This is Episode #195 and today we’ll read Proverbs 4-6 together. We would do well to chase after wisdom above all else.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #195 and today we’ll read Proverbs 4-6 together. We would do well to chase after wisdom above all else.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
A Father’s Example
Listen, sons, to a father’s discipline,
and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
for I am giving you good instruction.
Don’t abandon my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender and precious to my mother,
he taught me and said,
“Your heart must hold on to my words.
Keep my commands and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth.
Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;
love her, and she will guard you.
Wisdom is supreme — so get wisdom.
And whatever else you get, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
if you embrace her, she will honor you.
She will place a garland of favor on your head;
she will give you a crown of beauty.”
Two Ways of Life
Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.
Keep off the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed on the way of evil ones.
Avoid it; don’t travel on it.
Turn away from it, and pass it by.
For they can’t sleep
unless they have done what is evil;
they are robbed of sleep
unless they make someone stumble.
They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
shining brighter and brighter until midday.
But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom;
they don’t know what makes them stumble.
The Straight Path
My son, pay attention to my words;
listen closely to my sayings.
Don’t lose sight of them;
keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
and health to one’s whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it is the source of life.
Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly,
and don’t let your lips talk deviously.
Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze straight ahead.
Carefully consider the path for your feet,
and all your ways will be established.
Don’t turn to the right or to the left;
keep your feet away from evil.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen closely to my understanding
so that you may maintain discretion
and your lips safeguard knowledge.
Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey
and her words are smoother than oil,
in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood
and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps head straight for Sheol.
She doesn’t consider the path of life;
she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.
So now, sons, listen to me,
and don’t turn away from the words from my mouth.
Keep your way far from her.
Don’t go near the door of her house.
Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others
and your years to someone cruel;
strangers will drain your resources,
and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner’s house.
At the end of your life, you will lament
when your physical body has been consumed,
and you will say, “How I hated discipline,
and how my heart despised correction.
I didn’t obey my teachers
or listen closely to my instructors.
I am on the verge of complete ruin
before the entire community.”
Drink water from your own cistern,
water flowing from your own well.
Should your springs flow in the streets,
streams in the public squares?
They should be for you alone
and not for you to share with strangers.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.
A loving deer, a graceful doe —
let her breasts always satisfy you;
be lost in her love forever.
Why, my son, would you lose yourself
with a forbidden woman
or embrace a wayward woman?
For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes,
and he considers all his paths.
A wicked man’s iniquities will trap him;
he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin.
He will die because there is no discipline,
and be lost because of his great stupidity.
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor
or entered into an agreement with a stranger,
you have been snared by the words of your mouth —
trapped by the words from your mouth.
Do this, then, my son, and free yourself,
for you have put yourself in your neighbor’s power:
Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.
Don’t give sleep to your eyes
or slumber to your eyelids.
Escape like a gazelle from a hunter,
like a bird from a hunter’s trap.
Go to the ant, you slacker!
Observe its ways and become wise.
Without leader, administrator, or ruler,
it prepares its provisions in summer;
it gathers its food during harvest.
How long will you stay in bed, you slacker?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to rest,
and your poverty will come like a robber,
your need, like a bandit.
The Malicious Man
A worthless person, a wicked man
goes around speaking dishonestly,
winking his eyes, signaling with his feet,
and gesturing with his fingers.
He always plots evil with perversity in his heart;
he stirs up trouble.
Therefore calamity will strike him suddenly;
he will be shattered instantly, beyond recovery.
What the Lord Hates
The Lord hates six things;
in fact, seven are detestable to him:
arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet eager to run to evil,
a lying witness who gives false testimony,
and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.
Warning Against Adultery
My son, keep your father’s command,
and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.
Always bind them to your heart;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk here and there, they will guide you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
when you wake up, they will talk to you.
For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light,
and corrective discipline is the way to life.
They will protect you from an evil woman,
from the flattering tongue of a wayward woman.
Don’t lust in your heart for her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyelashes.
For a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another man goes after a precious life.
Can a man embrace fire
and his clothes not be burned?
Can a man walk on burning coals
without scorching his feet?
So it is with the one who sleeps with
another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
People don’t despise the thief if he steals
to satisfy himself when he is hungry.
Still, if caught, he must pay seven times as much;
he must give up all the wealth in his house.
The one who commits adultery lacks sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
He will get a beating and dishonor,
and his disgrace will never be removed.
For jealousy enrages a husband,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not be appeased by anything
or be persuaded by lavish bribes.
If you’re a student of Dave Ramsey, you probably immediately recognized Chapter 6, verses 1-5, especially verse 5 that says, Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a hunter’s trap. Dave contends – and apparently so did Solomon – that co-signing for someone is tantamount to sticking your finger into a light socket. Odds are, it’s not gonna end well. We should run for our lives in the opposite direction.
Backing up to Chapter 4, Wise Dad impresses on his son that he should obtain wisdom above all else. Also, he should avoid taking up with ne’er-do-wells because they will drag us down with them. My favorite is verse 23 which admonishes that son – and us – to Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
Solomon’s candid warning in verses 11-14 in chapter 5 should give all of us pause. At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, and you will say, “How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my instructors. I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community.” Why is it that we always think something is being taken away from us when follow instruction from people wiser than we are? We buck authority as if it is a shackle that needs to be broken. But in the end we learn, that being self-controlled and choosing wisdom, actually gives us freedom. Freedom from guilt and freedom from regret. What do you think? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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