Proverbs 5:1-7:27 (NLT)
Randy King, Director, Summer Family Adventure
Proverbs! “Cool” I thought, “I will get to comment on some of Solomon’s wisest thoughts, which will in turn, make me look pretty wise too.” I read through Proverbs 1 through 4 and sure enough, some pretty sound advice was indeed presented. I ventured on into the 5th volume to begin my assigned reading. Whoa! Sudden change of subject! Somehow, we transitioned from great advice on how to live one’s life to avoiding immoral women. For the record, I would suggest we can make this lesson ‘gender neutral’ as I do not think women are any more or less immoral than men. Granted, men might be a bit more thick-headed at times and need to be told something more than once, so perhaps the advice is written primarily for the benefit of men. Man or woman, I think we all need to adhere to the wise advice provided by Solomon in these passages.
Two of my three readings seem to center on the idea that we should avoid immoral people, especially in the area of sexual immorality. I fully agree, and I was excited to move on to a new topic in Proverbs 6 which focused on some key lessons for daily life. Some pretty good advice is imparted in this section including the 6 things God really dislikes and a 7th he apparently loathes (depending on which translation you read). I paid close attention to the list: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who sows discord among brothers. This is a pretty good list and certainly things we should all aspire to avoid in our character. Solomon even threw in a lesson centered on the wisdom that can be gained by watching an ant (avoid laziness). He also made a strong point about not going into debt or spending irresponsibly. This is solid advice. Although Proverbs 6 focused on a number of other important topics, apparently Solomon thought it was important to reiterate, once again, the need to stay away from immoral and adulterous men/women. Conversely, perhaps this was just a good way to transition into Proverbs 7 where he would provide “Another Warning about Immoral Women.”
Really? Another warning about immoral men/women? I kind of see this as a no-brainer on the surface, but as I read more deeply, I realize this sort of thing can easily happen to us in our daily life. Maybe not specifically the area of sexual immorality, but are we all leading our lives exactly the way we would like to? Or better yet, are we all living our lives the way we think God would like us to? Do we live up to the example Jesus provided for us? I have to admit, I fail this measure and most of us–OK let’s admit it, all of us, fail when measured against God’s perfection.
Perhaps if we simply view immorality as an example or representation of sin, these lessons become more relevant. Like an undernourished child, we are at times undernourished Christians…nothing but sin and bones. To be healthy and to be able to ward off these poor decisions, we need to be well-fed by God’s word and God’s wisdom. In each moment we face, if we cannot decipher right and wrong based on God’s wisdom, we may not even realize the steps we take getting closer and closer to immorality (sin). Our minds need to be already made up before we encounter the situation. I think Solomon is attempting to help others make the right decisions before the moment of truth presents itself. We are asked to live righteous lives, not perfect lives, but we must be in pursuit of righteousness all the time or else we will quickly, and far too easily, go down the wrong path. My prayer for you is that you stay strong in moments of temptation and that you will always seek the wisdom of God, for God truly knows what is best for you.