Proverbs 7 What Waits in the Shadows

Ah, the seductress, once again she visits us to tempt and deceive, to lure and entrap.  Solomon uses her to paint a picture of how we can allow flattery and desire to mislead and betray us. He describes her as brazen and brash, as roaming the streets and lying in wait for just the right time to approach, using our cravings to entice us into sin.  She snares us by our own folly, and we willingly follow her down the path of destruction and death.

While reading this chapter, I couldn’t help thinking of “The Lord of the Rings.” The details with which the story is related, reminded me of the tale of the Nazgûl, the nine black riders, who once were mighty kings and whose greed and lust for power became their undoing, distorting and disfiguring them, transforming them into hideous, unrecognizable creatures. Like the naïve young man in Solomon’s account, they were seduced by the promises of forbidden fruit, and through their eager acceptance of the dark lord’s gifts, they became enslaved to his will.

We have all, at one time or another, been in Solomon’s shoes, looking out upon a scene we know will not end well, watching from a distance as a loved one makes a wrong turn, seeing the outcome as if someone had drawn a diagram on a chalkboard. If only they could see what we are seeing, the traps that have been set, the heartache, the devastation waiting in the shadows.  We can protect ourselves from the snares of the seductress, and Solomon tells us that wisdom’s voice is the only guard we have against her, that the temptations of our worldly desires can be waylaid through talking to wisdom as if she’s a sister, and through treating her insight as a constant companion.

 

~SLM

Proverbs 6:20-35 When You Play with Fire

Once again, we visit the subject of adultery. So what’s with adultery, and why does Solomon seem to have been so obsessed with the subject?  Maybe the story of his father and mother and how they came to be a couple played a part in his fixation, or maybe he thought the subject was of such importance that it bore repeating.  Actually, if you think about it, the later does warrant some consideration.  Other than to God, marriage is the most important commitment we can make, and how we handle the challenges of our pledge defines us as human beings. If we run at the first sign of trouble, if we are shallow in our obligation, or if we are cavalier about our faithfulness, it is a direct reflection upon our character, upon who we are within our heart of hearts. When you play with fire, you get burned, and if we are superficial in this, one of life’s most important endeavors, showing that we cannot be trusted to keep our word, then the consequence follows us throughout our lives.

Therefore, listen to the voice of wisdom; keep the word close to your heart, tied around your neck like a precious jewel. Dwell in the word for it is your light, and its discipline is the way to life.  God’s instructions will lead you when you walk, protect you when you sleep, advise you when you wake, and following his will keeps us focused on truth, on desirable action, and on the importance of faithfulness.

~SLM