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(#160) The Proverbs of Solomon 22:14-Free Sex, Or Dumb Ox?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 22:14: “The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the LORD will fall there.”

Solomon has already warned men not to listen to the overtures of “an immoral woman:” “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life-Her ways are unstable; You do not know them” (Proverbs 5:3-6); “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks” (Proverbs 7:21-22). The words of Solomon, if heeded, would keep men far enough away from the “immoral woman” that he could not see nor hear her temptations: “Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house” (Proverbs 5:8). A woman who has no respect for a man’s soul or God’s rules for purity in marriage, misleads with her mouth, for she may be “loud and rebellious,” free with her kisses, and full of false promises (Proverbs 7:10-14). She is a “deep pit” for she can take a man down in sin further than he may be able to recover.  According to another proverb: “For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, And increases the unfaithful among men” (Proverbs 23:27-28). The depiction of a “seductress” being a “narrow well” shows the difficulty, or the impossibility, of a man climbing out of the darkness into which he has fallen.

That she is aggressive (“lies in wait”) means that the man needs to be on the defensive, protecting himself against the Devil’s temptation. Men can sin in their hearts just by looking (Matthew 5:27-28), so women who dress provocatively are responsible for leading men astray in their thoughts. God teaches Christian women to be selective, sensitive, and serene in their choice of clothing: “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Men are seduced by an “immoral woman” who aggressively promises freedom from guilt, indiscriminately kisses, dresses seductively, and gives sexual favors sinfully! Though society seems to build sympathy for indecent, ungodly, and immoral women, the “immoral woman” in the proverb is no victim, instead she  victimizes the man!

Those who please God will refuse such a temptation of the flesh, whether in person, screen, television, or magazine: “And I find more bitter than death The woman whose heart is snares and nets, Whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, But the sinner shall be trapped by her” (Ecclesiastes 7:26).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #harlot, #immoral-woman, #proverbs, #seductress

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(#40) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:15-Are You Sure, or “Surety?”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:15: “He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure.”

In our Lesson #15, the explanation for why being “surety” was dangerous was explained in Proverbs 6:1-5. The person who becomes “surety” (guaranty or collateral) for a friend’s (or a relative’s!) debt, has “come into the hand of your friend.” To obligate our self with another’s debt shows that we are “devoid of understanding” as to how these things work.

Other proverbs that cover this subject are: “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend” (Proverbs 17:18); “Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress” (Proverbs 20:16); “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts; 27 If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26-27); “Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress” (Proverbs 27:13). If a stranger is faithless enough to go into “a seductress” (Proverbs 5-7), and you are left holding his “garment” as a “pledge,” then how much will he have left when she is through with him and you have his necessary clothing? “For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life” (Proverbs 6:26). We can become so over-obligated, we could lose our “bed from under” us. In our credit-riddled, debt-ridden society, these are words to heed!

To assume the debt of “a stranger” is to step into a bond with someone we may not know as well as we thought. This appears to be behind the statement to Christians by Paul: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14), which he explains in 2 Corinthians 6:15-18. There must be a line maintained between caution and fellowship.

God prohibited taking a “neighbor’s” garment for collateral in Moses’ Law: “If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down” (Exodus 22:26). This was his necessary clothing pawned for a debt; it was a “neighbor” who lived close by; and even Proverbs 17:18 warns of being surety “for his friend.” Those who mismanage their own finances, but never learn God’s Wisdom from their experiences, surely are disqualified at dealing with, or advising, everyone else!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #collateral, #credit, #debt, #fellowship, #harlot, #pawned, #pledge, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #stranger, #surety, #wisdom

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #20: Don’t Become The Sacrificial Animal!

(#20) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

7:1-27: (6) Don’t Become The Sacrificial Animal!

Verses 1-5: Family Tries

A Father’s appeal for the son to keep his “law as the apple of your eye” (the object focused upon), and have hope of knowledge. Writing a wise father’s “commands” on “the tablet of your heart” makes them easy to refer to. Treating “wisdom” and “understanding” as relatives should bring them closer for advice. The total effect is to “keep you from the immoral woman,” one of the greatest temptations for a “son” to overcome. God made man with a need for companionship only a woman could provide (Genesis 2:18-25), and only an immoral, evil woman would unfairly exploit that frailty.

Verses 6-9: The Victim

Peering through a “lattice” (a trellis), it’s easy to spot the next victim, a “simple…youth…devoid of understanding” (ignorant, inexperienced, untaught) going into a wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of night, and for the wrong purpose, entirely. Left to fend for himself, a young man is easy prey because he is completely at the mercy of the immoral woman’s desires. He has no ingrained teaching to warn him of the situation, the woman, or the problem with which he  becomes entangled.

Verses 10-23: The Vice

Verses 10-12: She, as a restless and eager aggressor with a hidden agenda, met him. She was “loud and rebellious” against the thought of her marriage limitations, thus liberated in her mind from God’s Law. Christian women should be taught to appreciate their God-given responsibilities (Titus 2:3-5).

Verses 13-15: She boldly distracts him with kisses, shamelessly displays herself as though she had religious approval, disturbs him with her personal devotion to him. It doesn’t occur to him that she is not devoted to her own husband.

Verses 16-17: She pictures her lavishly-decorated bedroom as inviting to his senses: colorful, festive, and femininely perfumed. He doesn’t know to look beyond his immediate impression to the ultimate doom (Proverbs 5:3-6; 7:27).

Verses 18-20: She offers complete satisfaction and relieves his worry with reassurance that her husband planned to be gone long enough to not discover their adultery. It doesn’t occur to him that God is watching (Proverbs 5:21), as Joseph did (Genesis 39:1-13).

Verses 21-23: Her words win him over because he obviously has no inner voice of a father’s wisdom to stop him. She “seduces” (compelled, forced by words) him by giving an answer to all his concerns, “entices” (gives a one-sided argument) him with “flattery” (words he wants to hear). “Immediately he went after her” as: an ox to the slaughter; fool to the punishment stocks; till he is shot through like an arrow in a trapped bird, too late to learn his lesson by wisdom alone. He did not realize the serious consequences of his action because he did not think far enough ahead.

Verses 24-27: The Voice

The right way, the wise way, often begins with “do not,” but now the lesson that young man learned by experience is clarified for those who will observe: DO NOT entertain the thought of going her way; DO NOT allow yourself to “stray” that way, either, for she doesn’t care how many “strong men” she has slain. Entering her house opens the door to the grave and spiritual death beyond!

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#adultery, #apple-of-your-eye, #bible-study, #flattery, #fool, #harlot, #proverbs, #seduction

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #19: Don’t Jump Into The Wrong Bed!

(#19) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

6:20-35: (5) Don’t Jump Into The Wrong Bed!

There was no sexual sin listed previously in what God hates, but Solomon’s wisdom here and next clearly shows that God is adamantly against violation of His Marriage Law (Genesis 2:24), for “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Verses 20-23: Deliverance

The purpose of parental, Scriptural wisdom is so the “son” can make his own informed, right decision. Heed, don’t rebel; make this your constant adornment; make this your own thoughts, for good judgments. To see the right way, the “son” needs lamp, light, and leading.

Verses 24-25: Damage

The woman who disregards the sacredness of sex only within marriage is “evil.” Her enticing words should be rejected (Proverbs 2:16; 5:3-4; 7:5, 21) because  “flattering lips” shows a “double heart” (Psalm 12:2-3). “Lust” is animal desire, not love! It is a serious mistake to think that it is (2 Samuel 13:1-17). One who follows lust alone abandons the human dignity which includes reason, and becomes an animal in heat or rut! Lust originates within the heart, rather than from external circumstances (Mark 7:20-23). “Her beauty” is not described, for the most alluring feature of a woman is not her physical, but her intentional design. The “allure” with painted eyes just calls attention to her interests. Focus on her evil intent, not her outer distractions.

Verses 26-33: Destruction

This type of woman is the predator, the man the prey who will pay dearly if he proceeds. How closely can a man be to fire without being burned; and how far can he walk across burning coals (NOT by the trick of walking fast, with calloused feet, or chemical protection!). Fire burns, and an “evil woman” damns to Hell! As certainly as fire burns, adultery condemns! A “thief” is still to be condemned (Exodus 20:14; John 10:10; Romans 13:8-10), yet if motivated by “starving” (self-preservation), it is understandable, not excusable. The thief must repay (Exodus 22:1-15), possibly up to 700%, all that he owns! The stupid adulterer, however, has NO self-preservation motive for his action, but only self-interest, and there is NO sympathy or pity for him, at all. He “destroys his own soul,” wounds will come to his body (whether punishments or STDs), and he loses his reputation (verses 32-33). Emphasis has shifted from the stupid man going in to a prowling woman, to a prowling man who stupidly goes in to “his neighbor’s wife.” Marriage limits are ignored in either case!

Verses 34-35: Dissatisfaction

Her husband’s “jealousy” is his rage without mercy “in the day of vengeance” (or day of reckoning). There is NO amount of repayment for this fouling of his marriage purity. He may never “be appeased” (or satisfied) though offered “many gifts.” God demanded the death of both parties in the adultery (Leviticus 20:10), which law Jesus honored by not condemning the one party brought to Him (John 8:1-11). A husband has been violated when adultery occurs and may never recover his trust in that wife again. This kind of loss of confidence caused God to condemn the southern kingdom of Judah (Jeremiah 7:8-15).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#adulterer, #adultery, #bible-study, #destruction, #evil-woman, #fury, #harlot, #jealously, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #seductress, #sin, #stupid, #thief, #vengeance