Old Testament: 1 Samuel 11 & 12
*Poetry: Proverbs 7
New Testament: Acts 1
Proverbs 7 is a warning to young men and women about the dangers of sexual desires when they are not pursued properly within God’s intended design, which is within the covenant of marriage. It is written from the viewpoint of a father warning his son about not being enticed by women and drawn away after them. There is an assumption in the text that the young man is marriage, and the warning is about being lured into an adulterous affair with a woman who is not his wife, referred to as the “strange” or “foreign” woman because she is “strange” or “foreign” to his covenant of marriage—she is an outsider.
While this extended speech in Proverbs 7 is aimed at marriage faithfulness and loyalty, its application extends beyond that. Faithfulness and loyalty are not necessary in just a marriage relationship, they are necessary in any relationship, whether it is a family relationship, friendship, or even professional relationship. Anyone will quickly come to learn the importance of faithfulness and loyalty if they betray a relationship and break that bond of trust and commitment. In a family, privileges might be taken away from you. In a friendship, the other person may not confide in you any longer. In a professional relationship, you might lose responsibility, or worse, lose your job entirely.
In Proverbs 7:1-4, the father is telling his son to hold on to his teaching and instruction. The metaphor that he uses is to “bind” them on your fingers,” and “write them on the tablet of your heart.” Furthermore, the son is to treat Wisdom as like a sibling—someone who is part of your family. The purpose for this figurative language is to reinforce the attitude that the son is supposed to have toward Wisdom and living with the fear of Yahweh. Not only that, but the admonition of the father is to also build desire for Wisdom. And the explicit purpose is “in order to keep you from the strange woman, from the foreign woman who flatters with her words” (v. 5).
I think that having a heart that desires Wisdom is vitally important for young people to develop. The world is filled with foolishness, especially in regard to sexuality. It implicitly condones a “do whatever feels good” mindset that is completely opposed to God’s intended way for humans to view sex and to enjoy it. But if a young person doesn’t listen to Wisdom, but follows the ways of the world and allows themselves to be enticed and led astray into sexual passions, they will inevitably suffer and learn the hard way that the world’s way of living is not what produces healthy, loving relationships that lead to the life-long commitment of marriage where sex is intended to be fully explored and enjoyed as God designed for it to be.
- What dangers are warned of in Proverbs 7?
- What are some examples of worldly foolishness in the area of sexuality? Why are these problems?
- How can you increase your faithfulness and loyalty?