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Proverbs (Part 048) - Pro 4:27-5:1

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27. Pro 4:27 - "Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."

A. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
i. The way of God is strait and narrow (Mat 7:13-14).
ii. To stay on it, the scripture teaches in numerous places that we must not turn to the right nor the left.
a. God warned Israel to do as He commanded and to not turn to the right or left from it (Deut 5:32; Deut 17:11).
b. The king of Israel was to read the scriptures for all his life and turn not to the right hand nor the left in order to prolong his days in his kingdom (Deut 17:20).
c. If we hide the word of God in our hearts, it will be that voice in our heads telling us the way in which we should walk when we head to the right hand or the left (Isa 30:21).
d. If we turn not to the right hand nor to the left from God's commandments we will prosper wherever we go (Jos 1:7).

iii. Satan often gives us two bad choices and makes us think these are our only options, such as:
a. Calvinism or Arminianism
b. Premillennialism or Postmillennialism
c. Catholicism or Protestantism
d. The NIV or the Catholic bible
e. Democrats or Republicans
f. Coke or Pepsi
g. McDonalds or Burger King
h. CNN or Fox News
iv. The truth is usually found between the extremes of (or altogether outside of ) both false options.

B. remove thy foot from evil.
i. Remove v. - 1. a. To move or shift from or out of the place occupied; to lift or push aside; to lift up and take away; to take off. b. To take away, withdraw, from a place, person, etc.; †to raise, abandon (a siege). Also refl. to betake oneself away.
ii. The first part of this verse is a preventative commandment which was given to keep us from getting out of the right way.
iii. The second part of this verse is a reactive commandment which was given to get us back on the right way if we have gone astray.
iv. To remove one's foot from evil means that he has veered off into an evil place and therefore needs to leave that place and get back on the narrow way which leads to life.
v. If you have erred from God's way, it's not too late to repent and "be wise in thy latter end" (Pro 19:20).

VII. Chapter 5

1. Pro 5:1 - "My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:"

A. My son, attend unto my wisdom,
i. This is not the first time Solomon exhorted his son to attend unto his wisdom (Pro 4:1; Pro 4:20), nor will it be the last (Pro 7:24).
ii. Attend v. - I. To direct the ears, mind, energies to anything. 1. To turn one's ear to, listen to.
iii. If we are to learn the wisdom of God, we have to focus on doing so by directing our ears, mind, and energy to it.
iv. The fact that Solomon exhorted his son to attend to his words four times in the book of Proverbs shows how important it is to do so.

B. and bow thine ear to my understanding:
i. Bow v. - III. Causative uses, in which bow has taken the place of the obs. causal bey. 9. trans. To cause (a thing) to bend; to force or bring into a curved or angular shape; to inflect, curve, crook. arch. and dial. 10. To cause to turn in a given direction; to incline, turn, direct; fig. to incline or influence (the mind). Obs. ¶In to bow the ear, the eye, there appears to be a mixture of the notion of ‘direct or turn with attention’, and of ‘bend the head downwards’. See senses 10 and 11. 11. To bend (anything) downwards; to incline, to lower (often in fig. expressions).
a. If we are to "bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise" (Pro 22:17), we must both literally and figuratively bend our head toward them in order to intently listen to what they are saying.
b. This literal and figurative posture puts us in a mindset to focus on what is being said and to avoid distractions.
c. Remember this as you listen to sermons.

ii. Solomon had before admonished is son to "incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding" (Pro 2:2) and "incline thing ear unto my sayings" (Pro 4:20).
a. Incline v. - 1. Bend or bow (the head, the body, oneself) towards a person or thing, and hence forward or downward; b. To bend or turn one's ear(s) towards a speaker, to give ear, listen favourably, attend (to).
b. To incline one's ear is to bow one's ear.
c. How many Christians incline their ear unto a talebearer who whispers secrets about another, being all too eager to hear the gossip, but make little effort to incline their ear unto God's wisdom?
d. How many Christians incline their ear to the television, talk radio, or YouTube for hours per day with perfect attentiveness, but doze off during an hour long sermon expounding the wisdom of God?

e. Acquiring wisdom and understanding requires effort.
(i) When a man is interested in what another has to say and desires to fully comprehend it, he will get close to the speaker, turn his head to ensure clear hearing, lean toward the man, and focus his mind on what is being said.
(ii) The same level of exertion is required to learn the wisdom and understanding of God.
(iii) Wisdom has to be attended unto (to direct the ears, mind, energies to anything) (Pro 5:1).
(iv) To incline his ear unto wisdom, a man must figuratively bow down toward the holy scriptures which come directly from the mouth of God (Pro 2:6).
(v) In NT times, God "hath manifested his word through preaching" (Tit 1:3) by way of pastors who "speak the wisdom God" (1Co 2:7) from the scriptures.
(vi) If a man truly desires wisdom, he will expend energy to focus his mind when listening to sermons in order to hear with comprehension what is being taught, while figuratively, and sometimes literally, inclining his ear unto wisdom.