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September 5

Pastor’s Note

More in Proverbs on the destructive problem of marital infidelity. May this warning and the blessings of wisdom spelled out in chapter 8 be a safeguard and encouragement to us all. In our New Testament reading we finish Paul’s corrective of the abuses in the Corinthian worship services. The Bible here calls for self-control, order, and propriety in the worship of God. Let that always be our concern as we approach the triune God in worship.

— Pastor Mike

Proverbs 7-8

Warning Against the Adulteress

7:1 My son, keep my words
 and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
 keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
 write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
 and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden [1] woman,
 from the adulteress [2] with her smooth words.

For at the window of my house
 I have looked out through my lattice,
and I have seen among the simple,
 I have perceived among the youths,
 a young man lacking sense,
passing along the street near her corner,
 taking the road to her house
in the twilight, in the evening,
 at the time of night and darkness.

10 And behold, the woman meets him,
 dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. [3]
11 She is loud and wayward;
 her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,
 and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
 and with bold face she says to him,
14 “I had to offer sacrifices, [4]
 and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
 to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with coverings,
 colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
 aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
 let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;
 he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
 at full moon he will come home.”

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
 with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,
 as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast [5]
 23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
 he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, O sons, listen to me,
 and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
 do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,
 and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
 going down to the chambers of death.

The Blessings of Wisdom

8:1 Does not wisdom call?
 Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
 at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
 at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call,
 and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
 O fools, learn sense.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
 and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
 wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
 there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
 and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
 and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
 and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
 and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
 and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;
 I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
 and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
 and nobles, all who govern justly. [6]
17 I love those who love me,
 and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
 enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
 and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
 in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
 and filling their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed [7] me at the beginning of his work, [8]
 the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
 at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
 when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
 before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
 or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
 when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
 when he established [9] the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
 so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his [10] delight,
 rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
 and delighting in the children of man.

32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:
 blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
 and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
 watching daily at my gates,
 waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
 and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
 all who hate me love death.”

1 Corinthians 14:21-40

21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign [11] not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Orderly Worship

26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.

Footnotes

[1] 7:5 Hebrew strange
[2] 7:5 Hebrew the foreign woman
[3] 7:10 Hebrew guarded in heart
[4] 7:14 Hebrew peace offerings
[5] 7:22 Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as an anklet for the discipline of a fool
[6] 8:16 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint govern the earth
[7] 8:22 Or fathered; Septuagint created
[8] 8:22 Hebrew way
[9] 8:28 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[10] 8:30 Or daily filled with
[11] 14:22 Greek lacks a sign

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