Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Proverbs 7

1 My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.

2 Keep my commands and you will live; 

guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

3 Bind them on your fingers; 

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," 

and to insight, "You are my relative."

5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman, 

from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

6 At the window of my house 

I looked down through the lattice.

7 I saw among the simple, 

I noticed among the young men, 

a youth who had no sense.

8 He was going down the street near her corner, 

walking along in the direction of her house

9 at twilight, as the day was fading, 

as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him, 

dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.

11 (She is unruly and defiant, 

her feet never stay at home;

12 now in the street, now in the squares, 

at every corner she lurks.)

13 She took hold of him and kissed him 

and with a brazen face she said:

14 "Today I fulfilled my vows, 

and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.

15 So I came out to meet you; 

I looked for you and have found you!

16 I have covered my bed 

with colored linens from Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed 

with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

18 Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; 

let's enjoy ourselves with love!

19 My husband is not at home; 

he has gone on a long journey.

20 He took his purse filled with money 

and will not be home till full moon."

21 With persuasive words she led him astray; 

she seduced him with her smooth talk.

22 All at once he followed her 

like an ox going to the slaughter, 

like a deer stepping into a noose

23 till an arrow pierces his liver, 

like a bird darting into a snare, 

little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; 

pay attention to what I say.

25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways 

or stray into her paths.

26 Many are the victims she has brought down; 

her slain are a mighty throng.

27 Her house is a highway to the grave, 

leading down to the chambers of death.

Questions to consider:
  • What experience does wisdom relate?
  • Characterize the young man and the harlot (explain the metaphors).
  • Which of these characteristics are a part of your life? What can you do today to become wise in these areas?
  • Upon what pretense does the harlot invite the young man?
  • Contrast the ends of wisdom and the harlot.

Possibilities for prayer:

It seems to me that one helpful way of looking at this passage is to think of the adulterous woman to which the writer refers as anything in our lives that tempts us and is sinful. Everything that is written does not have to explicitly refer to committing adultery, and the advice does not have to be solely for avoiding an adulterous woman. Today, let’s ask God for the grace to resist the temptations in our lives, and to “store up [God’s] commands” within us.