Tan: Wisdom and holiness

Straight from my heart

Proverbs 6:20-35

ORIGINALLY, I was thinking of “Wisdom and Morality”, but then I switched to “Wisdom and Holiness”.

Morality is a set of rules dictated by society, culture and religion that governs human behavior, similar to ethics. Holiness is about a relationship with God; related to the word “sanctified”, which means being made holy. Holy Bible, Holy City, Holy Church...etc., are titles given because God claims ownership over these and which are consecrated for God’s use and purposes.

Morality speaks of the code of human behavior to preserve order and image and reputation. Holiness speaks of spiritual intimacy with God. Proverbs 6:20-35 highlights not just morality but the fear of the Lord that brings about a desire and a decision to live a holy life. A Holy life is not a requirement for salvation, it is the result and pursuit of a genuine conversion to faith in Christ.

Fidelity in marriage and sexual purity needs the perspective of wisdom and not the strict and frozen legalism of religion to avoid the extremes and excesses of human folly. Holiness does not make a prison out of marriage and sex; it is there to make it a strong fortress so that invaders cannot steal the pure pleasure and fun of a holy life.

Verses 20-23 shows that the holy wisdom from God usually comes through parental counsel:

• We need to seriously heed the words of our parents regardless of whether their actions are consistent or not.

• Parents should tremble before the Lord because they are God’s mouthpiece...remembering that their inconsistencies block the next generation from hearing God’s wisdom.

In verses 24-26, we see the holy ways of God through the pursuit of purity in relationships and the holy ways of God regarding the issue of marital fidelity and sexual purity. Simply put for singles: No sex without marriage while for married folks: No sex outside marriage. Wisdom warns us to obey and not believe that we are exempted from the rule.

Verses 27-35 say we need to lose all of our self-sufficiency. Desperate dependence on God is wisdom and holiness. The remaining verses of chapter 6 outline the holy will of God through wise choices for a godly life. Doing the will of God is not done wilfully, it is done willingly:

• Don’t rationalize sin

• Don’t resist common sense

• Do respond to God’s warning immediately

The holiness of God allows us to exercise our choices but enumerates the real, painful and lifelong consequences of unwise choices regarding the issue of infidelity and sexual impurity such as:

• Disqualification

• Disease

• Decay

• Destruction

• Death


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