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Facing the Music

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2020 8:00 am

Facing the Music

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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What's one of the key ways you can be more like Christ?

Here's Stephen Davey with this important truth. Jesus always speaks the truth, for he is truth. So the believer who is most like Christ and most unlike Satan is the believer who tells the truth.

None of us would say that we want to be like Satan, yet every time we tell a lie or fudge the truth, we're acting like Satan instead of acting like Christ. You've probably heard of the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins is a phrase that comes straight from Proverbs 6, where Solomon lists seven sins that God hates. Stephen's looking at those seven deadly sins in today's lesson. But make sure you listen all the way to the end, because he's also going to turn them around and encourage you with seven actions that bring delight to God. Stephen's calling this lesson, Facing the Music.

Robert Jeffress included in his commentary on some of the Proverbs an interesting history of a popular phrase we often use today. Although translated from Chinese into English, evidently a member, he wrote, of the Royal Orchestra in China had evidently talked his way into playing in the orchestra, although he had no musical training whatsoever. Whenever this massive orchestra would practice or perform, he would simply hold the flute against his lips and pretend to play. For some time, he got away with it, enjoying the prestige of being in the orchestra as well as receiving a handsome salary.

One day, however, the emperor requested that each member of the orchestra come to the palace and perform one solo piece for him, as he intended to enjoy several days of music. The flautist knew that in a matter of hours he would be discovered. His family shamed. He would more than likely be executed for fraud. So he feigned illness, but the court physician found nothing wrong with him.

On his appointed day, an hour to perform approached. He took his own life rather than stand before the emperor and be exposed as a thief and an imposter. And out of that event came the phrase, he refused to face the music. We use that phrase today to talk about somebody who refuses to be accountable, don't we? To face his just desserts, to stand up and own up to what he or she really is.

They refused to face, as it were, the music. You study the book of Proverbs for very long and you get the distinct impression that the emperor of heaven has called each of us in for a personal evaluation. It doesn't do any good to feign illness.

There's no hiding our performance. In fact, it's impossible to escape him, even in death. Perhaps that's why the apostle Paul was so passionate about his development and performance for the glory of God when he wrote, It is my ambition to be pleasing to Christ. Second Corinthians chapter five, verse nine. The hard truth is we're often not very pleasing to our Lord and we are in constant need of challenge and correction. And one of the greatest dangers to the Christian growing up in Christ is the danger of believing that we have arrived. That's why the apostle Paul wrote these important words when he himself said, I haven't attained yet.

It isn't that I'm perfect, but I press on. Philippians chapter three, verse 12. It's dangerous to believe that we've arrived. That's why it's a good thing, however, to face the music, the evaluation of scripture, as it exposes us for not only who we are, but where we should grow and what we should change or do. If you turn to Proverbs six, that's one of those passages that sort of calls us in before the personal encounter with the emperor of heaven.

It's a great text. Look with me at verse 16 of Proverbs chapter six. Here are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him. Haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil.

A false witness who breathes out lies and one who sows discord among brothers. This is one of those passages where we're not only having to appear before the divine or the heavenly emperor, but it's almost like getting a physical from the divine physician. He takes a look at our body. Did you notice how he references our eyes?

The health of our heart, the condition of our tongue, the use of our hands and even our feet. He just brings us in and checks us all out. How many of you enjoy getting a physical? Isn't that a delight? Oh, joy.

Oh, delight. It's that time of year again where I've got to call and make a scheduled appointment with the doctor to get a physical and I'm going to get poked and prodded and pushed and weighed. You know, you can always default, though, because you're wearing your clothes and your shoes, right? It's my shoes.

I can tell you that every year my shoes are weighing more and more when I go and see the doctor. But that's only after you've had to sit out in the waiting room for an hour. Well, then eventually, you know, you get checked out and then they tell you to go to the lab to have your blood drawn.

That's my favorite part. I'm just thinking about it. I don't know about you, but I'm queasy and my palms get sweaty and I give her my arm, that cruel barbaric nurse, and I look this way and I grip my teeth and she fills hundreds of vials of blood.

That will weaken me for the rest of my life and I'm not exaggerating. But this is where danger to our health is exposed and it is very important, isn't it? The divine physician in a text like this pokes and prods and weighs, he draws blood. Now, before we look at each of these parts examined, why a list of seven?

Let me give you three reasons why. First of all, it aids the believer with his memory. Why does he say six, yea, no, seven? Well, I think it aids the believer in our own memory, condensing it. These are certainly categorical sins. You can shove a lot underneath these, but it helps you to get a list.

This is one of those things that the poet knew we could sort of tuck in our shirt. It's a short list and it aids our memory. I want you to know there are seven sins God hates, aids the memory.

It also encourages the believer not only with his memory, but it encourages the believer by its brevity. Certainly the Lord hates all sin, right? All sin is equally hated by God, but to summarize it and sort of pare it down to these sins, a short list of six, it actually encourages us. Imagine if the text said, there are six thousand things the Lord hates. Seven thousand are an abomination to him. You'd go, oh no, seven thousand.

Where do I begin? So it's encouraging to know the list is short, isn't it? Here's seven for starters. The list aids the believer with his memory.

It encourages the believer by its brevity. Thirdly, this list surprises the believer with its severity. These seven, Solomon writes, the Lord hates. The Lord despises these actions and attitudes. In fact, he says, these are abominations to him. That Hebrew word refers to things that are morally repulsive, reprehensible. These are abominations. So does this mean that the Lord considers these seven sins more repulsive, more reprehensible than other sins? No, for all sin is abomination to the Lord. In fact, the text says these six things, yea, seven is actually a Hebrew expression that implies the list is not exhaustive.

Sin is sin. But these in the list are surprising to me. See, among these seven are sins you think that you could easily sweep under the rug. These are a far cry from the nasty nine and the dirty dozen, right?

Well, look at the list. We understand the one about murder, last part of verse 17, but you mean to tell me that God hates a haughty look as much as he hates murder? You mean to tell me that a lie is as bad as murder? What does this do for the average person who thinks they're going to heaven because they haven't killed anybody? You want to heaven? Well, yeah, I'm going to heaven.

I've never killed anybody. Well, you look at this list, you listen to the physician's report, and you discover in the report that God hates murder and lying and divisiveness and arrogance equally. So we need to face the music together. This is what God has to say. These are six things that the Lord hates.

Seven are morally repulsive to him. He begins in the next verse with the eyes, a proud look, haughty eyes. In our vernacular, we might say this is somebody who looks down their nose at everybody else. This would be the spirit of disdain, a disdainful spirit or attitude. They literally disdain other people. And since the eyes of a person's body, we're told, are the mirror of the soul, this means that a haughty look is actually betraying a haughty spirit, a haughty heart, a disdainful heart and spirit toward others.

They really believe people like they are better than other people because they really believe they are better than other people. This is nothing less than the attitude of Satan himself who disdained the triune God, believing he was worthy of God's own throne. So the person that views with arrogance others is reflecting the spirit of Satan, and that spirit will never bring Christ glory.

It will never bring Christ dishonor, and that's why God hates it. The Scottish preacher James Denny said, no man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time. You can't focus your attention on him and at the same time focus your attention on you. The phrase refers to someone who is conceited, someone who is caught up with his own reflection and their favorite topic of conversation is who?

Themselves. I appreciated this response when several decades ago somebody asked Walt Disney what it was like to be a celebrity. He was literally known just about around the world. And he said, well, it feels fine when it helps to get a good seat for a football game. It's nice to be a celebrity. But it never helped me to make a good film or command the obedience of my daughter. In fact, it doesn't even seem to keep fleas off our dog. And if being a celebrity doesn't give me an advantage over a couple of fleas, there can't be much to it.

That good? I wonder then about the church. Eugene Peterson, the author of the paraphrase The Message, once remarked that the church today is growing in its list of celebrities and declining in its list of saints. Solomon moves from this spirit to another one. We'll call this the deceitful spirit. He moves now in verse 17 and says the Lord not only hates haughty eyes, but he hates a lying tongue. This is a deceitful spirit. Again, it's easy to find the model and the character of Satan who is called by Christ the father of what? The father of lies. In fact, whenever Satan speaks, he speaks.

Lies and lying happens to be his native dialect. John 8 44. Where on the other hand, Jesus Christ always speaks the truth, for he is truth. John 14 6. So the believer who is most like Christ and most unlike Satan is the believer who tells the truth. And over and over again, ransack the Proverbs on your own and discover how often Solomon challenges the believer to be honest. Chapter 4 verse 24 would be one put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you. Devious talk.

What's that? That's more than just some big whopper of a lie. Devious talk could be manipulating the truth to cover your tracks.

It could be stretching the truth to fit your story and more. The Lord hates the disdainful spirit and the Lord hates the deceitful spirit. Third, he hates the destructive spirit. Notice further as he examines not just the eyes and the tongue, but the hands.

What is it about these set of hands? They shed innocent blood. Now, this is the one we would expect. Yeah, there you go.

That's that belongs on the list. God considers it morally reprehensible and it is true. These are the inquisitors, the murderers, the fomenters of holocausts and genocides. This is also the euthanasia proponent. The abortionist. This is the court and those that followed that order to remove water and food from a living disabled woman named Terry Shiloh. This is for all those who adopt the message of Peter Singer, the bioethicist at Princeton, who said that killing both preborn and now he's moved to saying newborn children, as well as legalizing the assistance of suicide, especially for the elderly, is acceptable within, quote, the best interests of the family.

I'd hate to be in that family that thought it was in their best interest to bump me off. He said in an interview that there's going to be an upheaval in the concept of life and human rights with only a few hardcore, know nothing religious fundamentalists still protecting life as sacred. And so we do.

Amen. He believes that killing a disabled newborn for up to 28 days after birth is acceptable. And Princeton actually pays his salary. Of course, he also believes that a man's life is not worth more than a cow. And he has a growing following. And people unwittingly are deceived into following the God of this world who is bent on destruction, for he was a murderer from the beginning.

Johnny 44. He loves to kill the image of God because he cannot kill God. At least he will motivate and inspire the killing of human beings because we are uniquely created in the image of God and it's sort of an indirect slam at God. No wonder the Lord hates the disdainful, the deceitful, the destructive spirit. Solomon writes further in verse 18 how God hates the depraved spirit. The Lord hates a heart that devises wicked plans. This text refers to those who are plotting to take advantage of others, those who literally create plans that help destroy the lives of others.

Certainly those whose lives are destroyed are personally and directly responsible, but he places responsibility at those who plan those plans. This is the depraved heart conniving, scheming, scamming God hates. Let's turn this one around and challenge ourselves to plan things that will encourage and help others toward purity and integrity. It is a world filled with scammers and schemers and they're going to steal your money and they're going to steal your purity.

They're going to steal your reputation. So let the church be an assembly that plans to enrich and encourage purity and enhance character and reputation and when the sinner lies on his bed, Solomon said, he plans evil. So when you lie on your bed tonight and you pillow your head, plan something good for somebody else.

Like Jim Elliot who prayed, God allow my life to be a crossroads where people who meet me choose the right path. A few weeks ago I read a devotional article by my favorite professor, Howard Hendricks, in which he wrote, not long ago I lost one of my best friends, a dynamic woman, 86 years of age. The last time I saw her was at a rather boring reception. We were sitting there on eggshells looking all pious and she walked in, saw me and said, well, Hendricks, I haven't seen you for a long time.

What are the five best books you've read in the past year? She had a way of changing a group's dynamics. Her philosophy was let's not bore each other.

Let's get into a discussion and if we can't find anything to discuss, let's get into an argument. She was 83, he writes, on her last trip to the Holy Land. She went there with a group of NFL football players. He said one of my most vivid memories of her was seeing her out in front of the bus yelling inside, come on guys, get with it. She died in her sleep.

Her daughter told me that just before she died, she had written out her goals for the next 10 years. Wow. There's a heart devising and planning for good and godliness and impacting others as well for Christ. Solomon moves out of the feet. He informs us that the Lord hates feet that make haste to run to evil. These are wandering feet.

These are straying feet. This is a reference I think to the delinquent spirit. They have the ability to catch up with trouble.

They have the innate skill to sniff the wind and discover which direction sin is traveling and find it and with both feet chase it down. They pursue evil. They live for evil. They give their business card to evil. They leave their phone for evil. They say to evil, call me later.

They are the high school seniors who have already decided as soon as they are away from home and some college somewhere, they will run to evil and I've got about five months left and I can't wait. These are the businessmen whose flight touches down in a distant city and his feet are anxious to get into a good search for sin. He hates the sound of feet running.

He loves the sound of feet running toward him as prodigals race home. Solomon informs us that the Lord also hates the dishonest spirit. Look at verse 19. The Lord hates a false witness who breathes out lies.

Just part of his inhale and exhale. He wrote in Proverbs 19-22, it is better to be a poor man than a liar. There's a good text for you as you enter the business world tomorrow. It's better for you to lose that contract because you tell the truth than gain the contract because you've lied or you've hedged or you've covered. Proverbs 26 verse 28 is where Solomon writes, a lying tongue hates those it crushes and a flattering mouth works ruin. See, they're both not telling the truth, by the way.

The liar and the flatterer ruin lives. In fact, it will be Solomon's own son, Rehoboam. You study the record of Rehoboam, you discover that as soon as he mounts the throne, he has young counselors that advise him to be rather deceptive and selfish and he follows their advice and they flatter him and they say, you are Rehoboam. I mean, you are so much greater than your father, Solomon. Show your strength, show your power, tell everybody you're king. And they ruined his life.

He would lose the throne. Listen, the believer is to always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Think of it this way. The Christian is always under oath.

We are always under oath to tell the truth. So the Lord hates the disdainful spirit, the deceitful spirit, the destructive spirit, the depraved spirit, the delinquent spirit, the dishonest spirit, and finally, the Lord hates the divisive spirit. Proverbs chapter 6 verse 19 concludes, the Lord hates one who sows discord among brothers, among the brethren.

He hates anyone and anything that will divide his people. Of course, in the New Testament, this would be a reference to the assembly or the church, those who will separate the saints. Now, if God hates these seven acts of sin, then that would mean he loves the opposite, right? So let's turn them around quickly from the deadly seven sins to the delightful seven acts. Instead of a haughty spirit, then he loves a humble spirit. How are you going to treat someone in your family? How are you going to treat someone in your classroom, your church, your job?

Tomorrow morning, will you look down at them or will you look out for them? Instead of a haughty spirit, demonstrate a humble spirit. Number two, instead of lying speech, pursue legitimate speech, tell the truth. Number three, instead of hands that harm, develop hands that help. Number four, instead of a heart that plans wicked deeds, develop a heart that plans wholesome deeds. Number five, instead of racing toward perversion, run for the prize.

Paul calls it the prize of the high calling which we have in Christ Jesus. Number six, instead of lying under oath, live under oath. Remember, we are all called witnesses, aren't we?

We live on the witness stand. Number seven, instead of sowing bitterness and disunity, sow seeds of blessing and unity. And so mirror the model of Christ who was the perfect opposite of all of these seven terrible things.

Couldn't help but think of it as I study this paragraph. Think of it, Christ was the model of humility. He was the epitome of truth and truthfulness. His hands healed and helped and embraced. His heart was pure and sinless.

His feet walked among us, eventually allowing the piercing nails to silence him, but only for just a moment. Everything he said was true about everybody he ever spoke of. And we have been unified by him around this truth into one family. This is the divine physician's report. I recommend that we together accept the facts and don't argue with the x-rays or the lab report.

Fill the prescription, take your medicine. Let's accept the diagnosis and with gratitude for God's grace and goodness, have passion like the Apostle Paul to be pleasing to Christ. So let's deal with this list of seven and yield to our Lord and to his spirit, our eyes, our mouths, our hands, our hearts, and our feet.

As Christians, sin should always concern us, but committing sins that God specifically puts on a list of things he hates is especially sobering. We need God's help in mirroring our Lord Jesus Christ in the way we act. I hope you'll find time today to learn more about the Bible and the Bible itself.

I hope you'll find time today to pray and ask God to reveal areas where you might need to change and then ask him for the strength and power by his spirit to walk in holiness. You're listening to Wisdom for the Heart with our daily Bible teacher, Stephen Davey. You can learn more about Stephen and our ministry by visiting us at That website is filled with resources to help you walk wisely. Many of these resources, such as the audio archive of Stephen's messages, are free.

Visit there anytime and see what we have available for you. The lesson you heard today is called Facing the Music. It comes from a series on the book of Proverbs called The Quest for Hidden Treasure. We have all of the lessons in this series available as a set of CDs for those who want to own this collection. You can order the set on the website or you can call us today at 866-48-BIBLE. That's 866-482-4253. You can call us any weekday and we'd be glad to help you. When you call, be sure and ask how you can get a complimentary copy of our brand new magazine called Heart to Heart. Heart to Heart is a resource we give to our wisdom partners but we'd be happy to send it to you and the next three issues are absolutely free. There's one more lesson to go in this series and that will be tomorrow at this same time here on Wisdom for the Heart. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-06 11:41:57 / 2024-02-06 11:51:50 / 10

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