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The Ties That Bind

Proverbs 5:20-23

20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

INTRODUCTION: A cord is a thick string or a strong rope. As a picture, a cord is any force acting as a tie or bond connecting you to something else. Our life is tied up with thousands of thin cords. Some of them tie us to the world and its pleasures; some of them tie us to God and His service. The Bible mentions a number of these cords. Please consider your own life in relationship to these cords.

    1. These are the cords initiated by the sins in our lives. (Proverbs 5:22)
    2. Each sin we commit limits our power with God and our effectiveness in service and becomes a hindrance in our communion with God. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
    3. These sins must be confessed and deserted so that we can cut the cords that hinder us (1 John 1:9).
    4. The tongue is an example of how little things can cause big problems (James 3:5-10)
    1. The cords of vanity are the empty things of this world that come to mean a lot to us. (Isaiah 5:18)
    2. They may seem harmless, but they often draw iniquity behind them (Isaiah 5:22)
    3. Solomons love for comfort, pleasure and compromise led him to later sins (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 1 Kings 10:26-29; 1 Kings 11:1-8)
    1. These cords are external cords of wicked men who oppose the righteous and seek to hinder the work of God (Psalm 129:1-4)
    2. If you live godly in Christ Jesus, you will suffer persecution (Luke 6:22-23; 2 Timothy 3:12)
    3. We must look to the Lord for help when facing opposition and remember that the word of God is not bound (2 Timothy 2:9)
    1. These cords deal with the trials and afflictions of this life that hinder us and hold us down (Job 36:7-11).
    2. We must understand that God sometimes allows these afflictions for His special purpose; as in the case of Joseph (Psalm 105:17-21)
    3. God can even use the afflictions themselves as a way of bring glory to Himself; as in the case of Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
    1. This refers to limits and boundaries that the Lord puts on the wicked so that they can go no further than He allows (Psalm 2:1-4)
    2. This is illustrated in the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-8)
    3. This truth should give the Christian peace and confidence. He will face no temptation greater than God is ready to give him the strength to conquer (1 Corinthians 10:13)
    1. These are the cords of love by which God draws us to Himself (Hosea 11:1-4)
    2. We are to constrained to give our lives to God because of the love shown in the ultimate sacrifice of His Son (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). NOTE: The word constrain means to tie down or to pull forward as with string or cords.
    1. The Old Testament brazen altar had projections or horns at each of its four corners. These horns could be used to tie the sacrifice to the altar while it was being sacrificed. (Exodus 27:1-2)
    2. The picture of this passage (Psalm 118:27) refers to those cords which make us determined to sacrifice our lives to the Lord in fullness.
    3. This is illustrated by the testimony of Jesus when He determined to do, not His own will, but the will of the Father (Mark 14:36)
    4. Paul was also ready to lay His life down in sacrifice for the Lord (Acts 20:22-24)

CONCLUSION: Zechariah 4:10 speaks of the danger of despising the "small things." Song of Solomon 2:15 tells us that it is the "little foxes" that spoil the vine. Continually, we are making new ties and breaking old ones. Christ is drawing us with cords of life; the world with sin and vanity. You must decide which ties to make and which to break. What would the Lord have you to do?