The Enticement of Sinners

The Enticement of Sinners

8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And bornaments about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14 Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Pr 1:8–19). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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Wow. You know it’s funny how often we tend to forget this passage, and it’s implicatiosn. After all there are plenty of Christians that fall to Ponzi schemes, and the lure of “easy” money. We would never consider lying in wait to ambush people in real life anymore, but metaphorically we get tempted every day.

Wednesday of the first week of Advent

Despite not being Episcopal, I absolutely love having access to the Book of Common Prayer, especially this time of year. It’s easily accessible on the Web, but I admit to buying it for my Logos Collection. It makes it much easier to process for myself.

If you do not have easy access though here is today’s reading as places in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

Psalms (Morning) Psalm 119:1–24

Psalms (Evening) Psalm 12, 13, 14

Old Testament Amos 3:12–4:5

New Testament 2 Peter 3:1–10

Gospel Matthew 21:23–32

The Episcopal Church. (2010). Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

So some more about what I plan to talk about.

I admit this is going to be a bit more freeform. I plan to talk some about about Bible software. I’m going to go back to the old Accordance compared to Logos since all the comparisons I see are much older than the current versions, plus I’m going to include the mobile versions of each product as well, I also will talk about and review they tech I own. As a Computer Science Grad from many moons ago I admit I’m a bit of a geek in that respect.

But since this is a blog about the Christian life I also admit I may wander far afield.

 

The beginning of wisdom

1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

2  To know wisdom and instruction,

to understand words of insight,

3  to receive instruction in wise dealing,

in righteousness, justice, and equity;

4  to give prudence to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the youth—

5  Let the wise hear and increase in learning,

and the one who understands obtain guidance,

6  to understand a proverb and a saying,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

 7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; 

fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

Proverbs 1: 1-7 ESV

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So I’m starting my journey through the book of Proverbs. And what I find interesting is even most secular people would not argue with any of this right up until verse 7. After all, as someone who has worked ni industry for so long I cannot tell you the number of times I have received , or given, the advice that you always need to continue learning.

 

But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. We so often forget that. Yes we must love our Lord and God but in order to gain wisdom and knowledge we must Fear the Lord. Hoenstly I think that is something lost on my generation (Gen X) and later. All of the parenting magazines and what not keep telling us that we need to raise our children where they aren’t afraid of us parents. And yet God, though the Holy Spirit using King Salomon, says is the the beginning of knowledge, “Fear”. If you think about it fear is at the heart of Learning anything in Nature. Oh in today’s society we tend to try and make it sound better than fear, we say we “have a healthy respect,” for whatever it is we have a fear for, but it is really fear. I mean take a herpatologist for example, if they didn’t have a healthy fear of poisonous snakes, they wouldn’t live long.  Sadly I think our culture has co-opted the term fear to redefine it as abject terror. This re-defintion is imply because of a side effect of Psalm 2:1-3

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

2  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

3  “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

 

You see the culture wishes to throw off God. And if you redefine fear so that it means abject terror, then you slowly switch “fear” to “respect” , which slowly changes meaning to where you can shrug God off as a non-entity. Of course God is not dependent on how we definie things, and it doesn’t solve anything, but I’ve rambled off topic for long enough.

We as Christians need to remember that you you can love someone and still have a healthy fear as well.

 

Irony

I cannot help but appreciate the irony. Because I want to write a blog about the Christian life only to find that I had similar thoughts five years ago, and had named it “Living in Laodicea”. Well the goal is the same, maybe with a much larger effort dose of humility now.

 

My father has encouraged me to work my way through the book of Proverbs and so that is currently my goal. In addition I will also talk bible software, like before.

Daily Bible study and Psalm 1.

So since I’m trying to get back on original topic I wanted to talk about the need for Bible study. It reminds me of Psalm 1,

 

1 Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

Note verse 2. It’s the positive description of what the blessed man does. The Blessed man meditates on God’s word day and night. Notice it’s not once and a while, but all the time. This blog has certainly helped me with that, I confess I still do not study the Bible nearly as much as I aught, but I am making progress, or feel that I am. It is my prayer that I will continue to do so.

 

-Mark