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Proverbs (Part 042) - Pro 4:13-15

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13. Pro 4:13 - "Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life."

A. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go:
i. Once a man hearkens to and receives instruction, he must take fast hold of it and let her not go.
a. Fast adv. - 1. a. In a fast manner, so as not to be moved or shaken; lit. and fig.; firmly, fixedly. 2. a. With firm grasp, attachment, or adhesion; so as not to permit of escape or detachment; tightly, securely. Often with bind, hold, etc. lit. and fig. See also hold v.
b. Hold v. - 1. a. To keep watch over, keep in charge, herd, ‘keep’ (sheep, etc.); to rule (men). Only in OE. and early ME. Obs. 2. a. To keep from getting away; to keep fast, grasp. Often with advb. extension, as hold fast; see also IV.

ii. In other words, as it pertains to instruction, we need to strive to remember what we have been taught.

a. We should remember God in the days of our youth (Ecc 12:1).
b. Remembering is crucial to understanding (Mat 16:9).
c. We will not understand more advanced doctrine if we can't remember the basics that we have been taught.
d. Jesus exhorted the disciples to remember what He said to them (Joh 15:20).
e. Jesus expected them to remember the things He told them (Joh 16:4).
f. The apostles also exhorted us to remember the things that Christ and themselves taught (Act 20:35; Jud 1:17).
g. We are told numerous times to not forget God and His word (Psa 119:16; Psa 119:141; Pro 3:1; Pro 4:5).

iii. Here are some tips on how to remember what you have been taught.
a
. Meditate on scripture and what you have learned in a sermon (Psa 1:2; 1Ti 4:15).
b. Meditate v. - 1. trans. To muse over or reflect upon; to consider, study, ponder.
c. Make sure your mind is focused when you are listening to a sermon or reading scripture.
(i) Don't allow your mind to wander.
(ii) Call back those roving thoughts.
d. After meditating on God's word, try to summarize what you just learned (Psa 77:12).
e. Review what you have been taught within a day or two of learning it.
(i) Make notes on the outline and circle cross-reference verses on it during the sermon.
(ii) Review the outline later and write those cross-references in your Bible.
f. Quiz your children and spouse after church to find out what they learned.

B. keep her; for she is thy life.
i. Remembering lessons in scripture can save our lives (Luk 17:32).
ii. Those that forgot the law of God and let it go will be destroyed (Hos 4:6).
iii. The reproofs of instruction from the word of God are the way of life (Pro 6:23).

14. Pro 4:14 - "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men."

A. Enter not into the path of the wicked,

i. A path is where people walk.
a. Path n. - 1. a. A way beaten or trodden by the feet of men or beasts; a track formed incidentally by passage between places, rather than expressly planned and constructed to accomodate traffic; a narrow unmade and (usually) unenclosed way across the open country, through woods or fields, over a mountain, etc.; a footway or footpath, as opposed to a road for vehicles; hence applied also to a walk made for foot-passengers, in a garden, park, wood, or the like. Sometimes said more vaguely of any way or road: cf. sense 3. 3. a. The way, course, or line along which a person or thing moves, passes, or travels
b. A path is usually made by people taking the easiest way through an area, walking around obstacles such as trees and rocks.
(i) A path usually comes about naturally, not by design and aforethought.
(ii) Walking on a winding path takes much less effort than does designing and building a straight road to get from one place to another.
c. The path of the wicked is the course of this world which was laid out by Satan in which the wicked walk (Eph 2:2).
d. Course n. - II. The path, line, or direction of running. 11. a. The line along which anything runs or travels; the path or way taken by a moving body, a flowing stream, etc.

ii. If we walk on the same path as the wicked we will end up in the same places they go.
a. If we spend time with wicked people we will learn their ways.
b. A companion of fools will be destroyed (Pro 13:20).
iii. Jesus taught us to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation (Mat 26:41).
a. In order to not enter into temptation we must not enter into the path of the wicked where temptation will be present.
b. It's important to enter not into the path of the wicked in order to make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof (Rom 13:14).
c. Pray that God will not lead you into temptation and deliver you from evil (Mat 6:13).
iv. Keep yourselves from the paths of the destroyer (Psa 17:4).

B. and go not in the way of evil men.
i. There is a way in which we should go (Pro 22:6).
ii. Here are three examples in scripture of the way of evil men that we must go not in.
a. Men should be very cautious to go not astray in the paths of a strange woman (Pro 7:25).
b. Go not after other gods (Jer 25:6).
c. Go not after false Christs which evil men preach (Luk 17:23).

15. Pro 4:15 - "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."

A. This verse sets forth two ways to "enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men."
i. The first way is preemptive: stay away from it in the first place (avoid it, pass not by it).
ii. The second way is reactive: leave it once you realize you're on it (turn from it, and pass away).

B. Avoid it,
i. Avoid v. - III. To keep away from, keep from, keep off. 8. (the usual current sense—a natural extension of 7): To leave alone, keep clear of or away from, shun; to have nothing to do with, refrain from: a. a person or place.
ii. The first level of prevention is to keep away from the way of evil men and have nothing to do with it.
iii. Don't go to the bar, the club, the party, the charismatic church, etc.
iv. Say no to any invitation you get to any of those places.
v. A good man eschews evil (Job 1:1).
vi. Eschew v. - 1. trans. To avoid, shun. †a. To avoid, keep clear of, escape (a danger or inconvenience). b. To ‘fight shy of’, avoid (a place); to stand aloof from (a person). c. To abstain carefully from, avoid, shun (an action, a course of conduct, an indulgence, an article of food or drink, etc.).

C. pass not by it,
i. Pass v. - 1. a. To go on, move onward, proceed; to make one's way. 61. pass by. a. intr. To go or proceed past; to move on without stopping; to flow past. c. trans. To go past (a thing or person) without stopping, or without taking notice; to fail to notice, to overlook; to omit; to take no notice of, dismiss from consideration, disregard, ignore
ii. The next level of prevention is to not even go near the places where evil men congregate.
iii. Even if you think that you can walk or drive by without stopping (passing by), don't do it.
iv. If you drive by the bar or the party, you may be tempted to stop in for just one drink.

D. turn from it,
i. Turn v. - IV. To change or reverse course. 13. trans. To alter the course of; to cause to go another way; to divert, deflect. 14. fig. To divert or deflect from a course of action, purpose, thought, etc.; to alter the course of (something immaterial)
ii. The next level of prevention is to turn around and head in a different direction if you find yourself in or near the way of evil men.
iii. Foresee the evil and hide yourself before it's too late (Pro 22:3).

E. and pass away.
i. Pass v. - 60. pass away. a. See simple senses and away adv. b. intr. Of persons: To depart; also, to get or break away (as from restraint).
ii. The final level of prevention is to depart and break away from the way of evil men if you have failed to avoid it and turn from it.
iii. By this time, it is almost too late to get away.
iv. This is why it's critical to avoid the path of the wicked before ever getting near it.
v. "To keep from falling over the edge of the precipice one should move as far back from that edge as possible." - Jay Adams
vi. Put iniquity far away from you (Job 11:14).
vii. Abstain from even the appearance of evil (1Th 5:22).