Wisdom speaks! Proverbs- Week 6- Day 1

Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.  (7)  For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.  (8)  All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.  (9)  They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Proverbs 8:6-9 

Explanation:

One of the first questions that the reader has to ask when they come to a passage is “who is the author?” or “who is the speaker?”.  This is an important question in this passage.  The answer is found in verses 1 and 4.   The initial question is proposed in verse 1.

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? 

Proverbs 8:1 

Wisdom is personified and is speaking out in these verses.  She is the narrator in this passage starting in verses 4-5.

Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.  (5)  O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. 

Proverbs 8:4-5 

So when we get to today’s text, verses 6-9, we find out what wisdom is saying to us.  Wisdom claims that the content of what she proclaims are the following:

  • Excellent things– The word here, when used of people, means noble or princely.  The idea is that wisdom is speaking of things that are useful for the most noble people.
  • Right things– The word here speaks to justice and equity.  Just, fair and right things are the subject of widsom.
  • Truth-  What wisdom says fully cooresponds to reality.  Widsom does not lie.
  • Righteous-  Not only are they true in cooresponding with reality, they are also morally correct.
  • Pure- Wisdom does not speak in base or sexually immoral ways. 
  • Clear- Wisdom speaks things that are understandable.

Application:

We live in a world where there is an abundance of information, but not necessarily an abundance of truth.  We have access to an plethora of content, but we must be careful about the perverse and impure.  Much of what is proposed as “wisdom” is morally confused and difficult to understand.  There is a value therefore to wisdom as defined by God here in Proverbs.  If you search for God’s Wisdom you will find what is excellent, right, true, righteous, pure, and clear.  The ultimate source of wisdom is the Bible itself. 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Hebrews 4:12 

In a world where lies, impure speech, and moral confusion are the norm, wisdom is of utmost value.

Response:

Think about what you have thought about for the last few days.  Would it be described as excellent, right, true, true, righteous, pure and clear?  Is the Word of God informing your thoughts and actions?

Love your spouse! Proverbs- Week 5- Day 5

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.  (16)  Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.  (17)  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.  (18)  Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 

Proverbs 5:15-18 

Explanation:

The passage this week has dealt with the danger of sexual immorality.  There is a danger in thinking that God and wisdom is against all sexual activity.  We must remember that God designed human beings to enjoy sexual intercourse. This is His idea.  He designed it to be pleasurable and intimate.  It is not a bad thing.  Between a husband and wife in a lifelong monogamous relationship it is a very good thing!

The father tells his son in this passage to “drink waters out of thine own cistern”.  This metaphor of the quenching of thirst is speaking to the natural satisfaction of sexual urges being appeased in one’s own spouse.  He is telling his son to love his wife and to satisfy his sexual appetite through intimate and loving sexual intercourse with his wife. 

The metaphor continues of water running in the streets, speaking of the offspring that comes from the sexual union.  He is telling his son in verse 16 and 17 that his offspring ought to be the fruit of his own marriage relationship.  There is a much pain that can come from there being questions about maternity and paternity.

Verse 18 declares it simply.  If you want sexual satisfaction without all of these dangerous and undesired outcomes, follow God’s plan and design for marriage and family.  Commit yourself as one man and one woman for one lifetime, and enjoy the family life that comes as the blessed result.

Application:

The biblical language is clear and vivid, but is never crass.  Think of the joy that can come from the physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy that can happen between a committed husband and wife.  The man who avoids the strange woman, and finds his satisfaction and intimacy in his wife alone, will have blessing and joy from a lifelong relationship with her and his offspring.

Response:

  • For the married, what is a way that you can invest in your spouse and love them well today?
  • For the unmarried, what do you need to do to invest in your future relationships?

The Cost of Regret – Proverbs- Week 4- Day 4

And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;  (13)  And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!  (14)  I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. 

Proverbs 5:12-14 

Explanation:

The father further elaborates to his son the loss that will come from adultery and sexual immorality.  In these two verses he says that regret will characterize his life toward the end.  The probability of his life being characterized by disdain for wisdom and instruction beyond the issue of sexual behavior goes up.  The restraint of fellowship with God’s people and habitual public worship is in danger of being ineffective for the person that is sexually immoral.  This is dangerous because of the deadening effect it has the conscience.  Hypocrisy is bound to reign.

Application:

Regret is part of the price of the unrestrained, unwise path of the adulterous.  If you want a life that avoids regret we must allow God’s wisdom and God’s Spirit to guide us down a wiser and different path.

Response:

Have you recently found yourself despising wisdom, teach or instruction?  Regret may soon follow.  Repent and go a different direction!

The High Price of Low Living- Proverbs Week 5- Day 3

Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:  (10)  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;  (11)  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 

Proverbs 5:9-11 

Explanation:

What is the outcome when you give yourself over to the “strange woman”?  What is the probability that will occur when a young person gives themselves over to sexual immorality?  Here the father continues to talk about this idea and he gives four specific losses that are incurred.

1. A loss of honor. “Lest thou give thine honour unto others…”.  The word here for honor is a word that is also translated glory, majesty, beauty, and comeliness.  The idea is that you are giving the best of yourself to a person that you don’t really love for the sheer pleasure of a moment.

2. A loss of time.  “and thy years unto the cruel…”.  As is common in Hebrew poetry, there is a parallelism to the previous phrase about honour.  The idea is that the sexually immoral young person can give the best of their years physically to those who are cruel.  For example, many have experienced both a loss of honor and a loss of time in dealing with the physical consequences of sexually transmitted diseases

3. A loss of wealth.  “lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of a stranger…”.  Again, the probability that this kind of behavior will cost you financially is high.  People pay a high price because of sexual infidelity.  Think of words like “child support”, “alimony”, “court costs”, “lawyers’ fees”, “doctors’ fees” and the like.  Not everyone will always have all of these issues, but almost no one that participates in adultery plans to pay these costs, yet many do.

4. A loss of joy.  “and thou mourn the the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed…”.  The physical, relational, temporal, and spiritual cost often leads to an emotional cost.  Many people have dealt with the high cost of the loss of joy as a result of just a few moments of physical pleasure. 

It is because of these losses that the father in this passage is warning his son.

Application:

If you find yourself thinking “this seems a little over the top.  Not everyone who has a little fling has all of these problems”, I want to warn you.  Everyone who has ever participated in these kinds of behaviors and suffered these kinds of losses thought some version of that idea.  “That won’t happen to me.”  “No one will know.”  These are the kinds of lies that we tell ourselves.  These are the thoughts of scoffers who often must deal with the consequences that they never thought they would see.

There is a high price to low living.  We must decide to live lives of integrity now before the temptation is in front of us.

Response:

  • Have you ever personally seen anyone deal with these kinds of consequences?
  • Where in your life have you told yourself, “no one will find out”?   Stop! Repent! Warning!  It’s time for a course correction.
  • There is hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  Find out more about how to be made right with God here.