Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 5:7
Wisdom is something that should passionately be spoken to our sons. It is something they should hear from us with a sense of urgency and importance that should ring from what we say to them. If we do not speak with this kind of passion we may have our children go the way that the son in laws of Lot went.
We read in Genesis of this sad event in Genesis 19:14, " Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, "Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city." But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting." Unfortunately for Lot - a passionate plea to late seems like little more than a bad joke. The lack of passion concerning the immorality and ungodliness of the people was palpable. He rarely spoke out, though his righteous soul was tormented by their behavior. But Lot decided not to speak too stridently about sin in his day. The result of his lack of conviction about the sin that ran rampant in his town was that no one took him seriously when he came with a warning about God's judgment. He never seemed too disturbed about the sin before - so maybe he was overreacting to the situation at hand. In the end the men who would have been his daughter's husbands laughed him off - and were destroyed when the fire and brimstone fell from heaven.
This is why we need to speak with the passion of this father. When he says, "listen" he uses the word that speaks of listening to obey. He wants his words regarded, heard, and followed. When he says, "do not depart" he uses languate that is strong. The idea behind this admonition is like a military leader urging his troops to not desert him or quit fighting. Strong words are employed by this father to call his sons away from sexual immorality. Do we use words this strong when speaking with our sons on such issues? Do we use any words? Do we even speak with them about such things?
Our sons need us! We live in a day of loose morals and lying promises. The morals of our day are loose because our nation has abandoned the words of the Lord. Schools forbid us from speaking such things to students. In the places where an abstinence message is allowed - a Scriptural one is forbidden. It seems almost insane to keep such a message from our young ones considering that over 40 different incurable sexually transmitted diseases run rampant in our society. But the real danger, according to our lawmakers, is that someone might harm them by speaking a religious message to them. What is allowed more and more is the lying promises of our soceity. Safe sex is promoted - with the thought that they are going to be sexually immoral anyway. The problem is that the so-called safe sex message relies primarily on condoms - which have a 1 in 6 failure rate. Their message of safety is about as effective as playing russian roulette with a six shooter. Come on - there's only one chance in six someone is going to blow their brains out! Keep your morality off of our pistol! We'd consider such talk sheer insanity if it were uttered to our kids about playing russian roulette. But for those who offer the same message with an incurable sexually transmitted disease - well, that's open thinking and progressive education. Honestly . . . sounds like a gathering of idiots to me.
Dad's - this was NEVER to be a matter handed over to school and governmental officials. Sex education and far more importantly sexual morality was and still is to be taught by a father to his son. That way we can not only teach them about their sexuality as a gift from God. We can also let them know of the perversion of it by the Fall - and the dangers that come from ignoring the Word of God.
She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Proverbs 5:6
Here is another in a list of warnings given to the man who would think of committing adultery. It is part of the description of the adulteress. Before I go into this particular verse I do want to make a comment or two for the ladies. This passage does describe for us the woman who either leaves her husband to have sex with another man - or a single woman who enters into relationships with married men and thus is committing adultery with him. I do not in any way want you ladies to think that any man is receiving a pass here. This passage is dealing with this issue from the perspective of a warning to sons. Fascinating that this warning comes most likely from David to Solomon - two guys who learned much from the wrong side of this issue. David's warnings to his son Solomon were for the most part unheeded in the end - and Solomon's sin was the undoing of Israel. So you can see that the cost of mistakes in this area are great. Fortunately for us - the grace of God and His forgiveness are greater. Nevertheless - a whole host of problems come when a young man is foolish enough to be ensnared by the adulteress. Oh, and ladies . . . the greatest snare for him is not the woman herself - but his own lusts that wage war in his soul. His greatest battle is with godly self-control, obedience to the Scriptures, and not living out of his flesh as a source. But, with all this said, it is a wise father who speaks to his son about these issues - even if it is from hard lessons learned.
The adulteress, like anyone who is willingly cooperating with sin, is not watching for eternal things. The passage states in the Hebrew that she is not watching the path of life. The actual Hebrew word here is "palas" and it means to ponder or to calculate the weight of something. One of the ways this word is used is to weigh out a path and see what it will bring to us in the end. The adulteress is not thinking about eternity - about the judgment of God at the end of life when according to the Bible, all men and women will have to give an account of their choices and actions. The word "ponder" here does not mean just a casual thought - but to stop and think seriously about something. She is not thinking about where her actions are taking her. This is kind of a "duh" statement considering we just read a verse earlier that her feet are swiftly moving towards death and her very steps (indicating a direction taken) are taking hold of the place of the dead. Think about this for a moment. Does anyone who is entering into sexual immorality seriously stop and think about the diseases they are opening up to in their lives? Does anyone entering into adultery seriously stop and consider the havoc coming in their marriage - in their family - in their children's lives? There is not a lot of pondering going on here. Honestly, what IS going on is actions based on lust and desire. Sexual immorality usually involves shutting the "ponderer" down and living by the impulses of our flesh instead. It involves shutting down our brain and our spirit - and thinking with our loins instead.
The adulteress also is unstable. The word for unstable here means to stagger and walk crooked. It has the idea of someone who is swaying in and out of a path. Rather than ponder and consider the path of life - she is wandering and staggering off the road. Jeremiah 14:10 uses this same imagery to indicate that there are those who love their wandering. God told Jeremiah, "Thus says the LORD to this people, 'Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account."' This is the same sentiment we sing about in the hymn, "Come Thou Fount" when we say, "prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the Lord I love."
This speaks of a "willful" wandering. The adulteress though, is wandering not toward sin with the assurance of God's gracious discipline. She is willfully wandering toward a yawning abyss without seeing its gaping jaws. Her ways are unstable - wandering - staggering toward destruction - but she does not know it. So althought she promises so much through her offer of pleasure, albeit illicit. She does not know even herself where it is eventually leading. For the man foolish enough to be attracted to her wiles and follow her into sin - he simply is walking hand in hand with her to that yawning abyss with its gaping jaws - so step in and be devoured.
Pretty scary description here isn't it? That's the point that David is trying to drive home to young Solomon his son. Remember, David wound up killing Uriah as well as several other soldiers by proxy - had his daughter raped by one of her half brothers - had that son killed by another son (who used his proxy methods to accomplish the deed) - had 10 of his concubines raped in public by his son on a rooftop in front of the entire nation - and had that son die in an effort to usurp the kingdom along with all the soldiers who fell in that battle as well. Kinda cost David far more than he thought to have that one night of hidden passion? Maybe David was wanting Solomon to ponder more than he did - to avoid a similar fate? Maybe whether from success or failure in our moral lives we should do the same with our sons and daughters as well?
He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. Proverbs 17:20
If you know someone with a perverted mouth - it is because it flows from a morally bankrupt mind. Even as I reread this statement, something within me just recoils from such a strong statement as this - and yet - when we truly understand what God is saying here in Proverbs - that is exactly what is being communicated.
The first thing we see here is a man with a "crooked mind." The word for "crooked" is the Hebrew word "iqqesh" and it means to be perverse, twisted, and crooked. The idea is that of someone who has a moral, religous, and social perversion by which their mind works. They do not think thoughts that are aligned with decent morals. They despise not just morals - but also religion and any kind of social contract by which men seek to live together in a decent fashion. They highly despise the idea of morals that are the result of religious principle. They hate such things - seeing themselves as free moral agents to determine whatever morals or lack of them they want. The consequences of such moral mental suicide is that they cannot find any good. This really is not that shocking since they would deny the existance of any kind of universal good or absolute truth. To them truth is relative to the situation - and since they hate moral goodness - it is not difficult to see that they revel in the evil and the godless things of the world - and tend to shy away from anything else. Thus - of course they would reject the good - and not be able to find any in society.
The second thing we see is a man who is perverted in his language. Perverted language is language that seeks to throw down, overturn, destroy, and wander from accepted biblical norms of how we should speak. There is a lot of disagreement on what this means in today's society. We've slowly grown to be the first society historically in the church to embrace cursing from the pulpit. The excuse that is so often used is that of saying that words are just words - we are the ones that make them curse words - or at least bad ones. What I find a little disingenuous about all this is that even the world system used to have a set of words that they would not allow on television and movies. It has only been over the past couple of generations that these accepted norms have been overturned in favor of the current "delightful" fare that we've embraced in our day. As you can tell, I am of the opinion that such language is totally unacceptable not just for use in the pulpit - but for use in every day life. It seems to me that as our society has retreated from God - we've also retreated from being circumspect about the things we say. To confess my own sins - I've watched my own speech begin to be down-graded, if you will. The Holy Spirit is in the process of encouraging (and often rebuking) me as He seeks to have me live above the moral cesspool of the accepted speech of my society.
The danger here is that we are warned that such speech DOES come from a mind that is being twisted away from the truth. The other danger is that when we do this we are warned that we "fall into evil." Whenever the church thinks it can reach the world by aping the world's behavior - we watch the opposite happen. First, we do not reach the world - but oh, how the world "reaches" us. We watch the same value systems - which might better be called "value-less" systems - that are in the world truly invade the church. When we do not watch our mouths - we will allow a kind of reverse-infection to occur in our hearts. The word used for mind in the first part of this verse actually means, "heart." Therefore when we do not watch our mouths - it is evidence that our hearts have been captured as well.
Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Therefore is it too strident a thing to say that if we have a perverse mouth - it arises out of a twisted and deceived mind? Our mouths simply reveal what is in our hearts. It would be to our benefit to watch our mouths and be careful what is allowed to come forth from them. In the end - we might look more "appetizing" the world if we do - but could that be simply because we lose the distinction of speaking in a holy manner that embraces purity and righteousness.
Let me say one last thing though - unless some get the idea that I think we are to be the public censure of all that is unacceptable speech-wise. We are called to be salt and light. That means we embrace holiness - not as a means of beating the lost to death - but as a means to be different and to be a thirst-creator in our world. The lost WILL become thirsty for what we ARE - and therefore will want the One who has changed us. Our purpose is to allow holiness to be revealed in our lives as a thirst-agent. We are not to use holiness as something to shame the lost into feigned obedience to God. That will do more to harm the gospel than reveal it. So . . . my admonition to you from Scripture is to have a mouth that is radically different than the world. Let your mouth not be filled with perversion - and your heart filled with deception and twisted morals. Instead let it be filled with Your Lord - who, by the way, did not descend into such language anywhwere in the gospels. He simply lived for God - spoke for Him - and although rejected by some - was embraced by many who saw His actions - His words - and His heart - and became incredibly thirsty for real holiness. May God make us those same things in our generation.
Evil thoughts are an abomination to the Lord, But pleasant words are pure. - Proverbs 15:26
Thoughts and words actually come from the same place, from the heart. So as we look at today's proverb, we can see that out of the hearts of men come evil thoughts and plans. Knowing that the Bible teaches that the heart is deceitful above all things and is desperately wicked, we can know that such thoughts and plans reside in the breast of every man alive. The thoughts of man's heart were at one point so wicked that God decided to destroy the earth in the days of Noah. That is how much of an abomination these things are to Him.
We read next that pleasant words are pure. This might be a little hard to understand unless once again we take a biblical viewpoint. Words that come out of the mouth originate in the heart first. Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Thus when someone has pleasant words - they come from a pure heart. There are thoughts behind them that are equally pleasant as well.
Thoughts and words are very important to the Lord - and should be to us as well. Jesus made it clear in the Sermon on the Mount that there was far more to a man than just his actions. There were the things he thought and did in his heart. A man might state emphatically that he has never committed adultery, but if he looks at a woman with lust in his heart, Jesus says, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. These things are vital for us to grasp because they take religion out of merely acting good - and puts it where it should be - that our hearts are transformed to be good at their core. This is wisdom that cannot be refuted.
The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. Proverbs 6:32
This passage deals with the stupidity of committing adultery, plain and simple. Several years ago Randy Alcorn wrote a book called, "The Purity Principle." In it I felt that Alcorn made a statement that is one for the ages. "Purity is always smart, impurity is always stupid." That is what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us today in Proverbs. "The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense." This is a very genteel way of saying what Alcorn said. We could restate his principle by saying that faithfulness in marriage is always good, adultery is always stupid.
The actual words used here are the ones that are used often in Proverbs. The one who commits adultery with a woman lacks heart. We are being told that adultery shows that we have a heart problem more than anything else. We've allowed our hearts to be captured by lust and sexual immorality rather than by God. While reading a series of purity prayers I've run into the statement again and again where the puritans asked God to capture their heart so that they would not be satisfied by trifling affections. The heart can be captured in this way - and given to things that are so far less than what God wants to give us. The truth is what He wants to give us in Himself. We settle for so much less and so less fulfilling things than Him. And that is what the fool has done - he has settled for adultery rather than finding in God and in His provision of his wife true fulfillment.
We are also warned in this passage that, ". . . he who would destroy himself does it." The literal Hebrew says that the destruction is in this man's soul. He finds his mind strangely drawn and lied to by the enticements of the adulterous woman. He finds his emotions stimulated by a false love and false promises of intimacy and pleasure. As he foolishly begins to embrace these thoughts and these concepts he also begins to lose the war within his will to continue in God's ways and in God's path. Soon he gives in to the onslaught that is coming toward his soul. He no longer lives out of his spirit - where the Spirit of God would give him strength to resist and overcome temptation - but instead allows himself to be taken over by his body and its lusts. As he does this He submits himself to the adultery - and in so doing he "destroys" himself in the process and the sinful choice. Destroy here is the Hebrew word, "sahat" and it means to spoil, ruin, destroy, pervert, or corrupt. When you look at these ways of translating this word they all fit this passage - and all take place as this man acts foolishly by committing adultery.
For the next several days we will look at the terrible consequences and the wise warnings that God gives us in this area. Remember that this entire conversation is one that takes place between a man and his sons. How wise we would be to have this kind of conversation with our sons as they get older and begin to face the temptations of this present world. How wise we would be to also have these kinds of conversations with our adult sons who are married, as well as with our brothers in Christ with whom we share fellowship in God's church. Since these things are written about so many times in Proverbs - it is a reminder that the wise also warn one another with the very warnings given to us by God.
The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it. Proverbs 22:14
Here is a take in Proverbs that turns conventional wisdom on its ear. It has to do with the adulteress - and with the man who seems to be having all the so-called success with the ladies. Whereas the world wants us to think that this ladies man has it made - the Word of God here in Proverbs has a much different take on his status.
The adulteress, as we've learned in previous verses (5:3 and 7:5) catches men with her mouth. Her enticing words draws them in - and prevents them from seeing that they are not stepping into pure pleasure - but rather a trap. Here, in keeping with the previous warnings, is another statement that her mouth is a deep pit. Such pits where used for capturing animals and killing or making them slaves of the one who caught them. These pits were usually covered with camouflage to make their presence unknown until the animal stepped into them. By that time it was too late - they were either caught or dead. The same is true of the adulteress. She will hide her real intent with compliments and appeals to the ego of the fool she is trying to catch. He, being a fool, does not see the danger in another man's wife giving him praise. In the end, he falls for the deception and later falls into the trap. This is not new to us - but the fact that now for at least the third time a warning is given about this should make us very cautious when a woman other than our wife begins giving us compliments and starts stroking our ego.
What I find shocking about this passage is the second statement made here. "He who is cursed of Jehovah will fall there." The reason that this is shocking is because we are told that one of the ways we can know that God has cursed someone - is that they are involved in sexual immorality - and even more so - that they are so involved in an adulterous affair. The world shows us the quintisential ladies man - and then says to us that this man is blessed. He has the ladies lining up for him. We are told that he can have any woman he wants - and that this is a sign of being blessed. The truth is much different - as it always is when it comes to the lies of the world and of Satan. Contrary to this worldly view - the man who is involved in sexual immorality with someone else's wife - is cursed of God. This is one of the ways that God brings His curse upon men. He allows them to enter into such foolish sexual sin.
Think about this for a moment. Since this is true - then we should consider the sexual studs of the world - stupid. We should look at the playboys that are held up for honor and respect - men who are worthy only of shame and disgrace. We should see men like High Hefner not as models for us - but as morons. This are not men of honor - but examples of horror! The man who falls into sexual immorality is CURSED OF GOD! Wow! There is a turn of things for all of humanity. The wise man does not follow the world in its estimation of who is to be counted as worthy and who is worthless. These things are ultimately decided by God - Who has given us His estimation of things in His Word. If therefore the Word tells us those whom the world calls blessed are cursed - know that they are cursed indeed. Therefore the best thing we can do is reject the worldly ideas of manhood and a life worth living, and give ourselves to how our God views this world.
He who loves purity of heart And
whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend. Proverbs 22:11What kind of person is the king's friend? That is in interesting question because those who have been in places of high authority know that it is often difficult to determine which ones are their friends - and which ones are befriending them for ulterior motives. When you look at the circle of those who surround the king or leader - among them you will always find the sycophants who are there to get what they can from the king. They offer their friendship . . . for a price. What the leader finds in the end is that this person
was not really their friend. Unfortunately for the king, this is only learned when trouble comes - or when the king no longer can give the person what they want. So what kind of person is the king's friend?
First we learn that he is a person who loves purity of heart. The term purity here was often used to describe the condition of being "clean" in Israel. This was a pretty strict definition - and thus it describes someone who is pure to a very high standard. When used of a person's heart, it referred to someone who was morally pure - as well as ethically pure. Since it refers to the condition of someone's heart - it speaks of someone who has wonderful morals, wonderful ethics, and whose thoughts and intents were as pure as the driven snow. The king gravitates to this kind of person because of that purity of heart. This is a person who would never be the king's friend for the ride. If he chose to befriend the king - it would be because he wanted to be the friend of the man - who just happened to be the king. That purity of heart would be such a comfort to someone who could give you so much. Most likely, this pure-hearted man would refuse the king's gifts and honors - choosing instead to simply be the king's friend - not the king's benefactor. It is interesting that among the many named as those who surrounded David, one man, Hushai the Archite, was simply known as the king's friend. He befriended David just because he wanted to be David's friend. Hushai the Archite was an interesting man. We only hear of him twice in Scripture. in 1 Chronicles he is simply referred to as the king's friend. The other place we learn of him is in 2 Samuel 15-17. We see him meeting David as David reaches the top of the Mount of Olives after David has had to leave the throne due to being deposed by his son, Absalom. He arrives with his coat torn and with dust on his head. Here was a friend who stuck with David in the very worst of times. Sometimes the king will only know his true friends when he is deposed. Hushai was one of those friends who did not care whether David was king or not - he was still his friend. But when David faced such horrific circumstances, Hushai was there grieving
with him through it all. But Hushai's friendship went far deeper - and endured even more challenges. David asked him to return to the city and act as Absalom's servant - to thwart the counsel of Ahithophel. This was dangerous to say the least, because as soon as Absalom sees him - he notes that this was his father's friend. He even chides him for being a poor friend, turning on David in his hour of need. At that moment Absalom could have had Hushai killed or imprisoned. But Hushai went - and served David well. He did thwart the counsel of Ahithophel - and later alerted David to get over the Jordan for safety even if they possilby did follow Ahithophel's advice. Here was a true friend, willing to risk his life to protect his friend.
The other factor in being the king's friend was that you needed to have speech that was gracious. There are times when I wish we would translate Hebraisms directly - because I think they paint a much more powerful picture for us. The Hebraism here literally says, "and who has grace on his lips." What a great picture this paints of how this man speaks. He speaks the truth - but does so with plenty of grace. That is the kind of friend the king needs. He needs someone who will tell him the truth - but will do so with much grace as he does so. Too many around the king simply tell him what he wants to hear. They become suck-ups who are too busy trying to woo the king's favor. But a true friend will both speak the truth to us - but will also speak with much grace in what he or she says.
Here is the friend of the king - with a pure heart and with grace on his lips. As we look at him closer, we should see here not just a fitting friend for the king, but in all honesty - a fitting friend for anyone! This description fits what we should want in a friend period. May God be gracious to us and allow us to find such a friend in our lifetime. If we do find one - we should thank God for them - and - be such a friend to them as well.
The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. Proverbs 21:8How do you know whther you are dealing with someone who is criminal and crooked in his ways - or whether you are dealing with a man who is pure in his motives and ways? Here is an excellent question. I am sure that many a man who has been conned would love to know the answer to this question. That is what we will learn today as we open the book of Proverbs to verse 8 of chapter 21.First we see the "guilty man." What Solomon is describing to us though is the way of this man - the roads he takes and the lifestyle that is developed as a result. This man is described to us as the guilty man. The word used here for this designation is the Hebrew word, "vazar." This word means a man who lacks innocence. He is guilty because his behavior and choices reject God's law and ways. In this regard he is a criminal - because his consistent choice is to break the law. Solomon tells us that such a man is "crooked." Crooked here is "haphak" which refers to someone who is very perverse and
devious. This guy is constantly perverting this - being devious - and lacking in honesty. He is filled with a dishonesty that makes you wonder about his integrity.
Note this when trying to determine whether someone is godly or ungodly in their dealings. If you catch them making statements that are being twisted and fundamentally dishonest - most likely you are dealing with someone who is crooked and should be avoided at all costs. You are going to pay dearly if you continue to do business and allow this man into your life. The best thing you could do is cut and run.
The other man - the godly one - is pure. The word here means someone who is clean - like pure water or pure oil. This man is a godly man - and his godliness is verified by the honestly and integrity with which he speaks and acts. This man's conduct is described as "upright." This is the word "yashar" which means something that is straight, just, and right. This word usually refers to things in an ethical and emotional sense. These are men who are very concerned with being right in the eyes of the Lord. They want a godly integrity in their dealings with others. They do not want to deceive or to mislead.
Wisdom tells us to be mindful of the character of those with whom we deal in life. It is not enough that a good offer is on the table - or that someone is offering the best price. We need to know that a man is also placing good character on the table as well. Then we know whether we are dealing with a thief or not. See behind the offers and see into their lives or the "way" that they live. Do this and you will be much less likely to be caught in the schemes and the deception of the ungodly.
Keep your way far from her And do not go near the door of her house, Proverbs 5:8
For many, the reason that they fail and fail again in conquering sexual sin is because they are trying to walk as close as they can to the line rather than walking miles from seeing it. Let me explain as we look at today's "little bit of wisdom."
Solomon is giving his son great advice here concerning the immoral woman. He is told to keep his way FAR from her! He tells his son not to go near to the door of her house! What great wisdom he offers here - and yet it is as simple as a child learning their first letters. The problem is that too many ignore this advice - and do so to their own demise.
FAR - there is the definitive word that we need to remember when it comes to avoiding sexual sin. What usually happens is that a young man wants to go as close as he can to sin - without actually stepping into it. He walks the line between sin and righteousness like someone walks a tight rope. The result of this choice on his part is that he sins - and does so fairly regularly.
Here is a truth and wisdom you need to remember when it comes to sexual sin - and hanging around the wrong kind of women or men. If you want to walk as close as you can to sin - you will sin. You are destined to fall if your goal is to stay close to the edge of sin. David knew this when he instructed Solomon in this very same information. David understood this all too well.
David should have never been in Jerusalem when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. The Scriptures tell us that when kings went to war . . . David chose to stay home. This presents a very dangerous situation for David. First of all, David is not where he should be - fighting for Israel and engaging the Lord's enemies. So our first lesson is this - if sin is our enemy, why would we want to get as close to it as we can? If David would have been where God wanted him to be - he would have never faced temptation in the first place.
David's actions had consequences. Now he was a man in a city filled with women whose husbands were away at war. Where there would have been a natural protection afforded to David by the presence of Bathsheba's husband - that was not the case.
When David was walking on the roof of his house and saw Bathsheba bathing - he could have walked away and gone back into his palace. Instead he chose to look - and to note that she was a beautiful woman. Each time David decided to walk on the edge of where God wanted him to be - and what God wanted him to do - David was ensuring that he was going to eventually fall off that edge headlong into sin. Eventually, David succumbed to the desires that were raging in his heard. Even though he had a palace filled with wives - and probably by this time concubines - he had to have this woman. The rest is a sad and sordid history.
But enough about David - how about us? Where are we walking in these matters? Are we steering clear of sin - especially sexual sin. I know of men who have stumbled again and again into pornography and other sexual sin - who grieve over their failures. But they are unwilling to get a filter - unwilling to submit to accountability - and many think they can continue to get as close to sin as possible rather than run from it.
If you want to know the answer to all this - it is to follow Solomon's counsel here - and keep away from the immoral woman - or wherever you are seeing her image or pictures. If anything our heart's desire needs to be a desire to get as close to JESUS as we can! That is what needs to drive us in our hearts. We need to have a heart that says - not only do I want to keep away from her and steer clear of the door of her house. I want to do just the opposite - to keep as close as I can to Christ - and to often go near Him.
If you want to avoid sexual sin - then AVOID IT! But in avoiding it, don't think inches or millimeters. Think miles and miles! By staying away from the source of temptation - we will find our hearts wonderfully protected as we instead draw near to our Lord Jesus Christ!
Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness. Proverbs 25:4-5 How important is it for a national leader to be surrounded by godly counsellors? According to what we read here in Proverbs 25, it is absolutely vital! When a king, chancellor, or president is surrounded by the wicked - there is a much greater chance that his rule or administration will be visited with problems. The picture that is given for us first is a silver vessel that is being made by a smelter or silver smith. If he is making something valuable and something that will last, he will take the time and the effort to remove the dross from the silver. This requires a crucible and a lot of heat. It requires watching over the silver to make sure that he scapes off all the dross that comes to the surface as it heats. Dross is the junk and impurities that are in the silver ore. As it heats up this rises to the top and can be scraped away. It is what will make the silver polluted, less valuable, and more liable to be brittle and break. If he takes the time to properly take the dross out of the silver - he will have something he can properly mold - and something that will both last and be very valuable. The dross in any governmental structure is the wicked who are trying to influence and counsel the king. We read next that if the wicked are taken from before the king - his throne will be established in righteousness. The wicked are constantly trying to gain the king's ear - so this is often a matter of wisdom in the king himself - and how he views his power. If he sees power as something he himself has - and something he uses to do what he wants - he will be far less likely to take away the wicked from before him. The reason this is the case is that men will use flattery and his own ego against him. Consider the story of Daniel and the lion's den. The king's greatest ally and wise advisor was Daniel. But because the king was liable to be led astray by his own ego, he listened to men who wanted to declare a day where no one could pray to anyone except him. When he made the fateful choice to enact this law - he learned that any real honor to him was the farthest thing from the minds of his advisors. They lay in wait for Daniel to pray - knowing he would. Then they brought the king's most trusted advisor before him - demanding that he pay the price for his evil prayers to God. Even though the king hated the action - he did so - and were it not for God's intervention, Daniel would have been torn to pieces. This is why it is so important for a king to know WHERE he got his power - and HOW he is to use it. Kings and presidents get their power from God. Ultimately He has allowed them to come into a position of power - and the king and president would be wise to use that power to advance God's agenda in that nation. We read that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Therefore it is a wise king who removes wicked advisors from his presence and seeks to advance his kingdom on godly, righteous principles. Consider the advice of Ahithophel, who counselled Absalom when he robbed David of the kingdom of Israel. He told Absalom to rape the king's concubines in public view - to strengthen his kingdom. This was foolishness - because he was not strengthening anything but wickedness. God was not going to advance such a man - and it is no surprise that he was killed soon afterward in battle. There is one misnomer I need to correct in commenting on this particular passage. The Bible does not say that this course will keep a king from trouble. Sometimes it puts a king in the crosshairs of the ungodly when he does this. But what is does do for a godly leader is place him in the safest of all places - the center of God's will. If a kingdom has previously been run by godless men and has been filled with godless leaders, there will be much opposition to this kind of rule. In the end, though, that king will be blessed, because historically, God rises up and brings wonderful deliverances to such a leader. Something built with dross can look good upon first glance. It may even be useful for a time. But in the end - in a time of stress and testing - it will fail because it does not have inner strength upon which to draw in difficult times. It is far better to withstand the heat of becoming pure - because the heat (which is usually pretty unpleasant at the time) will in the end ensure greater strength and stability in the end. Therefore - pray for our president and for all our leaders. Do not be cowered into a corner by the separation of church and state crowd. Not only are they wrong constitutionally in their assertions, but more importantly - they are only seeking to lay a foundation that will NOT stand. Our forefathers understood much better that a nation built upon righteousness will stand. Any other foundation is only paving the way for failure in the end.