Proverbs 7 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
Similar to the previous passages, once again the father begins by exhorting his son to heed his commands and to seek out wisdom using some very unique expressions such as keeping his teaching as “the apple of (his) eye,” and calling wisdom his “sister,” and knowledge his “intimate friend.” Just as the Israelites were called to figuratively bind God’s Word upon their foreheads and to write those precepts upon the doors and gates of their houses, so here the son is exhorted to bind these wise commands upon his fingers and to write them upon the tablet of his heart that both his desires and his doings would be guided by God’s teaching and guarded against the words of folly spoken by the forbidden woman.
Even though both prostitution and adultery were genuine concerns of a father sending his son out into the world, these repeated warnings and admonitions against the loose woman continue to take on more of a spiritual application as each cautionary tale builds upon the other. In other words, it is not just the physical act of adultery that the father is speaking against here but also the act of spiritual adultery in terms of one’s covenant relationship with God. Thus, the loose woman embodies, in some sense, the very spirit of idolatry and the very essence of folly as both stand in direct opposition to the Word of God and the way of the Lord. Her words are smooth and easy and her path is deceptive and deadly.
To drive home this truth, the father shares with his son how he has seen a young, senseless and naïve man quickly descend down the path of destruction by not guarding his heart, by not minding his steps, and by not purposely walking in the light. Because he is where he ought not to be, and out went he ought not to be out, he proves easy prey to the spirit of folly. Like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, this worldly spirit is seemingly everywhere, ‘now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she waits.’ At times she may seek to charm a man from afar but other times she is outright brazen in her attempts to force her foolish ways upon the simple man, seizing him and kissing him and promising him the world.
If there is any vestige of spiritual hesitancy in the mind of the young man, she seeks to relieve him of his concerns assuring him that she has already made things right with God offering sacrifices in advance of what she intends to do. Surely, he could make similar offerings, after the fact, with little to no harm at all. Then, as soon as the young man lets down his guard, she piles on the enticements, alluring him with the promise of love, luxury and delight. When the young man considers the possible consequence of this illicit affair, she assures him that there is no way that they could be caught, for all arrangements have been made and all eyes are occupied elsewhere at the moment. So with many empty promises and false arguments she persuades and compels him to follow her and he goes off like an ox to the slaughter, not knowing it will cost him his life.
Once the father has finished this tale, he again exhorts his son to listen to wisdom and keep his counsel, for many a young man has wandered off with her never to be found again. The call to wisdom always considers the eye of God at all times understanding that no man can pay off the Lord to look the other way that he might enjoy fleeting moments of pleasure. It also considers the consequence of every action seeking to avoid the harm of a guilty conscience and the sin of destruction. Additionally, wisdom teaches a man to find his delight first in the Lord in order to truly delight in the things of earth. And finally, because God himself is love, apart from him true love cannot exist. Therefore, any promises of love and satisfaction outside of his blessing is only a lie.