Proverbs 4:14-20 Friday, Day #25

We learn that King Solomon was teaching the good from the evil to his son; however, we also learn that both King Solomon and his son did not continue to follow in the paths of righteousness; therefore, brought the nation of Israel to ruin. What does that say to us then as believers in Christ if we do not remain faithful to the Lord and his ways?

Moments in Proverbs
Proverbs 4:14-20

Comparing the Good from the Evil

It is Friday and Day #25 today.  We enter into today's teaching comparing the good from the  wicked and evil.  King Solomon has been attempting to teach his son the dangers of going down the path of the wicked, comparing it to traveling down the path in which the Lord had designated for him.

Proverbs 4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil.  15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.  16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.  17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.  

The Path of the Wicked

We look here at the path of the wicked and say to ourselves "I could never become that evil.  Surely, King Solomon must have been talking about the really wicked in society.  However, was he? 
John 10:10...the thief comes to rob, kill, and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come to give you life, and life abundantly.
Satan's job is to destroy whomever he chooses for destructions.  He doesn't play games.  He is serious about destroying people.  The more he can get Christian leaders to stumble, the easier it is for him to destroy what God has set up as beautiful and according to His purpose.  Pull the leader down and the followers will tumble.  It isn't that Satan is stronger than God, it is mankind, who have chosen to follow God, who have backed away, being tempted and deceived by Satan to go down the path of wickedness.

Solomon's Downfall

God had spoken to Solomon when he first became king over Israel to never marry any foreign wives, for they would be the cause of his downfall.  Sure enough, before long, Solomon became smitten with Egypt's Pharaoh's daughter and made her his wife.  From that point on, to keep peace with Israel and the foreign nations around him, which were all foreign idol worshipers, King Solomon married daughters of foreign kings to keep peace with Israel.  All in all, Solomon collected 7000 wives and 300 concubines in his political moves.  One of those wives was Naamah, an Ammonite and idol worshiper, who became the mother of Rehoboam, the future king after Solomon  That made Rehoboam only 50% Jewish and 50% Ammonite blood.  Already, there is a breach in that the future king of Israel was only part Israelite.
We know from past teachings that Solomon kept erecting building projects for his foreign wives, which extravegant amounts of money was poured out of Israel's treasury.  While Solomon was a the richest king at one time, his funds kept depleting as he catered to his foreign wives with their own castles and places of worship for their foreign idols.  To continue on with his building projects, Solomon eventually stopped hiring Phoenician workers and made slaves out of his own people to indulge in his foreign wives constant wishes.  This depleted the treasury of King Solomon, and hatred grew among his own people in the forcing slavery upon his own people.  As such, the kingdom of Solomon began to fall apart.  By the time of Solomon's death the Kingdom of Israel was already on its way toward ruin. 

Rehoboam's Inheritance

This is the kingdom that Rehoboam inherited from his father when he became king over Israel. When Rehoboam became king, he had no heart for God because his own father fell to Satan's ways as he lost his fear and love for God, and taught his son otherwise through his action.  Because Solomon, as his father fell, so did the son. 
Satan was busy at work to destroy God's people the Israelites. 
John 10:10...the thief comes to rob, kill, and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come to give you life, and life abundantly.
We know that God only wants the best for His people.  We have learned all along - really, from the very beginning, that without the fear of God, there is no beginning to wisdom.  No knowledge, no understanding, and certainly none of God's wisdom will come to anyone who lacks God's knowledge and understanding. 
King Solomon had it and gave it away.  His son Rehoboam only received a portion of the teachings he should have had.  Now as king, he depended on foolish counsel while he kept reaping one bad consequence after another.  Rehoboam demanded even more taxation out of the people just like Solomon did, bringing on more hatred for the new king of Israel.  Rebellion came to Israel and in one fell swoop, Rehoboam lost ten of the twelve tribes, amounting to lost half of his kingdom.     

The Path of the Just

18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.  19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble. 20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
On the totally opposite end of the spectrum, the path of the person who follows after God shines brighter like the dawn of a new day growing brighter and brighter until full daylight.  The wicked, however, walk around in darkness, blind to whatever they do because they simply cannot see what makes them stumble over and over.  They simply repeat the same wrongs continuously.  There is no fear of God, and they walk in the ways of their own understanding.
My son, King David pleads, pay attention what I am trying to teach you.

If Only...

What a travesty!  Because Solomon failed to obey God and His righteousness, Solomon's and his son Rehoboam's rebellion toward God in swaying off of the paths of righteousness put them both into Satan's hands and it eventually ruined the whole nation of Israel.  In the end, Rehoboam died after reigning over the two tribes of the kingdom of Judah for only 17 years. Worse yet, his son, Abijah, had a shorter reign of only three years. Such a terrible legacy for the wisest and riches man in king in the world. 
Imagine what the history of Israel would have become if King Solomon listened and obeyed God until the end.  Then if his son, whom Solomon taught, had also been faithful to heeding the advice of his father.  If only…

Application for Christians Today

Can we also see how important it is for us believers in Christ to stay on the path that God has chosen for us?  Since the enemy is continuously out there to rob, kill and destroy, and he will do it a little at a time, we need to remain faithful to the ways of the Lord, turning out back on Satan and his temptations.
Hebrews 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

Solomon did not remain faithful until his very end.  His son, even when he first became king rejected the Lord and his ways.  So then, what was their eternal destination?   

What about us today as believers in Jesus Christ?  What is the message that God has for His children in this section of Proverbs today?  Unlike Solomon and Rehoboam, can we remain faithful to the Lord and His ways until the very end?  For if we don't,  do we see what dangers face us for our disobedience? 

Great questions to ponder over today.

It is Friday, and we will continue back on Monday.

God bless!

Pastor Joyce Erickson

Written by Pastor Joyce A. Erickson

Believers Bible School, Founder