THAT WHICH LURKS
The words of Solomon suggest that there was evil in his world, waiting for the unwary. But we may be seeing the most evil days of all if we are in the days seen by Daniel and John’s Revelation. We need a compass to pass through the dangerous waters of temptation today. Even the faithful may want to give a carnal response to the provocations of this world. Wisdom is the voice of a mother who would guide us away from the dark alleys of the heart.
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:1-5
Now God the father is available in our prayers and here he avails us to direct teaching. The bible is the word, and Jesus too is called the word. So here we see Jesus relaying his father’s message. “I was my father’s son” he says, and his father admonishes us to keep his commandments. I remember what came when I forgot my father’s words! He also speaks of his mother here, and how she loved him. She is wisdom.
Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. Proverbs 4:6-10
Jesus taught wisdom to all of us, in his day, and in our time too. The promise to Jesus was a crown and a long life. But the crown of God is not like the world, and days are limited in this life. Some think that Jesus is dead, but eternity is the endless time that he is inviting us to enter. This is the real wisdom, to live for the greater life on the other side. Do this life as the entrance exam, because your Father measures your heart.
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. Proverbs 4:11-15
God teaches truth and you cannot fail on his path. In these wisdoms failure can be repaired in repentance and even death is not a failure. Wisdom is the mother who calls you away from the temptation of those who have no conscience left. The door of larceny, deception, cheating, and murder is a dark door to be avoided. The creatures that live in there devour themselves.
For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Proverbs 4:16-20
These are people who have joy in giving pain, and they are driven to dig pits that kill the innocent. Their celebration of blood is as likely to consume their friends as their enemies. Righteousness lights that darkness where even the violent men forget where they left traps. Lies are circular, they return against those who launch them. The word of God is life for everyone who is drawn to it.
Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. Proverbs 4:21-27
The sayings of wisdom should dominate our mind and heart. When we are in crisis remembering wisdom can calm our plans and guide us to peace. The human heart is flawed and needs wisdom to remove it from sin. Our words may testify against us before the judge if we do not harness them well. We must ignore the delights we see and keep our feet moving straight ahead away from the temptation of evil.