Gleanings from the proverbs: Consider your choices carefully

Proverbs 14:12: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

You are your own worst enemy! You will cause yourself more pain and trouble than any ten foes! Your own soul is the deadliest danger in your life! With such warnings, men would never trust their own thoughts, right? Wrong! While you are destroying your own life, you will think what you are doing is perfectly right! You will never see the danger.

Other proverbs teach this warning. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr 16:25). “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Pr 12:15). “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Pr 28:26). See also 16:2 and 21:2.

Some choices bring physical death. Consider David’s sons. Amnon thought it right to rape his sister: he died for it (II Sam 13:1-39). Absalom thought it right to steal his father’s kingdom: he died for it (II Sam 15:1-6; 18:1-18). Adonijah thought it right to use Solomon’s mother to beg for Abishag: he died for it (I Kgs 2:12-25).

Some choices bring soul death. Samson thought it right to date an unbeliever, but she left him blind and destroyed, grinding in a prison (Jdgs 16:1-21). Solomon thought it right to marry unbelievers, but they turned his heart to idolatry (I Kgs 11:1-13). Rehoboam thought it right to prefer his young counselors, but he lost ten tribes (I Kgs 12:1-19).

Your heart is deceitful above all things (Jer 17:9). It lies to you more than anyone else, and you believe it! And it is desperately wicked, so its lies are always toward folly and sin! Because your heart is so deceitful and wicked, you cannot fully grasp its danger to you, apart from Scripture’s warnings. The verse concludes, “Who can know it?”

Child, you think you can dishonor or disobey a parent. You lose (Pr 30:17)! Wife, you think you can withhold from your husband. You lose (Pr 30:21-23)! Husband, you think you can neglect your wife. You lose (Pr 5:15-23)! Young man, you think you can play with whores. You lose (Pr 7:25-27)! Parent, you think child training is too hard. You lose (Pr 29:15)! Pastor, you think you can alter God’s word or modify His worship. You lose (Pr 21:16)!

Safety is only by searching your heart; obeying your teachers, parents, and counsellors; bringing every thought into captive obedience to Scripture; and keeping your heart there with all diligence (Pr 4:23; II Cor 10:4-6). Do not ever let your mind think outside the word of God (Ps 119:128). Which means you must learn it, and learn it well (Ps 119:11). Do not ever allow the profane thought you could get away with disobeying (Deut 29:18-20)!

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