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Proverbs 2:11 (Mini Sermon)

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11. Pro 2:11 - "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:"
A. Discretion shall preserve thee
i. When wisdom enters into the heart, one of its effects is the cultivation of discretion.
a. Discretion n. - II. [Cf. discreet.] 6. Ability to discern or distinguish what is right, befitting, or advisable, esp. as regards one's own conduct or action; the quality of being discreet; discernment; prudence, sagacity, circumspection, sound judgement.
b. Discretion preserves us.
c. Preserve v. - 1. trans. To keep safe from harm or injury; to keep in safety, save, take care of, guard.
d. Therefore, having the ability to discern what is right with regards to our conduct will save us from much trouble, hardship, and harm in life.
ii. Consider the following examples of people whose discretion preserved them.
a. 3000 Jews on the day of Pentecost saved themselves from their untoward generation (Act 2:40), when they foresaw the evil and hid themselves (Pro 27:12) by obeying the Lord and being baptized (Act 2:41).
b. The wise men who came to worship the young child Jesus were told to report His location to Herod (Mat 2:8), but wisdom entered their heart through a dream and their discretion preserved them as they departed into their country another way (Mat 2:12).
c. When Paul was made aware that the governor of the city of Damascus sought to apprehend him, discretion preserved him when he used sound judgment to escape during the night by being let down by the wall through a window in a basket (2Co 11:32-33).
d. During Israel's sojourning in the land of Egypt the Hebrew midwives were given an ungodly order from the king to kill all of the baby boys that were born to the Jews (Exo 1:15-16).
(i) They disobeyed and "saved the men children alive" (Exo 1:17), making up a story to cover for themselves (Exo 1:19).
(ii) Discretion not only saved them (Exo 1:20-21), but also the lives of many innocent children.
e. When Joshua sent spies into Jericho to bring back an intelligence report on the city, they lodged in the house of Rahab the harlot.
(i) When the king sent men to her home looking for the men of Israel, Rahab's discretion preserved both her and them.
(ii) She hid them on the roof and wisely and righteously lied to the officials, saying they went out another way (Jos 2:3-6).
(iii) Discretion preserved both her and them.
f. When Nehemiah was leading the effort to rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, his enemies who opposed the rebuilding project sought to lure him into a meeting by deceit in order to bring down both him and those he led.
(i) Through the wisdom given him by God, Nehemiah sagely perceived their duplicity, recognizing that "they thought to do me mischief" (Neh 6:2).
(ii) He prudently declined their offer to meet four times (Neh 6:3-4).
(iii) Discretion preserved him and the great work which he oversaw.
iii. As in all these examples, Christians should be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Mat 10:16), applying the principles taught by God in the scripture, "walk[ing] circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise" (Eph 5:15), and using their God-given discretion to save themselves and those around them.
B. Understanding shall keep thee.
i. Keep v. - II. Transitive uses (in early use also intr.). * To have regard, pay attention to, observe. 9. To have regard, to care, to reck 14. To guard, defend, protect, preserve, save.
ii. Receiving the word of God, which has been grafted into the heart by God in regeneration, is the means by which a child of God can save, or keep, his soul temporally (Jam 1:21).
iii. God first "worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Php 2:13) when He spiritually implants a new heart in a man and writes His law in it (Heb 8:10).
iv. Once a child of God has a new heart with the law of God engraved upon it, the written word of God when read or heard can then be received into that heart, fitting into the sockets prepared for it by the LORD.
v. That word, when received and put into practice (Jam 1:21-22) by way of the understanding imparted by God (Pro 2:6-10), will preserve and keep the obedient Christian from living a life displeasing to God.
vi. Understanding, which is acquired through studying the word of God, when gotten and not forsaken, will keep a believer from error, lies, and foolish decisions.
vii. When God's commandments are kept by His children, God will in turn "keep [them] from evil" (2Th 3:3) and "keep [them] from falling" (Jud 1:24).
viii. He does this by giving them understanding which enables them to act wisely and avoid foolish decisions and actions that would be their destruction (Pro 4:5-6; Pro 6:20-22).