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Proverbs Part V: The Forbidden Woman

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What is wisdom?
Why is wisdom important?
Where can we get wisdom?
What do we do with wisdom once we have it?
Today’s Question: What happens when we are not content with wisdom?

The call to obey the Father’s wisdom

Proverbs 5:1–2 CSB
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding 2 so that you may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge.
Wise lips build others up
Ephesians 4:29 NASB95
29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Wise lips show discretion
Discretion: the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
Wise lips are not gossip speakers but Gospel preachers
Wise lips preach the Gospel
Romans 10:14–15 NASB95
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Wise lips protect understanding
Malachi 2:7 NASB95
7 “For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
You may think to yourself, “I’m not a priest” but look at what Peter says about you
1 Peter 2:1–5 NASB95
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Wise lips suckle the Word of God
1 Peter 2:2 NASB95
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
Let the Word of God rest often on your lips. It’s wisdom can make even the most foolish wise. It has the power to transform hearts. It will endure kingdoms, persecutions, and time itself. The Word of the Lord will never pass away. It is God breathed profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. It equips the believer for every good work. It is the authority of God, it is clear in its instructions, it is necessary for knowing God and His will, it is sufficient in its content. There is no other text in all of human history that can compare to Scripture. It is compiled of sixty-six books written over a period of two thousand years by regular people. Shepherds, fisherman, tax collectors. Yet they had one thing in common. Every word they wrote was inspired by the Holy Spirit meaning that it might as well have been God writing the words Himself. There are no errors or contradictions. Let there be no debate, let there be know confusion, where there is no vision the people perish. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. His Words are faithful and true. They are an anchor in the storm and a stronghold in times of war. They are sunshine cutting through storm clouds and the life giving rain that causes crops to grow. They proclaim freedom to the captive and rest for the weary. Wise lips are only as wise as the wisdom they speak. So let your lips be filled with the wisdom and Word of God.

The temptation to disobey the Father’s wisdom

Proverbs 5:1–6 CSB
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding 2 so that you may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge. 3 Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, 4 in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol. 6 She doesn’t consider the path of life; she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.
We are going to look at this passage from two different perspectives
The woman referred to here is symbolic for foolishness
The woman referred to here is a person
First lets talk about the adulterous woman in regards to the personification of foolishness.
Satan has many tricks to try to get us to walk away from wisdom. There are so many philosophies and world views in our culture today that try to tell us that being a Christian is old fashioned, its racist, its sexist, its homophobic. There are all these other quote unquote “truths” that bombard us. On top of that there is a temptation for all of us to live a life of self gratification. To serve ourselves and do whatever it takes to make ourselves happy. The trap that Satan sets before us is the promise of satisfaction in a place that can’t offer it. There is a show on television that I believe really captures the theological impact of this passage. That show is Spongebob. In the show Plankton sits down for dinner and his computer wife Karen has cooked up for him a delicious meal, holographic meatloaf. (Show Picture) Sin can be a lot like Plankton’s meatloaf. It promises fulfillment but can’t keep its promise. The temptation to live foolishly drips with honey. It is flattering. It tells us we deserve to make ourselves happy. It builds us up with empty praise and self exaltation but all the while it leads us to destruction. The sweet flattery of sin turns to bitter wormwood. It cuts our hearts and flows over with insecurity, guilt and shame. It leads us to death and to separation from God.
Matthew 7:24–27 NASB95
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Is my life built on Foolishness or on Wisdom?
Now lets look at it in regards to relationships
Dating can be a really difficult thing especially when you guys are as young as you are. The approach I see in most young people when it comes to dating isn’t rooted in questions like, does this relationship honor God, does this person love Jesus and have a growing relationship with Him, do I love Jesus and have a growing relationship with Him, do we build each other up, could I see this person being my lifelong ministry partner? Instead it is usually, does this person give me attention? I like attention! This person is now my boyfriend or girlfriend. When we build our relationships on flattery and attention seeking we find that we have to try to do more and more to get it from the other person. I like when this person gives me attention and they only do that when I am sexual with them so I am going to give myself to them in hopes that they can somehow fill this empty feeling I have inside me. What Proverbs is trying to teach us here is that we cannot be fulfilled by adulterous relationships. They will never satisfy.
The foolish give into flattery, deception, and sexual immorality
The wise develop in their purity, integrity, and sanctification
What do I mean by purity, integrity, and sanctification?
Purity: the state of being clean
Isaiah 1:18 NASB95
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.
1 John 1:9 NASB95
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain He washed it white as snow.
Purity isn’t something to chase after but is instead something to rest in. Jesus has already achieved purity on our behalf. If you feel like you have gone too far or feel like you’ve given away a part of yourself that you can never have back I want you to know that God offers grace and forgiveness freely to all who come to him. You can be made pure by the grace that Jesus lavishes on us. Because of Christ we are made righteous. We are pure. Purity is finding identity in that truth. Christ has made me pure, why would I then turn to live in impurity and the sins in once I formerly walked when Christ gave his life to give me a new identity.
Integrity: Doing what is right when nobody is watching.
Proverbs 28:6 NASB95
6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
1 Peter 2:12 NASB95
12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
How we live our lives is important. We honor God and please Him when we act according to His word. If wisdom is knowing the right thing to do in a situation and doing it and integrity is doing what is right even when nobody is watching then the two go hand in hand. Wisdom and integrity are two halves of the same coin, that coin being Christian ethics. Our lives are living sacrifices to the Lord. Every second we are alive is a gift from God to be used for His glory, to serve His kingdom and to do what is right.
Sanctification: The process of being made more into the image of God.
Philippians 1:6 NASB95
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 NASB95
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
The more we grow in our relationship with God the more we begin to think, speak, and act like Him. Every time we choose to stand against temptation it creates in us a steadfast faith. God doesn’t just call us to say no to sin but to say yeas to sanctification. Sanctification gives us far more than our sin could ever do. Living in sanctification isn’t saying no to sin it is saying yes to God’s will for our lives.
Why is it so important to build my life on Wisdom?
Why is purity, integrity, and sanctification so important?
Proverbs 5:7–14 CSB
7 So now, sons, listen to me, and don’t turn away from the words from my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house. 9 Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel; 10 strangers will drain your resources, and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner’s house. 11 At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, 12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. 13 I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my instructors. 14 I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community.”
The best way to avoid the lure of the foolish woman is to never put yourself in her path. “keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house.” More often than not we can avoid sin by not putting ourselves in situations where we can be tempted. Set yourself up for success, in the way you live in how you pursue relationships. Sometimes the situations are unavoidable. Two quick stories that I think capture this thought perfectly. Moses when writing Genesis puts these two stories side by side to show the importance of integrity between the two stories. Genesis 38 Judah, who had already showed no integrity when he sold his brother into slavery, refused to carry out his duty as a father in law. According to their custom when the husband of a wife died a brother was to take her into his house as his own wife so that the bloodline might continue. Judah’s sons were not honorable men and so they did not fulfill their duty to Judah’s daughter in law Tamar. Judah neglected Tamar and did not take care of her since she was a widow. One day he went to visit a prostitute and not knowing it was his daughter in law Tamar, Judah slept with her and had twins with her. When he saw Tamar was pregnant he got angry until he learned that he was the father and that all this happened because he refused to do what was right. In the very next chapter we have Joseph. Joseph was a man of integrity. Even when he was sold into slavery Joseph did what honored the Lord. In Genesis 39 we see Joseph working in Potiphar’s house as a slave. Here Joseph was approached by Potiphar’s wife to sleep with him. Joseph refused and when she grabbed his garment Joseph ran off without it. He would rather run away with his integrity than stay and sin against God. Potiphar’s wife would use Joseph’s garment to accuse him of wrong doing that had him thrown in jail. We can avoid putting ourselves in situations where we might be tempted to sin but even when we can’t avoid the situation we have the freedom to say no to temptation.
We also see that by giving into the adulterous woman’s lure it takes literal years off of our life. Living in sin drains us of our vitality, resources, and even our money. We find at the end of our lives that we have wasted our time and our energy on worthless things.
Proverbs 5:7–14 CSB
7 So now, sons, listen to me, and don’t turn away from the words from my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house. 9 Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel; 10 strangers will drain your resources, and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner’s house. 11 At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, 12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. 13 I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my instructors. 14 I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community.”
Where are you spending your energy, your time, your resources? Are you investing in wisdom or foolishness?
The Lord gives us wisdom for our benefit. He makes us pure, shows us how to live with integrity, and gives us the Holy Spirit to work sanctification in our lives. These are gifts He has given us for our good.
What is the key to living a life built on solid ground?
What is the key to living a life of purity, integrity, and sanctification?

Contentment in the Father’s wisdom

The key to a life of wisdom is contentment
Proverbs 5:15–23 CSB
15 Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well. 16 Should your springs flow in the streets, streams in the public squares? 17 They should be for you alone and not for you to share with strangers. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving deer, a graceful doe— let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever. 20 Why, my son, would you lose yourself with a forbidden woman or embrace a wayward woman? 21 For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes, and he considers all his paths. 22 A wicked man’s iniquities will trap him; he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin. 23 He will die because there is no discipline, and be lost because of his great stupidity.
We have been set free from our sin to live in freedom. We can find contentment in every aspect of life because the Lord is our shepherd. When the Lord is our shepherd we have no need to want for anything. We have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1) The Lord gives us everything we could ever need. Learn to find contentment in the Lord. Only He can satisfy.
Write this down:
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.” -Augustine
As long as we are running from the Lord we will never be happy.
A story of contentment
John 4:1–30 CSB
1 When Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself was not baptizing, but his disciples were), 3 he left Judea and went again to Galilee. 4 He had to travel through Samaria; 5 so he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. “Give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 because his disciples had gone into town to buy food. 9 “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.” 11 “Sir,” said the woman, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.” 13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” 15 “Sir,” the woman said to him, “give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.” 16 “Go call your husband,” he told her, “and come back here.” 17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered. “You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’ ” Jesus said. 18 “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Jesus told her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.” 27 Just then his disciples arrived, and they were amazed that he was talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They left the town and made their way to him.
The Samaritan woman learned a lesson in contentment. She had been trying for years to find fulfillment in her foolishness. When she encountered Jesus she found He offered her something everlasting.
Are you hurting and broken within? Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin? Jesus is calling Have you come to the end of yourself Do you thirst for a drink from the well? Jesus is calling
Leave behind your regrets and mistakes Come today, there's no reason to wait Jesus is calling Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy From the ashes, a new life is born Jesus is calling
O come to the altar The Father's arms are open wide Forgiveness was bought with The precious blood of Jesus Christ
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