Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
“Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.” Matthew 23.23
Our relationship with God is not a list of rules that we check off once it is done. It involves communication! We need to be reading the Bible to hear what God is saying to us. However, we also need to be praying to pour our thoughts and hearts out to God. It is important to do both!
There is a need to be obedient to what he has told us to do. The little things, if we can call them that, are important to know. Some of those things left undone might keep us from entering heaven.
But, Jesus is giving a warning here. Our faith has to be more than just a list of small things to check off our “To Do” list. The Pharisees were very good at checking off the little things. Unfortunately, they had ceased to be just, merciful, and faithful! They had substituted their own system of religion!
As Christians, it is important that we not only concentrate on the details. We have to see and to understand the whole picture, Romans 15.4. If not, we will be like the Pharisees. We do not want the label of hypocrite!
#risingjoy #Matthew #warning
The book of Proverbs shows itself to be an equal opportunity defender in 2:16-19. Not only will God’s word protect young people from “slick talking men” – it will protect them from “slick talking women” too!
Verse 16- Solomon tells his son that the pretty young from down the street has grown to be trouble in the neighborhood. While the word “strange” (KJV and others) can refer to a foreigner, it can also refer to someone who has become “estranged” from a covenant or lifestyle. She wasn’t leaving; she was already gone. This is the exact reason we find the words of verse 17.
Verse 17- She was raised to know and do better! While this can’t be said for every person, it can be said for her. In all likelihood, verse 17 indicates not only the abandonment of her God (covenant), but also the betrayal of her husband (companion of youth). So Solomon says beware my son, she knows the right words (vs.16), but she doesn’t have the right heart!
Verse 18-19 – It’s a one street with a dead-end sign. Solomon introduces a topic that every young man must be warned about – the lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It’s a big warning about a little bit of sex and it won’t be the last time these wise words are given to this naive young man. One can almost hear Solomon saying, “Don’t make the same mistake I did.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that Solomon understood how easily temptation could overtake a young person through lust. He knew everyone is only young once, but Solomon never once minced his words to his children in the book of Proverbs – sin leads to death every time no matter how pretty it may be!
The warning [1 Corinthians 10:12, DH] amounts to this: Do not be smug in your firm stand for Christ. Keep alert lest you fall.
W. Harold Mare, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 10, p. 250