Studies in the Book of Proverbs

(#7) God’s Wisdom Delivers From Perverse Teachers and Immoral Women 2:10-22

Verses 10-15: Those who have accepted wisdom, are pleased with knowledge, preserved by discretion (good judgment), kept (protected) by understanding, are prepared to ward off “evil.” “Evil” is described by the four phrases in verses 12-15:  (1) “Perverse” teaching. “Perverse” means “to turn or change a thing from its truthful meaning.” This is designed to misdirect and confuse a right-thinking person. (2) “Leave the paths of righteousness.” These are determined to go their own way. (3) “Walk in the ways of darkness.” Those who hide their sinful deeds either in the dark of night, or in the darkness of ignorance, do not please God.  (4) “Rejoice in doing evil.” Their pleasure is in what is wrong, not what is right. (5) “Delight in the perversity of the wicked.” Not only their own evil deeds, but have pleasure in others who are like them morally. (6) “Crooked,” and “devious” describe them, not “upright” and “truthful.”

What has been described is why youthful, inexperienced, ignorant, immature children have no business making their own decisions about life without parental guidance and The Word of God! Proverbs 2:10-15 have just described “the wrong crowd” for any good person, and, unfortunately, this “crowd” has descended into “religion,” as the Apostles of Jesus Christ described (1 Timothy 6:3-5; Jude 3-21), and has given it a bad reputation.

Verses 16-19: Since God created one woman for one man and brought her to that man to complete him, the terms for a married couple has been “the man and his wife” (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6, 9). That said, every woman is “strange” who seeks a sexual relationship with any man who is not her own husband. Sex before or outside of marriage is “fornication,” and sex with anyone already in a marriage relationship with another individual is “adultery” (Hebrews 13:4). The “immoral woman” is one who:

(1) “Flatters with her words.” This is “oily, slick” speech of a prostitute.

(2) “Forsakes the companion of her youth.” She carries no learned convictions from her childhood, nor appreciation of men since that time.

(3) “Forgets the covenant of her God.” She has irreverence for God and His pattern for marriage, and is willing to put this out of her mind altogether.

(4) “Her house leads down to death.” Disease, affliction, pain and sorrow are inside, not a pleasant future.

(5) “Her paths to the dead.” All roads lead to her “cemetery.” How can anyone having sex with her say, “Man, that’s living?”

(6) It’s a one-way street, meaning once she seduces, it plants the seeds of discontent, desire, and destruction in a heart, that seldom can recover. “The paths of life” that are not recovered involve the life of health, happiness, honesty, and heaven. Fornicators and adulterers have violated their bodies and souls (1 Corinthians 6:15-19), and while not impossible, repentance and recovery is very difficult.

Verses 20-22: Teach the prior judgment of God, and the wise will be warned and advised of conduct to be avoided. God’s Wisdom shows the way of “goodness,” “righteousness” which the “upright” and “blameless” will follow. Rejecting that Wisdom is for the “wicked” that shall be “cut off from the earth,” and the “unfaithful” are to be “uprooted from it.”

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&nbsp Job’s repentance 42:1-6 Job’s three friends rebuked…

 

  1. Job’s repentance (42:1-6). Job’s three friends rebuked by the Lord (42:7-9). The Lord gives Job all that he lost, and then some (42:10-17).
  2. Application.  This wisdom of Job was in recognizing that he spoke without knowledge; the lack of wisdom in Job’s friends was that they did not recognize this in themselves. At least with four, maybe five men, there was a change in their theology concerning why people suffer; did this, however, change the views of those all around Job? Perhaps not initially, but it is reasonable that Job took the time to expound on such things – and why wouldn’t he? Perhaps, as they saw Job afflicted they concluded the Lord was against him; then, perhaps, they also viewed Job as he was gaining his wealth back (and much more) as one who was blessed by the Lord. This confusion in the minds of the people gave Job the avenue he needed to persuade people to think differently. *** If you know from where you came and are grateful to the Lord for what you received could you not do what Job did and take advantage of the avenue given to you and persuade people to think differently about life?

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Job 40 and 41

  1. “Job, are you in any position to judge and correct the Almighty? Have you the kind of wisdom that can bring a proud man low, or do you have the ability to deal with the behemoth, or even the leviathan?” The point of these questions, again, is to bring to Job’s thinking his real position in relation to the Lord; his position is one of complete inadequacy!
  2. Application. The Lord asked Job a number of question, and Job was able to get a word in that was recognition of his inadequacy, and the Lord was not going to let him lose sight of that. Job, with all of his knowledge, had come to realize that He who has all knowledge was the only one who could truly answer the questions posed to him. **** Have you ever been sure of what the Lord was thinking and then going to do? If so, it would be good to be reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9, and Job’s rebuke from the Lord. Man may be smart in many areas, but he is not that smart.

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Job 38 and 39

  1. In a rapid fire set of questions the Lord calls upon him who thinks he knows much to answer what to the Lord are elementary questions. Things that pertain to the creation of the earth, the existence of the heavenly bodies, and the matters that pertain to weather (C-38). Can Job even begin to understand related to the kingdom of the wild (C-39)?
  2. Application. What Job so quickly dismissed from his friends he finds his is guilty of the same. Job refused any accusation that he was suffering as a result of any particular sin or sins. In fact, his refusal to accepting such accusation was that his friends spoke without knowledge. Job was absolutely sure of him himself (I presume) in that which he spoke, but when called upon by the Lord to defend himself what he thought he knew was but the wisdom of ashes! In particular we need to make an application concerning judgments we make. All too often people come to a conclusive judgment and they are certain they have things right! If you hear only one side, it won’t be long before the other side makes you look a fool!

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Job 35, 36, and 37

  1. Elihu takes up a remark by Job that said there was no value to living righteously in comparison to living wickedly. When people cry out they ought not to be surprised when God does not answer those who have pride in their heart – regardless of what type of life is being lived (C-35). Elihu holds up the Lord’s honor and method of dealing with those who live on earth (C-36). Can man know the wondrous works of God (C-37).
  2. Application. Job suffered a great amount of affliction. It was a common belief that those who suffered affliction did so because their sin was detected and the punishment came from the Lord. Job rejected this because he could think of nothing for which he should be afflicted. This perplexity of his stumped him throughout. Elihu understands that but takes Job to task for calling into question the Lord’s method of dealing with man. In fact, Job takes the Lord to task when he really does not understand what he thinks he does – for what can man understand in relationship to the Lord unless the Lord reveal Himself to man? Paul said something about this to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:6ff). Herein is our application: we don’t understand, but the Lord does!

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Job 32, 33, and 34

  1. Elihu, the youngest who came with Job’s three friends now offers his assessment at what just transpired. He is disappointed that Job’s friends were so willing to condemn Job, but had no answer to anything Job offered (C-32). Elihu summarizes Job’s argument (33:8-11), and then proceeds to tell Job that God communicates with man in various ways to turn him from the dark path he is walking on (33:12-30). Elihu turns his words toward those who engaged Job, giving his interpretation of Job’s remarks (34:1-9). There is no injustice in God, so why is Job finding fault with God for what Job can’t explain (34:10-30)? Why Job is suffering only the Lord can say, but let Job ask of the Lord to teach him in order for Job to be able to turn away from his wrong because, as Elihu is making clear, Job is not innocent (34:31-36)!
  2. Application. It is actually difficult for me to know whether or not Elihu is saying that Job’s affliction are because of his evil deed, or whether he is just stating the facts of the case that God will render to man what he deserves (34:10-30). In any case, it is certainly true that what a man sows he will also reap. It may be the case, furthermore, that the sins of man will not go before him to judgment (that is, evident to others), but will be exposed by the judgment (1 Timothy 5:24). As Elihu speaks it is clear that he has the same – albeit modified – opinion that his three older and wiser friends have. In Elihu’s case, he is not leveling condemnatory accusations at Job’s feet, but he does address the words that Job has expressed to be in rebellion to the Lord.

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Job 29, 30, and 31

  1. Job begins to wish that as things once were, they could be that way again. He was a man recognized for his wisdom and charity; now he is a man who feels as though the Lord is against him (C-29). Those who once honored Job now look upon him much differently; presumably they have come to interpret Job’s experiences as though the Lord was against him, and they should be also (C-30). Job brings his words to a close in what many consider to be a great statement on personal ethics (cf. Shackelford, p. 348). In this chapter Job puts his life before others, including the Lord, to judge; if he is guilty of anything that he mentioned he would then be will to suffer. As he previously said, however, he is not guilty of doing wrong like others have ascribed (C-31).
  2. Application. A life without regret is clearly a life worth living. Have you any regrets in your life? I do! Life is still worth living because of Him who has gone before me to pave the path that I could not pave. If not for the mercy of the Lord, if not for the love of Christ, if not for the seal of the Holy Spirit, where could I go? A favorite song of mine is “His Grace Reaches me.” It is a moving song for me and they are many times when I have to pause in the singing of it – but I love the song.

#daily-bible-reading-old-testament