"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"
Somatic Therapy For Wise Living (4:20-27) INTRODUCTION 1. In our study of chapter four thus far, we have seen Solomon make two appeals concerning wisdom, which I entitled... a. Childhood Memories Of A Wise Man (4:1-9) b. The Two Paths (4:10-19) 2. Solomon's third appeal to wisdom (4:20-27) makes metaphoric use of body parts... a. Such as the ears, eyes and mouth b. Such as the heart and feet 3. I like to think of this section as "Somatic Therapy For Wise Living"... a. Somatic means "of or relating to the body" b. Somatic therapy normally refers to holistic treatment designed to integrate the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of one's being c. I am using it accommodatively in this lesson for the sake of illustration [If we are to live wisely, then we need to apply "somatic therapy". Let's begin with the fundamentals, what we might call...] I. SOMATIC THERAPY 101 A. INCLINE YOUR EAR TO WISDOM... 1. "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ears to my sayings." - Pr 4:20 2. In other words, careful attention to words of wisdom is required 3. If we have ears to hear, then we must use them, leaning forward to listen if necessary 4. Similar to the Bereans, who "received the word with all readiness" - Ac 17:11 -- Do we make good use of our ears, listening carefully when wisdom is shared? B. FOCUS YOUR EYES ON WISDOM... 1. "Do not let them depart from your eyes" - Pr 4:21a 2. The eyes should be fixed on wise teaching 3. This implies careful reading of that which imparts wisdom 4. As Paul charged Timothy: "give attention to reading" - 1 Ti 4:13 -- Do we make good use of our eyes, reading things that help make us wise? C. APPLY YOUR HEART TO WISDOM... 1. "Keep them in the midst of your heart" - Pr 4:21b 2. The heart in the Bible often refers to the mind or affections of a person 3. This implies meditation upon those things we have heard or read 4. As Paul exhorted the Philippians: "...meditate on these things" - Php 4:8 -- Do we spend time contemplating the wisdom we hear and read? D. THE BENEFITS OF SOMATIC THERAPY... 1. "For they are life...and health..." - Pr 4:22 2. Wisdom's words are life-giving and creative - Believer's Bible Commentary (BBC) 3. And they are health to the whole body because they deliver a person from the sins and stresses that cause so much illness - ibid. 4. As Jesus said: "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" - Jn 6:63 -- Do we let the wisdom of God give us a better life for both body and soul? [Wise living truly involves more than just the inner man. We must use the whole man, including the eyes and ears that God gave us. As we continue, let's progress to the next level...] II. SOMATIC THERAPY 201 A. FOR THE HEART... 1. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" - Pr 4:23 2. Diligence is required to guard the heart (the mind, the thoughts) 3. For it is the fountain from which all actions spring - BBC 4. As Jesus revealed concerning sin: "For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts..." - Mk 7:21-23 -- Are we careful about what goes into our hearts (minds)? B. FOR THE MOUTH AND LIPS... 1. "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you." - Pr 4:24 2. We must not use our mouths and lips to lie or otherwise mislead others 3. As Paul commanded: "putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor..." - Ep 4:25 4. Again: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" - Ep 4:29 -- Are we careful about what comes out of our mouths and lips? C. FOR THE EYES AND EYELIDS... 1. "Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you." - Pr 4:25 2. This suggests singleness of purpose, but it can also be take rather literally 3. In a day when the mass media bombard us with publicity designed to arouse our animal appetites, we must learn to keep our eyes on Jesus. - BBC 4. As Jesus warned, the eyes can be a conduit into the soul of man - cf. Mt 6:22-23 -- Are we careful upon what we let our eyes linger? D. FOR THE FEET... 1. "Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established." - Pr 4:26 a. Think about the direction in which your feet are taking you b. Work toward walking on established ways, not the unstable c. In this, the Lord is willing to assist us - cf. Ps 37:23;40:2; Pr 3:6 2. "Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil." - Pr 4:27 a. With the Lord before you, don't let the allurements of the world distract you b. Should you take a step in the wrong direction, quickly step back c. Again, the Lord is willing to help - cf. Mt 6:13; 26:41; 1Co 10:13; 2Pe 2:9 -- Are we careful about where our feet are taking us? CONCLUSION 1. Through proper "somatic therapy" we can live wisely... a. Using our ears, eyes, and mouths in ways that are wholesome b. Filling our hearts with good, so that it is good that proceeds from our hearts c. Watching where our feet are taking us, turning away when headed in the wrong direction 2. How are we using our bodies as we go through life...? a. Do we listen attentively to the spoken Word of God? b. Do we read carefully the written Word of God? c. Do we apply God's word to our heart and soul? d. Are we careful about what we see, say, and hear? e. Are we watching the direction our feet are taking us? Fail to apply the lessons of "Somatic Therapy 101" and "Somatic Therapy 201", and we will fail to succeed in the course of life...!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016