There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. ~Proverbs 30:18-19
Solomon drew illustrations from the natural world to teach us practical, scriptural principles. In today’s study, he uses an eagle in the air, a serpent slithering on a rock, and the way of a ship in the midst of the seas as powerful metaphors. An eagle soaring in the air looks harmless until it sees prey that it wants from a distance, and then it descends at lightning speed to catch it. A serpent slithering on a rock looks harmless as it slithers into a crevice to hide and wait for prey. It leaves no scent or trait that it was on the rock. A ship in the midst of the sea appears to be headed to its destination until there is a sudden shift in wind direction, and then it is blown into a totally different and even perilous direction. Each of these illustrations teaches us about the principle that there are things we encounter in life that are not as harmless as they appear.
Don’t let your character be hoaxed.
The eagle looks harmless as it soars hundreds of feet above the ground. The serpent looks harmless as it slithers on a rock. The ship looks like it is in charge of the open seas as it sails in its intended direction. However, once the eagle sees an unsuspecting prey, a serpent sees an unsuspecting animal through a crevice in the rock, or a change in wind redirects the direction of the ship, then someone or something has been fooled. We must be careful of our character being deceived, or duped, by sinners in the way, the devil’s alluring temptation, or the false wind of doctrine that blows us off course. Be sober and vigilant against being easily deceived.
Don’t let your conscience be hardened.
“Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” The woman whom Solomon is referring to has a hardened conscience. She sees nothing wrong about her infidelity. She has adapted to a sinful lifestyle by continuous lying, deceit, and a callous attitude about how others are affected by her sinful life. Repeating a sin hardens our conscience. Turning a deaf ear to the warning of God’s Word hardens our heart. Giving place to the devil results in a hardened conscience. When we are hardened, we leave God out of our decision-making and put ourselves at risk of calamity.
Don’t let put your confidence in your humanity.
We must be careful of trusting in our flesh. We might think that we are strong enough to withstand the temptation, that associating with people who live in sin won’t hurt us, or that there is enough distance between us and a lustful passion when we need to flee youthful lusts. Paul said to put no confidence in the flesh. Samson thought that he was strong enough against Delilah, but he got his hair cut in her barber shop. Peter thought that he was strong enough to take a stand on the eve of our Lord’s betrayal. However, once he realized he was by himself, he succumbed to pressure and denied our Lord three times. Paul said, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Be careful in putting your confidence in your flesh.
Some things are not as harmless as they appear. Take heed against falling. Be sober and vigilant. Walk circumspectly and redeem the time. Don’t let the sin of presumption take you down. Take a stand against evil, resist the devil, and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Have a vigilant God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 21-22