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(#141) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:16-Do or Die

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:16: “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die.”

The only way to keep (save) one’s “soul” is to keep (obey) God’s commandment. The only other choice one has is to lose one’s soul by refusing to keep God’s commandment!

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a charge with consequence: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). When they ate what was forbidden, they “died,” since death is a separation from life and they were separated from the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24). When they left Eden, God gave them a way to worship Him acceptably (Genesis 4:3-7), and Abel did but Cain did not (Hebrews 11:4).

Those who lived under Moses’ Law had the same decision placed before them. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

Jesus Christ summed it up in His first recorded sermon: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). The Apostle Peter pointed out the better of the two choices when he said: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Saul of Tarsus was told: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

The Judgment Day will be simple, also: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Don’t care-less, accept the invitation: Do or Die!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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