Proverbs 6:20-26

Proverbs 6:20‑26  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
This section turns to another snare of more than usual danger, especially though by no means exclusively for the young. Hence the tenderness of the appeal to influence; hence memories, which did not fail to warn of so insidious a snare in the lusts of the flesh.
“My son, observe thy father's commandment, and forsake not thy mother's law. Bind them continually on thy heart, tie them about thy neck: when thou walkest, it shall lead thee; when thou steepest, it shall keep thee; and [when] thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment [is] a lamb, and the law a light, and reproofs of instruction the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the smoothness of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thy heart, nor let her take thee with her eye-lids; for by means of a whorish woman [one cometh] to a piece of bread, and another's wife doth hunt for the precious soul” (vers. 20-26).
When men bearing the Lord's name are characteristically self-lovers, and disobedient to parents, it is the more urgent for the young and inexperienced to beware of the spirit of the age, and to recognize the place Jehovah gave to a father's command and a mother's teaching. For those who fail in natural affection soon become implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce; instead of love for good, they are traitors, headstrong, and puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. If they hold a form of piety, they deny its power, and are to be promptly turned from.
Here the son is exhorted to lay to heart those precepts to purity from early years, from the mother no less than the father. Indeed it falls to the mother most of all to form the bent of the young. Bind these words therefore “continually on thy heart, tie them about thy neck.” They are both shield and ornament in a world as evil as is the fallen nature. When one walks, do we not need direction? When one sleeps, do we not need to be guarded? And when one awakes alone, is it not good and pleasant to have such a word shining and talking with us?
“For the commandment is a lamp, and the law (or teaching) a light.” “A lamp” is excellent in a squalid place, as we are told of the prophetic word; which came when things went wrong, tells of even worse at hand, but assures of divine judgment when least expected. There we are also told of a still better light in the truth fully revealed and crowned by the blessed hope of Christ's coming for scenes more glorious. Here, if it rise not high, the teaching appears to exceed the commandment in breadth, positiveness, and intimacy too: how well then called a “light!” And we are reminded of “reproofs of instruction” as the way of life. How much do we not owe to that which, humbling as it is to our too good opinion of ourselves, takes pains with us in love, and turns even our faults to profitable account!
At length comes the main point here-” to keep thee from the evil woman, from the smoothness of the tongue of a strange woman.” How many a one trusting himself has been decoyed! A little license rapidly betrays into shameful sin. “Lust not after her beauty in thy heart, nor let her take thee with her eye-lids.” If the Jews were God's people, much closer is our relationship as His children, and bought with a price, which they in their blindness despised. We are not our own, and are called to beware of a whorish woman, and yet more of another's wife, an adulteress; for here the evil is still more heinous, ruin both of soul and body, object too of God's especial judgment.