“Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked. Whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.” Prov 22:5
“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise and apply your heart to my knowledge-for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, (and) if all of them are ready on your lips. (So) That your trust may be in the Lord I have made them known to you today, even to you. Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge to make you know what is right and true (so) that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?” Prov 22:17-21
Words and security. To be secure in life one of the ways, maybe the only way, is watch what you say…
We don’t hear a lot about guarding our soul. Maybe we really do, but perhaps it just flashes by in the midst of many words said or written. For sure it is not one of those big “watch outs” we hear.
As contemporary Christians there is much emphasis on “do” or “go” and other similar actions. Waiting on the Lord doesn’t have much said about it. But the Scriptures are pretty clear: If I am weak or without strength, what should I do? I should wait upon the Lord.
As I incline my ear to understanding, lean into words of wisdom, I will experience pleasantness. If I keep the Word of God ready on my tongue, look for every instance in my daily walk to observe the Scriptures in action (or should be in action, especially in me) I will find that my trust in the Lord will grow strong. By applying myself to the Truth (God’s testimony of Himself) I will find whatever I say to be, you know, pretty good. Kind of wise…I aspire to that.
Unfortunately just the opposite is what happens in my life a lot.
My mouth gets in the way. I don’t rely on the Word of God but, like the Saturday writer wrote, I let my feelings or my fleshy reasoning get first crack at deciding my actions. I put what I think ought to be right first instead of adhering to the instruction of God through the Scriptures.
Paul wrote to the Roman church: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind-that you may prove what the Will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.” Really, a pretty good summary of intent of Proverbs 22.
Friday’s writer exposed us to the Hebrew word “Shema.” This word encompasses “listen” and an expectation to respond to what we heard; to “obey.” The writer of Proverbs is pointing in the same way to the reader.
The responsible disciple can guard his soul by avoiding thorns and snares. Pretty good direction here….
Father, I want to guard my soul. I know I can get distracted with worldly and worthless things. Thing is: I need to care for others as well that may not have this same conviction. Please help me to walk that narrow path, keeping my way pure, but caring for others in the same kind of love you showed. You know that I want to polarize this-my heart wants to swing from excess to excess. I know that there is a path of righteousness that is honoring to you but doesn’t place me firmly in the path of self-righteousness. Teach me wisdom in walking in Your Ways, O Lord. AMEN.