Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The importance of Proverbs!

(Proverbs 23:2) “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.”

Amazingly the book of proverbs is a book I never spent much time in as a young believer, but it is a book full of uncanny truths and for all who have children, I encourage you work through it from cover to cover with them, institute a daily reading plan and the sooner the better. I had the privilege of working through the entire book with Mongi {my kid (fostered)} and I believe that God has given us this amazing book for many reasons, but one of them for our children, so that they do not have to find out the lessons of life the hard way! Or at least have information on hand prior to the many choices they will face through life. In fact I actually understood why I was losing so much money at the time, whilst working through it! God does not speak to His children as he once did, it is no longer in an audibly fashion as when He once used Moses and the other prophets to speak to His people, He has now finished that type of communication, in principle. Yes teachers teach, just as Moses spoke, but now we have the written Word whereby we can examine what is taught, in fact we can freely seek out the truth, so long as our eyes have been opened through regeneration, we can be taught by it. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

God can do whatever He chooses whenever He chooses, that is a given truth, but He has chosen to use the Bible to speak to us. Study it, get to feast on it with every opportunity and then life may not become easier but your understanding through all your difficult situations will become clearer. As parents it is our own responsibility to do all we can for our children, if we have received the spirit of adoption whereby we are able to cry Abba Father, we have a greater responsibility. I encourage, No implore you! Make it a priority to go through the book of Proverbs with your children, many dangers of what they faced as a young kid is covered through the book of proverbs. What fascinated me through our deliberation was how blinded I was to truth and good godly principles in my application to life. I wonder if proverbs were used as building blocks to my life as a young boy, would I carry so many scars with me today. No one can be blamed, as God is sovereign, life will pan out according to His will. But remember we are still all accountable for our actions! It would be unfair to hold a grudge against anyone for sight if they were indeed blind and both my parents were blind, but now with great glee upon my heart I can say my darling mother now has been given sight. If God has given you sight, then you have a responsibility to nurture and impart spiritual food to your children. I loved the way God exposed so many of my mistakes as we (Mongi and I) worked through this book together. It not only helps one to fully reflect on life but it is filled with solutions. Far better than any head-shrink you may have to pay top dollar for. In fact it covers just about every facet of life.

I have selected a single verse to highlight a point! “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.” Let us unpack it; or even better still let Matthew Henry unpack it for us:

The sin we are here warned against is luxury and sensuality, and the indulgence of the appetite in eating and drinking, a sin that most easily besets us. 1. We are here told when we enter into temptation, and are in most danger of falling into this sin: “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler thou has great plenty before thee, varieties and dainties, such a table spread as thou has seldom seen; thou are ready to think, as Haman did, of nothing but the honour hereby done thee (Est_5:12), and the opportunity thou hast of pleasing thy palate, and forgettest that there is a snare laid for thee.” Perhaps the temptation may be stronger, and more dangerous, to one that is not used to such entertainments, than to one that always sits down to a good table. 2. We are here directed to double our guard at such a time. We must, (1.) Apprehend ourselves to be in danger: “Consider diligently what is before thee, what meat and drink are before thee, that thou mayest choose that which is safest for thee and which thou art least likely to eat and drink of to excess. Consider what company is before thee, the ruler himself, who, if he be wise and good, will take it as an affront for any of his guests to disorder themselves at his table.” And, if when we sit to eat with a ruler, much more when we sit to eat with the ruler of rulers at the Lord's table, must we consider diligently what is before us, that we may not in any respect eat and drink unworthily, unbecomingly, lest that table become a snare. (2.) We must alarm ourselves into temperance and moderation: “Put a knife to thy throat, that is, restrain thyself, as it were with a sword hanging over thy head, from all excess. Let these words, Take heed lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and so that day come upon you unawares - or those, For all these things, God shall bring thee into judgment - or those, Drunkards, shall not inherit the kingdom of God, be a knife to the throat.” The Latins call luxury gula - the throat. “Take up arms against that sin. Rather be so abstemious that thy craving appetite will begin to think thy throat cut than indulge thyself in voluptuousness.” We must never feed ourselves without fear (Jud_1:12), but we must in a special manner fear when temptation is before us. (3.) We must reason ourselves into a holy contempt of the gratifications of sense: “If thou be a man given to appetite, thou must, by a present solution, and an application of the terrors of the Lord, restrain thyself. When thou art in danger of falling into any excess put a knife to thy throat; that may serve for once. But that is not enough: lay the axe to the root; mortify that appetite which has such a power over thee: Be not desirous of dainties.” Note, We ought to observe what is our own iniquity, and, if we find ourselves addicted to flesh-pleasing, we must not only stand upon our guard against temptations from without, but subdue the corruption within. Nature is desirous of food, and we are taught to pray for it, but it is lust that is desirous of dainties, and we cannot in faith pray for them, for frequently they are not food convenient for mind, body, or estate. They are deceitful meat, and therefore David, instead of praying for them, prays against them, Psa_141:4. They are pleasant to the palate, but perhaps rise in the stomach, turn sour there, upbraid a man, and make him sick. They do not yield men the satisfaction they promised themselves from them; for those that are given to appetite, when they have that which is very dainty, are not pleased; they are soon weary of it; they must have something else more dainty. The more a luxurious appetite is humoured and indulged the more humoursome and troublesome it grows, and the more hard to please; dainties will surfeit, but never satisfy. But especially they are upon this account deceitful meat, that, while they please the body, they prejudice the soul, they overcharge the heart, and unfit it for the service of God, nay, they take away the heart, and alienate the mind from spiritual delights, and spoil its relish of them. Why then should we covet that which will certainly cheat us?” (Matthew Henry)

I hope this helps

Signing off


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