Perhaps a bit misleading but today’s headline makes sense in a few moments. First though let me make it clear that this is not about romance, nor is it about hunting for a soul mate.
So what then does this have to do with true love? Glad you asked, it’s about what your true love should be. That’s where our discussion will lead us on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
We are continuing, now on day seven of our extended odyssey having undertaken a search and rescue mission for wisdom. Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths.
I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you’ve followed this series all week, or if this is the first time you are joining us. We are involved in a month-long study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs.
For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.
We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion.
This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes.
I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.
Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.
As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it.
I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.
Done so by Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the” message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change.
Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to are available by scrolling to the end of today’s post and include underlined study links.
Then with all that housekeeping taken care of, let’s begin moving forward as today we’ll look at Proverbs 7.
Yesterday in our discussion on “Truth Or Consequences”, we noted that while the majority of the final verses in chapter six are centered around the repercussions for engaging in adultery, I believe they can be understood as addressing the effects of all sins.
In verse 24 we read, “Truth will protect you from immorality” and scrolling ahead to verse 27, “For how can a man light his pants on fire and not be burned?”. The truth is Truth, with a capital “T” will always keep you safe. The consequence for saying otherwise, ‘liar,liar pants on fire!’.
Pretty easy to understand and it should be equally easy to accept.
Then expanding upon the message in verses 32 and 33, we could rewrite it as:
“Don’t be so stupid as to think you can get away with” ______ ( fill in your own sin, scam or scheme here). Because “It will destroy your life, and you’ll pay the price for the rest of your days.” Which will then take you to a fork in the road where “You’ll discover what humiliation, shame, and disgrace are all about, for no one will ever let you forget what you’ve done”.
While categorized as a consequence, these final words in verse 33 certainly reveal something that is prevalent as a truth in our world today. “ For no one will ever let you forget what you’ve done.” person you were intended to be.
While it shouldn’t be. And while it is wrong, the fact is in our society it is very true and embraced as “normal” behavior by far too many.
Judging, attacking, false witnessing, gossipping, murmuring, coveting. These actions are all around us and note the “ing” at the end of the words. All these wrong behaviors are present in the active tense. They are being given strength by too many.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in it. Choose not to accept their shame, blame or guilt. You know your truth. Only you and God know what is in your heart. Seek His counsel, accept his gentle correction and move on.
Don’t dwell, don’t plot revenge, do not try to get even or embrace an attitude of I’ll show them”. Otherwise you will be “Becoming” just like them and not the person you were and are intended to be.
Next we’ll examine Proverbs 7, on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Let’s read together this chapter entitled,
Wisdom, Your True Love
Stick close to my instruction, my son,
and follow all my advice.
If you do what I say you will live well.
Guard your life with my revelation-truth,
for my teaching is as precious as your eyesight.[a]
Treasure my instructions, and cherish them within your heart.[b]
Say to wisdom, “I love you,”
and to understanding, “You’re my sweetheart.”
“May the two of you protect me, and may we never be apart!”
For they will keep you from the adulteress,
with her smooth words meant to seduce your heart.
Looking out the window of my house one day
I noticed among the mindless crowd
a simple, naïve young man who was about to go astray.
There he was, walking down the street.
Then he turned the corner,
going on his way hurrying to the house of the harlot—
the woman he had planned to meet.
There he was in the twilight as darkness fell,
convinced no one was watching
as he entered the black shadows of hell.[c]
That’s when their rendezvous began.
A woman of the night appeared,
dressed to kill the strength of any man.
She was decked out as a harlot, pursuing her amorous plan.
Her voice was seductive, rebellious, and boisterous
as she wandered far from what’s right.
Her type can be found soliciting on street corners
on just about any night.
She wrapped her arms around the senseless young man
and held him tight—
she enticed him with kisses that seemed so right.
Then, with insolence, she whispered in his ear,
“Come with me. It’ll be all right.
I’ve got everything we need for a feast.
I’ll cook you a wonderful dinner.[d]
So here I am—I’m all yours!
You’re the very one I’ve looked for,
the one I knew I wanted from the moment I saw you.
That’s why I’ve come out here tonight,
so I could meet a man just like you.[e]
I’ve spread my canopy bed with coverings,
lovely multicolored Egyptian linens
ready for you to lie down on.
I’ve sprinkled the sheets with intoxicating perfume
made from myrrh, aloes, and sweet cinnamon.[f]
Come, let’s get comfortable and take pleasure in each other
and make love all night!
There’s no one home, for my husband’s away on business.
He left home loaded with money to spend,
so don’t worry.
He won’t be back until another month ends.”[g]
He was swayed by her sophistication,
enticed by her longing embrace.
She led him down the wayward path right into sin and disgrace.
Quickly he went astray, with no clue
where he was truly headed,
taken like a dumb ox alongside the butcher.
She was like a venomous snake coiled to strike,
so she set her fangs into him![h]
He’s like a man about to be executed with an arrow
right through his heart—
like a bird that flies into the net,
unaware of what’s about to happen.
So listen to me, you young men.
You’d better take my words seriously!
Control your sexual urges and guard your hearts against lust.
Don’t let your passions get out of hand
and don’t lock your eyes onto a beautiful woman.
Why would you want to even get close
to temptation and seduction,
to have an affair with her?
She has pierced the souls of multitudes of men—
many mighty ones have fallen
and have been brought down by her.[i]
If you’re looking for the road to hell,
just go looking for her house![j]o tempt
Take a moment to reflect, and we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
When the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over,that’s because it is important. That’s why Solomon continues on the themes of loving wisdom and treasuring her.
Along with that we choose to understand that honoring the commandments of God will prevent us from making complete messes of our lives. They are our service, protection and give us life, joy, and everlasting blessings.
This verse, yes again does make another reference to adultery, and a “predatory woman”, however keep in mid as we’ve previously referenced it is metaphor for all sin. All things that can try to tempt us, attempt to lead us astray, divert and distract us from our purpose of always being “Becoming”.
As was written in verses four and five ” Say to wisdom, “I love you,” and to understanding, “You’re my sweetheart.” ‘May the two of you protect me, and may we never be apart! For they will keep you from the adulteress, with her smooth words meant to seduce your heart.”
Honoring the wisdom and commandments of God as well as the inspiration and guidance available from Him within each can and does keep us safe. They protect us from the “predatory woman” who tries to lure us into her traps and away from Divine Love; which should be our true love as it is the only 100 percent pure love.
The Scripture then continues into an eyewitness account of someone falling prey to the temptation of sin. While written from a father to his son, the warnings are equally important for us as well ladies.
Let’s glance again at verses 24 and 25:
“So listen to me, you young men. You’d better take my words seriously!
Control your sexual urges and guard your hearts against lust. Don’t let your passions get out of hand and don’t lock your eyes onto a beautiful woman.
Why would you want to even get close to temptation and seduction, to have an affair with her?”
Certainly good advice plus it can again be accepted as instruction to guard us against other mistakes. I’ll demonstrate the key takeaways for me here rewriting these lines as: Listen up! This is important… protect your hearts. Guard yourself. Be proactive. Do not allow yourself to be lulled into complacency or misguided into falsely believing you have to settle, be forced to compromise or accept a life that is less than “Becoming”.
In the next couple of entries, the text points out that neither Solomon, nor us, are the first to be challenged in these ways as there is ample testimony of the consequences for opting to ignore the warnings: as noted in verse 26, “She has pierced the souls of multitudes of men — many mighty ones have fallen and have been brought down by her”.
And if that wasn’t enough Solomon symbolically in my words, breaks out into singing, “Highway to Hell”, as he wrote verse 27, “If you’re looking for the road to hell, just go looking for her house!”
These analogies are not about scaring us, rather educating us.
Reminding that there are alternatives and that the resources we need to avoid these pitfalls are readily available.
What are those tools?
Wisdom And understanding.
That’s why we continue along this discourse here on our shared path on “Becoming Today”.
Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.
I hope you have enjoyed the first seven days of this odyssey. There is much more to come.
As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate.
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I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue our proverbial search here along this shared journey we call “Becoming Today”.