Summary: A study of Proverbs 4 verse 20 through Proverbs 5 verse 23
Proverbs 4: 20 – 5: 23
Above The Law
20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. 6 Lest you ponder her path of life—Her ways are unstable; You do not know them. 7 Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 Lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; 10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner; 11 And you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, 12 And say: “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction! 13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 14 I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.” 15 Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. 16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths. 22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. 23 He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
I have always enjoyed martial arts. One of the current actors who have come to movie and television fame for their self-defense tactics is Steven Seagal. One of his movies which I liked is ‘above the law’. In the movie Steven comes across some government people who think that they can do whatever criminal evil activity they want. Since they have government backing they do not have to obey the law like all of us common folks. The action packed movie’s good guy [Steven Seagal] wins out in the end over these criminals.
Today’s study in a way has reminded me of similar things going on in the church. Many ‘superstar’ Pastors have been caught up in things for a long time that if their thinking was accurate would tell them that they have disqualified themselves from their ministry.
The apostle Paul understood that your entire ministry can go down the toilet by responding to temptation. He wanted to make sure that he would not be disqualified from serving the Lord. Hey, you can be the ugliest guy in the world and all of a sudden because of the Lord’s increase in your ministry you have the beautiful ladies knocking down your door.
When a Pastor falls he is still a Christian believer. Yet, in God’s rules – one strike and you are out. Look at Moses from just losing his temper. He was disqualified from being allowed to enter the Promise Land. David was still loved by our Holy and Merciful Adoni Yahweh, Father God, yet the penalty for his sin with Bathsheba cost him four sons.
At the time of this Proverb Solomon was faithfully following the Lord. Later in life he went astray. Here he urges those who hear him and read his words to take them to heart and keep them there because they offer life and health. They are therefore to watch over their hearts (and minds and wills), to put away careless or false words, to look straight ahead without deviation, and to watch where they put their feet on the path of life. They are not to turn to either right or left but are to ensure that they keep their foot from evil. They are not to be like the ‘strange woman’, the adulterous woman or prostitute, who ‘does not watch the path of life’.