• Proverbs Chapters 5 - 8

    I am looking forward to seeing who has worked on their daily readings tomorrow at Awanas.

    Warning Against Adultery

    1   My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
          turn your ear to my words of insight,
    2   that you may maintain discretion
          and your lips may preserve knowledge.
    3   For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
          and her speech is smoother than oil;
    4   but in the end she is bitter as gall,
          sharp as a double-edged sword.
    5   Her feet go down to death;
          her steps lead straight to the grave.
    6   She gives no thought to the way of life;
          her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

    7   Now then, my sons, listen to me;
          do not turn aside from what I say.
    8   Keep to a path far from her,
          do not go near the door of her house,
    9   lest you lose your honor to others
          and your dignity[a] to one who is cruel,
    10   lest strangers feast on your wealth
          and your toil enrich the house of another.
    11   At the end of your life you will groan,
          when your flesh and body are spent.
    12   You will say, “How I hated discipline!
          How my heart spurned correction!
    13   I would not obey my teachers
          or turn my ear to my instructors.
    14   And I was soon in serious trouble
          in the assembly of God’s people.”

    15   Drink water from your own cistern,
          running water from your own well.
    16   Should your springs overflow in the streets,
          your streams of water in the public squares?
    17   Let them be yours alone,
          never to be shared with strangers.
    18   May your fountain be blessed,
          and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
    19   A loving doe, a graceful deer—
          may her breasts satisfy you always,
          may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
    20   Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
          Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

    21   For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
          and he examines all your paths.
    22   The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
          the cords of their sins hold them fast.
    23   For lack of discipline they will die,
          led astray by their own great folly.

    Well I can start here by saying I know this subject matter may be uncomfortable for some to read. It is however always better to prepare yourself for temptations before they are in front of you.

    It is wise to think of situations that might arise that would tempt you, and plan for these temptations ahead of time. Have a plan. What you can say, where you can go, or who you might go to for help.

    3   For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
          and her speech is smoother than oil;

    Flattery when from a friend or a loved one can be very nice to hear. You need to be cautious though. People who lead you astray will also use flattery to tempt you into doing things you know are wrong.

    Warnings Against Folly

    1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
          if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
    2 you have been trapped by what you said,
          ensnared by the words of your mouth.
    3 So do this, my son, to free yourself,
          since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
          Go-to the point of exhaustion-
          and give your neighbor no rest!
    4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
          no slumber to your eyelids.
    5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
          like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

    6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
          consider its ways and be wise!
    7 It has no commander,
          no overseer or ruler,
    8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
          and gathers its food at harvest.

    9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
          When will you get up from your sleep?
    10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
          a little folding of the hands to rest—
    11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
          and scarcity like an armed man.

    12 A troublemaker and a villain,
          who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
    13 who winks maliciously with his eye,
          signals with his feet
          and motions with his fingers,
    14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
          he always stirs up conflict.
    15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
          he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

    16 There are six things the Lord hates,
          seven that are detestable to him:
    17 haughty eyes,
          a lying tongue,
          hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
          feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    19 a false witness who pours out lies
          and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

    Warning Against Adultery

    20 My son, keep your father’s command
          and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
    21 Bind them always on your heart;
          fasten them around your neck.
    22 When you walk, they will guide you;
          when you sleep, they will watch over you;
          when you awake, they will speak to you.
    23 For this command is a lamp,
          this teaching is a light,
          and correction and instruction
          are the way to life,
    24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
          from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.

    25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
          or let her captivate you with her eyes.

    26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
          but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
    27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
          without his clothes being burned?
    28 Can a man walk on hot coals
          without his feet being scorched?
    29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
          no one who touches her will go unpunished.

    30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
          to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
    31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
          though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
    32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
          whoever does so destroys himself.
    33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
          and his shame will never be wiped away.

    34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
          and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
    35 He will not accept any compensation;
          he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

    Generosity is a great thing. This first few verses of this chapter warns you about going beyond generosity. Often it can be tempting to show off or try to buy the love of people around us. This is a problem for more than one reason. Of course anyone who becomes your friend because of what you give them will only be there to take advantage of you. Secondly though, behavior like this can cause a negative habit. When you feel you have to buy love you will end up either being lonely or hurting yourself financially.

    We all love sleep. There is nothing wrong with getting the rest you need. Problems arise when we sleep at the wrong times. In the classroom, while we have work or chores to do.

    10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
          a little folding of the hands to rest—
    11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
          and scarcity like an armed man.

    It is pretty normal for people to be resistant to what their parents have to tell them. It is important to remember that the things you are told to do are for love. Our parents have been through many of the situations we face or may be facing for the first time. We can be fairly confident they love us so they are going to give us the best advice they can. It is important though to be wise and know when you need advice from those who are older (and hopefully wiser) than you.

    Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

    1 My son, keep my words
          and store up my commands within you.
    2 Keep my commands and you will live;
          guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
    3 Bind them on your fingers;
          write them on the tablet of your heart.
    4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
          and to insight, “You are my relative.”
    5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
          from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

    6 At the window of my house
          I looked down through the lattice.
    7 I saw among the simple,
          I noticed among the young men,
          a youth who had no sense.
    8 He was going down the street near her corner,
          walking along in the direction of her house
    9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
          as the dark of night set in.

    10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
          dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
    11 (She is unruly and defiant,
          her feet never stay at home;
    12 now in the street, now in the squares,
          at every corner she lurks.)
    13 She took hold of him and kissed him
          and with a brazen face she said:

    14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
          and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
    15 So I came out to meet you;
          I looked for you and have found you!
    16 I have covered my bed
          with colored linens from Egypt.
    17 I have perfumed my bed
          with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
    18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
          let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
    19 My husband is not at home;
          he has gone on a long journey.
    20 He took his purse filled with money
          and will not be home till full moon.”

    21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
          she seduced him with her smooth talk.
    22 All at once he followed her
          like an ox going to the slaughter,
          like a deer stepping into a noose
    23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
          like a bird darting into a snare,
          little knowing it will cost him his life.

    24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
          pay attention to what I say.
    25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
          or stray into her paths.
    26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
          her slain are a mighty throng.
    27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
          leading down to the chambers of death.

    This chapter was written directed more towards young men than young women but the wisdom holds true for both. Those who would tempt you will be quick to answer any objection you have. They will lure you away from the right things.

    This kind of temptation is abundant regardless of age. Cheap thrills today can quickly lead down a bad path. If we stay close to those people in our lives that want what is best for us and avoid places, people, and things that tempt us we will be well equipped to not give in to temptations.

    Wisdom’s Call

    1 Does not wisdom call out?
          Does not understanding raise her voice?
    2 At the highest point along the way,
          where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
    3 beside the gate leading into the city,
          at the entrance, she cries aloud:
    4 “To you, O people, I call out;
          I raise my voice to all mankind.
    5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
          you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
    6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
          I open my lips to speak what is right.
    7 My mouth speaks what is true,
          for my lips detest wickedness.
    8 All the words of my mouth are just;
          none of them is crooked or perverse.
    9 To the discerning all of them are right;
          they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
    10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
          knowledge rather than choice gold,
    11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
          and nothing you desire can compare with her.

    12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
          I possess knowledge and discretion.
    13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
          I hate pride and arrogance,
          evil behavior and perverse speech.
    14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
          I have insight, I have power.
    15 By me kings reign
          and rulers issue decrees that are just;
    16 by me princes govern,
          and nobles—all who rule on earth.
    17 I love those who love me,
          and those who seek me find me.
    18 With me are riches and honor,
          enduring wealth and prosperity.
    19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
          what I yield surpasses choice silver.
    20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
          along the paths of justice,
    21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
          and making their treasuries full.

    22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
          before his deeds of old;
    23 I was formed long ages ago,
          at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
    24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
          when there were no springs overflowing with water;
    25 before the mountains were settled in place,
          before the hills, I was given birth,
    26 before he made the world or its fields
          or any of the dust of the earth.
    27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
          when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
    28 when he established the clouds above
          and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
    29 when he gave the sea its boundary
          so the waters would not overstep his command,
          and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
    30 Then I was constantly at his side.
          I was filled with delight day after day,
          rejoicing always in his presence,
    31 rejoicing in his whole world
          and delighting in mankind.

    32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
          blessed are those who keep my ways.
    33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
          do not disregard it.
    34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
          watching daily at my doors,
          waiting at my doorway.
    35 For those who find me find life
          and receive favor from the Lord.
    36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
          all who hate me love death.”

    In chapter eight the woman portrayed is wisdom who guides us in the right direction.

    11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
          and nothing you desire can compare

    We need to seek Gods wisdom and through wisdom make the choices we face every day. That is how you find happiness.

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