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 thine heart. 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 which flattereth with her words. 6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, 7 And 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, in the black and dark night: 10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil 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 offerings 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 love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. 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. 24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not thine 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 hell, going down to the chambers of death.
This proverb was written by Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. It is about a young man who refused to listen to the instructions of his father. The scripture says son, but it is talking to everyone, not just the males of the human race. God calls us the church, his body, his son. St. John 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: and I John 3:1&2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God. In this proverb Solomon tells the son to listen to the words of the father, but in actuality he is not talking about a natural father. He is actually talking about God our spiritual father who is talking to the church. He is telling us to listen and keep his commandments and live. He repeated this twice and when God speaks something twice it is very important for us to take heed. God called Saul twice. On the road to Damascus he said, Saul, Saul. He wanted to make sure he had Saul's attention. When we see something twice we need to pay special attention.
Who is this father that is speaking? Solomon is speaking but God is our actual father, so this is God speaking to us his children. The Father is telling the son to keep his commandments and live. He did not tell him one time only, he told him twice. This leads me to believe that what the Father was saying was very important. It must have been imperative for the son to listen to the words of his Father. The Father told the son to keep his commandments and live. He was letting him know that if he didn't keep the commandments there would be consequences for his actions. He said to keep the law as the apple of your eye. When something is the apple of your eye it is precious. When we keep the law as the apple of our eye it means we are cherishing his law, it is precious to us. It is important to us. There is an old saying "you are the apple of my eye." When something is the apple of your eye it is cherished above all others.
Solomon also said to bind the words upon your fingers. To bind means to tie. People sometimes tie strings around their fingers to remind them of something important. Something they do not want to forget. When we bind the commandments on our fingers they will be a constant reminder of what is required of us from God. Let the commandments be precious to you like a wedding ring. A wedding ring is a constant reminder that you are married. So when you bind the commandments upon your finger they are a constant reminder of what you have to do in order to have a relationship with God. Let it be a constant reminder of your relationship with God.
Solomon also said to write the commandments upon the table of your heart. Why the heart? Because the heart is the seat of affection. We must keep the commandments of God as our treasure. St. Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We are told to write them on the table of our hearts. If you keep the commandments upon the table of you heart you have great affection for them, they are precious to you, and you love the commandments. You keep them in your heart; you keep them close to you so they will be there when you need them. Whenever you tell a person they are in your heart, what you are actually saying is that you love that person, you have affection for them. God said he would write his law in our hearts; he would take out the old stony heart and give us a heart of flesh. You cannot do anything with stone, it is hard and un-pliable. You cannot mold it, the only thing you can do is chip at it to shape it into something, but once you have the form of something you cannot do anything else with it. You can only shape stone one time.
You have seen sculptures that are made from stone. In order to get the stone into the shape you see the sculptor has to chip away at the stone until it is a shape they desire. Once they have gotten the shape they cannot do anything else to it. The shape is set, you cannot remake it, and you can only tear it down and if you continue to chip away at it the stone will eventually disappear. An example would be the Hope diamond. This diamond started out at 112 carats but owner after owner wanted to change it and now it has been chipped down to 45 carats. If you have a stony heart there is nothing God can do with it, it is not pliable. But if you have a heart of flesh God can form and shape it into whatever he desires. By giving us a heart of flesh the Lord is saying he will now be able to mold and shape the heart into something that he can use. That is why we should keep the commandments in our heart because if they are in your heart, they are easily accessible; you have easy access to them.
The next thing Solomon said was, thou are my sister indicating a close relationship, thou art my kinswoman (closely allied with, working together to defeat the enemy). We must make the work of God familiar to us. We should always be seeking after wisdom. God said he would give wisdom to anyone who asked. When you have wisdom it indicates you have a close relationship with God. We must take pleasure and delight in it. If the word is in our heart we will take pleasure from it. Solomon said in one passage to bind the commandments on your heart and tie them around your neck. If we bind the commandments around our necks they will lead and guide us in the direction which we should go.
Our hearts = affection (where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also)
Our fingers = work
Our necks = direction (a yoke steers us in the direction we should go)
The reason for all of this is to keep us from the strange woman. This woman is called a harlot, she has the attire of a harlot but in actuality she is a married woman posing as a harlot. Who is this woman? Who is this harlot? The book of Revelation calls Babylon a harlot, the mother of harlots. Why? Because she defiles herself with the wickedness of the world. Many times God called Israel a harlot because she left God and defiled herself with other nations. God became angry with Israel and said she was playing the harlot because she kept following after other Gods. She refused to follow only God; she kept worshipping idols and defiling herself with the wickedness of other nations. When Solomon is talking about the harlot he is talking about the world and the wickedness in the world. He is talking about the pleasures of sin in the world. When Solomon describes this woman he describes her as having the attire of a harlot, she is cunning and subtle. Reminds me of Satan in the Garden of Eden when he was talking to Eve. Satan was subtle he came to Eve with enticing speech and enticing words and because she was drawn away with her own lusts she gave into his words. He tricked her and caused her to sin. He was more cunning and subtle than all the beasts of the field. Satan tries to make himself look good to us so we will follow him. He pretends to be something he is not. He transforms himself into an angel of light and if were possible he would deceive the very elect, but the elect have fortified themselves with wisdom and understanding.
Solomon also said for us to keep our lips from the strange woman because she will lead us to death and hell. She is persistent and constantly speaking to us so that we will not notice we have strayed. This is what happened to the young man, the woman kept talking to him to keep him distracted, she kept talking to keep him from thinking. An example would be talking on the phone while driving or talking with someone who is in the car with you. It is impossible to be totally aware of what you are doing when you drive and talk on the phone. Something is going to get less of your attention and you are more prone to make a mistake. You might wind up missing your turn and it happens because your attention was divided it was not focused on what you were doing. Satan tries to make us keep our attention on something we should not be doing and one day we wake up and wonder how we got in the shape we are in. How did we get in this situation? The woman wants to stop us from thinking about what we are doing or what we are about to do. She whispers sweet nothings into our ear enticing us to submit. She says things like," it won't hurt only this once, no one will know. What harm can come from it?" etc. How many times has Satan whispered into your ear, how many times has he tricked you into doing something you thought would be harmless?
The woman is loud and stubborn, not willing to take no for an answer. She is loud because she needs to drown out the other voices that might be calling to him. She needs him to notice her and no one else. In the 9th verse of this Psalms wisdom is crying in the street, God is constantly calling out to us, but people who are simple minded ignore it because they love simplicity. They love silly, deceptive, flattering and enticing talk and conduct. They are naïve and easily deceived or persuaded. A simple person is unsuspecting. Scripture says we are to be always watching and praying, we are to always be on the lookout, because Satan our enemy walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. A simple person also acts rashly, is inconsiderate and unwary because they lack knowledge. But simplicity is not something a person has to live with forever, a simple person can change. He or she does not have to stay that way, but in order for the person to change they must do something. They must acquire the knowledge of God because this knowledge will make the simple wise. A simple person does not have to stay simple; a simple person can have knowledge and understanding. All they have to do is ask for it, all they have to do is keep the commandments of the Lord. Psalms 19:7 says, The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple.
This strange woman who entices the simple young man lies in wait, seeking her prey, waiting to pounce. She made it seem like she was waiting for and looking especially for the young man. She made it seem as if she would have been so unhappy, sad and disappointed if she had not found him, but in actuality if he had not come along she would have found someone else, someone who was willing to go with her. She was looking for anyone to entice. This is the way sin is; it looks for anyone to entice, anyone willing to follow it. This strange woman is constantly trying to entice us to follow her and partake of her pleasures. But if we keep ourselves fortified with the word of God which brings wisdom we will not be like the simple young man. Satan is always looking for someone he can cause to stray, someone he can get to sin and follow after him.
This young man is out late at night, going where he should not be. He was out at a time when he should not have been. The scripture says he went the way to her house. This man might not have been looking for her, he might not have been looking for trouble but because he was somewhere he should not have been it led to trouble. In Proverbs 9:13-18 the foolish woman calls to passerby's saying, turn in here, stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Not knowing that her way is the way to destruction. She made it appear like everything is so good and wonderful. She makes sin attractive, no one will find out. No one is here but us; the person does not know that sin will lead to hell. This is what Satan whispers to us, no one will know, the pleasure will be better because you will get a thrill from the secrecy. But in Proverbs 9:1-6 wisdom is calling saying come eat of my bread and drink of my wine, forsake the foolish and live. Come over here where the table is spread and the feast of the Lord is going on. We should be constantly following after God. Wisdom is constantly calling after us.
Scripture tells us to not seek after the world and the things of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. If we do we will fall into a deep pit. The world and the sin in the world is a trap waiting to ensnare anyone who is simple, anyone who lacks wisdom and understanding, anyone not seeking after God. Proverbs 6:27 says can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? When a person flirts with temptation they will get burned. Stay out of the devils territory. Temptation leads to willful ignorance and willful ignorance leads to really stupid decisions. Be careful of the decisions you make because you might find yourself digging your own grave.
In this Proverb the Father is telling his son to give him his heart and let his eyes observe his ways. How can our eyes observe our ways? Because our eyes give us direction, they allow us to see where we are going. When the eye is single the whole body is full of light. We walk in the direction we see. When we follow wisdom we will flee from the temptations of the woman. I Peter 2:11 says Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. This simple young man did not listen to his father; he was void of understanding, not because the information was unavailable, because it was. It was not as if he could not get wisdom and understanding because it was constantly crying out in the street. Come in here, turn this way, but he chose not to, he chose to stay simple minded. So if we are simple minded or void of understanding it is because we choose to stay that way. He was simple because he chose to ignore the warnings of his father. Scripture says inJoshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
This woman tells the young man to come, she has been waiting for him and her husband is not at home. The woman made it look as if it was alright because she had paid her vows; she said I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves, Proverbs 7:16-18. She made everything look good, smell good; she made it pleasant and pleasing to the eye. This is what the world does, it makes sin attractive, and it makes everything appear as if it is so much fun. If you come over here you will have fun. The alcohol ads on TV give the impression that drinking is so much fun; everyone is having such a good time. Nothing is going to happen, there are no consequences to what you are doing; you don't have to worry. Have your fun and go home. But that is not the case, one day the goodman of the house (Jesus) is going to come home. One day he is going to come back and give everyone a reward according the deeds done in the body. This young man yielded to temptation; he does not realize that what he is about to do will lead to his death and his destruction. Proverbs 2:18-19 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
Do not be like the simple minded young man; listen to the instructions of your Father.