May 7, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 7) The immoral woman

Proverbs 7 New Living Translation

Proverbs 7New Living Translation

Another Warning about Immoral Women

Follow my advice, my son;
    always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live!
    Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.[a]
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
    Write them deep within your heart.

Love wisdom like a sister;
    make insight a beloved member of your family.
Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
    from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.

While I was at the window of my house,
    looking through the curtain,
I saw some naive young men,
    and one in particular who lacked common sense.
He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
    strolling down the path by her house.
It was at twilight, in the evening,
    as deep darkness fell.
10 The woman approached him,
    seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11 She was the brash, rebellious type,
    never content to stay at home.
12 She is often in the streets and markets,
    soliciting at every corner.
13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
    and with a brazen look she said,
14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings
    and fulfilled my vows.
15 You’re the one I was looking for!
    I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
    with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
    Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
19 for my husband is not home.
    He’s away on a long trip.
20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him
    and won’t return until later this month.[b]

21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech
    and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once,
    like an ox going to the slaughter.
He was like a stag caught in a trap,[c]
23     awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,
    little knowing it would cost him his life.

24 So listen to me, my sons,
    and pay attention to my words.
25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her.
    Don’t wander down her wayward path.
26 For she has been the ruin of many;
    many men have been her victims.
27 Her house is the road to the grave.[d]
    Her bedroom is the den of death.

Last week I had the awkward privilege of teaching sex ed to four teenage boys.  Put that down in the “Things I Didn’t Think I Would Do as a Preacher” column.  It actually went very well when all was said and done.  The young men behaved very maturely, and we were able to talk through some relevant scriptures in the process.  The main text we discussed was Proverbs 5, the same text I would like to share with you now.  In this chapter, an aged King Solomon shares wisdom gained through experience with his son (likely Rehoboam).  Solomon’s advice is actually a warning against what he calls the immoral woman.

Preliminary Observations

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are interesting to read after having read the histories of Solomon in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles.  The earlier histories end the story of the world’s most decorated king on a bitter note, especially 1 Kings 11.  That’s where the Bible tells us how Solomon, “loved many foreign women,” (v. 1) had 700 wives, 300 concubines, and as a result he was influenced to worship false gods.  All I can hear when reading those words is the *Wah, Wah, Wahhhhhhh…* sound effect from movies when something disappointing happens.  Having been with 1,000+ women, I would venture to say that Solomon, out of everyone in the whole world, was most qualified to speak on what he calls in Proverbs– the immoral woman.  

Furthermore, it would appear that Solomon learned a thing or two from sleeping with all those women.  We learn as much from his advice in Proverbs 5:18, “Rejoice with the wife of your youth.”  I might break down v. 18 and its companion verses in a later article, but know for now that if Ole King Solly (I’ll call him Solly from now on) learned anything from his mistakes, it was this: God’s plan for marriage was one man and one woman in a closed and committed relationship.  But as I have already mentioned, it took him a lot of mistakes to learn this ultimate truth.

The Immoral Woman

Now, let’s crack the code and figure out who this immoral woman is that Solly speaks about so frequently in the book of Proverbs.  Proverbs has a lot to say about this lady of the night (see 2:16-19; 5:3-20; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 22:14; 23:27-28; 29:3; 30:20).  Sometimes she is called by other names in the NKJV such as the harlot (23:27) and the adulterous woman (30:20).  But in Proverbs 5 Solly introduces her like this, “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral womandrip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil,” (v. 1-3).  He draws attention to her lips for two reasons: lips are a literal object of seduction and it is with the lips that the immoral woman speaks words that weaken the young man so he is defenseless.  Just read Proverbs 7:13-20 to see what this woman says and does with her lips to earn the name she is given.  This woman has no moral compass.  She has endulged in promiscuity for so long that she doesn’t even have a conscience about this kind of stuff anymore.  And while all of this accurately describes the immoral woman, allow me to help you visualize what she looks like.  It might surprise you.

Certainly women that work in gentlemen’s clubs and the like are immoral women.  There’s no doubt about that.  No one has trouble identifying those women.  Growing up, I always thought of those kind of women whenever I read or heard someone else read about the harlot of Proverbs.  Today we call these women prostitutes, hookers, escorts, and other names I won’t mention.  But to be sure, these types of women only make up sample of what Solly is talking about.  Today millions of young ladies every year graduate from the school of How to Be an Immoral Woman.  Classes start in 1st grade and extend through high school.  The main curriculum is TV, peer pressure, low self esteem, and watching everyone else in society.  They usually start clinicals sometime in high school.  These women don’t just work in clubs.  No.  They take your order at McDonalds.  They are administrative assistants at the RE/MAX real estate office in town.  They workout right next to you at the local Planet Fitness.  Some of them sit next to you at church.  They are young, old and in between.   Hardly any of these women would take money for sexual services; they would even frown and snarl at the very notion.  But here’s what they will do for free.  They will tell you dirty jokes and stories to see how you respond.  They will purposefully wear clothes that accentuate their curves and everything else.  They will fill social media with pictures of themselves, pictures that 50 years ago you could only see in a gas station magazine.  They will send you pictures of their body.  They will test you to see how far you are willing to go in the front seat of your car.  And they have no qualms about going to bed or doing other stuff with you before saying, “I do.”  This last one has become so socially acceptable among “Christians” today that I recently saw a Christian podcast episode entitled, “Is it a sin to live with your boyfriend or girlfriend?”  I thought to myself, “Why is that even a question that deserves one whole hour of discussion?”  My point is, the immoral woman of Proverbs is your average woman today.  Things could very well have been the same culturally speaking in Solly’s day but especially today.  His words could just as well say, “The lips of the average woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.”  And with this introduction the king goes on to give a solution to his young son about how to interact with this woman.

How the Young Man Should Respond

Solly says to his son, “Remove your way far from her (the immoral woman), and do not go near the door of her house,” (v. 8).  You will notice what he DIDN’T say.  He didn’t say, “Go ahead and date her.  Maybe in the process you can rub off on her and she will change.”  Nah dawg.  The king who had been with 1,000 women looked his son in the eye and said, “Don’t give that chick a single inch, because fore you know it, she will have you walking with her into the depths of hell,” (v. 5, my translation).   I’ve seen it way too much, I’ve even lived it, where a young man thinks he is strong enough to entertain the immoral woman without getting his hands dirty only to find out he was wrong.  You’re lying to yourself if you think you are stronger and wiser than Solomon.  As I admonished my graduating class in 2011, “Don’t be stupid, cuz that’s stupid.”  

The Wrap

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