Friday, March 6, 2009

"Verb" toward Life, not Death.

Prov. 7:1 My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching 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 call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.

Talking to the his son, Solomon gives his instruction on how to LIVE. He says "keep my commandments and live", so we can understand the opposite to also be true; if you don't keep my commandments you will die.

God's Word is to be our treasure, our greatest passion, the thing we store up in our "barns". It is what gets us up in the morning and keeps us up late at night; not from duty, but from delight. We are to desire His Word above all other things in this world. These are the Words of God Almighty and we need to be hanging on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. This doesn't come from inside of us naturally. God has to give us the desire and the appetite.

Since he is speaking to, instructing and commanding young men to treasure God's Word, it is interesting to me that he uses the phrase "apple of you eye". The "apple of your eye" I believe is suggesting the center. I am no Hebrew scholar and I am not sure if there is some idiom attached to this, but I know that I am, and most men are, visually stimulated. So when he uses this phrase maybe he is suggesting that since our eye is something that can get us in trouble, we need to be careful what goes into our eyes and we need to then be focused on what is the most delightful treasure we can seek.

He is giving some suggestions on how to keep God's Word in front of us. If we have God's Word all around us, it is going to be harder to sin. If there are verses posted on your computer it would take a seared conscience to look right past them and go in search of something we shouldn't be looking at.

It is also interesting to me that Solomon knew what would be the main struggle for men. He talks about treasuring God's Word and the life that it gives, and goes directly into the adulterous woman. He goes from commanding us to seek God's Word and treasuring it, right into the death that comes from following and seeking after the adulterous woman.

The rest of chapter 7 is the destruction of the heart and life of a young man, but it certainly could be any man. Solomon is speaking to the vast majority of men here; he knows his own struggles and he is given his directive to keep men from killing themselves by following after her and seeking her, when it is God's Word that should be our greatest delight.

The ensuing verses talk about the entire process of what this looks like. This is "reality TV" in a most tragic way. Maybe this is read today and men would say, "oh, that would never happen to me, I would never go down town and pick up a prostitue", but the adulterous woman is not only out in the streets calling out to us, she is right inside our homes. She is on TV "calling" us to watch some show we shouldn't watch. She is on some pop up screen when you are on your computer, "calling" you to go to some internet site that will kill us. Solomon gives the entire blow by blow account, and he does this that we might learn.

Young and old men alike, we need to guard our eyes. The best way to guard our eyes is to delight in God's Word. There are no external boundaries that will keep us pure, because if we desire her, we will find a way to get to her-so she can kill us. There is life more abundant in God's Word. It is our BEST JOY. This is turning from sin, toward true joy.

1 Tim. 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

There are plenty of verbs in this passage to keep us busy until He returns. "Verb" toward life, not death.

Ladies, please help us keep our eyes and minds pure by selecting your clothing very carefully. God has wired us to find you attractive, so don't go the "extra mile" to help us find you attractive. Help your brothers in Christ by being beautiful on the inside and let God take care of the rest. 1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

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