1 My son, obey my words, and treasure my commands.
2 Keep my commands and live; protect my teachings as you would the pupil of your eye.
3 Tie them to your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding [your] relative.
5 She will keep you from a forbidden woman, a stranger with her flattering talk.
6 At the window of my house I looked through my lattice.
7 I saw among the inexperienced, I noticed among the youths, a young man lacking sense.
8 Crossing the street near her corner, he strolled down the road to her house
9 at twilight, in the evening, in the dark of the night.
10 A woman came to meet him, dressed like a prostitute, having a hidden agenda.
11 She is loud and defiant; her feet do not stay at home.
12 Now in the street, now in the squares, she lurks at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him; she brazenly says to him,
14 “I’ve made fellowship offerings; today I’ve fulfilled my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you, to search for you, and I’ve found you.
16 I’ve spread coverings on my bed — richly colored linen from Egypt.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of lovemaking until morning. Let’s feast on each other’s love!
19 My husband isn’t home; he went on a long journey.
20 He took a bag of money with him and will come home at the time of the full moon.”
21 She seduces him with her persistent pleading; she lures with her flattering talk.
22 He follows her impulsively like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer bounding toward a trap
23 until an arrow pierces its liver, like a bird darting into a snare — he doesn’t know it will cost him his life.
24 Now, [my] sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Don’t let your heart turn aside to her ways; don’t stray onto her paths.
26 For she has brought many down to death; her victims are countless.
27 Her house is the road to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.
In preparing to write this post I read this chapter in the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) and praying that God would provide the insight.
In the first 5 verses I found some powerful thoughts and they are found in the eight commands that the writer lists and I see them as a great lead in to the story that comes in the following verses. These seven commands are: obey, treasure, keep, protect, tie, write, say and call. These are important and vital I believe to our growth and standing firm in Christ and I see them as the Heavenly Fathers instructions to us. Let us take a moment and look at these eight before moving onto the rest of the chapter.
We are to obey the words of the Father and treasure the commands of Him as well. Is this something that we are found doing in our daily lives? Next we are to keep the commands of the Father and again I ask myself the question: can we be found doing this in my life? We are to protect the teaching of the Father in our lives like we would protect the pupil of our eye. Think about how we protect our eyes, that is how we are to be protecting the teaching of the Father but do we do it? We are to tie His teachings on our fingers as a constant reminder. We are to write them on our hearts which means to internalize them. We are to say to wisdom that it is our sister or in other words treat it like is our sister. We are then to call understanding our relative. These I believe are what will protect us from what we see in the story that follows these eight commands. Let us now look at this story and what we can learn from it.
What we see is that someone is looking out their window and sees some inexperience young men who have not taken into their lives what was learned in the first five verses. This inexperience has the idea of being gullible. They are not street smart at all but they are putting themselves in a bad spot as we can see in verse 8, as they walk toward a sinful place.
Notice that this young man was not just an innocent bystander who was swept away in this verse but we see that he went towards this woman’s house, not in the light of day, but at night, so his actions would not be seen. I read a comment by Robert L. Alden which fits here: “If you want to avoid the devil, stay way from his neighborhood. If you suspect you might be vulnerable to a particular sin, take steps to avoid it.” Too often in the dark of night we do things that we know we should not do and think that no one sees but we forget that God has infra-red and x-ray eyes. God sees everything we do – both good and bad whether it is light or dark.
I have read what some others write on this woman here in these verses and I would agree with them that she is not a professional prostitute. Those I have read point out these: the way she presented herself, her attire, her words, her being loud and rebellious, all these just showed where her heart was at. What we see is that she was not content to be in her home, but was restless, looking for excitement in her life, trying to fill the void that was in her heart, even though she was a very religious person and a married person, as we see in the story. How much this sounds like many today who are not content in their homes, restless, looking for excitement, trying to fill the void in their heart, and being religious and really having no relationship or connection with God? This is no way to live life, find a true connection with Christ!
As we read on in these verses we see that this is not love, but lust that she is full of. What we see is that even way back then that they mixed up the two. Too many today think that love is the sex act and it is wrong because love is not a feeling but action. If you truly love someone you then marry them and the fruit that is born out of that deep commitment to each other is sex, which is beautiful. What many have done is made both love and sex the very same thing and so there is no commitment to that person and all it is a fulfillment of a lustful desire. I beg of you to make a commitment and love your spouse and do not seek anything but a true and deep loving relationship with them.
With all these things the woman is trying to seduce the young man with her talk and saying that they will not get caught – it will all be done in secret and no one will know. She is trying to get him hooked in with her talking in such a suggestive and alluring manner and it works. We see that he follows her like an ox to the slaughter. What a powerful image of what happens to us. We believe the suggestive talk of another who is not our spouse or the suggestive ads or porn. When this happens we are led like the ox to the slaughter or the deer to the trap or the bird caught in the snare. These things we do not think we will get caught doing will cost more than we ever imagined. They will cost us our jobs, our marriages, our families, our reputations, and ultimately then our lives.
We then see the warning coming at the end. Our heavenly Father is telling us that this kind of lifestyle will destroy you. I do not know where teens ever came up with the following but it just rubs me the wrong way. You tell them what you expect, warn them that what they are doing is wrong, and they respond by saying “Whatever!” As frustrating as this is I am reminded of how often I tell God, “Whatever”. Now I may not say those words, but how often do I think that He is not speaking to me, or I am above what He has to say, it won’t affect me because I am different, and so in a sense, I am saying to the heavenly Father “Whatever!” Is this ever you? Do you ever tell God “Whatever” in your life?
I am reminded of Jeremiah 32:33 says “And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.” And yet Paul tells Timothy this is 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We are to allow Scripture to correct us, God’s Word to instruct us in our daily walk with Him.
So what do we have in Proverbs 7? We have instructions on how to live in the first 5 verses and then a story showing us what happens if we do not live that way. It ends with a warning about how life will be and where our lives will end up if we do not listen to the Heavenly Father.
So are you living by the eight commands? Are you living like the woman who is out for fun and excitement and really have no connection to God, just an empty religion? Are you telling God “Whatever”? I pray that you are following hard after God in your life.
My name is Jim Foreman and I am the Pastor of Sedley Baptist Church in Sedley Virginia (Sedley is a rural farm community in Southeastern Virginia). I have been Pastor here for going on two years in July. I have been married to Wendy who is an amazing woman for 19 years June 20th. I have a daughter who is turning 16 on June 19th and a son turning 9 on June 6th (yes, June is a big month in our house). I have been an Associate Pastor and Youth Pastor in a couple of churches, one in Pennsylvania and one Maryland and I worked in the counseling field for over 10 years before full-time ministry. I also proudly served as a medic in a light Infantry Unit in the Virginia Army National Guard. I have a blog called On the Brink of Something Large. I love to hunt and fish with my son. I love to joke and laugh with my daughter. I love to spend time doing anything with my wife who is also my best friend and a great Pastor’s wife. To find out more about me you can go here.