Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proverbs 7: 6-23

For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,
And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
"I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
"Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
"I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
"I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
"Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
"For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home."
With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

Today's Thought Questions
  1. The writer places before us a scenario of an adulteress and a young man. Describe the two people. What things about their character do you think led them into this particular area of sin? What can you learn from this?
  2. Verse 7 states that the young man lacked judgment. Do you think this justified or excused his behavior?
No surprise that the naive man, lacking in judgment, is the one so easily swayed by the adulteress. Just to get thought question #2 out of the way at the start, knowing what we know about God's wisdom in these first 7 chapters, how can lack of judgment excuse his behavior? On no level whatsoever did he think it could be wrong? Did you notice that there were more than just one standing out there in the dark? (vs 7) Did any of them engage in similar behavior?

Remember what 'naive' meant from chapter 1? An open door. This young lad's head had no idea that taking the step into this woman's neighborhood would be good or bad. She even tells him that she's married. Doesn't stop him? What teaching had this poor boy received?!

I'm not going to pull any statistics showing how many times this kind of situation actually happens. I'm really scared at what I might find. What we don't hear in this narrative is what this boy is thinking. Sadly, today, the "brazenness" of the adulteress (vs 13) can sometimes be seen in both parties engaging in this type of behavior. This is all very misunderstood...but excusable? Justified--as in the end justifies the means?

This is written like the scene of a movie. You can see the danger and she's coming forward. Then, the unsuspecting guy walks over. You've seen this happen before and you start saying to yourself, "Dude! DUDE! Don't go there!!" You know how this is going to play out before she says anything--because you can see what she looks like. Then she speaks, and you're just shaking your head, "Dude... this is not going to end well." And, it doesn't, not that he knows it. (vs 23)

Some important notes from my S.B. to help figure out what the adulteress is talking about in verse 14. "According to the law of peace offerings (Lev 7:11-18), the meat left over after the sacrifice was to be eaten before the end of the day. She appears very religious in making the invitation that the man join her because she had made her offering and is bringing home the meat that must be eaten." What's that common proverb? The way to a man's heart is through his stomach?!

Strong metaphors at the end, again, talking about ensnared animals. This time, though, there is no "fight" to escape the sin, because there is no evidence of any understanding that there is sin involved. Look at verse 22: "Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool...." That last phrase in the King James reads, "or as a fool to the correction of the stocks" as they did in Colonial American times.

Now if this passage still seems remote, substitute that sin that lurks behind the corner in your life for adultery. What speaks to you in ways that make you drop your senses and follow?


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 7: 24-27
  1. How serious are the consequences of adultery?
  2. Read and reread verse 21. (Yes, we're going back to yesterday's verses.) We see example upon example in Scripture of women persuading men to do things they should not do. Words are powerful and we need to have a thorough understanding of their potential impact on those who receive them. Read the following passages and see if you can find a common denominator in these situations:
  • Genesis 3: 6-13
  • Judges 16: 4-22
  • I Kings 21: 7-16
  • Job 2: 9-10

* * *

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


Chatty Kelly said...

This post reminds me of the movie Fatal that every man should have to read it! Of course, would it make a difference?

The verse that stood out to me was "her feet do not remain at home." It reminded me of Titus and how women should be busy AT HOME. While I know the proverb is speaking of adultery, I can't help but think of the importance of serving at home, being satisfied as a woman at home, and not being a gal about town.

As for the comment on yesteday's post...I'm still in Deut! SLOW going!

Sue J. said...

Yeah, that's excellent! We've expanded on that definition of adultery to be anything that makes us "friends with the world." Where do our feet take us where we might get into trouble? And for the stay-at-home mom, to spend too much time outside the home suggests too much time dabbling in things that may not be good for us.

Problem with Fatal Attraction is the ending. Oh sure, the guy doesn't fare very well, but he doesn't see the chambers of death either....which I think is tomorrow's post! Thanks for the insight!!

B His Girl said...

Fatal Attraction...good one Kelly. The feet not remaining at home also caught my eye and that she earnestly sought his presence and found him. Jer. 29:13 I think says 'You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart'. We do usually find what we are looking for. (I don't care what the U2 song says.) There are always distractions coming at us to lure us away from seeking God, from finding satisfaction in a relationship with Him. The man hears a list of warnings...Married, looking for you, linens on my couch, the mood has been set with myrrh, aloe, and cinnamon, all you can drink of 'me'. He follows, ignoring the warning signs. He is simple.
Prov 14:15
A simple man believes anything,
but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

Prov 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

I am following Jesus but I hear voices trying to distract me from going deeper, from walking out His purpose. I pray for wisdom for us to see the traps along the path. I do not want to be lured away from walking in His ways. Great post Sue J. B

Sue J. said...

B, you are also taking us into tomorrow's study with your thoughts on "the heart." Take the time to look up tomorrow's extra Scriptures in the Thought Questions--the one about Samson is quite telling and plugs right in with what you're talking about here.

Perhaps that U2 song goes back to the Alexander Hamilton with his eyes blinded over, B?