For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondersall his paths.
If you remember last week we talked about two paths – the path of the wise and the path of the fool. We mentioned that we each make the choice for which path we will choose to follow and that there are resulting consequences to the choice we make.
For your homework, you were given a reading plan for the week. For this week’s lesson we are going to follow that plan and examine what the journey looks like for each path.
PROVERBS CHAPTER 7
The Warning (Verses 1-5)
Stop. Look. Listen. I remember that warning sign used to be at every railroad crossing. I’m not sure how effective the signs were, you pretty much needed to be aware of their existence to even think to notice them. Over the years, the static signs have mostly been replaced by gates, flashing lights, and loud bells. Certainly a more effective warning method.
In the opening verses of chapter 7, Solomon warns us through good instruction concerning the path of sin.
Solomon tells us that if we are to avoid the destructive consequences of sin, we first must be alert to the danger (verse 4)
We looked at it last week: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
As Christians, we have the ability and the power to overcome temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
But notice, it is up to us to take “the way of escape” that God provides for us.
One way we can overcome temptation is to avoid it; avoid the situations that invite temptations to come against us in the first place.
Through a word study in verses 1-3, we can lay a good foundation for helping us avoid those temptations that are common to man.
- Keep – his words. To keep means to hedge about, to guard and protect.
For weeks now we have studied the lessons of wisdom. To be wise is to hold on to all that God’s word has to teach us. Solomon goes on in verse 2 to say “keep God’s word as the apple of your eye”. The apple of one’s eye is the pupil; the pupil is the part of the eye which allows light to enter. [Here is a link if you would like to know more about the part the pupil plays in how we see]
- Treasure – his commandments. Treasure means to store up, to hide away, to protect.
God’s commands are not a thing to be feared nor are they a tool of slavery. Rather they are words of hope and confidence and goodness. God has given us His commandments not to harm us but to protect us (See Jeremiah 29:11). When you really study on all that God has commanded His children, you can clearly see how obedience gives life, and consequently, how violation brings suffering.
- Bind – his teaching. The Hebrew word “bind” (qashar) means to tie.
The scripture says bind the teaching on your fingers. Remember the old adage of tying a string around you finger to help you remember? That’s what’s implied here. When temptations come, you can be prepared with God’s Sword of Truth “at your fingertips”.
- Write – on your heart. The word write means to engrave, inscribe, record.
For a thing to be written indicates a sense of permanence. And in scripture, the heart represents the seat of thinking, knowledge, will, and understanding.
And so we see, when all is said and done, that the way to avoid temptation is through the power of God’s Word. I referred to it above: and take the… sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
It had been my intent to finish up this lesson today. However, there are still some very important points we need to cover. So, it looks like there with be Two Paths – Part 3. I didn’t know this was going to be a mini-series but if you don’t mind, we will just continue on and go wherever the Spirit leads us. To God be the glory!
In today’s lesson we haven’t talked about the act of sin rather we’ve discussed the temptation to sin-
- What are some of the “temptations common to man” that you can think of that could easily be avoided?
- Tell specifically how one could avoid the temptations you thought of?
- What are some of the greatest temptations you battle with?
- List specific ways you can avoid the temptation(s).
- Look up and make note of scripture verses that you can go to when confronted with your temptation(s).
To prepare for next week’s lesson, let’s research some more words in chapter 7. Look up the Hebrew words and definitions for the following: Perceived (v. 7). Darkness (v. 9). Wily (v. 10). Compels (v. 21). Victim (v.26). Mighty (v. 26). Sheol (v. 27).