Summary: We want to be a disciplined people, and we want to be wary of the destructive evils that we find so easy to embrace. Discipline is like a ladder that slowly leads us upward; foolishness is a chute that can make us drop quickly.

Chutes and Ladders

Proverbs 23:15-35

1.These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations (based on a Thomas Cook/ABTA survey):

a. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

b. "On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

c. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

d. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room." "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

e. "No one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

f. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish." []

2. People today are like people of all times in some ways, but different than previous generations in other ways. Aimlessness and shabby thinking have always been part of society, but it seems like the ratio of aimless people who are not very wise is greater than it once was. One word that describes this is “feckless.” It is defined as, “lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible.”

3. The trend is that many people no longer know whether they are male or female. Christian leaders are catering to ignorance and exchanging deep doctrine for Espresso. Christian social statistics are no different from that of the world.

4. What has taken so long to build — a solid Biblical Christianity in the US and UK — has taken so little time to crash. When I was a child, one of my favorite games was “Chutes and Ladders.” So much of life is just like that game.

Main Idea: We want to be a disciplined people, and we want to be wary of the destructive evils that we find so easy to embrace. Discipline is like a ladder that slowly leads us upward; foolishness is a chute that can make us drop quickly.

I. The Blessings of the LADDER: Fruit of A Disciplined Life (15-16,18, 22-26)

This is what godly parents dream of for their children…never guaranteed

The ideal: parental discipline gives way to self-discipline (balanced)

A. A wise HEART (15a)

1. Distinction between heart and mind is western

2. Wisdom shows itself in reasoning with God’s standards and doing His will

Kiel and Delitzsch comment, “Wisdom is inborn in no one. A true Arabic proverb says, ‘The wise knows how the fool feels, for he himself was also once a fool;’… The second part of the saying is, ‘But a fool knows not how a wise man feels, for he has never been a wise man.’”

3. Proverbs 22:15 (NASB) Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

B. Glad PARENTS (15b, 22-25)

1. Parents who are not wise/godly may revel in their child’s economic success

2. Godly parents, above all else, rejoice when their child prospers spiritually

3. Such parents not content to be wise themselves, are out to rear wise kids

4. In our relationship to God, when we are wise, we bring joy to God! (please)

C. Wise SPEECH (16)

1. Some people grow up incapable of participating in a conversation

2. Others won’t stop talking or talk inappropriately, inaccurately, or carelessly

3. Wise speech is thoughtful speech

D. A promising FUTURE (18) …. Wisdom’s focus is the future; foolishness: present

II. The Danger of the Chutes: Behaviors that Can Quickly Turn Wise People into FOOLS (17, 20-21, 26-35)

A. ENVYING sinners (the culture): how we start downward (17)

1. We must be willing to be a sub-culture of our OWN

2. Two steps to avoid: Look UP and look AHEAD

B. DRUNKENNESS (20a, 29-35)

Jesus was accused of these next two sins in Matthew 11:18-19, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon. ’The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Difference between associating with drunks or gluttons and choosing them for a peer group (companions). Do not number yourself among them.

1. Can easily commit even more SINS when you are drunk

2. You yourself may sober up with INJURIES and PROBLEMS

C. Association with GLUTTONS and the WASTEFUL (20b-21)

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. 1, “riotous eaters or flesh… it is possible that the reference is not to the amount of food eaten… but to the manner of banqueting…” p, 244

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