Reading Proverbs 4:1-27
As I read through the Proverbs I’ve often wondered why Solomon takes so long to cut to the chase, my favourite chapters are those filled with his nitty-gritty sayings, but Solomon takes time to get there, nine chapters in fact. Why?
I think it’s because Solomon knows that the hardest battles in life are the battles within our hearts, and he is laying down both the defences, and attempting to inspire us with a vision of wisdom that is so beautiful and compelling that it will capture our heats. The battle for our hearts is perhaps the most bitterly fought, and is, sometimes the loneliest we face, time after time we are tempted to give up and often our own desires betray us. Jeremiah knew this and warns us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure …. Who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9)
Growing up, one of the most important films for my generation was the first Star Wars film. ‘A New Hope’. It was released in 1977, when I was 7, and for many of us it formed many early ideas of fun and adventure. The climax of the movie sees a small rebellion squadron of fighters trying to destroy the Death Star. To do this the ‘Rebel’ X-Wings must fire their weapons into a tiny hole that leads to the Death Star’s power core. By destroying this core they destroy the Death Star! The battle is hard fought as Imperial Tie Fighters try to intercept the incoming assault and protect the Death Stars Core, X-Wing after X-Wing is shot down on the approach to the weak spot. The climax of the battle has Luke Skywalker scoring a smart hit right into the Death Star’s very heart destroying it. Protecting the Death Star’s core should have been the empires priority, allowing a weak spot sowed the seeds for their ultimate destruction.
Protecting our hearts is one of the biggest battles of our lives, Solomon tells his son, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Vs 23). How can we guard our core, our hearts today from the rebels without and rebels within?
Paul writes …
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ( Philippians 4:8)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Father, I thank you you that you created me me with many passions, interests and desires. I thank you for those which lead me closer to you and make me excited about you. Lord, sometimes my heart is wayward, other times deceitful, please forgive me. Lord, I ask for wisdom today to see those things that lead me to you and those things that lead me from you. Lord, show me weak spots in my heart that I may ask for you strength and protection. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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