Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Proverbs 27:13 Following the directions

Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
    hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

Sometimes you have to wonder about ol' Solomon! He is telling his son some very good advice here, about being careful with finances and with strangers, but I wonder if he took his own advice? At least about the strangers . . .

In the Bible we read that Solomon had an incredible number of wives and concubines, and that -- get this -- many of them were foreigners, not daughters of Israel. God had specifically cautioned the Hebrew children about taking "strange" or foreign wives, and there was a very good reason for that.

In Exodus 34, we read these instructions:
15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
And again in Deuteronomy:
Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods...
In spite of that, we read in I Kings chapter 11, that Solomon had hundreds of wives, and that many of them were from religions that worshiped false gods and idols. In verses 7 and 8 of that chapter, it tells the story of his building altars to false gods . . . his wives influenced him and he incurred God's anger.
In His mercy, He tells Solomon that the kingdom will be torn away -- but from Solomon's son, not in Solomon's own lifetime.

Why in the world did Solomon not heed the instructions that he was given? For that matter, why don't we? Whether it is on the subject of this verse (using caution when giving monies or co-signing with someone on a debt) or whether it is on the subject of our daily lives and conduct, why do we find it difficult to pay attention to the warnings and follow the instructions?

In the fourth chapter of his letter to the Galatians, Paul expresses his disappointment with their straying from the gospel and the faith that they had so recently accepted.

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
And then he gives them (in chapter 5) a course of action to follow:
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
We must give our best efforts to following the directions we are given --- and we can't fully follow them unless we read the "instruction book" --- our Bible!

3 comments:

Belinda said...

There are so many things of this world that can draw us away from the one true God. It doesn't have to be a person of another faith. Even the tv shows we watch can do this to us if we aren't concerned about the content.
Great post!

Cathy said...

TV shows, the books we choose to read, the news we choose to watch, some of the websites or blogs we visit, all of these things are potential traps for the unwary. And the traps are so easy to fall into. We say to ourselves, it only fiction, or it's only a movie. But the ideas we hear, and the pictures we see are then forever in our minds, and have the power to influence our behaviour. We may not bring many wives, or many husbands into our homes, but we still potentially invite Godless influences into them every day

CATachresis said...

*sighs* yes so true!!

One of things that "helps" with drawing us away from the truth is not being in fellowship. I have had personal experience of this for various reasons over the last few years and it is certainly much more difficult to keep true to the Lord and his Word without the fellowship of other believers!