R1502-77 Bible Study: A Temperance Lesson

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A TEMPERANCE LESSON

I. QUAR., LESSON XII., MAR. 19, PROV. 23:15-23

Golden Text—”And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”—Eph. 5:18

VERSES 15,16 manifest the right desire and ambition of a true parent for a son—viz., wisdom and righteousness. The ambitious aim of some parents is to have their own sons men of wealth, or power, or fame, or social prominence: but none of these things are worthy of their ambition. It is the wise son (wise in heavenly wisdom) that maketh the glad father.

VERSES 17,18. It is indeed folly to envy sinners and thereby to miss the joy and peace which naturally flow from a heart full of the love and reverence of the Lord; for there is an end of their brief pleasures, while those whose joy is in the Lord have a never failing source of consolation.

VERSE 19. The guiding of the heart in the right ways of the Lord is more important than the guiding of our actions, because if the heart is right the actions will regulate themselves accordingly. „Keep thy heart, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23.) By communion with God in prayer and through the Word of truth our hearts are kept in the love and service of God; and it is therefore only by constant use of these means that our hearts can be guided in the right way.

VERSES 20,21 need no comment: they need only to be remembered and heeded.

VERSE 22. This is but another way of saying, Honor thy father and thy mother. And the obligation of honor to parents never ceases, though that of obedience does when the years of maturity and discretion are reached.

VERSE 23. Truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding are not dear at any price, and when secured should never be sold or compromised for the short-lived advantages of error. Buy the truth, and sell it not: in meekness and with a ready and appreciative mind seek instruction in the ways of God’s appointment, but never take counsel with the ungodly. In God’s Word a refreshing understanding of the truth is gained and the wisdom that cometh down from above is secured, with all the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

The Golden Text—Eph. 5:18—does not refer to literal wine, but to the spirit of the world, which is thus symbolized. Christians are here counseled not to become intoxicated with the spirit of the world (See also Isa. 28:7), but to be filled with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of the truth, that so they may bring forth its precious fruits in abundance.

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— March 1, 1893 —