Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson # 14 A Warning is both Positive and Negative
In this lesson on building our Character we are going to look at a passage that gives us a direct warning. But with the warning we will also see a temptation to sin, the effect of sin and the judgment of sin.
Generally when we think of the word of God warning us against something we think of it being only negative. But what we have to realize is that even though the word of God maybe telling us not to do something or go somewhere or participate in a certain event with certain kinds of people, the warning can also be positive. Think about warning signs that we see every day. For example a stop sign, danger high voltage sign, keep out sign, flammable sign all of these are warning us to be careful or stop or even to stay out. But each of these has a positive side to them which is they are trying to save our lives. The word of God is the same way when you read it and it says you should not do something there is a reason why that is beneficial to you or maybe even to someone else. So instead of only focusing on the negative side of a biblical commandment we should think of its positive side also which is trying to benefit us in some way.
The warning in our passage :
The warning in our passage is in Verses 20-21. It is very simply to keep the commandments of our fathers and to not forsake the law of our mothers. Now this could apply to the word of God but it also applies to doing what our parents tell us to do, which we are commanded to do anyway (Ephesians 6:1-3). For the most part parents do not tell their children to do wrong or evil therefore if children would just listen and do what their parents say they would avoid tons of trouble. The same is true for children of God if we would plainly do what the word of God says then we could avoid most all of the trouble we get into.
The Positive side of the warning :
We are going to look at the positive side of the warning first because it comes first in the passage. In verse 22 we see 3 things that the warning does for us. The commandments of our father and the law of our mothers will do the following things if we keep them.
1) They will lead us.
- Every person needs leadership in their lives. This is why God gave us parents in the first place. If we will listen to them they will lead us in the right way.
2) They will keep us.
- This speaks of safety when you are asleep. Everyone desires to be safe and one of the surest ways to have safety is to listen and obey what we are told buy our parents. Note Proverbs 16:7 it says that when a man’s ways please the Lord he makes his enemies to be at peace with him.
3) They shall talk with us.
- Isn’t it interesting that when we are about to do something wrong we sometimes can hear in our minds the voice of our parents or the word of God telling us not to do whatever it is we are about to do.
In verse 23 we see how keeping the commandments or our father and the Law of our mother lead us, keep us, and talk with us. Note the verse says that the commandment is a lamp and the law is a light. The lamp is what leads us and allows us to see dangers that we could not see if we are walking in the dark. The same light keeps us when we sleep note that many children have to have a nightlight to sleep by. It also says that the reproofs of instruction are the ways of life. When our parents or the word of God communicates with us in the way of reproofs or correction this gives us the right guidance in regards to the way of life.
The Negative side of the warning :
In verse 24-35 we see the negative side of the warning. We see what can happen to the person who does not keep the commandments of his father or the law of his mother. Now the illustration that we find in the passage is in regards to adultery. We know for sure that the direct application is literal adultery, but I believe that we can also make a spiritual application that anytime we get away from God through sin it is like spiritual adultery. We step out on God for the pleasures and lust of the world just like a married person steps out on their spouse for the lust and pleasures of another.
Here we will look at 3 things, the temptation to sin, the effect of sin and the judgment of sin.
1) The Temptation of Sin (verses 24-26)
- The temptation in the passage is simple; it is the evil woman tempting a man to commit adultery. Note that the passage says Lust not after her beauty. What is the end result of lust in James 1:14-15? It is death!
- This is the same temptation that we face daily with the lust of the world. The sin of the world has a beautiful look from the outside and we are warned not to be deceived by it. (1 John 3:15-17)
2) The effect of Sin (verses 27-32)
- The man that commits adultery in thins passage is said to destroy his on soul and also to get a wound and dishonor.
- Note that the illustration that the word of God uses is a man taking a fire into his bosom or walking upon hot coals. This is a good illustration also for sin you cannot play with sin in your life without getting burned and when burned there is always pain, suffering and most of the time a scar.
- Sin is the same way always remember you can overcome sin but sin destroys and makes weak it doesn’t build and make strong.
3) The Judgment of Sin (verses 33-35)
- The comparison is given in this passage of a man who steals because he is hungry note that when he is caught he pays for what he has done but it is totally different for the man that has committed adultery.
- His judgment is totally different and in many cases requires his life.
We must use these principles in our lives and look at warnings as both positive and negative to avoid the effects of sin and suffer the judgment that follows.
Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #14 A Warning is both Positive and Negative
(Proverbs 6:20-35) Handout
1) Explain how a warning sign is both Positive and Negative. Give an example.
2) What is the warning in our passage?
3) What are 3 things that the warning does for us?
4) How does the warning do these 3 things?
5) What is the temptation of sin in the passage?
6) What is the effect of sin in the passage?
7) What is the judgment of sin in the passage?