In the book of Esther we meet two men who were faced with choices which ultimately determined their destinies. The first man, Haman, loved riches and power and was filled with hate for God’s people. Ultimately, Haman’s choices led him to dine with a ruler and found himself hanging from the gallows he had prepared for a man he hated. The second man, Mordecai, made a choice to obey God and prepare his niece Esther for living a life that honored God. As queen, Esther was used instrumentally to preserve the Jewish people from Haman’s hatred and plan of destruction. Mordecai reminded Esther that God had uniquely allowed her to “achieve royal status for such a time as this!” Fast forward to the year 1846 and we meet Lewis Cass, Sec of State under Pres Buchanan, who wrote: “God, in His providence, has given us a Book of His revealed will to be with us at the commencement of our career in this life and at its termination;” We see the truth of that statement in Haman, Mordecai and Esther’s life.
Each person is presented with choices that will determine their destiny both here on earth as well as their eternal place with or without God. Today in our reading [Proverbs 23] we find that King Solomon gives wise counsel for the here and now. Summarizing this chapter we find some principles we can apply to our daily walk with God:
- Vs 1-3 Avoid overindulgence in your appetite; you might find yourself swinging from the gallows! On the opposite side of the coin, avoid indulging at the table of the stingy person or you may end up paying the check!
- Vs 1,6,20-21,27-28 Be discerning in the company you keep; be wise in choosing friends, acquaintances and mates for life. If you choose wrongly, you bear the cross of shame and troubles; if you choose wisely it leads to peace, wisdom and prosperity
- Vs 12, 15-16, 19 Learn something new each day, it will benefit your mind and your disposition towards trials.
- VS 17 Envy of sin is a fleeting activity but zeal for the Lord is a passion that will only grow stronger as you meditate upon his Word.
- Vs 30-35 Over imbibing brings disastrous consequences; it ensnares and corrupts “Do not be caught by its beautiful color in the glass. Much sin enters the soul through the avenue of the eye,” [Fausset]
- Vs 22, 24-26 Honor thy parent for it is the first commandment with a promise. A parent rejoices when a son/daughter demonstrates wisdom in life’s choices.
- Vs 4-5 Beware of expending your life to gain riches; they make wings for themselves and fly away. Instead lay up treasures in heaven. God calls a man a fool who “stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.” [Luke 12] and wise who “accumulates for themselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” [Matt 6]
- Vs 9 Don’t waste your time with fools; those who seek not God but whose god is self-righteousness, and self-sufficiency. Shake the dust off your feet from those who deny God. [Luke 9] Instead “Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.” [Hosea 6:3]
So today, listen and be wise, God will guide you on your way [Prov 23:19/Ps 32:8] God chooses the path, you choose to follow or ignore the path He has chosen.
Photo courtesy: angelverses.org