Proverbs Seven

Proverbs 7
GOD alone can estimate aright the depravity of the human heart. Knowing its perverseness and the need of continued warning, another entire chapter is devoted to the subject which we have already been considering. That there may be no stone unturned to save the youth from the strange woman’s snare, her ways and behavior are graphically delineated. If he turn after her now, he does so with his eyes fully opened.
1 My son, keep my words,
And lay up my commandments with thee.
2 Keep my commandments and live;
And my law as the apple of thine eye.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers,
Write them upon the table of thy heart.
It is this constant dwelling upon the word of God that preserves from sin. Notice how upon both hand and heart that Word is to be bound and written. This involves far more than cursory reading of the Scriptures. It is the making it one’s own, the daily feeding upon it, that preserves the soul.
4 Say unto Wisdom, thou art my sister;
And call Understanding thy kinswoman:
5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman,
From the stranger that flattereth with her sayings.
Satan has no more powerful weapon for the overthrow of the young than flattery. Wisdom and understanding are needed to preserve from this snare. They will teach me to mistrust and to judge myself, and thus to estimate aright the lying words of any who would seek to effect my ruin by means of the vanity of my heart.
The balance of the chapter requires little comment. With the perspicuity of an eyewitness, a scene is brought before us which has been duplicated not only by the thousands, but millions of times, and is as true today as in the days of Solomon. The young man may well ponder it with care, and thus be warned of the dangers besetting one who, trusting in his own heart, departs from the living God and forsakes the counsel of his mother and the guide of his youth.
6 For at the window of my house
I looked through my lattice,
7 And I beheld among the simple ones,
I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner;
And he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening of the day,
In the black and dark night:
10 And, behold, there met him a woman
With the attire of a harlot, and subtle of heart.
11 (She is loud and stubborn;
Her feet abide not in her house:
12 Now is she without, now in the streets,
And lieth in wait at every corner.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed him,
And with an impudent face said unto him,
14 I have peace sacrifices with me;
This day have I paid my vows.
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee,
Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry,
With carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of loves until the morning:
Let us solace ourselves with loves.
19 For the goodman is not in his house,
He is gone a long journey:
20 He hath taken a bag of money with him,
And will come to his house at the day of the new moon.
The reverent student of this solemn portion of the word of God will see at once how apt an illustration this religious-appearing woman is of the false, apostate church. Loud and stubborn, moveable too have been her ways, so that she might ensnare those who otherwise would never seek association with her. The vision of Revelation 17 may well be studied in connection with this chapter.
Returning to the narrative, we learn the direful fate of the youth who foolishly took the way to her house and weakly followed where she led.
21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield,
With the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22 He goeth after her straightway,
As an ox goeth to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23 Till a dart strike through his liver;
As a bird hasteth to the snare,
And knoweth not that it is for his life.
Such is the end of the path of sin and folly. Death, with shame unutterable, must be the sad result of refusing instruction and listening to the words of the flatterer.
24 Harken unto me now therefore, O ye sons,
And attend to the sayings of my mouth.
25 Let not thy heart decline to her ways,
Go not astray in her paths.
26 For she hath cast down many wounded;
Yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
27 Her house is the way to sheol,
Going down to the inner chambers of death.
What enduring patience that thus continues to instruct all who have an ear to hear and who desire to have an understanding heart! In such a passage as this, as in all Scripture, we hear the very voice of God, and find every word profitable. Happy the youth who keeps the instruction here given, that he may be preserved from the bitterness of remorse which so many have proven!