Faithlife Sermons

Sunday Worship Service 6-16-19 - Prov 6,20-35 - Wisdom on Fire

Proverbs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:20:31
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This passage describes sexual love as a fire - if we ignore its power and its purpose, we will inevitably be burned. No recompense can be given; no settlement can be made. We can't take it back, and we can't make it right. However, if we see the transcendent nature of this powerful force, its divine origin and end, then wisdom can point us to our longing for God - "the very fire of the Lord". It is He alone who can heal our wounds by his own.

Proverbs 6:20-35 Sermon 20 My son, keep your father's commandment,     and forsake not your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always;     tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you;     when you lie down, they will watch over you;     and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,     and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman,     from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. 20: Keep, don’t forsake … it’s the parents (both) who are giving this advice/warning about adultery – this is appropriate since the child and his life is a product of their faithfulness to the covenant of marriage/family. But, this is also ironic as a collection of wisdom from the Solomonic tradition, and his own life provides the ultimate example of what happens when you know wisdom but you do not walk in it; you fail to keep and you forsake it. 21: Command to bind and tie – commitment every day, inward (heart) and outward (neck) – let the world know your commitment. Don’t be a closet Christian, be a zealot. Not saying to be an annoying or hypocritical talker, but that it shouldn’t take long for people in our environment to know where we stand. But, notice, it first has to be bound in your heart, otherwise, don’t tie it around your neck. (Example – Mike Pence) I declare my commitments and intentions. They are tied into my identity, and if you don’t accept that then you don’t accept me. 22: If you do v21, then the result is v22 … walk, lie down, wake up … lead, watch over, talk with you. The wisdom, the word, the commands, the instruction of God is the foundation and companion of our life, our first commitment, the one we take with us as a priority and as an authoritative counselor into every other commitment – God is our God, our protector, our leader, our companion. She will muse with you – be your muse/inspiration, meditate with you, help you reach the transcendent. 23: Further reason: light and life (as opposed to darkness and death – stumbling, falling, confusion, wandering, downward direction to death versus sight, clarity, direction, purpose, upward direction to joyful, abundant life) – 7:24-27 closes the section with the evil woman’s way to death, so our choice is lady wisdom’s life or lady folly’s death. 24: to preserve – health/security: from the evil woman (the neighbor’s wife, the foreign woman). It’s somewhat humorous – all of this guarding and guiding is to protect from this great force, this great enemy and this it’s protection from a woman. Like an elephant and a mouse … but this is legit – this is how kingdoms fall, how lives are ruined. The strongest among us can be taken down by the most innocuous little desire that gets out of control. The tongue/words is involved again (Dontcha wish your girlfriend was ___ like me?) – just keep your mouth shut, and don’t feel like you have to conversate … if the conversation starts to feel too loose, too intimate, too friendly, too seductive, too stimulating/invigorating, STOP, go away, don’t go there. Keep it tight, keep it controlled, friendly, brother/sisterly, disciplined conversation, purposeful, with serious boundaries. No hanging out between a married man/woman and another member of the opposite sex (same goes for other forbidden Biblical relationships, if one struggles with same-sex temptation, those rules apply, if one is unmarried and vulnerable to having affections for a non-Christian, you should keep discipline in those situations; otherwise, you’re going to be captured/ensnared by the enemy; and it could very well alter the course of your life. It’s about taking it seriously, not taking it easy: Well I'm runnin' down the road tryin' to loosen my load I've got seven women on my mind Four that wanna own me two that wanna stone me one says she's a friend of mine Well I'm a standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona Such a fine sight to see It's a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me Come on baby Don't say maybe I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me We may lose and we may win Though we will never be here again So open up I'm climbin' in Take it easy Well I'm runnin' down the road tryin' to loosen my load Got a world of trouble on my mind Lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover She's so hard to find Come on baby, Don't say maybe I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,     and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; 26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,     but a married woman hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest     and his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk on hot coals     and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;     none who touches her will go unpunished. 25: Do not desire her beauty in your heart – how can we be commanded about what to desire/not desire? The heart wants what it wants! 2 things: One – see the outcome, the ugly, painful, nasty, diseased, disastrous outcome, that trip to the doctor, see death on the other side, see the worms eating your flesh and hers – that is the truth of attraction. That is the end for sin, though not for righteous love which exalts God. Two – in your heart – there is a difference between an instant of bodily, hormonal, pulse generated by something you see that you didn’t ask to see and continuing to take it in, consciously deciding to stare and keep staring, going from the eyes to the brain and then into the heart and the affections. There’s a difference between seeing something you didn’t ask to see and seeking it out of your own choice. Seeing something and taking that thought captive by getting out of the situation (flee sexual immorality), putting up boundaries, taking measures so that those things don’t come into your life or your vision, praying, preaching the gospel to yourself, worshipping God in your heart, committing your heart to his Word, his commands, and thanking Him for what He has for you, for all that you have in Him, dwelling on His glory, beauty, love, power, and benefits – there is nothing I lack in God (Remember Adam/Eve, lies of Satan). Her eyelashes – the outward appearance (think of mascara but to the nth degree – like the Egyptian princesses) – the adornment that many make a study of – posing perfectly for pictures, walking/standing a certain way, getting clothes that accent the body a particular way, fragrance, cavalier attitude, etc. Throws a glance your way. When she glances, you keep on walking. Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 26: The price of a prostitute is a piece of bread, but a married woman hunts with a more sophisticated appetite. Ie a prostitute just wants money/survival/food … a married woman wants more rare/precious/complex things, complex reasons, what is she not getting at home, that’s the only reason she would have to have interest in you, and that’s not real, the fire’s gone, the romance, the thrill, the desire … gruff/sensitive, sensible/spontaneous, academic/practical. You always want what you don’t have. 27: Fire  It is a fire. This is an apt analogy for us to see. Love/Attraction is hormonal fire (electricity). Fire can be a great thing, it can serve great purposes, but it is good as long as it serves not when it becomes the master and us the servants, then the fire has gotten out of control and we are at its mercy. The security, the purpose, the proper vehicle of this fire is what God gave for it and blessed in the beginning – one man, one woman, for life: committed to each other in the covenant of marriage. In this way it serves a great purpose, primarily of fruitfulness (bringing forth life), but also intimacy, affection, knowledge of one another. He’s carrying this fire close to him, not respecting its power or its purpose, and he will only realize the gravity of his error probably when it’s too late – his clothes are on fire and he has been seriously damaged. 28: again a great related analogy – it is a fire. And this time the wisdom is in the tempo. Can you run over the hot coals and be OK, probably. Find yourself on hot coals and you quickly remove yourself. But, in this picture, a man is walking on them, consciously walking in the fire, taking it in, enjoying it, dwelling, walking on that path – he will be scorched. His walk is now altered – he is crippled, self-mutilated. This is a euphemism for the genitalia. Paul said it is better to marry than to burn. 29: This inevitability is the same with the one who walks into that house, that room, gets in that car, sits at that table, sends that text … once you’ve done that, the touch, the actual sin of adulterous bodily touch is sure to follow (you don’t fall into bed) – the sin started back there – and the punishment will also surely follow. Song 8:6-7 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. When we deal with love, we’re dealing with forces of nature, forces that can be beautiful or destructive. It’s the very flame of the Lord – that’s what we’re searching for!! (perhaps this is the ending) 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals     to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, 31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;     he will give all the goods of his house. 32 He who commits adultery lacks sense;     he who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor,     and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious,     and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation;     he will refuse though you multiply gifts. 30: The comparison between the thief and the adulterer: the thief lacks, he doesn’t have what he needs to live … the adulterer does not lack, he’s just dissatisfied/discontent – greed, vanity, belief that he deserves more, not seeing the good in what he has, not thankful (so he’ll lose it all). (like someone stealing food off of your plate when he’s got plenty of food on his plate that is wasted … Remember King David!! His was the worst of all. Nathan’s parable. 31: the pain of loss is almost too hard to imagine/grasp. 7-fold – it is complete. He will lose everything, but he will make complete restitution/satisfaction. With adultery, there often is no satisfaction/restitution. There is nothing you can do to make it right, take it back, restore it. You can’t give it back. Adultery is thievery. It’s stealing, it’s coveting, it’s lying, it’s murder, it’s taking the lord’s name in vain, it’s making for yourself an idol, it’s having another god before him, it’s dishonoring your father/mother, it’s profaning the sabbath (because the other 6 days are supposed to be for work, and the seventh for rest – so the day you’re committing adultery is neither working nor resting) 32: Please, gain sense, get some perspective on this thing. See it for what it is!!!! Like, “Hey Adam, don’t eat that fruit man!!! Please see how dumb it is!!” Lit: lacks heart – mentally/emotionally deficient. Lit: ruins his soul/appetite – it will make you sick (like eating poisoned, spoiled food – Jordan knows about this – was it worth it Jordan? 33: wounds – touches (same root as touch in V29, often associated with plague/disease of the skin). Wisdom leads to health, wealth, prosperity, peace, length of days, years of life, and peace/shalom/completeness. Also same root as the wounds of the messiah in Isa 53:8 – by his wounds we are healed … 34-35: “when he takes his revenge” – Lit on the day of vengeance; this phrase usually speaks of action taken by proper authorities, not private revenge … the adulterated husband will accept no compensation … you won’t be able to get out of it; there will be no settlement, you will suffer the full measure of the law of God. The adulterer should die. God is the wronged party, he is the one against whom we have committed our spiritual adultery – he is our true husband … we deserve death. He speaks gently to us to woo us back; he even offers to take the punishment upon himself, the wounds, the recompense, the jealousy, the day of vengeance. There is no gift you can give, though you multiply them, though you seek to make up for your great sin, though you seek shelter in other gods, it will not satisfy. Jesus satisfies the rightful vengeance of God. Sex and the forbidden woman take up an inordinant amount of space in the prologue to Proverbs (1-9). It seems that the forbidden woman represents not only the temptations of illicit sexual pleasure but of a way of life contrary to wisdom. The youth has this as his ultimate choice: To whom will he give his heart and commit his life: Who will he marry and pursue? Lady Wisdom or Lady Folly. In Revelation this imagery is taken to another extreme. In the end, there are two women – the Bride of Christ and the Whore of Babylon. One of these will be celebrated in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb while the other meets her end in the eternal lake of fire along with the beast (corrupt worldly systems and powers) and the false prophet (false religions) … this is the end of the allurements of the world – they had their party and their rage and sought their pleasure in the temporal here and now, exchanging the glory of the Creator who is blessed forever, they served and worshipped the created things. The one who loved Wisdom, however, found its ultimate object of desire in Jesus Christ, the ultimate wisdom teacher, the complete Wisdom of God made flesh - …
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