Lessons from Proverbs 4: The Promise of Protection

Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you,

To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things;

From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;

Who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil;

Whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways;

To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words;

That leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;

For her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead;

None who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.

So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will live in the land and the blameless will remain in it;

But the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous will be uprooted from it.

Proverbs 2:11-22


Here, the father claims that the wisdom and shrewdness that comes from the godly heart deliver the son from the tempter for easy money (v. 12-15) and easy sex (v. 16-19) and put him on the way of eternal life (v. 20-22).

First, we see that the promised protection is first defined as deliverance from wicked men who have chosen crooked paths instead of the father’s straight ways. It should be recognized that the path of the wicked is not only sinful, but it is very tempting (to the young and to the old). The path of the godless has a tangible power to those caught in its web from which they one cannot escape on his own. The promise assumes that the son will find himself in the dangerous situation and not be saved from it altogether. However, as the Lord delivered his people out of various distressful situations, so the son’s mature religious understanding will tear him away from the dangerous moral power of the worldview of this present evil age, which would lead the son on the way of death.

The father also gives a background on the individuals who leads the son astray. The wicked seducer typifies those who abandon their own spiritual heritage. This describes faithless men who grew up in covenant homes (as “covenant children” as some would say), had no heart for true piety and morality. Like Esau and Cain, these wicked men are apostates and thus, their words have the ability to draw away the naive. Hence, the father’s instructions are meant to guide the son along the path of the divinely established moral order and so provide safety from the chaos that lies outside of these paths. In reality, the faithless apostatize in order to walk in the ways of darkness, which connotes a malicious concealment of their behaviors. The faithless are individuals who rejoice in evil (v. 4). Waltke describes it in this way

Foolish, self-destructive behavior is rooted not in dullness or simple ignorance, but in a constitutional distortion of moral vision, a twisting of values.

Those who walk in their paths do not fear the Lord but despise Him. They do not trust His word, but they trust in their own devious and oppressive conduct. The Lord finds them repulsive.

In the remaining part of his lesson, the father also promises that the way of godliness and true wisdom will protect the son from sexual immorality. Older godly men are quite aware that sexual immorality is a primary pathway that causes young men to pursue the path of folly. As with the wicked apostate described above, the father cautions his son against the deadly words of sexually immoral women who tempt the son to abandon the words of sound wisdom. This is just as true today as it was in Solomon’s age. In this day, young men may not meet women who directly tempt them with these words, but the siren song of pornography has the same allure. Pornography leads men into crooked paths and into deep darkness, and men who struggle with pornography know its addictive and alluring power.

The father also describes this woman as the adulteress “who abandons the companion of her youth (v. 17)”, which illustrates her infidelity to her marriage covenant, and who “forgets the covenant of her God (v.17)”, which places her within the category of an apostate. The youth who embraces her way of life for her sexual favors will quickly find out that her way descends into death. This is the heart of the father’s warning :

All, without exception, who are unprotected by a relationship with the Lord and a mature spiritual character and who engage in this behavior never return.

This is a lesson that Solomon himself understood. Solomon’s sexual infidelity contributed to his spiritual faithlessness. If anyone thinks that the state of his soul is unaffected by what he does with his body, he is sorely mistaken. As Bruce Waltke states, one’s sexual life and one’s spiritual life “inter-penetrate one another existentially”. Hence, sexual immorality leads to spiritual death and one needs to takes these warning seriously.

The father concludes this lesson by presenting the final position of the righteous and the wicked. Confident of the truth, the father promises the son that if he walks in the truth then, he will walk in the way of good men (v. 20), acting in the best interest of God and of man. The son will also “remain in the land” (v. 21), which is a promise repeated by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5). However, the judicial sentence of the wicked is that they will be cut off from the earth (v. 22). The wicked are seen as individuals who defile the earth and thus, they will not inherit life.

A Little Time With The 1689: Day 38


Day 38

Of God and of the Holy Trinity

Chapter 2, Paragraph 2.

“God, having all life,…”

Scripture Lookup

John 5:26.


What does it mean that God has all life in and of himself?

God exists. He has always existed, and therefore has always lived. There is nothing that can be done to change that. Men may dismiss God as an idea, a construct that can be dismantled, but the Bible declares otherwise. Remember the name of God given to Moses? The great “I AM” cannot be thwarted or blotted out! It is absurdity to think so, as the psalm correctly states “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

God is the source of life, and is not dependent on anything for life. John  Calvin states: ”

God is said to have life in himself, not only because he alone lives by his own inherent power, but because, containing in himself the fullness of life, he communicates life to all things. And this, indeed, belongs peculiarly to God, as it is said, With thee is the fountain of life, (Psalms 36:9.)

This is the God who breathed life into Adam and formed Eve. This is the God who declares in Deuteronomy 32:39,  “It is I who put to death and give life.” This is the God in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). This is the God who gives eternal life to repentant sinners: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (John 1:4) God can give life abundantly because He has all life in and of himself, an inexhaustible supply.

“I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10

Let us run to Him, stopping our ears to the call of the world like Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress and run toward Him who has all life: “Life! Life! Eternal life!”

Questions to Consider

  • Do you ever act like life depends upon you, rather than God?

Lessons for the Developing Complementarian Journey

Along this journey of examining the beliefs of complementarians and egalitarians, I’ve gone through a bit of a personal transformation. But mostly, I’ve learned a lot about myself, the pressures of this world, and how truly difficult it is to be changed by the Word of God and conformed to the image of Christ in this age. It is very difficult, but we know that with God, all things are possible and that He always accomplishes His purposes. So, I would like to offer some brief lessons that I have learned during our short course of marriage so far that may be of some benefit to Christian women who are struggling with their own native egalitarian tendencies while growing in grace as complementarians.

  1. Determine the source of your current beliefs and feelings

The first lesson I have learned is to figure out where the things that I believe and the feelings I have regarding my role in the marriage come from, and I think this is important for every person to consider. Do your views come from how you were raised? Perhaps, your views come from your larger cultural/societal upbringing? Do your views come from past responses to bad experiences and circumstances? Maybe they come from the Word of God? And possibly, do they come from several different places all at once?

Wherever your beliefs and feelings come from, it is important that you are able to identify them properly because this greatly aids you in being able to discern whether or not those beliefs and behaviors should be changed, discarded, or kept as you move forward in your Christian walk. Moreover, going through this process of asking and answering questions will allow you to begin to deal with past issues that you may have stuffed deep into the recesses of your mind and never wanted to deal with in the first place.

  1. Accept the past as the past

Now that I’ve mentioned dealing with the past, I’ve remembered how important this lesson has been to both my husband and me: accept your past as the past.

Having worked at a women’s college and being as chatty as I am, I’ve heard countless stories from people about their “past” throughout my life. And I can honestly tell you that there are a lot of hurt people walking around this world, and I am included in that number. I’ve gone through situations that have caused me to walk in fear for most of my life and had me wrestling with paranoia, extreme anxiety, burdensome guilt, a seared conscious that would not heal, and haunting memories that always stole the peace away from my heart and mind. But I had this one blessed truth to hold on to:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1

And I quickly learned to hold onto this truth as well:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

I pray that if you are finding yourself struggling to let go of things, especially guilt, and even when you feel accused and condemned in your own mind that you would cling to the truth of the gospel, the very good news that we have in Christ. If you have truly repented of your sins, you have a brand new life in Christ…a brand new life that you are fully able to live to His glory by His grace alone. So by His grace, cling to this truth, believe it, and continue to confess it.

  1. Read and understand the Word the right way

I think that the worst thing I ever did was to read all of the passages in the Bible that pertained to wives and women and try to just live them out. It was dumb. And it is incredibly disheartening. I mean, just take a look at Proverbs 31:10-31, and try to start doing everything on that list today. You will wear yourself out!

What I’ve learned is to rightly read the Word of God. Don’t just read a couple of verses here and there to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing, but read the whole chapter or even the whole book/epistle to get a clear understanding of what the Lord is saying. If you are reading Ephesians 5:22-24 alone, without considering the foundation that is laid in Ephesians 1-3 and the subsequent call to walk worthy of what we have received in the Lord beginning in chapter 4, then you won’t understand why submitting to your husband is important, and you definitely won’t have a good reason for why you are doing it in the first place. I encourage you to read all of God’s Word, and especially remember to read in context.

  1. Talk to your spouse

If my husband and I ever wrote a book offering marital advice, every other chapter would be entitled: Talk to your spouse! I know it sounds funny, but it is really easy to get advice from other people about what works in their marriage relationship (or what didn’t work) and apply it to your own marriage. And I just want to tell you to STOP!!! DON’T DO THAT!!!

Ladies, if you are married, you are the wife of one man…not everybody else’s man. Talk to your husband. Seriously, talk to your own husband. Get those kids distracted, get a good dessert, and sit down and talk to your husband. Talk about each of your expectations in the marriage. Talk about each of your desires. Talk about what you each want from the other. And I’m not going to tell you those conversations will go perfectly smoothly, but it is far better to have those conversations than to have unmet expectations and feeling unappreciated because you’re doing things that your spouse generally doesn’t like or never wanted you to do in the first place. (Been there, and done that.) Just go talk. It always helps your marriage, and it will help you.

  1. Don’t be afraid to work

One thing that I had to learn was to stop expecting personal miracles once I became a wife and especially after I became a mother. Just because I was a Christian and desired to have a godly marriage and become the perfect, godly housewife did not mean that God just snapped His fingers and changed me overnight. In fact, I haven’t experienced any miracles at all. I wasn’t transformed in a day, or even a week, few months, or years.

Instead, by God’s grace and through divine providence, I’ve learned to challenge myself over the years to do things I never wanted to do. So I’ve learned to make basic dresses for my daughter because it was cheaper than buying new clothes every few months for every growth spurt while we’re paying off debt. I’ve learned how to make bread (without a stand mixer or bread machine, I should add), and I even have a nice burn mark on my arm as a reminder of when I caught the dough on fire in the oven. I’ve expanded my repertoire of things I know how to cook well while also compiling a list of dishes that came out really badly and never ever need to be done again. It’s been hard work, and I’m accepting the fact that it will always be hard work. I encourage you to embrace it.

Challenge yourself to learn something new. Better yet, challenge yourself to get better at the things that could benefit your family the most. Use your family as your motivation to keep pressing forward and learn as you go. Some of you may feel motivated to start a garden to cut back on your food budget. Others might want to try cooking more to cut back on spending money at restaurants. I’ll be learning how to navigate the stock market and make wise investments because that’s something we want to do in the future. I say all of this to say, stop expecting overnight miracles. You are going to have to work at it.

  1. Don’t be afraid of changing

Let me perfectly honest here: Marriage will change you. Parenthood will change you. Your priorities change. How you want to spend your free time changes. Your definition of ‘fun’ changes. Even my love languages changed before and after marriage and after having our daughter. In a nutshell, I’ve changed, and I know that I’m going to keep on changing as the years go by. And so will you.

Now, we can bemoan these changes, or we can accept the fact that God is always at work within our lives. Through His mysterious providence, He brings things into our lives and removes things from our lives to force us to change, to cause us to bear fruit for His glory. And His way of doing it is absolutely perfect and fail-proof. Always remember we serve a faithful, omnipotent God who is mighty to save and relentless in accomplishing His own purposes in our lives for His own glory. And that means that we are all being changed.

In conclusion…

Ultimately, as Christians, we know that the world is opposed to God and His way of doing things. We know this to be true because we once also opposed it. However, we have been brought into the household of faith, and we are called to walk worthy of that calling that we have received. I encourage all of you, but most especially my fellow sisters in the faith, to keep on walking faithfully to the Lord. Be fully convinced in what you believe and why you believe it. Endure the hardships, the backbiting, the insults, and the lack of support from loved ones as you strive to glorify God through your marriage and in your role as a wife and mother. Remain encouraged by the knowledge that you do not strive and labor alone because many are striving with you and many have gone on to claim their reward in heaven. Finally, I pray that this series has been encouraging for all of you, and that the short lessons provided in this blog offer you some encouragement as you continue in your walk. Blessings!

The Baptist Catechism – Questions 68-77, The Second Table of the Moral Law (Part One)

Q.68: Which is the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

( Exodus 20:12 )


Q.69: What is required in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honor and performing the duties belonging to everyone in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, and equals.

( Romans 12:10; Ephesians 5:21; 1Peter 2:17 )


Q.70: What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglect of, or doing anything against the honor and duty which belongeth to everyone  in their several places and relations.

( Ezekiel 34:2-4; Matthew 15:4-6; Romans 13:8 )


Q.71: What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory, and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.

( Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2-3 )


Q.72: What is the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

( Exodus 20:13 )


Q.73: What is required in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others.

( 1Kings 18:4; Ephesians 5:28-29 )


Q.74: What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment absolutely forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

( Genesis 9:6; Acts 16:28 )


Q.75: Which is the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

( Exodus 20:14 )


Q.76: What is required in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior.

( 1Corinthians 7:2-3, 5, 34, 36; Colossians 4:6; 1Peter 3:2 )


Q.77: What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

( Matthew 5:28; 15:19; Ephesians 5:3-4 )