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Summary: Solomon's instruction is to go for wisdom & to flee from the evil woman. The teacher wants to rivet the student's attention on the subject. His admonitions are as inescapable as commands & laws.

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PROVERBS 7: 1-5

A WISE FATHER'S INSTRUCTION

The first nine chapters of Proverbs basically deal with two subjects: wisdom and women. Solomon's instruction is to go for wisdom and to flee from the evil woman. The teacher wants to rivet the student's attention on the subject. His admonitions are as inescapable as commands and laws. They are not options or casual suggestions. His words are life giving and light-bringing. His teachings are to be treasured as permanent and indelible truth which we carry with us and within us. If we do, God will use them to keep us and guard us and give us a full and meaningful life.

I. VALUE GODLY INSTRUCTION, 7:1-2.

II. RETAIN GOD'S INSTRUCTION, 7:3.

III. RECALL GODLY INSTRUCTION, 7:4-5.

Chapter 7 begins with Solomon's familiar plea for his son to hear, assimilate, and live by his parents' teaching. This instruction included the parent's words (2:1; 4:4-5, 20; 5:1), commands (2:1; 3:1; 4:4; 6:20, 23; 7:2), and teachings (the "teaching" is singular in 1:8; 3:1; 4:2; 6:20, 23). Verse 1 calls us to a true appreciation of these life-rules of wisdom. "My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you."

The imperative verbs are given urgent prominence by placing them first and last in their clauses in the Hebrew. "Keep my words and my commands treasure." He is commanded to keep (3:1; 4:4, 21; 6:20), store up (2:1; 10:14), and guard them like a treasure within himself. For his teachings are from God. For it is God's commandments that we are to keep, His words, His law. If we do so we will enjoy a full and meaningful life (3:18; 4:4c; 8:35).

God speaks to us as sons. We must carefully keep the word of God as our great treasure, if we would have the great treasure of full and meaningful spiritual life.

Verse 2 states that God's instructions are life giving and light-bringing. "Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.

The vital nature of wisdom is spotlighted in its life giving and light-bringing qualities. If he would keep them he would live (see Amos's "seek me and live" in 5:4),"The apple [or pupil] of the eye" governs the amount of the light and the focus of our vision. The pupil, the center of the eye (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Zech. 2:8), is the most sensitive and carefully guarded of the human body's exposed organs. [Apple ('îôn) is literally the center of a thing; in 7:9 it denotes the center or middle of the night, that is, intense darkness.]

II. RETAIN GOD'S INSTRUCTION, 7:3.

Verse 3 commands us to make Wisdom's teachings permanent and indelible truth which we carry with us and within us. "Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart."

The beloved son is exhorted to bind his father's teachings like rings on his fingers. In Proverbs 3:3 he is told to tie them around his own neck and write them on his heart, as he is here. The emphasizes is on close continuous knowledge and review.

No clearer verses encouraging Scripture memory could be found than these here in Proverbs. When we write something, we don't abbreviate or confuse matters. Quite the contrary, we clarify them. The Lord says "write them on the tablet of your heart." Don't be sloppy or incomplete in your memory work. It is essential that we be exact and thorough when we memorize. Without this, confidence slips away. Be thorough in Scripture memory in the same way you plan a flight. Every number is precise and important (flight number, gate number, seat number) and the time as well. Being exact is extremely important! So let the word of God dwell richly in you!

[See Deut. 6:9.]

III. RECALL GODLY INSTRUCTION, 7:4-5.

So that one is not enticed and victimized by a seductive woman verse 4 counsels us to wisdom and understanding. "Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your intimate friend;

Treasure godly instruction by treating "wisdom" and "understanding" like your dearest family member as a "sister" and "nearest kin" (see Ruth 2:1; 3:2 for the same Hebrew root). [Wisdom and understanding are often used as synonyms in Proverbs.] In these words wisdom is personified as a woman making wisdom not an abstract idea but a person whose love and care will protect ("keep" or guard) us from the flattery of the seductress.

The way of wisdom is the way of strength in the presence of temptation. Let the man who meets this kind of temptation, make wisdom his sister, and understanding his kinswoman, that is, his close personal friend. For thousands of men have been kept from evil paths by the love and friendship of sisters and lady friends. Recognizing this, the father counsels his son to find strength against the seductions of evil, by cultivating that kind of defensive and defending familiarity with wisdom, which is typified by this love of a sister and of pure women. [G. Campbell Morgan. Life Applications. Revell. Grand Rapids, MI. 1926. 201.

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