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 her 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.( Proverbs 2:16-19)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.(Proverbs 31:6-8)
The Wedding Parables begin in the Old Testament. In prophetic imagery, a woman represents a spiritual body of people. Israel is ‘the daughter of Zion” and even the “wife of Jehovah”. The church is ‘the bride of Christ”. But there is also a theme of adultery and harlotry in prophetic imagery.
The book of Proverbs is just one example of this. There is a far deeper thread that runs through the proverbs, than merely various adages for young people. The real theme is the choice between the Bride and the Harlot.
The Son of David is being prepared to pick a bride, and we all hold our breath hoping He choses the right one.
Early on he is presented with ‘the strange woman’. She is faithless, and has abandoned a husband already, but she is beautiful and her lips are skilled in flattery.
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.(Proverbs 5;3-5)
She looks good, and talks as though she is anointed, but her end is catastrophic, and behind her smooth words and smile, is malice and death.
She is always shifting and changing, this is part of her allure, she always follows the latest fashions and appearances, but this is so the young man will not have a chance to think about the course of his life.(I worry about the effects of technology in this area, our young generation is so absorbed in entertainment and stimulation, they do not have time to deeply think about their life).
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: (Proverbs 5:6-8)
In Proverbs 7 there is a parable I call, “The Death of the Simple” ,
“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice. And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man void of understanding. Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” (Proverbs 7:6-9)
The naive young man wandering, “void of understanding”- as explained in the previous post, this means he has no sense of the Holy (Proverbs 9:9), no concept of the awful, transcendent majesty of God. He is drawn in his boredom and emptiness to the harlot church.
It is at first “twilight”, but darkness comes fast, soon it is evening, ere long it is “the black and dark night”. The night is a metaphor for the Tribulation. Before the dawning of the long awaited millennial Sabbath Day, the night grows black and dark, Evil is allowed to reach its zenith, the rebellion against the Holy God comes to a head. (I believe we are well into the “twilight”).
“There met him a woman with the attire of a harlot and subtle of heart.” (Proverbs 7:10)
She looks like a harlot, she is gaudy and overdone. She has subtlety in her heart – concealed motives. Look at TBN, or the tattoo covered and pierced Todd Bentley that thousands around the world considered to be a prophet of God. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that only God knows the heart, but appearances do account for something. What does she want?
“She caught him and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I payed my vows. Therefore have I come forth to thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.’’ (Proverbs 7:13-15)
Hers is a mixture of flattery and antinomian salvation. “I have come to seek you”. It’s all about Y-O-U! (seeker sensitive church?) – But she professes a salvation that makes no moral demands, “ I have peace offerings” – (I have been saved by sacrifice, I am at peace with God!), but she then proceeds to describe the bed of her adulteries in sensual terms! What kind of salvation is that? It is the new all grace and no law salvation of the harlot church!
“Come let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us solace ourselves with loves .For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” (Proverbs 7:18-20)
Her message is all love – there are no calls to repentance or obedience to the Lord. There are no moral demands made in the name of the holy God. It is an experienced based religion, light on doctrine, “dogma”, but heavy on sensual experience.
The only other theme is the denial of the immanent return of Jesus, “the Goodman”. Of course there is the obligatory acknowledgment that He “will come home at the day appointed”, but the harlot church doesn’t regard the coming of Jesus as an immanent, urgent, practical reality.
“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straitly, as an ox goeth to slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.” (Proverbs 7:21-22)
So many pastors I know have been flattered, seduced, caused to yield to unbiblical deceptions such as Toronto Blessing, Purpose Driven Life, the Pensacola delusion. What is it that they have been “caused to yield”? They have given up their critical faculties, the ability to discern. They have in the name of church growth yielded up their calling to protect God’s flock from the wolves who ravage them. They have yielded to the unbiblical fads, and even to destructive heresies so that they would not appear to be ‘Pharisees’, faultfinders and heresy hunters. Therefore they have yielded to the seduction time and again, and their flocks have been utterly ravaged.
These apostate pastors “go after her straitly” every time. No matter how wrong these false prophets prove to be, or how utterly undiscerning these ‘apostles’ constantly are, they will follow them. How does it feel to be one of those ‘leaders’ who publically endorsed Bentley, in many cases knowing his marriage was a disaster. False prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones both were exposed as sexual deviants, and even temporarily removed, but they had a ready constituency upon their re-entry into ministry.
This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death for many. It becomes a matter of the relevance of the church, God’s witness, the “pillar and ground of the truth” as Paul calls it. The consequences of consorting with the strange woman are extreme.
“Hearken unto me now therefore O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth, Let not your heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths .For she has cast down many wounded; yea many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:24-27)
By the time we come to the end of Proverbs, we are so relieved to be presented with “the virtuous woman” , the same one as mentioned setting a table in Proverbs 9,
Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. (Proverbs 9:1-5)
The King’s son chooses the good woman, the true bride of Christ, she is virtuous, industrious and modest. She is prepared for night, she has stored up oil,
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Proverbs 31:11-15)