Thursday, June 15, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Proverbs 4
We live in a day when it seems everyone is a victim and few are willing to grow up, take responsibility for their actions, and accept the consequences of their choices. Perhaps I am in the minority, but when people riot, pillage and destroy the possessions and lives of others—justice demands the consequences be swift and deliberate! This may come as a revelation for some, but if you choose the path o f violence you will more than likely die in a pool of your own blood [“for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” – Matthew 26:52].
In the closing verses of Proverbs 4, Solomon challenges his son to grow up, exercise maturity and take responsibility for decisions in life. Notice four areas Solomon urged his son to assume responsibility and protect himself: His Heart (4:23), Mouth (4:24), Eyes (4:25) and Path (4:26-27).
Proverbs 4:23 – “Keep [guard; set a watch] thy heart [mind and thoughts] with all diligence [vigilance]; for out of it [heart] are the issues [streams; the headwaters] of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 is one of the great challenges found in the Book of Proverbs…Guard your heart for it is the source, the headwaters from which your life will flow. Pollute the headwaters of a stream or river and the whole is eventually contaminated. So it is with the heart, as goes the heart, so goes one’s life. Pollute your heart with secret sins and they will inevitably tarnish your testimony and destroy your life.
Proverbs 4:24 – “Put away [remove; eschew; turn aside] from thee a froward [perverse; twisted] mouth [speech], and perverse [crooked; deviant] lips put far [remove; distance] from thee.”
At the risk of being blunt, Proverbs 4:24 is an exhortation to bite the tongue and shut the mouth. That might offend some; however, I am not the first to observe God gave us one tongue, but two ears! We would be wise to listen twice as much as we talk!
Proverbs 4:25 – “Let thine eyes [countenance; sight; longing] look [behold; consider;] right on [forward; straight], and let thine eyelids look straight [be right; upright] before thee.”
The eyes are a third area of concern in today’s devotional. In a day when media dominates our lives and provoking images surround us, Solomon’s exhortation to his son to guard his eyes is one we should heed. The psalmist challenged believers with the same principle: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalm 101:3).
The fourth and final exhortation in today’s devotion is a summary (4:26-27).
Proverbs 4:26-27 – “Ponder [consider; weigh] the path [the way; going] of thy feet [steps; journey], and let all thy ways [course; journey in life] be established [fixed; firm; right]. 27 Turn [incline; morally turn; pervert; turn aside] not to the right hand nor to the left: remove [eschew; turn aside; depart] thy foot [step; journey] from evil [wickedness].”
I urge you to accept Solomon’s challenge, consider the consequences of life’s choices and set your heart, eyes and affections upon the eternal.
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith