A Proverb a day, with commentary from H.A. Ironside, a great Bible teacher from the mid-20th Century.
Additional instruction is given in Proverbs 5 concerning the strange woman warned against in Chapter 2. It is a solemn subject if this dangerously seductive woman pictures false religion with its snares and allurements. Even in its simple, primary meaning, this admonition is of great importance. If any are entrapped, it is not for lack of warning, but for willful neglect of instruction.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, the need for more than casual attention to the words of wisdom is enforced. To hear with no intention of obeying, is not what is contemplated; but rather to bow the ear in order to regard discretion and keep knowledge. The servant that knew his lord’s will and did not do it was to be beaten with many stripes (Luk_12:47). When God stoops to make His will known, it should be considered a privilege to obey, not merely a duty.
Fair and plausible are the words of the stranger-temptress; dark and terrible the ending of association with her. She practices her awful avocation today as well, and thousands become her victims. Like the harlot-church described in the book of Revelation, she seduces and deceives. She turns the heart away from the simplicity of the paths of truth and leads it to death and Hell. She has many devices to delude the unwary; her ways are devious so their evil direction will not be known. Nothing is more attractive to those who refuse Wisdom’s words than the specious pleas of this deceptive system. The only safety is in clinging to the words of God.
To learn by painful experience, if the Word of God is not followed, is a bitter and solemn thing. God is not mocked; what is sown must be reaped. The unsteady hand, the confused brain, the bleared eye, premature age, and weakened powers, regretful days and nights of folly that can never be forgotten: these are a few of the physical results of failing to heed the advice of wisdom. In the spiritual realm parallel results may be: lack of discernment, weakened spiritual sensitivities, undependable behavior, wasted time, and loss at the judgment seat of Christ. These are some of the sad results of refusing the path of separation from apostate religion in this day of Christ’s rejection.
Throughout this collection of Proverbs, the strange woman is looked on as an intruder from the outside. She is not seen as a daughter of Israel who has strayed from the path of virtue. The law declared there was to be no harlot among the women of the chosen people. The temptresses entered from the surrounding countries to seduce the young men of the separated nation. Therefore the strange woman was not strange in the sense of peculiar; she was a stranger who plied her tawdry arts to deceive those who should be holy to the Lord. But the moral state of Israel had become so low that even the daughters of the people of God had fallen into the degradation of the heathen (Pro_2:17). They had forsaken the guide of their youth, and forgotten the agreement they had made with God. So they were viewed as outsiders, having no place in the congregation of the Lord.
These verses picture sanctified wedded love in contrast to the godless ways presented in the previous verses. For us, marriage represents the mystical union between Christ and the church. Every Christian home should be a little picture of the relationship of our glorified Head with the members of His body. How holy then is that earthly association which speaks of such exalted heavenly mysteries. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb_13:4). How much precious teaching in the New Testament, particularly in the Epistles, flows from this truth. Husbands and wives are urged to dwell together according to knowledge so their prayers will not be hindered (1Pe_3:1-7). What a test this is! When husband and wife can kneel and pray together with joy and confidence, the home will be what God desires; but there is something radically wrong when their actions hinder this communion with each other and the Lord.
This fact is just what the soul needs to realize the solemnity of being in this world for God. His eyes are on all our ways. Nothing escapes that holy gaze. All is naked and open before Him. He weighs and ponders every thought and word and action. Nothing is too insignificant for His notice; nothing too great for His attention. At the judgment seat of Christ He will make known His estimate of it all. In that day how many of us would give worlds, if we possessed them, to have been more faithful on earth!
Certain retribution will follow the disobedient. The very sins he delights in are the links of the chain that will bind him forever. Having refused instruction in life, he will die without it; he will be left to go astray in the folly his soul loved. Dying in his sins, he goes out into the darkness, where the light he refused will never shine on him again!