In Paul’s writings, including today’s excerpt from Ephesians, he often writes lists of sins to avoid. It’s important that we recognize that these lists are not exhaustive. Paul is writing to specific people groups who are struggling with specific sins so those are the sins he calls out. Like today, if you were talking to a group of teenagers you would talk about doing drugs, gossip, and premarital sex as sins. You probably wouldn’t mention embezzlement. Embezzlement is a sin, but not one those kids are struggling with at the time.
- 12-22 – God explains to the Israelites how much they could have prospered if they had just followed him.
- 1-6 – This is from the perspective of the servant who also spoke in chapter 42. This servant was called by God to speak to Israel.
- 14-26 – God promises Israel that he will restore them and that they will soon come out of exile.
- 17-20 – This is referring to Gentiles who have not been saved. The majority of Paul’s ministry was to Gentiles, so he obviously didn’t write them all off as heathens.
- 25-31 – Paul urges the Ephesians to avoid temptation and sin. This is not an exhaustive list, but most likely one that spoke to common temptations the Ephesians were facing.
- 1-6 – David does not deny that he has sinned but still cries out for help because of his enemies who have no cause for hating him.
- 7-18 – David is being judged and tormented for his commitment to God but he knows that his hope is in the Lord.
- Wisdom and knowledge are more than just nice things to have. They benefit us in a variety of practical ways. War was a big deal to the culture the proverbs were originally written for.