Did you know there is a chapter in Proverbs for every day of the month? Proverbs has 31 chapters, so January, March, May, July, August, October, December there is exactly 1 chapter per day. Obviously the book overcompensated for February, but I try to read and study the “Daily Proverb” throughout the month. When I do this consistently, I am committing these passages to memory and learning something different every time. There is much wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, and taking it one day at a time has helped me understand the book better.
February 2 = Proverbs 2
This chapter opens with the words my son, indicating that Solomon is imparting fatherly advice thereafter. And as we read, we can see the wisdom in his words, but verses 16-20 stuck out to me in particular, talking about discretion.
“To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of God. 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. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.” –Proverbs 2:16-20
Note: I'm a single guy, often people say that's the target audience of Proverbs, but I think all of the Bible is meant for everyone. Sure, different parts speak to different people in different ways, but I would never say Proverbs was written specifically for single guys.
As I read this, the thing that just jumped out of the text at me was a comparison between, (what I’m calling), the “Worldly Woman”, and the world itself. When the Bible speaks of strange, it doesn’t refer to something or someone who is odd or peculiar, but rather a stranger: something unfamiliar and unknown. So this strange woman is like an undiscovered territory. No one knows what to expect or how to live in a strange land, so it is with this woman.
The Woman and The World
Like the world, this woman is enticing by mystery, by physical appeal, and by her words. She lures the sons of the righteous into traps and imprisons them in cages of worldliness and shame. The world doesn’t follow after the things of God, it is a rebellious generation and an enticing temptation for the young and inexperienced among us. But even more so, the world doesn’t pray on the young only. The great temptation of the world is that it appeals to men and women of every age. You don’t have to be youthful and inexperienced to be lured by the enticements of the world.
Sure, Solomon is speaking to “his son”, in the sense that this is a common issue for young men, but Satan wants to cause us to fall and doubt our Savior at any age of our life. The biggest danger here is in the statement that says, “None that go unto her return again…”. Not to make that statement any weaker, but I believe it infers more that once we give ourselves over to the world, our witness and integrity is lost and irrecoverable. We may can be rescued from enslavement to sin, but if we leave the paths of life to give ourselves to the things of the world, our reputation dies.
This passage is a caution and a charge to keep ourselves obedient to Christ and place our eyes on Him. Temptation surrounds us, seeking to pull us in, but if we focus on Jesus and follow after Him, we have nothing to fear.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist