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Current study: Spiritual Warfare

02 June 2012

Week 22 Review

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord 
that will stand..
Prov 19:21 (ESV)

May 27 Song of Solomon 5:2-8:14; Psalm 45
May 28 Proverbs 1-4
May 29 Proverbs 5-8
May 30 Proverbs 9-12
May 31 Proverbs 13-16
June 1 Proverbs 17-20

We began the week with the remainder of the Song of Solomon. When I read Chapter 5, I saw our relationship with Christ. He asks us if He can come in. We make all kinds of excuses (for our sins), and then finally we decide to let Him in. He seems so far away by the time we’re ready to ask Him for help! Does Jesus ever seem far away? Do you feel like you have to search for Him? Of course He is there all along, but our sins can bring us to a place where it seems hard to find Him. We see a picture of Christ’s grace as He comes back to His beloved. We see a picture of the splendid clothing the bride wears and we hear of the commitment of the bride and groom.

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
Song 7:10 (KJV)

I am my beloved’s. Jesus desires ME! What a beautiful sentence.

Who is the little sister? I think it’s someone who has yet to accept Christ. We need to build walls of protection around them. Look around you at all the “little sisters” that you can encourage. (Could they be baby Christians as well? Maybe, but the “vineyard” suggests that these are people who have heard the Gospel but have yet to respond).

The last two verses exhort us to continually pray and watch for His return, while showing the longing we have to see Him again.

Would anyone like to do a study on this book? If you would, let me know and I will prepare one for my other blog (onlinegracegroup.blogspot.com).

Proverbs: the wisdom of Solomon.  There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. If you get in the habit of reading one chapter per day, you can read through this book of wisdom every month. Can you imagine how your life would change if you could read this book for about 5 minutes a day? Don’t have an extra 5 minutes? There are free Bible apps for Android and iPhone, some (such as YouVersion Bible), with multiple translations and speech so you can listen to the Bible during your daily commute.  

The theme of Proverbs is teaching/learning. At the very beginning we are told to be teachable.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Prov 1:5-7 (ESV)

Knowledge happens when we focus on understanding the world and our part in it as creations of God.

Wisdom happens when we apply knowledge correctly.

The fear of the Lord brings the beginning of knowledge and wisdom because we began to learn God’s morality as we humble ourselves before Him. Proverbs reminds us that Biblical knowledge is different from the world’s knowledge because only through submission to God can we gain true knowledge. In His word we find black and white. There are no shades of gray, no “what’s all right for you may not be right for me”, nothing that allows us to worship any God but Jesus (and the remainder of the Trinity).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)

At the beginning of the book we find two types of people: the wise (who desire Biblical wisdom and knowledge) and the fool (who despises wisdom and knowledge).

·         Don’t be enticed by sinners or be influenced by money. Wisdom calls – turn to her and you will learn; turn away and God will laugh at your calamities (God is not a “heavenly life preserver”).

·         Listen and you will be secure and at ease (you get from life what you put into it).

·         Wisdom: what’s in it for us? (did you notice that chapter 2 is only one sentence?) If we heed wisdom we understand the fear of the Lord because God gives it to the upright. As Christians, we receive protection through wisdom.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.  Prov 2:6-8 (ESV)

·         Fear the Lord: live humbly, faithfully and open yourself to God’s reproof. Honor God – use your wealth for righteousness – give Him the firstfruits and you will have plenty. This differs from the “prosperity gospel” preachers you may see on television or hear on the radio. There, you are frequently exhorted to give “seed money” or some specific amount of money with a promise that God will do something for you. God isn’t in the “multiplication” business. Your giving should always be with the right spirit, worshipfully, and with no expectation of “payback” from God.  Your gift should be the best and not whatever is left over. Your motive matters to God.

The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.  Ex 23:19 (ESV)

·         Wisdom, the way God founded and established creation (3:19) is more precious than anything. True peace comes only from wisdom (3:17)
·         Walk securely in wisdom. God blesses (gives grace) those who walk humbly, honestly and peacefully.

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  James 4:6 (KJV)

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5 (ESV)

·         Sex, part 1. Immorality is enticing but deadly. Stay away from promiscuous women [and men]. Sex is to be between a husband and his wife. Be intoxicated with your mate – not with the world.
·         The folly of security. When you offer to cosign for a debt, you have taken on something you cannot control. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
·         Labor. Take the initiative, even when your bosses aren’t looking. Work and prepare. Don’t be lazy. The ant works without supervision and prepares for the time when it will be impossible to do so.
·         Shut your mouth! Don’t cause strife. Don’t act deceitfully because “in a moment [you] will be broken beyond healing] (6:15).
·         What does God hate? Obviously this is not an all-encompassing list. God  hates all sin.
o   Pride
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.  Prov 8:13 (KJV)

o   Lies
Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. Prov 12:22 (KJV)

o   Murder
When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.  Isaiah 1:15 (ESV)

o   Evil Intent
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen 6:5 (KJV)

o   People who run toward evil
My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.  Prov 1:15-16 (KJV)

o   Slander/libel
Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. Psalms 27:11-12 (KJV)

o   Those who sow discord
A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;  therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly.  Prov 6:12-15 (ESV)

·         Don’t listen to this woman! Adultery – the consequences of sin. (This can be applied to all areas of your life). Listen to the teachings. Turn from the outward beauty of adultery. It’s cheap and can take your life. How can you expect to sin and not be burned? You may think your sin is secret, but you won’t go unpunished! The adulterer lacks sense. Stay away and don’t be seduced because the way to Sheol is estrangement from God.
·         Listen to this woman! Wisdom speaks nobly and utters truth. It is righteous and more precious than money and jewels. Nothing compares to God’s wisdom. Wisdom has been present since the foundation of the world. Follow wisdom, love God and choose life. You will be blessed. Choose folly and chose death.

·         Pick one woman; choose wisely!

Made by God for a purpose          Made by God for a purpose
Has a sure reward                 Loud, Seductive, Enticing
The Lord delights in her           “is stupid”
Will be delivered                  Will be destroyed
Desire ends in good                Falls by their own deeds
Accepts reproof                    Scoffs at reproof
Increase knowledge through         Hope/expectation of wealth
          the fear of the Lord               perish upon death
Root will be unmoved               Will not go unpunished
Thoughts are just                  Thoughts are deceitful
Commended by God                   Abomination to God
Obtains the Lord’s favor           Held captive by lust
Delivered from death               Place in depths of Sheol
Runs to God as strong tower        Walks into trouble

Slow to anger                      Quick to anger
Quiets contention                  Stirs strife
Keeps secrets                      Reveals secrets
Soft words                         Harsh words
Will listen to others              Will not listen to others
Thinks before speaking             Speaks before thinking
Tongue brings healing              Mouth brings destruction
Sensible                           Lacks sense
Covers offenses to preserve love   Gossips and separates friends
Restrains her words                Only wants to express
                                        his opinion
Overlooks offenses                 Quarrelsome
Gives freely and earns riches      Pays deceptive wages
Brings blessing and is enriched    Withholds and suffers want
Prudent                            Co-signs

Cares for those “below” him        Cruel, prideful, haughty
Labors for her own food/reward     Covets what others have
Generous                           Cursed because they withhold

Joyful                             Anxious
Glad                               Bitter
Honest                             Deceitful
Diligent                           Slothful
Confident in the Lord              Filled with trouble

Hates falsehood                    Treacherous
Has great wealth in God            Follows worthless pursuits
Has honor                          Has nothing

Disciplines children               Does not discipline children

Quite a list! I will strive to act with characteristics on list “A”. How about you?

And finally this week, let’s see some of the things Proverbs says about the tongue.

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse. 10:32

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 12:18

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. 15:4

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 17:27

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. 17:28

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. 18:2

(This is my personal favorite!)
A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. 18:6

Do you have a favorite Proverb? Were you swept away by the beauty of God’s love story in the Song of Solomon? Please share! It’s always interesting to hear what others find useful in the pages of God’s Word. The best part is that next year, when you read through the Bible again, you’ll find different verses and aspects of the text to focus on. Truly, it is the Living Word.

I look forward to our visit next week. Enjoy the beginning of your summer!

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