Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         January 15, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 44



In chapters 5-7 of Proverbs, Solomon focuses on adultery with frank discussions of its high costs, warnings about the ways temptations comes, and preventive measures one should take. Though the first part of chapter six turned to some other issues, when the wise man resumed his warnings against adultery in Proverbs 6:20, he began with the instruction of one’s parents, a thought we want to focus on. 

My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress.” Proverbs 6:20-24

That Solomon would have to exhort his son to keep his father’s command and not forsake the law of his mother suggests one can be properly taught and still not obey, but in this article we will not emphasize the child’s ability to choose; instead, let’s focus on the ability and responsibility of parents to equip their children with knowledge. This one who was blessed with a wisdom which sprang from the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10) knew that proper parental instruction, if heeded, would keep one from the evil seductress and her flattery. 

Parents, begin with the realization that the father’s command and the mother’s law are to be harmonious and accomplish the same goals. Too many children don’t have the kind of unified teaching represented in this passage and such can result in confusion and conflict. Some will have the wisdom to make the right choice anyway, but when dating and choosing a mate, the ability to present a consistent, unified message to your future children should be a major consideration. Once married, both parents need to get on the same page; i.e. they both need to be guided by the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When difficult judgment matters arise, private discussions are best and respect for God’s order in the home (Ephesians 5:22—6:4) needs to prevail so that the command and the law are one and the same. 

Parents, teach! Teach your children about that which you least want to talk about with them, viz. sex. We need to do this is in a dignified and matter-of-fact way, but it must be done because they are certain to learn the commands of the Internet and the law of popular culture. Teach your children that God made them male and female (Matthew 19:4) and their sexual desires must be directed toward those of the opposite gender (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Be sure they understand that our world of casual hookups or even “as long as you are in love” will lead to condemnation. Your children must understand the importance of waiting until marriage (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

But don’t stop with telling them that sex before marriage is wrong, but do as Solomon did and talk about the consequences of sin (Proverbs 5-7; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; et al). If the sin occurs and your child is penitent, do everything you can to help them pick up the pieces and live as normal a life as possible, but do all you can to prevent it with the kind of warnings Solomon sounds. In addition, provide the kind of instruction and counsel that will help your children see the way this temptation comes on us. You may think of others, but consider how these three chapters point to... 

Flattery and smooth talk (5:1-3; 6:24; 7:5, 21). Teach them to cut through the chatter and know how foolish it would be to give in. Seek to instill in your children a genuine humility and trust in God that will never be flattered into failure. No matter how alluring someone makes it seem, our children must be taught that “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). 

Make them aware of how powerful physical forces can be. Beauty is not a bad thing, but if our children (and grandchildren) do not have a solid foundation of biblical teaching, they may allured by flirtatious beauty (6:25). And in conjunction with this, teach your children not to dress in enticing ways (7:10). Sensuality is a common component of clothing today and parents must talk with their children about the power of sensual dress (cf. Matthew 5:27-28; 18:6-7). Teach your children to dress properly. Teach them to turn away and control their thoughts when others fail to dress as they should. Sensual dress can be a temptation, but we are not powerless to resist and our children must be taught that another’s failure cannot become their downfall. 

Parents, our children may be properly taught and then choose to reject those instructions, but it is our responsibility to so teach that if our children do keep the father’s commands and the laws of the mother they will be will following the way of life.

—John R. Gibson

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“I Don’t Need The Church!” 

A Christian saying, “I don't need the church,” would be like a member of the body saying, “I don’t need a body” (1 Cor. 12:12-27). Does that sound silly? It is. Yet Christians who say they don’t need the church, or who act like they don’t need the church because they care not to be a part of group activities, are effectively saying just that (and this isn’t just about attending formal assemblies). They are part of the body, yet don’t believe they need the body. It betrays a grave misconception of the body of Christ, both locally and universally.

God has composed the body. We are a part of it, not a separate, disconnected piece of something else. We need each other. Yet when we say or act as if we don’t need the church, we are saying that other Christians whom God has set in the body are not so important. We can be the lone part in the body and do just fine. What does such an attitude betray about our own self-importance? What does it say about our own view of serving others? What does it say about our view of God’s purposes in establishing “one another” relationships?

Think it through. Without the “one another” part, there is no encouragement, no stimulation to love and good works, and no opportunity to serve. God has better things in store for His people. Cherish the times we have in our “one another” relationships in Christ.

—Doy Moyer

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God Is Not…

I suppose it is inevitable, given who God is, and His place in the universe, that He will be either consciously or unconsciously misunderstood and mischaracterized. Some seem to think that by thinking God is this or that, that He becomes that.

As David says in the second Psalm, they “imagine a vain thing”. Fools, according to Romans 1, “change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man” and even worse. Nothing really changed! God “gave them up”, and ruin was (and is) the result – He is still “God”, with all that means. Our hope? Acknowledge Him as He is, and act accordingly.

He is not affected by what man thinks of Him! He is not a man! -- His thoughts are not man’s thoughts, nor His ways man’s ..(Isa 55:8,9). 

His reaction to sin and evil is not man’s …(Ps 50:21).

He is not a liar! - In fact, “let God be true, and every man a liar” (Rom 3:4).

He is not partial! -  “there is no respector of persons with God” … (Rom 2:10)

He is not bluffing! When He says that those that “obey not the gospel” will enter everlasting punishment, that is not idle talk, nor to be explained away by man.

He does not fail in either His promises or His threats. (Psa 19:7)

He does not tolerate half - hearted or lukewarm service! ... (Rev 3:15-18)

He does not adjust His laws to suit the individual. (Ezk 18:9)

There is so much that God is, and that makes our relationship with Him so desirable…but we must never forget what He is not.

—Aubrey Belue

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