“Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18 NKJV
As I read today’s passage, I first thought, how do I apply this to myself? And this is good. But if you do and take it out of context you will end up in some places that are outside of the heart of God. We MUST keep in mind that proverbs was written as a book of wisdom from a father to his son. It is a book of instruction, not promises. We should focus on the ‘do the wise thing’ and understand that the results mentioned are merely that if you do right, most of the time good things come of it. We are reading Paul’s life and he did right – yet he is a prisoner and shipwrecked.
Also, this is a loving father who was generous with his love. So when he says ‘beat him with a rod, he will not die’ does not mean:
to beat him out of your frustration,
to beat him for every little thing,
to beat rebellion into him,
to beat him because you lack parenting skills,
to beat him within a breath of his life, etc.
I think too often it is forgotten (among Christian disciplinarians) that culturally the rod was a last resort correction done with love and in a calm environment where if correction was observed at any point, or an apology cried out – the rod was spared. My point is, to correct your child – don’t abuse them.
And I felt like pointing one more thing out – parents. The enemy has destroy so much of the nuclear family that few of you (and not me) have had warm and healthy upbringings, closely knit with your parents. I say this with all honor towards them, thankful they bore me into this world, where God intended me to be. Honor is a lot like grace – if grace is undo favor, honor can sometimes be undo respect. Take this with understanding, because it is love and forgiveness that bind me to honor. But those who refuse to speak their testimony to “honor” their parents have sealed the strength and power of their testimony to overcome evil and save souls. It is a lie. And not speaking truth is also a lie.
So for those of us who struggle with understanding a father’s love or a mother’s love, listening to instruction written in Proverbs can be a bitter reminder and give you a desire to speed read or just not read the passage. SO when you read, do not read it, put on the glasses with the lens that focuses on our heavenly Father and let him, through Jesus help you through.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Proverbs chapter 23 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
Listen to Your Father
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 [a]Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a[b] miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient [c]landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from [d]hell.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my [e]inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a [f]hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it [g]swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the [h]midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
- Proverbs 23:5 Lit. Will you cause your eyes to fly upon it and it is not?
- Proverbs 23:6 Lit. one who has an evil eye
- Proverbs 23:10 boundary
- Proverbs 23:14 Or Sheol
- Proverbs 23:16 Lit. kidneys
- Proverbs 23:18 Future, lit. latter end
- Proverbs 23:31 goes around
- Proverbs 23:34 Lit. heart
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Proverbs 3:5-6- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!