Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Walking in Wisdom – Wisdom in Temptation

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Week Five – Day 1. Monday, February 13, 2017wk05d01

Read Proverbs 1:10-19    SOAP Proverbs 1:19 –  THE TEMPTATION OF UNJUST GAIN
PROVERBS 1:10-19 10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; 12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— 15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, 16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. 17 For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, 18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. 19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.

O – This passage gives us a plan for temptation, especially in the form of “friends” who lead us astray. DO NOT CONSENT. Just say no. Seems simple. But, we get enticed. We are given reasons. We are told that we will “get” things that we don’t have to “pay” for.
We are enticed by their words (come with us), the challenge (let us ambush the innocent without reason), the “stuff” (we shall fill our houses), the common purse. But, what is the end result? They set an ambush for “their own lives.” For themselves. They get trapped in their own trap.

What are we to do?? DO NOT CONSENT. Don’t even start! Do not “walk in the way with them.” “Hold back your foot from their path.”

What does that mean? First, Don’t get involved. Not walking in the way reminded me of Psalm 1:1, and the progression that we take in getting involved with sin. Psalm 1:1 –“ Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” (ESV) It starts with “walking”, a casual attachment. But – it leads to standing, a conversation, a longer time. However, soon we “sit” – an intentional action that includes us in a way of sin. It, again, is like the frog in the boiling pot. When we decide to include sin in our lives, it doesn’t start big – it starts with little, seemingly innocuous actions. Then, when we look back, we see the damage done, sometimes too late.
Second, we are told to “hold back our feet from their path.” It also brought me to Psalm 119:101 – “I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.” (ESV) It is resisting the temptation to get involved. It is a conscious decision to NOT go. To NOT travel in their way. The word path in Hebrew is derek – conduct, course of life. DO NOT get involved in the course of life, the journey that would lead to evil ways.

Today’s question leads me to think of what I taught kids in my classroom, or what I see in today’s world…. What should we teach our children about ill-gotten gain? What examples can you point to in our culture to show this Biblical consequence? Cheating on a test. Not reporting income. Not giving back wrong change at the store. Not taking what doesn’t belong to us. Not reporting children’s age at an amusement park to get a lesser price. What do we do as a culture that helps us to “get away with” not being honest? There are so many ways that people can not be “totally” honest. But, since when is “not totally honest” not honest at all? I think that is an area where we as Christians need to be especially careful! And – we cannot be misled – children are watching us. They are looking to see how we REALLY live out what we say. I think this is the biggest consequence. Our effect and influence on the next generation. That should be the “stuff” of table conversations in families in the Christian community!
A – So – what does that mean for me, today? First, I need to be aware of temptation in general. Do I “slip” into temptation – one little thing that leads to another? Remembering that progression from Psalm 1:1 will help in this. Second, I need to be aware of people that may lead me off to a wrong path. I struggled with that more when I was younger, but I need to be aware of that temptation even now. Just because I am older, and hopefully wiser, does not mean that temptation will not come my way. Third, I need to make conscious, intentional decisions to NOT do wrong. Even the little things. Did I get the right change back? Did I file the taxes right? Do I deal honestly in every situation? Do I lead a life of integrity? Finally, keep in the word. Let it permeate my heart and soul. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee….” (Psalm 119:11) Or – this version from the Amplified Version: “Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”

P – Father God – keep me from sin. Help me to see the progression, even when it is seemingly little. Give me discernment in daily decisions – so that I live a life that is marked by integrity, and is pleasing to You. Give me discernment in relationships, building friendships that will build me up in You, not tempt me to sin. Help me to keep Your Word ever in front of me, treasured and stored in my heart, so that I will not sin.

Study notes –
Warren Wiersbe – (Be series) In Proverbs 1:15-19, the father tells his son how to avoid yielding to temptation. First, he says, check carefully the path you’re on and don’t walk with the wrong crowd. (This sounds very much like Ps. 1:1 and 2 Cor. 6:14-18.) If you’re walking with the wrong crowd, you’ll end up doing the wrong things. Second, don’t play with temptation, because temptation always leads to a trap (Prov. 1:17). Birds don’t take bait when they can plainly see the trap, and people ought to be smarter than birds.
Third, when you disobey God by harming others, you only harm yourself (vv. 18-19). You’re free to take what you want from life, but eventually you’ll have to pay for it, and the price you pay is higher than the value you gain. You end up sacrificing the permanent for the immediate, and that’s a bad investment.
The voice of temptation (vv. 11-14). Anybody who makes it easy for us to disobey God certainly isn’t a friend. The offer they made sounded exciting, but it only led to disaster. How tragic that a group of people would actually find enjoyment in doing evil, and how foolish of them to think their loot would satisfy their desires. They rejected the eternal treasures of wisdom (3:14-16; 16:16) for the cheap trinkets of this world, and they lost their souls in the bargain.

“Jesus At The Center” – Darlene Zschech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8HOOfTXmlg
Jesus at the center of it all
Jesus at the center of it all
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it’s always been You
Jesus, Jesus
[x2]

Nothing else matters,
Nothing in this world will do
‘Cause Jesus You’re the center,
Everything revolves around You
Jesus You,
At the center of it all,
At the center of it all

Jesus be the center of my life
Jesus be the center of my life
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it’s always been You
Jesus, Jesus

Nothing else matters,
Nothing in this world will do
‘Cause Jesus You’re the center,
Everything revolves around You
Jesus You
[x2]

From my heart to the Heavens,
Jesus be the center
It’s all about You,
Yes it’s all about You
[x5]

Jesus be the center of Your church
Jesus be the center of Your church
And every knee will bow
And every tongue shall confess You
Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus

From my heart to the Heavens,
Jesus be the center
It’s all about You,
Yes it’s all about You
[x3]

It’s all about You, all about You, Jesus

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