The Ways of the Prostitute
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles to the book of Proverbs, chapter 7. You will remember that after our original presentation of the outline of the book of Proverbs, we began a divisional study of the book. At the present time we are discussing the thirteen lectures on wisdom which Solomon delivered to his children. We reminded you that the lectures all begin with “my son,” or “my sons.” We emphasize that every time you see the words “my sons,” it does not necessarily mean a new lecture begins; but every time a new lecture begins, it begins in that fashion.

We have been noticing together some lectures on a subject that everyone here may not need for various reasons, but we have emphasized to you that it would be good for you to be familiar with where this information is found in the Word of God so that you will be able to use the Word as direction and guidance in your teaching of others and perhaps in your teaching and giving advice to your own children.

I am talking about the fact that the book of Proverbs is discussing in these lectures the oldest profession in the world; and if the book of Proverbs is a practical book that has to do with the ways of men who walk upon this earth, you could certainly expect that the Bible, or the book of Proverbs in particular, would have something to say about the subject of prostitution.

Thus far in the lectures there have been four references to this subject, including what we will be thinking about in this lesson. The second lecture on wisdom, this portion to which we make reference is found in verses chapter 2, verses 16-19. We have presented to us the suggestion that prostitution, sexual immorality, illicit sex actions are all a reality and they should be guarded against. We are reminded that the real guard against them will be the Word of the living God as it has been infused into our hearts and into our lives.

In Proverbs, chapter 5, verses 1-23, something is said about sexual relationships again, but this time the emphasis is placed upon the husband who has a roving eye. As Solomon has suggested in this lecture, he is not content to be satisfied out of his own cistern. He must dip into waters that belong to other people. He is not content to be satisfied and ravished in the love of his own wife. He must have some extramarital activity. Of course, God brings to our attention that such a thing as this can be a costly thing.

Then in lecture number 11, which is found in Proverbs, chapter 6, verses 20-35, the subject of adultery is brought to our attention, but this time it is presented to us by way of comparison and contrast—a neighborhood adulteress versus a commercial prostitute.

When we were thinking about the roving eye of the husband, we emphasized to you that it cost more than the price that is laid on the dresser in the visitation to a prostitute. It costs more than that. It can cost the loss of a home, loved ones and many other things.

When we were looking at the subject of the neighborhood adulteress versus the commercial prostitute, the chapter made plain that all it will cost you when you visit the prostitute is the price monetarily, but when you have to do with the wife of another man who just wants to lead into sin all the men she possibly can, there is a difference. The price of a prostitute is only a price in that instance because you may come out paying no more than what is represented by mere money. Everybody doesn't escape so fortunately. There is no contradiction between the two suggestions. The application is made in light of the context.

The fourth mention of adultery and prostitution is found in lecture number 11, which we will now be considering, recorded in Proverbs, chapter 7, verses 1-27. We are going to be discussing The Ways of a Prostitute because the Spirit of God leads Solomon to change his manner of approach to the subject and deal with individuals involved, so that the individuals involved might be recognized and perhaps might even recognize themselves. Oftentimes the individuals do not realize the path which they are following and the Word of God opens it up to them, and they are able to recognize things that they were not able to recognize before.

An Exhortation to Guard the Truth of the Word

This particular lecture begins with an exhortation. I would like for you to notice that exhortation with me. We read, beginning in verse 1:

Proverbs 7:

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.

If you are remembering how we have discussed these thirteen lectures heretofore, you will notice in this introductory exhortation a similarity to what has already been noticed. For example, in the first verse we see:

Proverbs 7:

1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

The importance of guarding the truth of the Word of God and laying it up as a treasure and bound in your heart so that you might be able to follow the injunction of God's Word has been emphasized several times over. Notice verse 2:

Proverbs 7:

2 Keep my commandments, and live…

In the latter part of verse 3, you are reminded once again of the importance of getting God's Word lower than your Adam's apple. A lot of people get it in their head and go no further. You need to get it down in your heart as well as your head so that it becomes a practical application in your life.

The Apple of the Eye

If you have been thinking, you noticed as we read this paragraph that there are some new emphases placed on the Word of God in the believer's life by the introduction of some new phrases. For example, you will notice the suggestion that the Word of God should be kept as “the apple of the eye.” Notice verse 2:

Proverbs 7:

2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

You may not have known that you had an apple in your eye, but you do, if we are going to stick to the exact scriptural terminology. Actually, what the Word of God is talking about is what you know as the pupil of your eye. The reason that you have eyelids, the reason that you have tears, or what have you, is all for the protection of the most precious part of your eye—namely, the pupil. Sometimes the eye is injured and the doctor examines the eye and there is rejoicing on the part of the people involved because the pupil has not been damaged.

The Word of God uses this phrase, “the apple of the eye,” to indicate something that is very, very precious. For example, God says that the nation of Israel is the apple of His eye, and He will guard Israel to the extent that is necessary to protect this nation which is particularly precious to Him.

The Word Should be Bound upon Our Fingers

There is another phrase in this exhortation, and it has to do with fingers. Notice verse 3:

Proverbs 7:

3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

In our last lesson we learned that you were to bind them upon your throat where they might always be with you, that your speech might be with grace, seasoned with salt. Here we are told that they should be bound upon our fingers, in the sense that we will use them.

What do you do with the Word of God? Do you just accumulate a knowledge of it or do you use it? You ought to have it at your fingertips, figuratively speaking, so that it can be used when it is needed. Since we are talking about a temptation, it should be bound upon your fingers so that you can use it to ward off the attacks of the enemy when he presents you with temptations such as we will be considering in this particular discussion.

The Lord Jesus Christ, you will remember, had the Word of God, figuratively speaking, bound upon His fingers. He found it to be very useful when the devil attacked Him after forty days of hunger in the desert. You remember that every attack the devil made upon the Lord Jesus Christ was warded off with the Word of God.

Look upon Wisdom and Understanding as Kinfolk

A new phrase that we have not noticed in the exhortations thus far is found in verse 4, where the Spirit of God urges us:

Proverbs 7:

4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Wisdom and understanding are two words which are used in the Proverbs for the Word of God. Here we are told to look upon them as kinfolk. Look upon wisdom and understanding as kinfolk. Look upon wisdom and understanding as the kinswoman, the close relative of you. Of course, that suggests the closeness of the Word of God, so three new things are emphasized in this particular exhortation: the idea of the preciousness of the Word of God, the usefulness of the Word of God, and the close relationship to the Word of God that all believers ought to maintain if they are going to use the Word of God practically.

Glance down at verse 5, because in the exhortations with which each of these lectures begins, the reason for the emphasis on the Word of God is always presented, and there you will find:

Proverbs 7:

5 That they [the Word of God] may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

As we hinted to you already in our discussion, we have met this strange woman before. The reason she is called the strange woman is because she is doing something which God did not create her to do. God gave her the possibility of sex. He gave her attractiveness. He gave her her beauty, not to be used to trap men into sin, but to become wife and mother and a part of the most important institution in the world, the part that can really make it go—the mother in a godly home.

Solomon's Observation from His Window

After the exhortation, the individuals being reminded by Solomon that the Word of God would guard them from such a woman as this, he describes an experience he had one day as he was sitting by his window. Look at verse 6, please:

Proverbs 7:

6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

Then he tells us something that he saw. This could take place in any large city today where individuals sat by their window and looked out upon the street and observed what actually was happening. Solomon first tells us what he saw related to a character whom we are going to refer to as the adulterer because even though he is presented in this chapter as the one seduced, though he is presented in this chapter as the one more imposed upon than imposing, because he yielded to temptation, he became an adulterer.

Oftentimes we find ourselves being more lenient with men than we are with women when it comes to this oldest sin in the world, and folk refer to it as a double standard. The idea is that men can enter into illicit sex unions as often as they may wish and no real blame will fall upon them, but the woman is held responsible. God does not have a double standard. When you enter into an illicit sex union, if you are a man, you are an adulterer; if you are a woman, you are an adulteress.

First brought to our attention is the adulterer, in the words of verse 7. Notice:

Proverbs 7:

7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

“I looked out my window,” he said, “and I saw a group of young men.” He refers to them as simple ones . not because they were dumb, not because they lacked in intelligence, not because they were mentally retarded, but because they were open to persuasion, for the word simple comes from the Hebrew word pthiy , which means “open to persuasion.” These were young men who had not lived long, who had not experienced a great deal, and they were open to persuasion. They were willing to listen to most anything that was related to what some folk might be calling “a good time.” These simple ones open to persuasion, Solomon realized, as he watched what was going on, were going to become fertile territory for the temptress, fertile territory for the devil.

Solomon Notices a Young Man Ignorant of God's Word

You will notice that he fastened his eyes particularly on one young man in verse 7:

Proverbs 7:

7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

We must interpret the word understanding in the light of the context. Again, this does not mean that this young man was a dropout. It doesn't mean that he did not have a college diploma. It does not mean that he was not a brilliant young man. It means that he was void of understanding. In the light of the context, he was ignorant of God's Word. He had not prepared his heart with the firm teaching of the Word so that he might be able to withstand the temptress that was about to make her appearance.

As Solomon watched this young man, he describes something else about him for us in verse 8:

Proverbs 7:

8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

Of course, we already know to whom the pronoun her refers—to the strange woman, the prostitute. He was visiting the redlight district, if you please, passing through the street near her corner, and he went the way to her house. You see, this isn't a case of two pure young people going farther than they wished they had. This is a case of a young man out on the town, deciding he would see what it was all about, and so he went down to the red-light district. Notice in verse 9, that we are told something else about him:

Proverbs 7:

9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

These are not just words which are repeated. If we translate this in the light of the words of the original meaning, he was taking this little journey down to the red-light district sometime between nine o'clock at night and midnight. He was out later than he needed to be.

The Provision for the Flesh

All of this may be summed up in one simple statement that I call “The Provision For the Flesh.” One of the reasons this young man fell (we are going to see that he did fall) was that he was open to persuasion. Another was that he was void of understanding. He was not well grounded in the Word of God. He was also making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.

We have borrowed that phrase from Romans, chapter 13, verse 14, where we are told that we should put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.

You do recognize that each one of you is filled with lust. Lust is a word that is used in the Bible to describe desire . Sometimes there is legitimate lust; sometimes there is illegitimate lust—lust that is displeasing to God. Sometimes these lusts become overpowering and we find ourselves ready to satisfy the demands of the appetite of the lust of the flesh. Sometimes we find ourselves satisfying the appetite, regretting that we do, but sometimes we are overwhelmed before we know that we are being overwhelmed and we fall; we yield.

This young man was doing what a lot of young men do. He was making provision for the flesh by walking up and down in the red-light district as close to the house of the prostitute as he could get, probably waiting until he saw her as we are going to see in a moment. Of course, he was doing something else that was making it easy for him to sin. He was in a place at a time that was conducive to evil, in a place at a time when it was conducive to sin. He had no business being down in the red-light district. He was a godly man, and he shouldn't travel as close to the precipice as he could to see how near he could come to falling off. He ought to have stayed away. He was out at the wrong time. The works of darkness are not misaptly named in the Word of God. Sin is always related to darkness and related to nighttime, and if you are out at night when the underworld is living it up—I do not speak criminally now—you might ask yourself, “Do I really have any right, as a child of God, to be exposing myself to the sins that are available, which can appeal to the lust of the flesh?”

Solomon Sees the Young Man's Defeat

There is something else that is brought to our attention as Solomon views that young man and that is his defeat. Yes, Solomon saw his defeat. You might be saying, “How did he do that? I thought he was sitting at his window. Did he go home with the prostitute and the young man?” No, he didn't need to go home with them. His defeat is described in verse 21. Notice:

Proverbs 7:

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.

Notice in verse 22: “He goeth after her straightway…” Now, it is not made evident in our King James text, but the idea is that the seductress had worked on him for quite some time and in a moment, in an instant, suddenly he yielded.

I would share with you the Amplified t ranslation of these two verses so that you might see that what I am saying to you is true. Verses 22-23 are translated: “Suddenly he yields and follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, as one in fetters in correction to be given to a fool, till a dart of passion pierces and inflames his vitals, then like a bird fluttering straight into the net, he hastens, not knowing it will cost his life.”

You see, when Solomon saw this young man, had he stopped and engaged him in conversation, the young man might have said, “Oh, I don't plan to do anything really. I just never have been to a red-light district, and I have heard a lot about it and have just toyed with the idea of it. Oh, no, I am not planning to do anything that I ought not to do. Don't be afraid, Solomon. You just go back home and don't worry about me. I will be all right. I am just doing a little fooling around.”

Beloved, it was while he was fooling around that he was defeated because suddenly, like a dart in the liver, the flame of passion began to burn violently and it consumed him. You see, young people, you need to keep this in mind. Being familiar with one another when you are just dating, you may not think much about it. Oh, after all, everybody makes out, so why not? If you don't, the girl might think that there is something wrong with you; if the girl doesn't, you think she is frigid and tell it. After all, you have got to do a little of this, you know. What harm is there in a little kiss? What harm is there in a good night kiss?

I am not going to stand up here and tell you that you ought not to kiss your girl good night because you won't pay any attention to me anyway. You will go ahead and kiss her anyway, but I want to tell you this: These innocent little caresses that are innocent to you are the very thing that builds the fire that causes the dart to strike through the liver. You might remember that when you find yourself being a little bit too familiar with the young ladies with whom you are keeping company. Young ladies, as we are going to see from our story, can be just as guilty or more guilty than the young men. When you find yourself being more intimate in physical caresses than you ought to be, just remember that you are building a fire that may consume you.

That is when this young man was defeated. That is the reason I say to you that it wasn't necessary for Solomon to go home with the adulterer and the adulteress to know what was going on. He knew when he saw the young man walk along with the adulteress that the battle had been lost. Anything that happened after that was incidental. The battle had been lost when he decided to go home with her.

She was quite a person. I would like for you to think about her and what Solomon saw as he looked out of the window. The young man did walk up and down with her for quite a while before the adulteress turned the corner. Look down at verse 10:

The Attire of the Harlot

Proverbs 7:

10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Someone might say, “If you are going to make this a real warning message and if you are going to make this a message that will provide advice and instruction, just how does a harlot dress?”

I don't think I need to tell you that, but I do feel impelled to remind you godly girls and women that you should keep in mind something that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, when he took care of the subject of dress on the part of women, by saying that women should don themselves in modest apparel. Then he describes that. He didn't say that modest dress was a dress that was midcalf. He didn't say that immodest dress was a dress that was mid thigh. He said that modest apparel was apparel that became women who profess godliness. You see he didn't make any six inch rule. He said, “It is the attire that becomes a woman who is a professing godly woman.”

That is why I never preach about styles. I never preach about things. About the time I would get the skirt lowered to the right length, they would raise it or lower it further, and I would not have anything to preach about, you see. But I do suggest to you that in these days when the designers of women's clothes are being almost obscene in their advertisements, women, you need to be on your guard that you do not fall down at the altar of dress designers because they don't always have your best interest at heart. Godly women need to be very careful about their attire because the harlot uses it as one of her gimmicks to get the adulterer who is scouting the corner where he might think he could see her.

The Harlot has a Subtle Heart

Solomon describes something else about this adulteress. He describes her attire as the attire of a harlot, but he spoke to us about her attitude, and frankly, her attitude disturbs me more than her attire does because if she plies her trade, as soon as she will, she won't have that attire on anyway. Her attitude concerns me.

Notice what he said about her attitude down in verse 10. He said that she is a woman who had a subtle heart. What is a subtle heart? In the light of the original text, this is a heart that is sly and it is a heart that is cunning. If you think that you know all there is to know about women, so that you can be a match for any adulteress that you meet, just think again. An adulteress who plies her trade is sly and cunning with a subtle heart. Solomon said that she is loud, and in verse 11, she is stubborn, and she is not content to stay at home. Four walls become a dreary place to the practicing prostitute.

The Harlot's Actions

He noticed one other thing about her. It is described in verse 12:

Proverbs 7:

12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.

The third thing that he noticed in her attitude was not that she was soliciting. Will you keep that in mind? She wasn't out late at night like some good women have to be, because of the hours that they work. They almost have to run to their cars and quickly lock the door when they get inside to keep from being raped. She wasn't a woman like that. She was a woman who was out on the street corners for the purpose of soliciting. She was out on the street corners for the purpose of finding someone that she wanted with whom she could ply her trade.

As Solomon watched what went on, he described the actions of this woman and let us know what she did as she went about soliciting, so let's notice what is before us in this portion of the Word—her actions. I suggest that you notice first that she made a physical attack upon this man.

You say, “Now, wait a minute. Aren't you a little bit mixed up? Isn't it always the man who attacks the woman?” Not necessarily. In this instance it was the woman who attacked the man, for if you will notice in verse 13, it reads:

Proverbs 7:

13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face [propositioned him]

Remember, this young man had never been with a prostitute before. Maybe he could have gone home a pure young man. Even though he played awful close to the precipice, maybe he could have gone home a pure young man if she hadn't caught him and kissed him. Do you see why I tell you that you had better be careful with your kisses? When a prostitute plies her trade (I am being brutally frank), she doesn't begin in bed. Will you remember that? She begins with her lips. She caught him and she kissed him. Then, of course, she began to sell her wares because you read in verse 13:

Proverbs 7:

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 payed 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.

This may be a bit confusing to you. What in the world does a prostitute have to do with paying vows? What has that got to do with soliciting? What she is referring to is that she had gone to the temple and offered an animal sacrifice and, according to the custom, she brought home what was not used in the sacrifice and was to have a feast to which she could invite her friends. Always when these feasts were observed, there was the matter of wine added to the food and the thing that she first brought to the adulterer's attention was the possibility of sensual allurement, such as the matter of physical satisfaction. “I have food and wine in my apartment,” she said. “Why don't we go in and have a little drink? Why don't we go in and feast a little?”

It is strange how, in the practice of prostitution, liquor is so important. One reason is that some people can't act naturally until they have drunk because they can drown their inhibitions, and when their inhibitions are drowned, their conscience is dulled and the voice of the Spirit of God, if they are believers, can't get through to them to say anything to them about what they were going to do.

She planned for the satisfaction of his physical needs. You know, it doesn't sound so bad, does it, to say, “Why don't you drop by my room tonight for a drink?” That doesn't sound nearly as bad as to say, “Why don't you come and see me and we will commit adultery?” You see, it is never a sudden thing, in the sense of telling the whole story.

These sensual allurements of which I speak included something else. She emphasized the sensual surroundings. Oh, I know that some prostitutes practice their trade in the dirty upstairs back room. I know that. But some of them don't. Solomon was thinking of the prostitute who arranged everything so it would fit in with the mood of the evening. In verse 16, she said:

Proverbs 7:

16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt [she was a high priced prostitute].
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

You see, she was providing the atmosphere, and if she had had a stereo, she would have turned it on to the right music, too. Not that I have anything against stereos; they just help to provide the atmosphere.

The third thing in relation to her sensual allurement was, as described in verse 18, she was willing to go all the way, and she let him know it. Some boys spend a good bit of the time that they spend in the presence of young ladies, finding out if they will go all the way. Somehow they think a conquest is something that makes them a little different. What fools can you be? There is nothing new about it, boys. It has been done for hundreds of years. Some girls have to spend all of their time fighting off boys whose company they would like to enjoy because they don't want to go all the way.

Here was a girl who let the boy know right from the start that she was willing to go all the way. Really, that was what she had in mind because in verse 18, you read:

Proverbs 7:

18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

This wasn't going to be a quickie. She was willing to spend the night, and she wanted him to stay until morning.

Young men, if you have had any experience, you know by the time you have been faced with suggestions concerning physical satisfaction, a description of sensual surroundings and a very clear cut proposition which includes complete sexual satisfaction, you know that you are nearly hooked right now. If you haven't had any experience let me tell you that you don't need to try it to find out. Here it is in the Word of God, from a man who had more sexual experiences than anybody you know anything about. That is the reason he could describe it so aptly, and by this time, this man was hooked. There wasn't very much left that she needed to do because she was willing to go all the way, as we have suggested to you.

Look at verse 21, for there is something else we need to notice about the actions of this prostitute:

Proverbs 7:

21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

Her actions included allaying all of his fears and letting her get what she actually wanted—the accomplishment of seducing the young man who was in question.

The Condition of the Heart

There is something I would like to notice with you about this matter of allaying his fears. We needed to consider it more in order and the verse actually is verse 19. Perhaps it would be better to begin with verse 19:

Proverbs 7:

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.

Literally that means about the first of the month. He is going to be gone about two weeks. Why have I suggested that this might be characterized by the phrase, “she allayed his fears?” Well, he was like most folks who follow this line. He was really interested. “Sounds good,” he said, but then he thought, “Wait a minute. Suppose someone comes and interrupts or someone slips in on us and catches us.” It is a serious thing to be caught in a woman's bed if you don't belong there.

She said, “Oh, you are thinking about the man. Don't worry about it. He has gone away and he has taken a whole lot of money with him. He is not going to be back until the first of the month. We have plenty of time. He is not coming. Don't worry. You haven't anything to worry about.” Then what little restraint there was because of what might happen vanished. She allayed his fears and said, “You haven't got anything to worry about, nothing to be concerned about. We are not going to get caught, and we are not going to have any real price to pay.”

If you have read this chapter, you noticed already that it began with an exhortation and it closes with an exhortation. The exhortations with which it begins place the emphasis upon the importance of letting the Word of God take full control of your life so that you will guard against the sort of thing we have been talking about. Look at the last paragraph, beginning with verse 24:

Proverbs 7:

24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children [not little children, but Solomon's sons] , and attend to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

When Solomon said this, he uttered wisdom that many, many parents don't have. He knew where sin actually began. You know, there are some people who feel that you have to have a chaperon around all the time when dating is going on. There are some folk who feel that they have to be with their children all the time while they are keeping company with the opposite sex, but you need the wisdom of Solomon if you think that will take care of the thing. Do you know the only thing that is going to protect your daughter when she is out with a boy who wants to make her? Wait a minute. Do you know the only thing that is going to protect your son with a girl who wants to make him? The only thing that is going to protect him is the condition of his heart.

Did you notice what Solomon said? Notice verse 25 again:

Proverbs 7:

25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

Before he ever enters the room of a prostitute, he makes the decision in his heart. That is the reason that it is important not to set a lot of rules, although rules are needed for guidelines. I shouldn't have to interrupt myself to say that. I have taught that sufficiently. You don't need to be as concerned about laying down a lot of rules as you are concerned that the heart of your child is right. For the individual who goes after the prostitute, it starts in his heart.

Did you notice the terminology that he used: “Let not thine heart decline to her ways…” You don't go up; you go down. You don't raise your standards; you lower them. It all begins in the heart.

Don't Overestimate

Another thing that he suggested is in verse 26. It has always been of interest to me. He said:

Proverbs 7:

26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

I use the word overestimation to describe that phase of his exhortation. “Son,” Solomon says, “don't overestimate yourself. Don't think you will be a match for her. You won't. She has wounded many men and many strong men have been slain by her.”

I am sometimes told by young people who believe that as long as they don't go all the way, premarital sexual familiarity isn't so bad. I have had young men say to me, “I know how far to go.” I have had young girls say to me, “I know how far to let the boy go.” Well, I hope you do. I hope that you have sense enough to know how far to go, and I hope you have sense enough to know how far to let the boy go, but that is not what concerns me. What concerns me is whether you can stop when you should. That is what concerns me.

I have dealt with many. many unwed mothers through these years, advising them whether to keep their babies, advising them whether they should keep their babies or give them away, whether to have an abortion. I have talked with a lot of unwed mothers who thought they knew how far to go. They did, but they reached the point of no return, and even though they knew they ought not to be doing what they were doing, they were doing it.

The last verse, the way of the prostitute:

Proverbs 7:

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

Conclusion

Hide the Word of God in your heart. Stay yielded to the Spirit of God that you might be guarded against this strange woman. You will save yourself a lot of grief.


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