My Favorite Proverbs: Feet that are swift in running to evil…(Prov. 6:16-19)
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
You may be surprised at the number of Bible passages that reference feet.
When communities rejected the teaching of the apostles, they were to shake the dust off their feet (Matt. 10:14). Women came and worshiped at the feet of Jesus (Matt.28:9). It is better to be lame than to have two feet and be cast into hell (Mk. 9:45). Jesus washed His disciples feet before His crucifixion (Jn. 13:5). The early Christians laid money at the apostle’s feet (Acts 4:35).
Feet that are swift in running to evil is a poetic way of describing a man who yields to his temptations with no hesitation. James explained to us that Satan finds what tempts each man the most and makes sure each man faces that exact temptation: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (Ja. 1:14). It’s not so different from a man who fishes for a particular kind of fish with the bait he knows has historically caught the most of that species. That’s a troubling thought when applied to the way the devil works in our lives.
The Lord said to Saul on the road to Damascus, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5). Goads were sharp sticks mounted behind oxen who were yoked to a plow. When they kicked back at their task, the goads hurt them. It’s an apt illustration of a man or woman who knows what is right but is doing wrong and his/her conscience hurts. Do you have goads hurting you right now?
Consider thoughts which ought to slow a person down when faced with temptation to sin:
1. The Lord suffered on that cross and died for my forgiveness. I owe Him better than to walk boldly into sin.
2. My fellow Christians would be hurt and disappointed.
3. My influence for good in my children would be compromised.
4. My influence for good in my unbelieving co-workers and friends could be destroyed.
This one in our list of things God hates is about caring enough, being diligent enough to stay faithful to my God. I take care in my daily decisions and work to think things through, rather than acting hurriedly and rashly. I think before I speak, before I go, before I act, and I judge all things by God’s will. Like Paul, I work to have a “…conscience void of offense toward God and toward men” (Acts 24:16).
Story Time from Glenn and Cindy: Genesis 49
In the last days of Jacob’s life he spoke to each of his sons and prophetically described what would happen in their lives. We do not have miraculous, prophetic ability like Jacob did and I’m glad. It must have been painful to tell some of these adult sons that because of their weak qualities, life would be filled with troubles of their own making.
Talk with your children about each of these weaknesses described by Jacob and encourage them to have the strength to be different and better:
1. (Vs. 3-4). Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn son, who, presumably, would be the future leader of the family; but Jacob summed up his character with three words you should explain to your children: “unstable as water.” Pour water in a glass and then a casserole dish. Challenge your children to think about how the water takes the shape of whatever container it’s in. “Sometimes it’s tall and skinny like this glass. But then it’s wide and flat like this casserole dish. It just changes and can’t be controlled. It will not stay in any certain shape like play dough does.” Make sure they understand the concept of being so easily changed. Ask them if we should be like Reuben and change our minds about right and wrong all the time. Reuben was undependable; always changing, like the water. Do you know anyone like this? Teach your children about being steady and dependable: fulfilling commitments, keeping their word, and consistently doing their best, no matter with whom or where they are.
2.(Vs. 5-7). Simeon and Levi were cruel to animals and to people. Merriam-Webster defines cruelty as, “disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings.
Discuss a connection between someone who is cruel to animals and to humans.
“A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Prov. 12:10).
Children who are careful to never be cruel to animals will probably never be cruel to humans. If your children have pets, think about some behaviors that would be cruel to their pets.
3. (vs.10) To Judah Jacob says, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; And to him shall be the obedience of the people” (Vs. 10).
Teach your children that Shiloh is Christ, and that Christ was promised to come from one particular son, Judah (Heb. 7:14). One of the amazing proofs that Jesus is the Son of God is the many prophesies in the Old Testament which pointed to Him hundreds of years before His birth.
4. Sing the names of the 12 sons of Jacob. The West Huntsville kids have our tune, but lots of people sing these to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah
Issachar, Zebulon, Dan (Pretty good!)
Naphtali, Gad and Asher
Joseph and Benjamin.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.