Be careful out there …

Yesterday we saw that growing in God’s wisdom is not a matter of religious rule-following, it is growing in your relationship with Christ who is the fullness of the wisdom of God.

Proverbs chapter five continues this relational theme. In fact, if you read the first few verses of the chapter slowly — and perhaps out loud — you can sense that it sounds like a father sharing advice with his son. A Bible study hint: reading God’s word is not about grabbing Bible facts and stuffing into your spiritual knapsack; it is about “hearing” and relating to God in His word. This might involve reading more slowly, reading out loud (not too loud), stopping every few verses to ponder what you have covered, and pausing to pray while you read.

Back to Proverbs 5, this chapter opens with a father admonishing his son to stay true to God’s word, employ godly discretion, and to avoid certain things and particular people. Specifically, he warns his son to avoid the “seductress.” The “seductress” sounds like a hyper-flirty comic book villain that wears her skirt too high and shirt too low. Sadly, she is not a myth. She is real. And, she can be a he as well.

Remember that there are three types of people that frequent the book of Proverbs: the wise, the simple, and the foolish. This chapter refers to and describes each of them. Verses 1-2 describe what a wise person does. Verses 3-6 describe the ways of a fool, especially verse six: “she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.” In verses 7-22 the father speaks to the simple — “and now, O sons …” — warning them of the peril to come if they do not turn to God’s truth.

As you recall from yesterday we gain wisdom by getting to know Christ. You might ask, “So, where is He in this chapter of Proverbs?” He is the One whispering to the wise and simple alike in verse 15:

“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.”

As you get to know God in Christ you become more content with what you have (drinking water from your own well) and avoiding things that you shouldn’t desire (wanting to sneak sips from your neighbor’s well). The best guard against temptation is not wrestling against it more fiercely, but rather knowing Christ more intimately. When we grow in Christ we love Him more and grow more content with our lot in life.

To summarize: knowing God in Christ builds wisdom and discretion in your mind, heart, and soul. That is our best defense again sin. On the flip side: being discontent dissolves our discretion and weakens our wisdom. As we get to know Him better, sin loses it’s spider web stickiness and siren-song allure.

Seek Him. Be content in Him. Both will keep you on the path to wisdom. It will also help you to run from folly-promoting fools.

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