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Discretion Shall Keep You

by Patricia Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Discretion Shall Keep You

by Patricia Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

Proverbs 2:10-19
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

God's Word gives us wisdom. His proverbs don't just give us knowledge but also give insight into those things we need to know. We can learn from them, taking them into our hearts, and obeying what they have to teach. If we'll let wisdom enter into our hearts, it will make a difference in our lives.

Having knowledge of God's wisdom from His Word is pleasant to our soul.

Many times, as we read God's Word, we wonder and wonder about certain verses. I had read recently where it tells us that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. What was it really saying? As I wondered what it really meant, it was revealed to me that the Jews were first and the Gentiles last. In our day it's the Gentiles first and the Jews last.

Protected from Evil

Discretion shall preserve thee: Discretion means to be cautious, careful and sensible. Some don't use sense; they don't have common sense. They leave the paths of uprightness to walk in darkness. But by using discretion (being sensible, careful and cautious), we will be protected from the way of evil males and females.

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

There are many false teachers and false prophets who once knew the right way but have turned aside to wrong doctrine. They have their own private interpretation of the Word, going off into error. They speak froward things, lies, distorting the Word of God by twisting it and by deception.

Proverbs 19:27
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

The words of knowledge refers to God's Word. We've got to receive His Word, hiding it within our heart.

Seek Understanding

Proverbs 2:1,2
My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding

We need to have our spiritual ears open and apply our hearts unto the wisdom that God gives in His Word — not listening to instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge.

We should incline our ears unto wisdom and apply our hearts to understanding, having that desire in our hearts to want to understand God's Word, not just to gain a personal understanding, but also that we don't fall into traps and lies of those who would try to ensnare us.

Proverbs 2:3,4
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures

Seek and search the Scriptures, crying out for understanding and knowledge.

Proverbs 2:5
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

If we are to share the Word with others, we need this understanding and knowledge. If we will . . .
. . . receive the Word of God
. . . hide His commandments with us
. . . incline our ears to wisdom
. . . apply our hearts to understand
. . . and cry after knowledge and understanding
then we'll understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

We saw where there are those who left the paths of righteousness to walk in darkness, rejoicing to do evil.

Proverbs 2:14
Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked

Isn't this so! Those who have left the truth seem to rejoice in the sinful things they now do. The reason they left the truth was because they loved their sin. They looked for a place to go to church where they could continue living in sin, a place where the teaching was that as long as you called on Jesus to save you, you can live any way you want to live.

Yet, if we look into God's Word, we find it is filled with warnings not to sin.

Romans 6:1,2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Yes, the Word warns us not to continue in sin, but those who have left the truth to walk in darkness rejoice to do evil. There was something their lust desired that caused them to leave the truth, so they could fulfil the lust of their flesh.

Many twist the Scriptures to make the Word say what they want it to say.

Proverbs 2:15
Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths

Their ways are contrary to the Word of the Lord, contrary to the path which the Lord has intended us to walk in: the path of righteousness and true holiness.

When we let wisdom and discretion into our hearts, we will be cautious, careful, sensible, and serious in our walk with God. We will not fall victim to those whose ways are contrary to God's Word, to those who distort the Word of God by twisting it and by deception.

Beware of the Strange Woman

Proverbs 2:16,17
To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

A strange woman is an ungodly woman who is given over to lust, such as a harlot, or one who is cheating on her husband, carrying on an affair. This could also be a strange man as well as a strange woman.

We've got to be on guard, watching at all times:

I Peter 5:8,9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Now, you may be one who flirts. You may be winking at at someone to flirt; you may flatter them with words; you may be speaking smooth things. Both men and women can be guilty of trying to lure someone to satisfy their lust. Often such an one preys one someone who is looking for love. They tell them they really love them and get them to yield to their lust.

Here in Proverbs it is speaking of those who have forsaken the guide of their youth and forgetten the covenant of their God. They're backsliders.

Proverbs 2:18,19
For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

We'd best take hold of this teaching, taking God's Word seriously and being careful in our walk with the Lord.

Proverbs 4:14-16
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Don't get involved with the ungodly — if you do, it could become an involvement that would take your soul.

What if you were in the midst of committing a sinful act when Jesus came? Think about that. People don't think about that when they're sinning. All they're thinking about is satisfying their lust.

Proverbs 2:19,20
None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

If someone tries to entice you to sin, tell them you're not interested: "No! I've started down this path to serve my Lord, and I intend to serve Him all my days and to make eternal life."

God's Word Is Light

Proverbs 6:23,24
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

There is no need for us to walk in darkness when we have the light of God's Word to lead us. His Word lights our pathway.

I John 1:6,7
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we want to truly have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light, as He is in the light. His Word is a light to our feet.

When we read the Word or hear the Word, there may be some reproof of instruction, letting us know we're not living the way we should be living.

Proverbs 6:23,24
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

A strange woman or man is one you are not to have in God's eyes (such as someone who is married, or if you are married, someone other than your mate). These strange men and women speak flattering words to entice you; but don't let their flattering words cause you to turn away from God's Word.

Proverbs 6:25
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

There are those who are beautiful or handsome, but what are good looks if one's soul is filled with sin? Their good looks and flattering words are used to ensnare. But God's Word warns us not to lust after their beauty in our heart.

Matthew 5:27,28
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Proverbs warns you not to allow a strange woman (or man) take you with their eyelids, looking at you with enticing in their eyes; neither with their flattering words, telling you how good looking you are.

Brought Down by Adultery

Proverbs 6:26
For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

These strange women (and men) will take you right down, taking everything you have if you play around with them. And you'll lose your soul over it.

Proverbs 6:27,28
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

In the natural, if you take fire and hold it against your bosom, you will be burned. Neither can you walk on hot coals without having your feet burned. Have you ever walked on hot blacktop or cement in your bare feet? Many have burned the soles of their feet by doing that.

Proverbs 6:29
So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

If you give in to the enticement of a strange woman (or man), you will be guilty of adultery.

Proverbs 6:32,33
But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

Getting involved with a strange woman (or man) will cause you to get a wound and dishonour. You go fooling around with someone's husband (or wife) and their mate catches you in bed with them, you could be killed! This has happened many times.

Proverbs 6:34
For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

They may have known their mate was having an affair for a long time and been waiting to catch them in that state before taking vengeance.

Proverbs 6:35
He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

We had a neighbor who was stepping out on his wife, and somebody got killed in a fit of rage as the result.

Heed Instruction and Reproof

Let wisdom enter into your heart. Understand what God is saying here in His Word — what He is warning about. We have to be very careful in our walk with the Lord.

These types of things do happen, to try to catch us off guard. And if you have any weakness in your flesh, this lust spirit will go to work to get you to give in and turn from the ways of righteousness, and it will throw you down. It doesn't matter how old you are. The devil could send someone along when you're in a downcast state to tell you how wonderful you are, or how beautiful or handsome you are.

Proverbs 5:1
My son, attend unto My wisdom, and bow thine ear to My understanding

Having an understanding and a knowledge of God's Word as well as receiving God's wisdom into our hearts is so important.

Proverbs 5:2
That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

We already noted that discretion is being careful, cautious, prudent, sensible, and not being foolish.

Proverbs 5:3-5
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Words as a honeycomb: using sweet, smooth words that flatter to entice.

Proverbs 5:6-11
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear Me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of My mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed

They'll take everything from you — even your soul. It is so foolish to allow yourself to be taken by their ways, taken by their words and looks.

Proverbs 5:12-14
And (you) say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

It is so important to listen to God's Word, to listen to those who teach the pure Word of God, to listen to instruction and reproof from God's Word. When God anoints a minister of the gospel to warn you from God's Word and instruct you in God's ways, don't turn your ear from that instruction!

Those who give over to such enticement hate instruction and despise reproof.

"I'm going to do what I want to do. Nobody is going to tell me what to do!"

Those who have such an attitude may find themselves in a situation where they wish they had listened to the instructions of God's Word.

Proverbs 5:15-18
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

Be faithful to the wife of your youth, to the husband of your youth. I was 17 when I got married, and my husband was 20 (that was 62 years ago). We were faithful to one another all of those years. We stayed true to one another. One thing that made a difference is that a few years after we were married we both received Jesus Christ into our hearts as Lord and Saviour. If we had not given our hearts to the Lord, who knows what our marriage would have been like.

Take Temptations to the Lord

These Proverbs we have looked at should give us knowledge and insight to take within, to learn from, and to obey — applying them to our lives.

I Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

You want to make sure that you are moral in your living, lest you fall into temptation.

I Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

We will be tempted, yes, but we don't have to yield to that temptation. When we receive the wisdom and knowledge of God's Word, we will know that the thing we are being tempted by is wrong. God is here to help us — if we will heed His warnings and seek His help.

II Peter 2:9
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished

If there is a problem within, take it to the Lord. Cry out to Him to give you the victory and to keep you.

I Corinthians 9:27
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Temptation is to be resisted, to be rejected. The devil is the tempter, luring through different people to cause a person to disobey God's Word and yield to his temptations. Paul was careful not to allow himself to yield to temptation. He brought his body into subjection by surrendering all to the Lord.

James 1:13-16
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

When one is drawn away to yield to temptation, it's because of their own lust. And when one yields to temptation, it brings forth sin.

Take this message to heart. Don't err from the truths of God's Word. Don't give in to temptation.

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

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