Divided Loyalty


Wisdom and insight want to be as close family to us if we will store up God’s word in our hearts. We are the light in a dark world, and worldliness snuffs out our light. Stay on the side of wisdom and insight. Do not let your heart and life be divided…

1 My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and to insight, “You are my relative.”
Proverbs 7:1-4

4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
James 4:4, 7-8

The contrast of Proverbs 7 is loyalty to wisdom against risking the temptations of adultery with the world. The wisdom and insight of God creates a safe haven for the follower of God.

The path to wisdom’s safety is through the storing up of God’s commands in us. As we keep them, we will live. They are to be guarded as valuable and worth possessions. In the pattern of ancient Hebrew ritual, given by God to keep his commands front of mind, we are told to, “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

The modern day equivalent is sticky notes on your desk, mirror, and dashboard. It’s wall art and backgrounds. If we keep the words and things of God in front of us, we will stand a much better chance of maintaining loyalty to his ways.

The allure of the world is also there. Proverbs 7 paints a picture of the temptation and draw into adultery, with a seductive dark path toward destruction. Don’t go there. It’s the opposite of God’s way.  There is no end of the opportunities to explore paths of worldliness. We are the light in a dark world, and worldliness snuffs out our light to leave us in the darkness we are here to enlighten.

James takes us to the same place in his letter. Friendship with the world makes us enemies of God. The outcome is vs. 8 in which our loyalty is divided between God and the world.

There are clear choices to make. Stay on the side of wisdom and insight. Do not let your heart and life be divided.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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