the gift of prophecy…no, no, there’s context, proper use, as it is with any gift.  Sometimes helping somebody is enabling them.  You’re not at all coming up with any process that’s going to make them stand up and fix it themselves.  [Comment:  I have to be careful, with any of my adoptive family in this way.  If my help helps them keep their head above water, while they’re in the process of helping themselves the best they can, you know, fatherless children, single moms, the very poor through circumstances not of their own making, then that’s proper giving.  But you have to be aware of who you are helping, and what that’s doing for them.  Is it helping them to get on their feet, so by their own industriousness they start to make it on their own?  One thing is for sure, the Evangelical church is not giving enough.  Short-term missions, church charity projects are another way for your local part of the Body of Christ to serve the needy.  And there is the genuine group the Bible spells out that we should be helping, what is termed in the Old Testament as the poor, fatherless and widows, what today are the poor, single moms, and fatherless children.  Giving quietly and discretely to this group of people, when the Lord brings their circumstances to your attention, is never wrong.  As a matter of fact, it is commanded in the Word of God.] 

 

Getting Into Financial Problems By Not Doing Anything

 

And he’s going to say, here’s what they need to do [those that have their hand out, looking for co-signers, those who are always looking for the hand-out], verse 6, here’s God’s suggestion.  “Go to the ant,” this is not Aunt Mari, Aunt Jane, it’s “the ant”  “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?  when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” (verses 6-9) so the idea is here, for this person, you don’t want to help a sluggard, you don’t want to be surety for a sluggard, because it’s saying, they have a problem.  And God’s advice is Don’t let them borrow money from you, do this, tell them to go watch the ants.’  Now everybody here has watched ants, there’s not anybody in this room who hasn’t watched ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, ferro ants, some kinds of ants somewhere.  Some of you watch them, ‘EEEWOO’ some of you find them on your bagel in the morning, some of you find a whole line, I remember one time we were on vacation, we came home, there was like this parade to our honey jar, to the lid, they were taking it all from around the top, they had a two-lane highway, one the way in to get the honey, one the way out, and of course my wife made us throw the honey out, instead of washing the ants off it.  And then you’re plugging the holes, I caulked everything, I was at war with them.  But ants, you never, go watch them, they’re not laying around.  They’re never moseying their life away, they’re always busy.  “Go to the ant,” now I love this, “thou sluggard;” isn’t that a great word?  Slug, you know what a slug is, big slimy, slow creature [it’s actually a species of snail that doesn’t have a shell], some people eat them [laughter].  Ya, I know.  You give it a French name and it’s supposed to be good, I don’t understand.  Slug, and the second part of the word, “gard” intensifies the first half, which is a slow, slimy thing.  Sluggard, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise:” (verse 6) so you have somebody whose always trying to borrow money from you, get them an Inform for Christmas, there’s a subtle message there [laughter].  Look, it says ‘they have no guide, there’s no overseer, no ruler,’ (verse 7) you don’t have the ants saying, ‘Quick, get back to work, the boss is coming!’  You never see ants standing around taking a smoke in the middle of a job.  Right?  You never see ants on a coffee-break, ever.  You watch humans and you watch ants, they’re in completely different worlds.  And it says the ants don’t have any boss, it’s not like ‘Get busy, the boss is coming!’ you don’t see them all standing around, you know, the 55 gallon drum on fire, having their coffee break, not the ants.  You gotta learn something from them.  It says wisdom avails itself of perception in the life of the ant.  Because the ant somehow understands, ‘she provides her food in the summer, she gathers her food in the harvest.’  Wisdom has foresight.  And the idea is, you work, because there is at the end of that, there’s fruit, you enjoy the fruit of your labor, just go watch the ant.  You know, they have an ant-brain and they understand this.  You need a microscope to see their brain, and they understand.  They don’t need a boss, they don’t need an overseer, they don’t need somebody riding herd over them.  They’re not standing around taking coffee-breaks, taking a smoke-break, they’re working.  And they do it because they understand the seasons, they understand there’s a time to work, they understand that they’re going to have to have things gathered.  They know these things intuitively.  And then the question comes, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?” that’s a great word, isn’t it?when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” there’s three “little’s” here,Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:” (verses 9-10) now this is not unemployment, this is unmotivated, that’s the problem here, not unemployment. There are people having trouble finding jobs, I understand that.  This is talking about the unmotivated.  Now to tell you the truth, there are times on Sunday afternoon, I get home after [preaching] three services, and I’ll eat lunch, and then I enjoy a little folding of the hands.  If I sit down after that, and do this, I’m gone. [he’s one of the hardest working pastors I know of]  Sometimes they’re hitting me, saying, ‘You have church tonight, slap, wake up!’ not because I’m lazy, because I deserve a little folding of the hands. 

 

There’s A Connection Here, Between Those Asking For Loans & Co-Signing And The Sluggard, The Unmotivated

 

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:” he says this is what’s gonna happen, “so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (verses 10-11)  ‘Your poverty will come on you as one that travelleth like a bandit, and your want will come as an armed man,’ the want comes on you, it doesn’t take it’s time, it comes, and when it hits, then you’re going to be back to verse 1, where you’re trying to get your friend to lend you money, surety. Don’t do that, lend to these people, don’t be the one lending, because some people may need to get off there rear-end.  And you say to people, ‘Look, are you looking for a job?’ they answer ‘The Lord’s gonna give me a job,’  ‘Well, what do you mean?’  ‘I trust him, he’s gonna give me a job,’  ‘Well what does that mean?’  ‘It means when he wants me to work, he’s gonna give me a job, people know I need a job, I’ve told people to be praying about it, then when he wants me to work I’m going to get a job.’  ‘Are you using the want-ads?  You can go to McDonalds till that Super-Job comes through.’  You can make money while you’re waiting, this is America.  Some people come here from foreign countries broke, and in 15 years they’re millionaires, they understand the system, do something!  ‘Well, God’s gonna give me a job,’ and they’re like so spiritual, they’re sitting there waiting for the knock on the door, ‘Can we hire you for 200-Grand a year?  We’ve got all kinds of perks, we were just hoping you’d be here.’  This is ridiculous, because when you’re in the kitchen and you want a sandwich, you don’t apply the same philosophy, ‘I’m gonna eat,’  ‘Aren’t you hungry?’ ‘A sandwich is gonna come, if I sit here long enough, the fridg is going to open up, the ham and cheese is gonna float out, the mayo is going to come out, it’s going to land on the table, the bread’s going to come out of the bread drawer,’ no, no, when you’re hungry you get the mayo, you get the ham and cheese, you get the bread, and you know what?  When there ain’t no bread left, no ham and cheese left, the mayo’s all gone, you go fill the fridg up, so it all works together, really.  “So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (verse 11)

 

The Con-Man

 

“A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.” (verse 12) an arrogant mouth, somebody whose arrogant.  It says, “He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers.” (verse 13) or ‘he points with his fingers,’ what this is talking about here, and you kind of have to come from that world a little bit to understand, it’s talking about a Con-Man, somebody whose working something on the corner.  And he’s got signals, he’s got guys he’s working with, he winks with his eyes, ‘when I move my feet a certain way, you see me do this with my hand,’ somebody whose working somebody else, he’s going to steal from this guy, he’s going to do something to get one over on him, he’s going to pick his pocket, he’s a con-man.  You watch a baseball game, I’m always amazed watching a baseball game, and see the guy on the side going…[laughter]  They’re telling the guys on the field, ‘What did he just do, have a stroke, what was that?’  And here’s the picture of a wicked man, they get around somebody, they’re giving signals, moves his feet to a certain place, does something with his hands, it says, “Frowardness” perverseness is in his heart, he diviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.  Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.” (verses 14-15)  So there’s the lazy person, not necessarily the bad person whose not giving signals trying to work from the corner, just sitting around with his hands folded, waiting for the guy to come to the front door to give him a job, so don’t lend that guy money, or you’re going to end up in trouble then. If you do [co-sign for that guy], go back, deliver yourself from that situation.  And the reproof to the person just sitting around, consider the ant, go look, watch this, this is what happens, this is the way that it should happen.  Then there’s another person whose not working, this is the way they just work everybody else, this is the way they work the whole scene.  And it says ‘Suddenly their judgment is going to come, and when that comes, it comes without remedy.’  You know, it’s funny, we were just talking the other day, in the lunch room, a bunch of the guys were sitting around doing the brackets for the Sweet Sixteen, and there was a thing in the paper that said it costs American Industry over a billion dollars to brackets, there’s so many people take time off from work to fill out their brackets across the country, they actually cost the country 1.2 billion dollars in bracket-filler-outers, it slows things down so much.  It’s just free information, we don’t really talk about it in here, but I thought somehow it applied. 

 

The Seven Things The LORD Hates

 

OK, verse 16, “These six things doth the LORD hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” it’s probably an important verse, to know what he hates.  “yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” here they are, #1, “A proud look,” #2 “a lying tongue,” #3 “and hands that shed innocent blood,” #4 “an heart that diviseth wicked imaginations,” #5 “feet that be swift in running to mischief,” #6 “a false witness that speaketh lies, #7 “and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (verses 16-19)  Really an interesting picture, look, you and I should care what the LORD hates and what the LORD loves.  It says here he hates these seven things.  You know, he hates the proud look, the arrogant person.  You don’t appreciate that, do you?  When you’re a parent and you correct your kid, and you say something to him, and they give you that look, proud look.  A lying tongue, when raising my kids, I could say to them honestly, ‘Look, if you sin, I want to know about it.  If you get drunk, smoke a joint, sexual sin, I want you to come to me, I want to know.  I might not kill you, you might live.  I want to know.  But the thing that will kill me, the thing I can’t take is if you lie to me.  There is no room for that in our relationship, if you’re deceptive.  If you’re a sinner, I understand that, I’m a sinner saved by grace, I understand sinners.  If you make a mistake my heart might be broken, but I’m on your side, I want you to come…but the thing I can’t endure, there’s so much love between us, is for you to be deceptive, for you to lie, that will kill me, that will break my heart.’  The Father in heaven says ‘I hate these six things, the seventh of course is an abomination, a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,’ it doesn’t say he can’t forgive, Saul of Tarsus shed much innocent blood, Manasseh slaughtered Isaiah, sawed him in two, he shed much innocent blood in Jerusalem, and his heart turned back to the LORD, when he cried out the LORD heard him, but he hates these things, ‘a heart that devises wicked schemes and plans,’ that’s not what a heart is for, not how God designed it, ‘feet that are swift in running to mischief, into doing what is wrong, a false witness that speaketh lies,’ now by the way, you read this list and you think ‘How did the Father feel the night of the trial of Jesus when he went from Caiaphas to Annus back to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, back to Pilate, every single one of these prominent in that night his Son was being betrayed?’  A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift to do what is wrong, a false witness that speaketh lies, you can imagine, and lastly it says ‘he that soweth discord among brethren.’  We read Psalm 133, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’  Here he says he hates somebody who sows discord among brethren.  You know, the price of your brethrenship, the price of joining the fraternity is the blood of God’s own dear Son.  The price of you looking at somebody in this room and calling them a brother or sister in Christ, the price of that is unimaginable.  It says even in the ages to come we’ll be learning about it.  But the Father gave his only Son so that we can be part of the family, he gave everything to make us one, it says he hates someone who then goes and sows discord between brethren.  And somebody who does that has their own agenda, they only care about themselves, they don’t care about the Bride of Christ, they don’t care that all of this is blood-bought, they want to get their own little club going, so they like to go and do this, to separate people to themselves and make sure they got their own posse.  There’s enough of that in me, I understand it perfectly.  So, read ahead.  And look, he’s going to come next week, and say, here’s the words of my Book, this Book, he says wonderfully, he says, ‘When thou goest, it will lead you, when you sleep it will stand watch over you, when you wake up, it will talk to you, this Book, it’ll speak to you.’  And again, he goes into a warning, again, about immorality, and he says, because he warned us now, this will be the third time, ‘Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding, he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.’  It’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s not because my wife wasn’t doing this, or my husband wasn’t doing that, it says ‘Whoever enters into that destroys their own soul.’  So, exhortation, God’s wisdom, things he would say to us, to spare us, ah, as we go through.  I’m glad that we’re under the New Covenant, I’m glad that in our failings, we can go to the Lord and we can repent, we can ask forgiveness.  You know, the Book of Proverbs is not a Book of the Grace of the Gospel of the New Testament, it’s a book of wisdom, that’s saying ‘this is the wiser way to live,’ and living with wisdom is an easier life than living without wisdom, and no one will ever debate that.  You should do this, I didn’t want to bring them tonight, because I wouldn’t get through this much territory, of stacks of statistics, do that for your own self sometime, you can Google it now, you can go to the Center For Disease Control in Atlanta, and look up sexually transmitted diseases, look what’s going on, with divorce, look at the statistics in our nation.  In some communities 87 percent of the births are outside of marriage now, think of what that means, think of what it means [especially for those that are fatherless, the higher percentage of such end up in prison for murder, rape, larceny, etc.].  Here we are, saved, washed, regenerated, God’s own children, he says ‘You alone,’ when Jesus said it, Matthew wrote it, it’s emphatic in the Greek, ‘You alone, no one else, you distinct from all others, are the Light of the world, you distinct from all others, are the Salt of the earth.  A city set on a hill is not going to be hid.  Nobody lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel.  You alone, not the other religious systems of the world, politics, not media, you alone, are the Light of the world, the Salt of the earth.’ (Matthew 5:13-16)  What a challenge for us in the days that we live in, so lacking light, so lacking any preservative.  So, I encourage you to read ahead, let’s stand, let’s pray…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Proverbs 5:1-23 and Proverbs 6:1-19, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

How can you believe God is watching you if you don’t believe he exists?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/molecularmachines.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html               

 

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