Soon in the story, we will discover that even the wisest man can make foolish decisions when it comes to women. In an effort for political gain, Solomon “loves many foreign women” across the nations (1 Kings 11:1-2). Solomon eventually acquires seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 1:3). This is in direct disobedience to the Lord’s instructions on not intermarrying with the nations around you, and His instruction for kings not to have multiple wives. In Solomon’s later years, he will regret his foolish pursuits of seeking fulfillment in worldly possessions and conclude that life is empty and meaningless apart from the Lord (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Today Solomon warns of the pain and emptiness found in immoral and adulterous relationships:
- “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).
- “Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:15-18).
- “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. 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 6:23-26).
- “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32).
Today’s reading ends with these wise words from Solomon – “Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:24-27).
Now Solomon is a male, so his writing is from a male perspective, but the same truths apply to females seeking affirmation, comfort, love, affection, or whatever else from anyone outside of the Lord and their own husband. Adultery, although it may feel satisfying for a moment, ultimately equates to hell. The Lord knows the havoc that an adulterous relationship can cause in the life of the person committing the adultery as well as in the lives of those around them. We just saw the disastrous impacts when King David stepped into the immoral act of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).
Therefore, Solomon tells us to keep his commandments, “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). The light of God’s word gives us life. This is why Solomon is going to warn us over and over again to obey the Lord – “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin, he shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray” (Proverbs 5:21-23).
Solomon knows that ignoring God’s word leads to a life full of pain, misery, and eventually death. Therefore, Solomon is urging us to choose life! And how do we do that as broken sinners who are unable to perfectly obey the Lord’s commandments as we see illustrated in the lives of the mighty King David and King Solomon? The answer is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is coming to do for us what no one can do for themselves. He will live a perfect life and die as our substitutionary atonement so that we may have life! We are saved by grace through faith, and there is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation. If we accept the Lord’s gift that He is providing through His Son, we will be permanently restored to the Father and nothing can separate us from Him – “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
However, we can rob ourselves of peace and joy when we choose to live in disobedience to the Lord’s good instructions. We are all going to disobey the Lord at some point or another because we are all sinners, but there is peace awaiting in Christ. Jesus is coming to die for our sins, and he will rise from the grave and ascend to heaven from where He will pour the Holy Spirit upon His people. Jesus will later say to His disciples – “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you… But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:15-17, 26-27).
The Holy Spirit gives us the understanding to interpret the word of God and leads us in the ways of all things spiritual so that we are empowered to overcome sin and the lusts of this world. However, our spiritual life is a work in progress and will be until the day we ascend to heaven with Jesus. So when we do stumble, and we all do, the Spirit will convict us so that we may run to Jesus with a truly repentant heart and receive forgiveness and peace that can only be found in Christ.
Keep reading. (Proverbs 5:1-7:27)