“I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
“The assembly of the congregation”, or in our case, the church, was designed by God as a means to help the individual believer grow in Christ. The Word of God, corporate worship, and fellowship, were all designed by God to help each of us grow in Christ. When we come to church with a soft heart, eager to hear from God, His Word has a way of speaking directly into the things we are facing; equipping us in advance against trials and temptation. When we enter worship, with a desire to give back to God for all He has given to us, we find we draw near to Him, and surrender more of ourselves to Him. When we develop honest fellowship with other believers, we are willing to ask for prayer and counsel. When we remain open to share our struggles, we find that iron sharpens iron, and we are able to overcome sin and temptation.
That being said, it is dangerous when we enter the assembly of the congregation, put on a mask, and begin to play the Christian game. By wearing a smile and speaking our best Christianese, we convince others that all is well, when in reality we have begun to wander from the Lord. Instead of allowing the Word to do its work in our lives, by convicting, instructing, and changing, or taking advantage of the fellowship of the saints, we use our church time to pretend all is well.
Solomon warns of the danger of living like that. He declares, it is possible to be on the verge of total ruin, while standing in the midst of the assembly. Backsliding begins long before we stop gong to church. It starts when we begin to pretend all is well; when truly we have begun to drift. Instead of putting on your best mask, come to the fellowship with a hunger for the Word, a desire to worship, and an eagernes to glean all you can from other believers.
Questions for Proverbs 5
We are asked to pay attention to specific wisdom and to preserve discretion. Discretion-discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct. This chapter is a warning about the “immoral woman”.
1. How is the immoral woman described in verses 3-6?
2. The instruction given in verses 7 & 8 are very clear. As we have read in earlier chapters, some things we need to keep far away from our lives. Have you known someone that has fallen into this sin? Are you being tempted? Follow the instruction given.
3. We have read about the benefits of obeying the principles in previous chapters. What consequences are described here for being involved with the immoral woman?
4. Verses 15-20 tell us what we should and should not do. Verse 21 can bring comfort or guilt; for the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his paths. Do you understand that the Lord sees all you do? Read Colossians 3:17