The Proverbs indeed contain a luxurious well appointed wealth of spiritual treasure. Fit for a king, yet equally important for anyone else! There is a profound wisdom here that transcends time and reaches out to us at whatever place or point we may be in life! The Proverbs contain a plethora of pithy sayings that can often befuddle one’s mind. King Solomon shares his godly wisdom via the Proverbs that were written over 3,000 years ago! They portray moral truth and a vast range of important imperative subjects. This is a continuing series of the thirty one Proverbs! I suggest for further in depth study that you begin reading at least one Proverb each day; in them you will discover a “Goldmine of Spiritual Wisdom.”
King Solomon was the wisest man to ever live; yet he was not able to rise above his own fleshly desires! This lets us know that wealth is not a cure all! One must learn to rise above the desires of the flesh if self discipline is desired! Here is where temptation lurks! Remember in the garden the crafty serpent? “Did God really say?” Genesis 5. The devil continuously tries to find clever ways to get you to do things his way and walk contrary to what God says! He still wants to deceive the children of God! So, the ongoing battle continues…
It is important to know that whenever you are tempted, it is not of God! It is so important to know the Word of God for yourself! There is so much to pull you away and off course and onto the broad road that leads to destruction. Solomon is an excellent example. He provides us with a plethora of examples and many Proverbs to help us out! The Word tells us: No temptation has seized you except is common to man. And God is FAITHFUL: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I Corinthians 10.
Thank God for JESUS! We can now call upon Him as Savior and Lord! He is able to rescue us from the power and pull of sin! But, we in turn must call upon Him and obey His Word! Christ came so we could have a better life! He does not want you to have a legalistic, unhappy, dismal life! He wants the Fruit of His Spirit to flow from you! He wants His Light to shine through you!
What is this Fruit?“But the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit. Let us keep in step with the Spirit…” Galatians 5. As we grow spiritually the Fruit becomes visible in our character. They are by-products of the Spirit of the Lord presence operating in our lives. Through self control we learn to actually implement the wisdom principles found in Proverbs! Here is a wonderful spiritual food to keep us on the path that leads to the Lord.
King Solomon did not turn away from God all at once. It was a gradual decline that led him down the primrose path. Sin is like cancer. When not properly addressed it will take over your body and drain you of your life! We must take a stand when sin lurks at our door. No matter what form it tries to cloak itself in. One must pray, meditate on the Word of God, seek and ask His Holy Spirit to open our understanding. Pray for discernment! Solomon’s downfall was because he allowed sin to stay around him. He should have confronted the sin. Instead, he embraced the ways of his seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines. They eventually corrupted him.
We are living in a time when anything goes! Therefore it is important to know that this is “Not so” as far as the Lord is concerned! His purpose and plan for our lives has not changed! Look around and notice how story after story in the news gets increasingly more perverted than the next! Things are really getting out of hand! Prayer is an essential tool for survival! There is much spiritual warfare to divide marriages and families!
As a Christian, God wants to be in charge of our lives from start to finish! He is the Ultimate Father who knows what is best for us! We who are believers belong to God! We can see just how much Solomon’s household was divided as well as His Kingdom! He paid a great price because he compromised the godly principles he knew to be right! The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from Him. All of God’s Word is true! God has not changed! If He is the source of everything why not go to Him first! Solomon allowed himself to be led away from listening to the Lord…
“So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenants and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of your father, I will not do it during your lifetime.” I Kings 11. God keeps His promises! He had promised Solomon’s father King David that Solomon would be King! He could have been blessed for all time but he did not listen to the Lord! After His death His Kingdom was divided!
There is so much going on in our world today! Many leaders throughout the world on many levels have not listened to the Lord! This is true within God’s Church as well! Many have allowed foreign gods and embraced ungodly, practices and principles! It is clear and concise in these Proverbs the consequences for ignoring God! “Unless the LORD builds the house its builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127. Be honest with yourself! Is God really welcomed in your home or your life?
The Proverbs has a wealth of spiritual wisdom to give us Joy for the journey! To direct us on the path that we should go. It is important to build your marriage, family, home and close relationships on godly principles! We are not supposed to compromise God’s principles when we engage with friends, family, strangers, coworkers, neighbors who are non believers. Is God not Omnipresent? Meaning He is everywhere we are? The truth is many often do so in order to be accepted!
Do you really want to be happy! Being blessed means being happy! The Word says: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. Nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of Lord and in His law does he meditate day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters, bringing forth fruit in His season…” Psalms 1. Remember the Fruit we talked about earlier? This is why we must continuously embrace His Word so we can grow spiritually! “I can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens me!” Philippians 4.
God has created us for our lives to center around Him! It is in Him you will find a rich, fulfilling, inner life that will help you weather the storms of life. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us! It is important to take a personal inventory and see where you are? God is Omniscient! God already knows! He knows everything! It is your choice; His way or your way? Have you accepted Him in your heart as your Savior and Lord! Trust Him! We can learn so much when we read, ponder, implement and apply the principles that are throughout the Word of God! You can be 100 % sure of who you are in Jesus Christ! These wonderful, brilliantly written God inspired Proverbs can help us make better life choices! It will make all the difference in the world! There is power in the Word of God!
PROVERBIAL LESSON HIGHLIGHTS
When you sit down to dine with someone who is influential, or in power be careful when you are not certain of their character! A corrupt ruler will try to entice or bribe you into doing what they want you to do. Discernment is an invaluable gift from God! It is important to know the Word of God, implement it in your life and stand on it! God’s Word provides us with a strong foundation. This way you will not be easily swayed from what is right regardless of who it is! “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for his food is deceptive.”
Listening is important. We can learn a great deal when we listen to someone who is wise. We are forever growing. The Word of God has an endless wealth of wisdom to help us grow spiritually. The Proverbs are concentrated in its contents with godly wisdom! Solomon candidly shares with us the benefits of wisdom. “Apply your heart to instruction and you ears to words of knowledge.”
It is very important that we discipline our children! Without proper discipline they will not respect you, others or themselves. If you want your child to become responsible and productive you must teach them proper healthy boundaries. There are times when a rare occasional smack on the backside is warranted. This is to let the child know that they have gone too far and gone beyond their limits! Talking to your child and explaining why he or she is being disciplined is important. "Time out" is important! It interrupts whatever it is they want to do and readily allows them to feel a consequence! The majority of the time you can resolve the issue just by talking with them! Discipline should always be age appropriate!
Beating a child is always out of order! Abuse of any kind is totally unacceptable! When you properly discipline a child they will not be harmed. Although unpleasant in the moment, this will later help them feel secure emotionally as well! This serves as a reminder that this particular action resulted in a drastic measure and the behavior is unacceptable! A tap on the hand also can be effective. Always keep in mind you want to readily and consistently discipline any inappropriate behavior that is not acceptable. Discipline is an important part of proper parenting. “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.”
This Proverb has a lot to say in regards to drinking wine. Wine itself is not bad. It is when one overindulges in wine that it begins to alter their ability to make sound judgments! It dulls the senses! Israel was a wine producing country. Wine was extremely plentiful! It is important to note that the overindulgence to an extreme in anything is not good! Eating too much meat will result in one becoming overweight, which is unhealthy! Balance is key! Discipline helps one to know what their limits are. Each individual has a different temperament. Their strengths and weaknesses vary!
Be careful who you keep company with! The habits of your friends will soon become yours if you are not careful. Don’t let anyone pull you away from what you know to be right! Is it worth the consequences? A good spouse or friend will not support you in what is wrong! Be a good friend by setting a better example! Allow your light to shine! Let them see the JOY of the Lord in you! “Listen my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
TRUTH is INVALUABLE
Knowing God’s Word is important! The wisdom of God is more precious than rubies! “If you look for it as silver and search for it as a hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord.” Proverbs 2. “Buy the TRUTH and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”
A wise son listens to his father who provides good godly counsel. He has his son’s best interest at heart. He wants him to be responsible, productive and prosperous in all that he does! He will not direct him away from the Lord but to Him. (This goes as well for a daughter.) A wise son brings much joy to his father! God is pleased when we obey him as well! “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.”
PERILS of DRINKING
This Proverbs has a great deal to teach us about drinking! Listen hear with your spiritual ears! Many indulge in drinking because they are in pain. Emotionally it is very difficult for them to deal with life sober! They elect to anesthetize themselves with alcohol, wine or beer! The effect is only temporary! At some point they will need more. Many form and addiction to drinking! They have lost their ability to cope without being under the influence!
It is important to find comfort in the Lord! This will relieve you from the need to escape and become oblivious to your inner pain. God is totally aware of everything that has ever happened in anyone’s life! Please do not continue to lose yourself in drinking. Turn to God and discover who you are in Him! God created you for a purpose and wants you to have self-control! He loves you and has a better way to help you to cope!
Being a drunkard is not honorable or acceptable. Perhaps you do not consider yourself a drunkard? How often do you drink? You have possibly chosen an unhealthy way to escape your inner emotional pain. You are being self indulgent and setting a poor example for those around you when you are always drinking. I can stop whenever I want! Well stop! Love “you” enough to take better care of yourself. Alcohol will destroy your body! Try reaching for the Lord instead of a drink! Or how about some water to cleanse you system? Humbly ask the Lord to help you? He can help you resolve your inner conflict! Don’t become another statistic! Please whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!!!
Why is it that you need a drink to unwind? To relax so you can socialize? Could it be that you fear being accepted? Are you disappointed in yourself or discouraged about life? Are hurting and lack coping skills? Are you grieving the lost of a loved one? Whatever the reason the Lord knows? The wisdom of God is profound and timeless! Many do not realize that there is so much here to help us with our everyday lives right NOW today! God has a void in you that only He can fill! There is always HOPE in the Lord! He has a better way for you to live! He can and will heal you and give you the inner peace that only comes from truly knowing Him intimately!
Listen to the Power of the Word of God! Take some time and see and hear what the Word says here in Proverbs it is amazing! “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wines.
Proverbs 23 concludes by telling us: “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes shall see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of a rigging. “They hit me,” you will say. “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it. When will I wake up so I can have another drink?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, Life Coach and ordained Minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide "How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do," and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married". DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches "Beyond The Walls" to aid you in your walk with the Lord.