Discover His heart: He watches over our steps, providing His wisdom to guide us
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!” (6:6) Lazybones – what a great word! I’m planning to use it in a sentence or two throughout the day, hopefully not describing me. I can testify that the ants in my kitchen are not lazybones.
My kitchen has been invaded by grease ants, and please be assured, they are not lazy. One missed potato chip on the kitchen floor caused a frenzy of activity that included the entire neighborhood ant community, forming perfect lines to and from the chip – until I removed the chip. But while that chip was their focus, they were busy and productive with no foolishness or stray steps. Hmmm…could this be a lesson?
Solomon’s direction over the next few chapters in Proverbs involves instruction regarding moral and wise living. The purposed activity of the ants was illustrated to guard against poverty and lack, but isn’t it also protection from the dangers of infidelity and foolish living? The old saying from the writings of Chaucer comes to mind, “Idle hands are the devil’s tools or workshop.” A purposed focus keeps us on track, “Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (4:27) When we are focused and productive, there’s little time for straying.
@ Proverbs 5
Much of Solomon’s writing focuses on fidelity and the sin of adultery, interesting coming from a man with so very many wives, but powerful nonetheless. His heart’s desire was to spare his sons the pain that follows immoral living, and these are instructions we should take to heart. Regarding the immoral woman (or man), he instructs:
1) “Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” (8) Don’t click on the website, don’t open the magazine, don’t watch the movie, don’t hang out at his/her desk, don’t think on vain imaginations…we know where the traps are set.
2) Consider the consequences. “You will lose your honor…lose all you have achieved … someone else will enjoy the fruits of your labor…you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” (9-11) Nothing saddens me more than when a man (or woman) loses the honor and respect of his children. How could anything or anyone possibly be worth it!
3) Live life without regrets. “If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?” (12-13) A life filled with if only this and if only that saps us of the joy and peace God desires for us.
4) Enjoy your spouse! “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth…” (18) Other pastures only appear to be greener. They require the same amount of attention and care.
Solomon ended this chapter with, “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.” (21) May He see us busy on our path of purpose, not sidetracked by the immoral man or woman or any evil that would take us off track. A life lived without regret!
Moving Forward: No lazybones for me! I’ll stay focused on the path that is set before me, looking neither to the left nor the right and rejoicing in the gift of my husband.
Tomorrow @ Ezekiel 7-12