Wisdom Cries Out Loud: Death of the Simple (Part 2)

By, Bill Randles

“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 like all scripture, is multifaceted, it goes beyond being God’s psychology, as I noted in the previous post, although it is indeed that. It is also more than a collection of divine maxims, the teaching of morality, people skills, and practical insights for daily life. It is all that and more, it is in fact prophetic, it is an eschatological revelation.

Consider the similarity in the structure of Proverbs and the book of Revelation. Both of them have the theme of choosing between two rival women. The book of Revelation features the vision of the woman in labor, beset by the beast, sheltered by the Lord, carried away to safety on eagle’s wings. It culminates in the vision of the Bride, pure and holy, made ready for her heavenly husband, the Lamb.

She has a counterpart in Proverbs, the virtuous woman who fears the Lord. She cries out in the streets to admonish the simple, she prepares a feast of bread and wine to those who heed her call, and the Proverbs ends with a celebration of her virtues – gladness that it was she who was chosen and not the other.

But the theme of Revelation features a second woman from beginning to end, the Harlot. She is called “That woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess and teaches my servants to commit fornication…”(Rev 2:20). She is also seen sitting upon a beast, drunk on the blood of saints and having a brazen headpiece with blasphemous names written on it. For a little time she is given great power and influence, but ultimately judgment comes upon her at the end.

She has a counterpart in the book of Proverbs as well, the strange woman. We are told that the words of Proverbs are given:

“To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth to death and her paths unto the dead. None that goeth unto her return again, neither take they hold of the path of life.” (Proverbs 2:16-19)

The virtuous woman has a teaching for the simple, but the ‘strange’ woman has an alternative teaching, each offer the key to understanding. In chapter nine of Proverbs, lady Wisdom teaches us that to “fear the Lord is wisdom, and by the knowledge of the Holy comes understanding”. The strange woman counters with a teaching that the enjoyment of sin is satisfying, and that illicit experience is the key to understanding.

“Whoso is simple, let him turn in here, and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” (Proverbs 9:16-17)

It should be obvious by now what these two women represent. They are the Biblical way of describing the true and the false church, the Bride and the Harlot! They either propagate the wisdom of this fallen age, or the wisdom of God. Human history culminates in both the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb”, or the “Judgment of the Great Whore”. There is a direct spiritual parallel between idolatry and adultery. Salvation is a marriage, the church is a Bride, Israel is God’s wife. There is a true Bride of Christ and there is a parody, a harlot church.

With that backdrop in mind, look with me at the eschatological understanding of Proverbs seven.
The naive young man wandering, “void of understanding”- as explained in the previous post, this means he has no sense of the Holy (Proverbs 9:9), no concept of the awful, transcendent majesty of God. He is drawn in his boredom and emptiness to the harlot church.

It is at first “twilight”, but darkness comes fast, soon it is evening, ere long it is “the black and dark night”. The night is a metaphor for the Tribulation. Before the dawning of the long awaited millennial Sabbath Day, the night grows black and dark, Evil is allowed to reach its zenith, the rebellion against the Holy God comes to a head. (I believe we are well into the “twilight”).

There met him a woman with the attire of a harlot and subtle of heart.” (Proverbs 7:10)

She looks like a harlot, she is gaudy and overdone. She has subtlety in her heart – concealed motives. Look at TBN, or the tattoo covered and pierced Todd Bentley that thousands around the world considered to be a prophet of God. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that only God knows the heart, but appearances do account for something. What does she want?

“She caught him and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I payed my vows. Therefore have I come forth to thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.’’ (Proverbs 7:13-15)

Hers is a mixture of flattery and antinomian salvation. “I have come to seek you”. It’s all about Y-O-U! (seeker sensitive church?) – But she professes a salvation that makes no moral demands, “ I have peace offerings” – (I have been saved by sacrifice, I am at peace with God!), but she then proceeds to describe the bed of her adulteries in sensual terms! What kind of salvation is that? It is the new all grace and no law salvation of the harlot church!

“Come let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us solace ourselves with loves .For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” (Proverbs 7:18-20)

Her message is all love – there are no calls to repentance or obedience to the Lord. There are no moral demands made in the name of the holy God. It is an experienced based religion, light on doctrine, “dogma”, but heavy on sensual experience.

The only other theme is the denial of the immanent return of Jesus, “the Goodman”. Of course there is the obligatory acknowledgment that He “will come home at the day appointed”, but the harlot church doesn’t regard the coming of Jesus as an immanent, urgent, practical reality.

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)

So many pastors I know have been flattered, seduced, caused to yield to unbiblical deceptions such as Toronto Blessing, Purpose Driven Life, the Pensacola delusion. What is it that they have been “caused to yield”? They have given up their critical faculties, the ability to discern. They have in the name of church growth yielded up their calling to protect God’s flock from the wolves who ravage them. They have yielded to the unbiblical fads, and even to destructive heresies so that they would not appear to be ‘Pharisees’, faultfinders and heresy hunters. Therefore they have yielded to the seduction time and again, and their flocks have been utterly ravaged.

These apostate pastors “go after her straitly” every time. No matter how wrong these false prophets prove to be, or how utterly undiscerning these ‘apostles’ constantly are, they will follow them. How does it feel to be one of those ‘leaders’ who publically endorsed Bentley, in many cases knowing his marriage was a disaster. False prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones both were exposed as sexual deviants, and even temporarily removed, but they had a ready constituency upon their re-entry into ministry.

This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death for many. It becomes a matter of the relevance of the church, God’s witness, the “pillar and ground of the truth” as Paul calls it. The consequences of consorting with the strange woman are extreme.

“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)

(see Part 1)


Wisdom Cries Out Loud: Death of the Simple (Part 1)

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)

(See Part 2)

Solomon asked for discernment and the LORD was greatly pleased

Reblogged from The End Time blog by Elizabeth Prata

Everyone knows Solomon asked God for wisdom. However people forget that he actually asked God for two things. The second thing was discernment. Here is the verse:
“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9)

So Solomon asked for an understanding mind to govern and discernment to distinguish between good and evil, or right and wrong as some translations go.

Solomon’s request was not only spiritual, for he already had a measure of discernment given his relationship with God and having learned from David, his father. But Solomon’s request also related to civil and governing capacities. A total package- he was to be able to judge people rightly in matters, to solve controversies, and to be fair to one and all.

Solomon didn’t consider himself and ask for a long life or wealth or health. He asked God for the tools to help him help God’s people.

The LORD was greatly pleased with Solomon’s request.

Rodin, The Thinker, Wikipedia photo

James says that if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God and He will give it without reproach. (James 1:5). God was pleased with Solomon’s request, because at root, it honored God and served His people. The Spirit breathed inspiration to James that anyone could and should ask for wisdom. The Lord is not stingy with handing out wisdom or discernment. If you do not have the particular gift from the Spirit of discernment, you can simply ask for more discernment/wisdom in your daily life, and He will increase you. The intent is, you’ll use it for God’s glory and to help His people.

There is a flip side to this also. Solomon dissipated. When it was time for Solomon to build the Temple, the LORD had told Solomon in 1 Kings 6:12 that IF Solomon “will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.”

The glory that was Israel’s military might, wealth, protection, and increase were onerously placed on Solomon’s shoulders. As Matthew Henry said, “None employ themselves for God, without having his eye upon them. But God plainly let Solomon know that all the charge for building this temple, would neither excuse from obedience to the law of God, nor shelter from his judgments, in case of disobedience.”

Luke 12:48b says, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required,”

Gill’s Exposition says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall, much be required: the more knowledge a man has, the more practice is expected from him; and the greater his gifts are, the more useful he ought to be, and diligent in the improvement of them”

The LORD reiterated the condition when Solomon prayed the dedication prayer at the newly built temple.

“But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins.” (1 Kings 9:6-9)

photo credit: jinterwas via photopin cc

So with all Solomon’s wisdom, he still backslid. With all his discernment, he allowed paganism into his heart in marrying over 700 women and having over 300 concubines. They were from foreign lands and they persuaded him to turn away from God and commit spiritual fornication with false gods.

Having wisdom and discernment is no guarantee that without all due purity in public and private life, you won’t be turned away from God.

But do ask God for wisdom. If you dare! Wisdom is knowing how to apply your knowledge. Discernment is detecting not just right from wrong or good from evil, “but right from almost right” (Charles Spurgeon).

It goes without saying the discernment and wisdom that we yearn for and live by are God’s truths, not man’s. Live by His statutes and His paths, and ask for the wisdom and discernment to always remain there, walking uprightly in His wise ways. Discernment is a bestowal from the Lord which honors Him and serves the brethren. And it greatly pleases the Lord when we ask for it.