“AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE YOU …”
We continue reading the blunt and challenging words of advice by Solomon in the Proverbs – how appropriate they are to counteract the values of life, or lack of them, that surround us today. “My son, be attentive to my wisdom,” writes Solomon, “incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.” [5 v.1,2]
In today’s chapter Solomon particularly warns about the “forbidden woman” whose “speech is smoother than oil” [v.3] Such women abound in today’s world, less and less women (at least in Australia) desire to settle down to wholesome married life, some of course prefer a worthwhile business career. The type of woman Solomon is referring to is clear, “her steps follow the path to Sheol (the grave); she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander …” [v.5,6] He advises, “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house …” [v.8]
The climax to the lesson Solomon is teaching is the warning, that if you fail to follow his advice, “at the end of your life you groan … and you say, ‘How I hated discipline and my heart despised reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.” [v.12,13]
Today, the instruction from God we can all easily possess - in God’s word – the Bible. “At the end of your life” may it be, that you will not groan – and this will be because you have read and listened and acted upon the words’ God caused to be written and preserved.
Our final thought is rather parallel to this, it is in our chapter 19 in Luke. It tells us that when Jesus “drew near and saw the city (Jerusalem) he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you,had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” [v.41,42]
It is not just an association with the wrong sort of woman that can ‘destroy’ our lives, but our wilful ignoring of the teaching of Jesus – what a terrible end came upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And as our Luke chapter for Saturday makes very plan, a disastrous end faces our world today – and when that happens may that not be “the end of your life.” You make the answer NOW.