This is part seven in my 31-day study through the book of Proverbs. The purpose of the study is to learn wisdom and discernment from God through this book. Yesterday I learned that I am never to give up control of my life by assuming the financial security of a friend and saw how God can teach me through anything in His creation, even the tiniest of creatures. I also learned that God hates discord and malice and will not tolerate those who seek to stir up dissension.
Chapter seven is divided into three sections. The first and last of them are instructions to avoid adultery while the middle section is a narrative used to illustrate this teaching.
The first five verses have a familiar ring.
My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words
These verses sound like several others that have appeared earlier in Proverbs. I am to heed the wise teachings of my father and trust them to guide my path. Just as with the Lord’s commandments I am to “bind them on [my] fingers; write them on the tablet of [my] heart.” The wisdom of my parents is to complement the commandments of God to form the foundation for a life of walking with God.
The second section paints a picture of a young man being led astray by the lure of adultery. A foolish young man devoid of understanding is met by a woman who is intent on leading him astray. She flatters him and lures him to her bed. She lures him with the false promise of love (“Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love”) knowing all the while that illicit, adulteress sex can never fulfill the longings for true love. She deliberately confuses lust with love and deceives both the young man and her husband.
The foolish man eventually heeds her words and is seduced. He follows her into her house “as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast.” As cattle is unknowingly led to the slaughter, so does this foolish young man allow himself to be led to his own destruction. He does not know that an arrow has fatally pierced him and that his sin will cost him his life.
The passage closes with a father’s concern for his children to heed his wisdom. He says that I am not to be led astray by adultery. My heart is to remain fixed on the path to upright, honorable living, rather than to focus on and dream about sin. If my heart is led astray, my mind and body will soon follow into the way of sin which is a path leading to eternal punishment.
The objective for this study is to learn godly wisdom and discernment. Based on the seventh chapter of Proverbs, here is what I have learned:
- Wisdom is to complement God’s commandments and help form a pure, godly life.
- Lust and love are easily confused. I am never to be seduced by thinking that lust can take the place of loving relationship.
- I am to guard my heart against sin, for once my heart has turned away my mind and body will follow.