Friday, March 27, 2009

Proverbs 2:16- 22 (NKJV)

Last time, we looked at verses 10 – 15 of this second chapter of Proverbs, and today, we will finish this chapter by studying verses 16 through 22. I am putting verses 10 & 11 here as a reminder of what the Lord says will help keep us from the things spoken of in the verses we are going to study today.

Proverbs 2: 10 & 11 (NKJV)

10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,…

Proverbs 2:16- 19 (NKJV)

16 To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.

18 For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—

The beginning of the chapter shows that the whole chapter is an allegory (story with a moral) and it started out with a parent speaking to a son. To continue the allegory, the figure of an “immoral woman” that is trying to seduce the young man is used and the parent is warning against this.

Throughout the Bible, an “immoral woman,” “adulterous woman.” or “harlot” is used to portray other gods or things that would “seduce” us away from God in some form or another. Many of the prophets used this symbol and the book of Hosea shows this clearly. God’s plan for marriage was for “two to become one,” heart, soul and mind. Marriage is the form He chose to use as an example or symbol of what He wants us to become with Him… His word speaks of “the Bride of Christ” being the church (those that follow Him).

He wants us to become “one with him”… A PART of Him… to know Him intimately, as He knows us. Living in the world today often makes it hard for people to understand the “perfect-ness” that a truly good marriage can be after years of intimacy… sharing the good times AND the hard times, and learning from them… learning to TRUST a partner that will never leave you nor forsake you.

Humans can never live up to ALL of these standards. There are some, that WITH GOD’s HELP, may attain a place near to that goal, but having CHRIST as our partner, through life, CAN be that way. Trust requires a person to give of themselves, and if they receive back a trustworthy response, that trust will grow to the next point of giving.

THIS is why adultery is so horrendous in God’s sight. The breaking of a “trust” of this nature, is a cut to the very soul and heart of a person. It is like thrusting a sword into the heart to cut it and separate it back out from one, into two! God understands, because He keeps putting Himself out there for His people (both Old and New Testament followers and believers) and they have so often turned away from Him. Many times, they turn, based on what other people have said and done, believing the lies of this world instead of the truth of God… believing those that speak “perverse” words and follow “devious” paths (see the last study).

He showed just what love and forgiveness (because humans mess up so much) can do to help reestablish trust in a relationship through the example of giving His son.

In old Jewish tradition, a child was “betrothed” (engaged… promised) at a very young age. A pact, legal promise, or “covenant” was made. The couple would grow to know each other as they grew up, and while the “groom” was building their house. When the father of the groom proclaimed the house ready, the young man would go and call to his bride (often at a time she didn’t know) and then they would have the marriage ceremony. (This also reminds us of Jesus promise and his return for his bride…)

Verses 17 through 19 speaks of this “adulterous” young woman who decides to go her own way instead of continuing on the path to marriage. She “forsakes the companion of her youth” that she was betrothed to, and “forgets the covenant of her God.” Not only does she do that, but she lures others in to her immoralities, and following an immoral path leads a path of no return and, eventually, to death. “Lust of the flesh” will take control of us if we don’t take control of it! God is there to HELP us fight these “lusts of the flesh,” IF we follow Him and His paths.

The last three verses of this chapter simply summarize the rest of the chapter.

Proverbs 2:20- 22 (NKJV)
20 So, you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

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