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On the Way to Hell?

Proverbs 7:24-27

“Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath 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.”

We have reached the four final verses in a chapter of Scripture that focuses on things we would rather not think about, talk about, or otherwise air in public. Some readers may sit back rich in the knowledge that these words of wisdom apply to other fools, not them. Surely part of wisdom is recognizing when folly has invaded our minds?

Mind Invasion

Mind invasion could be a good title for of work of science fiction. The science here is seduction, but there is nothing fictional about the dangers associated with seduction. Proverbs 7 clearly states that seduction is a real and present threat to all men and women. If we do not realize this, then it is possible that we have already been seduced, not by an immoral person, but by the folly that says; “This doesn’t apply to me, I’m not vulnerable to this type of threat.”

Assessing the Risk

The first step in guarding against the threat is to acknowledge vulnerability and consider where the risk is greatest. We have to examine what we are allowing to enter out minds, and how society corrupts our thoughts. Here’s a small checklist. You will probably be able to add to it:

  • What/who are you looking at?
  • What/who are you listening to?
  • What are you reading?
  • What are watching on television, or at the movies?
  • What DVDs are sitting on your shelf?
  • Are you vulnerable to advertising images on billboards?
  • Are you tempted to click on Internet links that will take you places you know you shouldn’t go.
  • Do you really think that spending regular lunch times alone with a co-worker of the opposite sex can remain innocent forever?
  • Do you honestly believe that leaving your marriage partner for another person will not cause untold pain and hurt to numerous people?

Feel free to add to the list by commenting below. But first read Proverbs 7 again in its entirety, but linger on the final verse:

Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

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Brazen Church Girl

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So 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 came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated as brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said: “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.


The Heartless Thief

Proverbs 6:32-33

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”

In verses 30 and 31 Solomon talked about a starving man. He said, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry.” But there is a huge difference between a man who will steal food and a man who will steal another’s wife.

Difficult Words

I have lost track of how many times I have written and deleted words, sentences, and whole paragraphs. Finding the right words for today’s “thought” has proven quite difficult. Why is that? Could it be because it’s late as I write this? Could it be that I am in a writer’s slump? Should I have let Jason Sneed write this post, instead?

Maybe the real reason I am having a hard time finding the right words is linked to verse 33. My disgust for the sin of adultery is making it hard for me to remain calm. Thinking about the excuses so many give for this crime makes me sick. Unlike the man who steals food to survive (v. 30), men do despise the adulterer.

No Heart

What kind of man commits adultery? Many do it because they say they couldn’t help themselves. Many blame others for their sin. But if the truth be known, an intriging word in verse 32 may hold a vital clue. That word is “understanding.”

When I asked my wife to describe for me what she thought “lacketh understanding” meant, she said, “An adulterer is a person who doesn’t understand what he is doing – he doesn’t comprehend the consequences – he’s clueless.” Yet, when I went to the original languages I found something else.

The word translated “understanding” in verse 32 is the Hebrew word leb (Strong’s H3820). More often than not, this word is used to describe the “inner part” of man, such as his heart, his soul, or his conscience. As a matter of fact, out of the 593 times this word is found in the Authorized Version, it is translated “understanding” only 10 times. It is translated “heart” 508 times.

What my wife suggested may be true, but it may also be true that an adulterer, a man that takes another man’s wife, is a man that has no “heart.” In other words, he doesn’t care who he hurts. All he cares about is getting what he wants – not what he needs.

Is it any wonder this man is worthy of dishonor and reproach?

Final Thought

Not all crimes deserve the same punishment. And even thought sin is sin, the consequences are not all the same. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Stealing bread and stealing sex are totally different seeds.


Bloody Hands

Proverbs 6:17c

“A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,”

Disgusting!

We are taught that ‘God is love’ but rarely hear the word hate associated with God. Verses 16-19 of Proverbs 6 are not about God hating people, but confirm His absolute distaste for some of the characteristics they display, and the things that they do. The seven things listed in these verses are described as an abomination to God. Abomination is a strong word more usually reserved for God’s opinion of idols. A more modern translation might be that these things are disgusting to God.

The Shedding of Innocent Blood

The list of sins that God hates is not exhaustive, but the inclusion of hands that shed innocent blood requires closer examination. Similar language is used in Proverbs 1:11. Why? Is it because all sins, including those referred to in Proverbs 6:16-19, ultimately led to the shedding of innocent blood (Isaiah 53)?

It would be surprising if those whose hands were covered in the innocent blood of Jesus were not aware of Proverbs 6:17c. The truth is that we are all covered in the innocent blood of Jesus. Every time we sin we cause His blood to be spilt. While we are equally guilty of causing His death, the blood of Jesus that splashes over us has power to remove all evidence of our guilt.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14


Stay On the Path

Proverbs 5:21-23

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”

Stay On the Good Path

There is a line in Disney’s “It’s A Bug’s Life” that to me describes these verses. It starts with two fire flies that are buzzing around a bug zapper. One of the bugs is headed straight into the bug zapper while the other is warning him to look away. The conversation continues with one bug saying “No, Harry, No – Don’t look at the light”. Harry responds, “I can’t help it, it’s so beautiful!” As soon as the word beautiful comes out of Harry’s mouth, you hear and see Harry being zapped by the bug zapper. (VIDEO)

God is yelling to us and warning us to stay on the good path and not be lead astray by our own folly!

God’s Eyes

There was a little chorus that I was taught when I was little. It says “O be careful little eyes what you see; O be careful little eyes what you see; for the Father up above is looking down with love; O be careful little eyes what you see!”

We need to always remember that God is watching our every step. Nothing takes him by surprise. Even those times when we think that no one is watching us or that no one will ever find out – GOD KNOWS! Our ways are before the eyes of the Lord.

Our Choice

Something that has always fascinated me is that we (man) have the freedom of choice. We have the freedom to chose to follow God or not to follow God. One of the things that I find intriguing about verse 22 is that when we make the decision not to follow God and His laws – we find ourselves in bondage.

Warren Wiersbe says this about the power of sin:

The cords of sin get stronger the more we sin, yet  sin deceives us into thinking we’re free and can quit sinning whenever we please. As the invisible chains of habit are forged, we discover to our horror that we don’t have the strength to breath them.

God again is yelling at us “No, no, don’t go down that road! Don’t let sin entrap you and keep you in bondage!

John 8:36 says “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”. Only Jesus Christ can set us free from our bondage of sin!

Within thy circling power I stand;
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.

– Isaac Watts

Let’s surround ourselves with God each and every day and stay focused on Him!

Lord, we thank you for your instructions to help us keep our path straight. Help us each and every day to die to self and completely give our lives to you.


Run Away! Run Away!

Proverbs 5:7-9

7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel.”

Mean Cat

My grandmother used to have a mean cat. This cat was an absolutely anti-social, psychotic, frenetic feline. One couldn’t get near her without getting hissed at, and that just made us want to aggravate it more.

I know it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do when we were young, but we would love to try to tease the cat without getting bit. Fortunately, the monster had been declawed; however, her piercing fangs remained. If we got too close she could leave a couple of bloody reminders that she still had a mouth. Playing with her was playing with danger. That’s why it was fun.

Temptation

It’s really all about temptation, isn’t it? Solomon knew that if you play with sin, or get too close, you will get bit, and it will hurt.

Jesus knew something about temptation, also. He said, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul warned Timothy to “flee” from “youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). Lust tends to make us buy things we can’t afford.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” – James 1:14-15

Flirting

Many times we like to get just close enough to the forbidden fruit that we can smell it. No, we know we shouldn’t take a bite, but the aroma gives us a little thrill. Flirting with the wrong woman is nothing more than trying to sin a little. But a little sin is still a sin.

In reality, if we know where temptation lives, why would we want to drive by? Do we secretly long for what we know will harm us? If we have lust in our hearts, then the answer is “yes.” As James said, we are only tempted when we are drawn away by our own lusts. Flirting is dangerous.

Giving it Away

The consequences of sin are never worth the temporary fun. In this case, Solomon warns that the price is one’s honor and freedom. When a young man enters the “strange” woman’s door, the result is usually shame that rarely goes away.

On top of that, there’s the wasted time – time that could have been spent building a loving relationship. Instead, all your energy, your emotions, your wealth, and your health is squandered on a user of men.

“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” – Rom. 6:12-13 NLT

Final Thought

My son, the next time you feel drawn to a “strange” woman, remember the words of King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail….

“RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”


Unpredictable Women

Proverbs 5:6

“Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.”

Practical Advice

If there was ever a chapter that should be read to every son, and even daughter, it is this one. The advice that Solomon shares in these verses is what every young man should hear. Unfortunately, many young men never have a father come along side and say, “Listen, son, there are some things you need to know.”

And when it comes to today’s verse, the advice given is timeless and priceless. Women are no different today than they were in Solomon’s time, and men are just as gullible.

Unknowable

If there is one thing I have learned after 20 years with the same woman, it is that you can never figure them out – don’t even try. Once a man thinks he understands women, that’s the time to get out of his way. Disaster is about to strike.

How much more difficult is it to understand the ways of a “strange” woman? She is different, unlike what you have experienced; and that’s exciting. But the problem comes when you begin to desire stability, or faithfulness. She’s not ready for that. All she wants is to have fun.

Solomon is saying, then, “Before you get to the point of trying to understand her, it’s better that you never even go there. She’s too unpredictable.”

Unpredictable

“Her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” In other words, she is as unpredictable as the wind. She is like a shaky foundation. You never know what path she will take, or when she will fall. Predicting her next move is useless.

Of course, the danger of an unpredictable woman is that her next move could mean destruction. She is like an untamed predator that can seem soft and cuddly one moment, but destroy you the next.

Dangerous

When I read the fifth chapter of Proverbs I am reminded of a song. Back in the early 90’s Julie Miller recorded “Angelina,” and every time I hear it I still get chills. Below are some of the lyrics. Do they not describe the “strange woman?” Do you think Solomon could have had someone like this in mind?

Should she come walking down your street, you might think: “She’s the kind of girl I’d like to meet,”
But don’t be taken in, she’ll rob you in the end,
She’s got to get control, she’s so afraid within,
Her daddy sure must have broken her heart, but she’ll get him back while you play out his part.

She’s just a lost little girl, she seems so harmless to touch,
She’s just been taught by the world, and now she’s dangerous.

– Buddy & Julie Miller

Contrast

How different is the “strange woman” from a godly woman? Consider the way the Bible describes Wisdom: “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” – Pro. 3:17-18

Heavenly Father, help us to be parents who teach our children not only right from wrong, but godly wisdom, also. May we teach our sons to be men of God, and our daughters to be women worthy of praise. 

NOTE: I found this article about a godly grandmother. What a contrast with the “strange woman” of chapter five! “A Woman They Would Write About.”