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Pondering Proverbs: The Plea for Purity (Part 3)

“Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? Can you walk barefoot on hot coals and not get blisters? It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife: Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.”
Proverbs 6:27-29 MSG

To countless millions in our twenty-first century America, sexual purity is an archaic virtue. It’s hard to escape the lies and deceptions straight from the pit of hell that are so glamorously portrayed in our movies, TV shows, billboards, advertisements, and music. All have desecrated and devalued the sacred gift of sex God intended for a husband and wife. Yet, many families have experienced the true heartbreak, shame, and ugliness of the deceit.

In my study of Proverbs, I noticed within the first few chapters some rather lengthy descriptive passages of the dangers and consequences of sexual immorality. There is a heightened sense of warning for men to beware of the charm and deceit of a harlot. Though these Scriptures speak specifically to the male gender, the lessons taught within its pages certainly apply to women as well.

In today’s vernacular and a little help from the Message Bible J, I have listed below some words of warning and wisdom from Proverbs. Use them to ward off sexual temptation when it comes knocking at your door.

Words of warning:

5:3-6 The adulteress’s lips and words are sweet and smooth but turn to gravel in your mouth. Her dances of Death lead straight to hell, taking you with her.

6:24-25 Don’t listen to the seductive talk of a temptress or be taken in by her bedroom eyes. She’ll reduce you to bread and eat you alive!

6:32-35 Adultery is a brainless act. It will destroy you, not to mention the rage you will ignite from the cheated spouse. Nothing you do can make it all right.

7:21-23 Don’t let the evil woman bewitch you with her smooth talk or you’ll soon be like a calf on the way to the slaughter house.

Words of wisdom:

5:7-20 Listen to the voice of the wise and STAY away from sexual temptation!

6:20-24 Heed the godly advice of your parents; wrap it around you from head to toe!

7:1-5, 25 Wisdom’s teaching is as precious as your eyesight – guard it! Write it on your hands; etch it on your heart; let it be your companion to ward off that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress. Don’t fool around with her; don’t even stroll through her neighborhood!                                             [Digging Deeper – make time to read chapters 2, 5, 6, and 7 of Proverbs.]

Remaining pure,

Beverly <><

 

 

 

Photo Credit: image from freelyphotos.com

Pondering Proverbs: Eating Right (Part 2)

“My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; “
Proverbs 24:13 NASB

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘honey’? Beekeepers love explaining the steps of how bees produce the sweet sticky substance from the nectar of flowers. Many spouses affectionately refer to their loved one as ‘Honey.’ The Old Testament speaks of Israel as the land flowing with milk and honey. For many of us, we just like to eat it!

According to today’s verse, honey is, in fact, good and sweet to the taste. It also instructs one to eat it because of its goodness. However, we find further specific instructions about it in Proverbs 25:16 NASB (emphasis mine):

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it.

Back in my early twenties and for many years after that, I was somewhat allergic to honey. If I ate more than a tablespoon or so, I would end up with a bad stomachache for several hours – not fun! Therefore, for me personally, just a little taste was all I needed to suffice.

Let’s move on to the next mention of honey and notice the warning it gives.

It is not good to eat much honey, Prov. 25:27a (emphasis mine)

Being the curious one that I am, I looked up honey in my Zondervan’s Compact Bible Dictionary. Among its definitions were the following two sentences (emphasis mine). I think they ring true with the verses we’ve already read:

Honey as food is recognized and recommended, but in moderation.

Honey is a standard of comparison for pleasant things, good or bad.

Obesity, dieting, healthy eating, diet fads, and losing weight are common topics talked about and plastered everywhere in our society. In pondering the verses above, it occurred to me how advantageous and powerful these three simple truths are if applied to our eating habits.

1) Food is good, and you need to eat it to remain healthy.

2) Eat only what you need – moderation is the key word here!

3) It is not good to eat too much.

It makes sense that if honey is a standard for pleasant things, then it would be wise to follow the advice in the Scriptures. Enjoy the good food God has given, but eat to live, not live to eat.          [Digging Deeper – Prov. 27:7]

Happy eating,

Beverly <><

 

 

Pondering Proverbs: The Biblical BBB (Part 1)

 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.
Prov. 11:1 NASB

According to my Google search findings, the first Better Business Bureaus (BBB) began in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across every state in the U.S. as well as the District of Columbia. You’ll find BBBs in 13 provinces of Canada, and a few branches in Mexico. Evaluating and monitoring local and national businesses and charities is their main job. Honest advertising and selling practices mean customer satisfaction, and that’s good business. [info from Wikipedia and https://www.bbb.org/en/us/bbb-directory]

In my reading of Proverbs over the years, I noticed a few verses dealing with weights, balances, and scales. The fact that false or differing weights are an abomination to the Lord caught my eye. An ABOMINATION. That’s strong language! In other words, according to the New Living Translation, Contemporary English Version, and Amplified Bible, if a buyer or seller is being dishonest when doing business, God hates it, He detests it, and it’s extremely offensive and shamefully sinful!

In the days of the writing of Proverbs, a dishonest buyer or seller might secretly carry in his bag a stone (weight) for buying and a different stone (weight) for selling. The practice was clearly wrong and used for the sake of the cheater’s own gain. Though our methods for measuring and weighing have changed considerably, the illegal practice continues, just with a different look in the 21st century.

What might the application be for us today? Whether you work for a company, own your own business, or are a consumer of goods, none of us is exempt from the temptation to be dishonest, even unfair, when buying or selling.  Ask yourself these questions:

Have I ever eaten fruit in my buggy before purchasing it?

As an employee, have I been paid for hours that I didn’t actually work?

As a business owner, have I ever knowingly sold defective merchandise at full cost?

Do you attempt to use coupons for items that aren’t exactly what is printed on the coupon?

Ok, enough of the negative already! I think you get my point.

Let us be encouraged by the last half of our theme verse today –

but a just weight is His delight. (emphasis mine)

Whether we’re the consumer or the provider, let’s be found trustworthy and fair at all costs. God loves it when we do what is right, whether we’re shopping for merchandise or running our own business.  He’s pleased when the rule we live by is one of integrity.                                                                  [Digging Deeper – Deut. 25:13-15; Prov. 16:11, 20:10, 23; Amos 8:4-6; Micah 6:10-13]

Counting the cost,

Beverly <><

 

 

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of clipartbest.com/clipart-7TapyzXTA

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