By, Bill Randles
A Bible question, What do the book of Proverbs and the book of Revelation have in common? Both have a running theme concerning two women. In Revelation the Bride of Christ is set over against the Harlot, and the culmination of History is the Marriage supper of the Lamb.
Proverbs is similar, for we are introduced to two women, and called upon to choose between them. Lady Wisdom, cries out in the streets, beckoning those who know they lack wisdom to come unto her well set table.
But Dame Folly has an outreach to the simple also,her message is , “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant!”. These are the two competing Worldviews which Proverbs challenges us to choose from. Neutrality is impossible, a non decision is a decision.
Here is a two part article I wrote, which is a moral and spiritual exegesis of Proverbs 7 called “The Death of the Simple”- let me know what you think-
Death of the Simple Part 1
“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice. And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man void of understanding. Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” (Proverbs 7:6-9)
The book of Proverbs is God’s psychology. It is startling in its relevance to our current situation, because all true wisdom is timeless. This story in chapter seven is as current as the Internet and yet as old as the hills. Wisdom here is personified and is the witness to the destruction of a young person described as both “simple” and “void of understanding”.
To be “simple” in the perspective of Proverbs is to be naive, inexperienced, and undiscerning. It is not wrong to be simple, but it would be wrong to insist on staying simple! Simplicity is not the same as innocence however, because of the fall. This chapter is a warning to us that even in our simplicity, when left alone we have a pull towards immorality and evil. The young man saunters through the streets, bored and restless, but “happens to be drawn” to the house of the “strange woman”.
Part of the young man’s problem is that he is not only described as being simple, but he is also “void of understanding”. In Proverbs 9:10 we are told what this means – “…By the knowledge of the Holy is understanding”. To be void of understanding is to have no sense of the Holy, to be unaware of anything or anyone transcendent. It is to have no sense of God, accountability to God, or fear of God.
A woman runs out to meet him, with the attire of a harlot, she is bold, and like him she is restless, as well as attention seeking. She comes right up to him and kisses him, she takes the initiative, she takes the lead! This is no shrinking violet.
But not to worry! Before the young man can even consider the sensual flattery, she confesses her faith in God to him!
“I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows, so I came out to meet you…” (Prov 7:14-15)
In other words, her message is that what ever is going to happen from here, don’t worry, I am saved, I have by sacrifice made my peace with God! She immediately then proceeds to entice him, describing her bed in sensual terms. In the same sentence that she solemnly proclaims her faith; she also flatters him and offers him sexual delight. Her power is in her shameless boldness! She can do this with a straight face, as Proverbs warns us, she is impudent!
“Come let us take our fill of loves until morning…” (Proverbs 7:18)
There are at least two lies in this enticement. Lie number one is that one can “take his fill” of “Loves”, in other words that sexual sin can actually satisfy. There can be no satisfaction in sexual immorality because it is illicit, and not about the future, but only for the fleeting moment. Satan has a minstrel named Mick Jagger who actually got it right in his hit song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”.
The second lie is in the word “Loves”. I pluralized it because it is a plural word in the Hebrew. Sexuality was ordained to be exclusive. At a youth meeting, I once sought to demonstrate this by the use of five volunteers and a piece of duct tape. I slapped the tape onto the hairy arm of a young man, and patted it down thoroughly. When I then ripped it off of his arm he howled in pain! I then took the same piece and put it on the arm of another teen, and even then when I ripped it off his arm it did hurt slightly. By the third arm, it didn’t hurt at all, and by the fourth it barely stuck. By the fifth arm, I couldn’t get the piece to stick! The moral of the story – promiscuity – “Loves” destroys the God given capacity to cleave to someone for life, and in fact renders one incapable of anything but breaking off relationships.
“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straitly, as an ox goeth to slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.” (Proverbs 7:21-22)
She, the strange woman, the personification of sexual immorality, is said to have caused him to yield. Not by physical force, but by speech, by an appeal to the imagination, by a combination of flattery, sensuality and false religious assurances, She forced him. She is all immorality, all pornography, she infuses most of media these days, she is dangerous and powerful!
The language here is sacrificial, he follows her to the slaughter. Sexual immorality is godlike; it demands the sacrifice of everything a person is, a whole burnt offering of yourself. All dignity, commitment, true love and respect, religion, whatever is valuable in life is offered up on the altar and consumed for fornication!
“Till a dart strike through the liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.” (Proverbs 7:23)
But it is fatal, it’s a trap, it takes you farther away then you ever wanted to go, it costs and demands more than you could ever imagine you had to pay, you can’t go to heaven if you are a fornicator. The quicker you heed Wisdom’s warning the better:
“Hearken unto me now therefore O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth, Let not your heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths .For she has cast down many wounded; yea many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:24-27)