Monday, August 19, 2013

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 5:7-8

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Temptation: Avoid It’s Sources: Prov 5:7-8
7) Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
8) Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

As we begin this next section of the book of Proverbs, let’s keep in mind that we must also recognize the need for God’s grace in keeping us from temptations.  He is the One who knows every temptation that will come upon us.  He is the One that enables us to recognize our weak areas, see the sources of temptation and strengthens us to walk away from them.  It is only through His sovereign intervention that we are not totally overcome by the temptations and sins that so easily beset us. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.   (Matthew 6:13)

In spite of the necessity of God’s grace in overcoming temptation, let us also keep in mind that we all have the responsibility to actively oppose temptation as a child of God who has been called to holy living.  The following verses begin a section on various principles we are to apply to our lives to avoid becoming entrapped and overcome by temptations… 

7) Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Solomon calls his learners to hear attentively with a submissive attitude.   He then directs them to not walk away from his teachings.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:   (Hebrews 12:25)

8) Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
The influence of the temptation can be weakened by taking a path that is far away from the source of the temptation.  The dwelling place of the temptation is not to be approached nor simply ignored… it is to be actively avoided. 
An example of this active opposition to temptation…  if we find that we are easily overtaken by the sin of alcohol abuse, then we should shop in stores that do not carry alcohol, eat in restaurants that do not serve alcohol, and choose friends that do not drink alcohol, etc etc.  By doing this, we are actively taking away many of the areas where temptations can be lurking, seeking to overcome us..
This is the first principle to lessen temptations grip on us: avoid the sources of the temptation.
This same principle was previously applied to the temptation to join with the wicked…
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men].  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.   (Proverbs 4:14-15)

We are to recognize our areas of weakness and then actively avoid the sources of the temptations that come against those weaknesses.  In doing so, we will be lessening the frequency and potency of the temptations that we may face.  This is not the complete answer to overcoming temptation because, after all, there are times when temptations come upon us without any warning or chance of avoidance.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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