Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Proverbs 1:8-19 Warning! Trap Ahead!

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction

    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 
They will be a garland to grace your head

    and a chain to adorn your neck. (Proverbs 1:8,9)

Now, don’t you wish our children would just listen to us? Why is it that children resist the instruction of Mom and Dad? We have so much wisdom to share, and they don’t seem to want it! :) We know what traps lie ahead of them, but they would rather ignore the blinking lights and find out for themselves the hard way! Hmmm... How many times have we ignored God’s warnings to us or even sought His wisdom before charging ahead???

The first warning that Solomon gives as parental wisdom is to avoid the enticement of those who plot evil:

My son, if sinners entice you,

    do not give in to them.  
If they say, “Come along with us;

    let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood,

    let’s waylay some harmless soul;  
let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,

    and whole... 
my son, do not go along with them,

    do not set foot on their paths;  
for their feet rush into sin,

    they are swift to shed blood... 
These men lie in wait for their own blood;

    they waylay only themselves! (vs.11-12,15-16, 18)

Now, most of us are not going to encounter people who try to involve us in a plan to actually murder or rob someone, but what is gossip if not murder or the robbery of someone’s reputation? Whether we actively participate or passively listen to gossip (even that which is framed as a “prayer request”), we have to bear the stamp of “guilty” on this one! Okay, we are only in the first chapter, and I’m already feeling the punch of God’s Word!

Notice that Solomon says here that those who do these things end up harming themselves - they will fall into the very trap they set for others. Have you been the victim of a vicious gossip campaign? Well, if you’ve ever been a junior high school girl, you certainly have been on both sides of this one! Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with junior high! It may not be as overt when we “mature,” but the ramifications are the same. Both the gossiper and the gossipee (making up a word here) are left battered and bruised. No wonder this is the first warning given!

The Bible tells us that this is not as much of a tongue issue as a heart issue, for “out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) This is why, before I ever even set a foot on the floor when I get up each morning I say with David, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)   It’s the guarding of our hearts that we need to worry about. If we aren’t thinking evil thoughts, evil won’t come out of our mouths!

Oh, help me, LORD!  

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