The violence…

The wicked will be swept away by their own violence, according to this verse. God must have a big broom!

The New International Version says, “The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.” But that broom will overlook every person the Lord considers righteous! 

Why will the wicked be cleaned away like cobwebs? It’s really simple. They refuse to do the just thing. Which means they – the wicked – would rather do the unjust thing!

Keep this verse in mind the next time you have an important decision to make. And do the right thing.

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Pay attention to wisdom

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. ~Proverbs 5:1-6 NIV

WomanWhether or not you accept wisdom from God could save your life. Not only does this passage imply that, it also serves as an introduction to the rest of chapter five.

You are urged to pay attention to God’s wisdom. “Attention” means:

  • the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something,
  • notice, interest, or awareness, or
  • special care or treatment.

You’re expected to know this, and to do something about it. As you incline your ears toward the Lord, he has special words of insight on this. Why? So that you can make intelligent decisions, while your lips repeat God’s word quietly to yourself.

By contrast, the lips of an “immoral woman” drip with honey. They look good, and sound good. But in the end, you’ll find they are meaningless. Such an immoral woman doesn’t even know the course her life is on.

This chapter of Proverbs ends with verses 22-23, which say, “The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

God knows you’ll be tempted. But through prayer, rather than your own great foolishness, you can be forgiven.

Everything you need

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. ~Proverbs 4:10-13 NIV

Accept-RejectGod promises here that if you accept what he says, the years of your life will be long. That’s no small promise.

In Genesis 5:27, the word says, “Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.” Methuselah is the longest-lived character in the Bible.

The Bible is full of examples of people who were granted long life by the Lord. Likewise, the scriptures have plenty of examples of people whose lives were cut short because they didn’t do what God wanted. Among them are Ananias and Sapphira, in Acts chapter 5, verses 1-11:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Your steps will not be disrupted. When you run, you will not trip and fall. In fact, the Amplified Version translates verse 12 as, “When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.”

Instruction is the essence of God’s plan for your life. Guard it carefully. That’s quite a promise. You may not get another chance.

Refusing to listen?

How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you — when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. ~Proverbs 1:22-27 NIV

hurricaneThis passage from the end of chapter one in Proverbs asks a direct question. And it demands a simple answer.

How long, it wonders, will fools delight in mockery and hate knowledge? You know people like that. Perhaps you’ve been like that. Maybe you are like that.

Genuine repentance will result in the Lord pouring out his knowledge before you. He’ll actually make his teachings known to you.

But ignoring God’s call brings a hefty price. He’ll laugh at you when disaster strikes. Or when calamity like a storm overtakes you, he’ll mock you. Just when you think you can’t take any more stress, hardship, or trouble, the Lord will lengthen it.

Ready to accept God’s terms? Then take some time to pray, and agree with him about the situation. He won’t reject your appeal. He is ready to share his thoughts with you!

Stay out of trouble

Daily Proverbs

He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears. ~Proverbs 26:17 NKJV

If you’re a dog owner, you know one of the best ways to irritate your pet is to grab them by the ears. Gentle rubbing behind the ears is usually welcome, but most dogs truly hate having their ears roughed up.

Solomon’s recommendation in Proverbs 26:17 is that you choose to stay out of trouble whenever you can avoid it. You may be tempted to intervene in someone else’s quarrel. And once in a while, it may be necessary. But be smart: Deciding to grab a dog by the ears often means your fingers will be bitten.

Every person faces life situations that are stressful, challenging, difficult – even dangerous. The Lord promises Christians grace and wisdom in great measure to navigate these troubles.

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The listening ear

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear. ~Proverbs 25:11-12 NIV

JudgeThere is only one kind of gold. But there are two ways of receiving it.

First, there are “apples of gold in settings of silver.” That seems short for a really fancy kind of jewelry. More importantly, it parallels a just ruling.

Imagine the satisfaction of learning that a judge rules in your favor. That means that he really listened to you, and respected your argument.

The second is a liittle less satisfying, and a lot more difficult to do. Consider what “the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear” means. Again, it ends up being beautiful jewelry. But the circumstances are very different.

Merriam-Webster defines a rebuke as “to speak in an angry and critical way to someone.” Listening to a judge speak to you in this manner could be humiliating. But the difference here is the wise judge, and the listening ear. That’s a rare combination!

Are you listening – really listening – when someone gives you solid advice? If you are, it could be just what you need to hear.

Don’t falter!

If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? ~Proverbs 24:10-12 NIV

evangelism“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”

~Charles H. Spurgeon

This passage is aimed squarely at you. And it’s promising great reward to those who obey. The Lord promises here to repay you, no matter what you’ve invested. No matter how much it cost.

Have you learned how to share the Gospel? There are several reputable organizations that will train you. Some will even take you out and show you how it works.

Maybe you’re one of the few Christians who is comfortable sharing your faith. If that’s true, good for you!

Learn to “give a defense for the hope that is within you.” Others may be counting on it.