28) He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.Proverbs 25:28 (KJV)
Proverbs teaches profound principles for life through vivid imagery. In fact, many areas of the Bible use this approach. Jesus’ parables for instance, or the poetic structures of Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations are further examples.
These sound Biblical lessons use language and formats that captivate the reader. Illustrations are one of the many great ways by which God has chosen to communicate to us in the Bible.
Here the illustration is clear and strong. The proverb teaches that those who do not have self-control (“no rule over his own spirit”) are like cities broken down and without walls.
The failure to exercise self-control (it happens to all of us) makes us like a broken down city. We lose our dignity. Our self-respect and respect from others are gone. Just as a once-mighty city is brought low, its splendor is gone, it has lost respect from its citizens and its surrounding environs.
We also become ineffective like a broken-down city. A city in such a state cannot run efficiently from within, just as we cannot walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit when we give in to sin and lose self-control.
Perhaps we gave into sin; we responded to someone with anger or we intentionally hurt another. In all instances, we become ineffective Christians and witnesses. We become like a “tinkling cymbal”. (I Cor. 13:1 KJV)
As the city without walls is dangerous for travelers to enter we become people that can lead others astray through a lifestyle that is not at all God-honoring. Suddenly then even our good can become evil spoken of through a bad testimony.“God never leaves us in a state of despair. Ours is a God of restorations.”
We also become vulnerable. We become not only a city that is broken down but also one without walls. Enemies easily attack cities without walls. When our guard is down we are open to outside influences.
Our own lusts then entice us and draw us away. (Jas. 1:14 KJV) Additionally, the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Pet. 5:8 KJV) Who is easier for a person to attack than he whose guard is down? It is interesting because when we give in to our lusts and tendencies toward sin it gives us an illusion of control while in reality, it is making us greatly susceptible to greater sin. We are then “tossed to and fro” and fall into the snares of the enemy. (Eph. 4:14 KJV)
Thankfully, God never leaves us in a state of despair. Ours is a God of restorations. He lives to build back up the broken city. He rebuilds the torn down walls. In fact, when we repent and turn away from sin and regain self-control, we are like gold that has been refined. (I Pet. 1:7 KJV) We are purer and stronger. Our resolve is restored.
You see, unlike a dark and lost world that does not know Jesus, we are no longer slaves to sin. When we fall into sin we have a way out. We always have access to our great High Priest for forgiveness. (Heb. 4:15-16, I Jn. 1:9 KJV)
Yes, we will falter and there will be times in life that sin gets the best of us. There will be moments when our city is broken down and without walls. And yet, we always have hope.
Our help does not come from the mountains nor do we believe in cunningly devised fables. Our strength comes from He who made the mountains and we are eyewitnesses of majesty. (2 Pet. 1:16, Ps. 121:1-2 KJV)
When troubles compass us, when we become an ineffective witness as a broken city, and are set in a vulnerable state without walls, God is our refuge and strength. He is a very present help in trouble. (Ps. 46:1 KJV)
We need only come to our Father, ask Him for forgiveness, and allow His mighty work of restoration to begin. (Matt. 11:28 KJV) Then will He restore unto us the joy of our salvation and once more uphold us (Ps. 51:12 KJV) to become not a city broken but a city set upon a hill that is a light for the world. (Matt. 5:14 KJV)Subscribe (RSS)