A Proverb a day, with commentary from H.A. Ironside, a great Bible teacher from the mid-20th Century.
Only God can correctly estimate the depravity of the human heart. He knows its perverseness and the need for continued warning. Therefore this entire chapter continues with the subject that we have been considering. The strange woman’s ways and behavior are graphically delineated to save the youth from her snare. If he chooses to follow her now, he does so with his eyes fully opened.
Constant dwelling on the Word of God preserves from sin. Notice that the Word is to be bound and written on both hand and heart. This involves far more than cursory reading of the Scriptures. It is making God’s Word an integral part of one’s life by daily feeding on it that preserves the soul.
Satan’s most powerful weapon against the young is flattery. Wisdom and understanding can preserve the youth from this snare by teaching him to mistrust flatterers and to judge himself correctly. Then he can discern the lying words of any who would seek to ruin him by means of insincere praise.
This portion of the chapter requires little comment. An eye-witness clearly describes a scene that has been duplicated millions of times. It is as relevant today as in the days of Solomon. The young man should consider it carefully, and be warned of the dangers of trusting in his own heart, and departing from the living God.
The strange women described here can be seen as an illustration of the false, apostate church. She is loud and stubborn, and her devious ways ensnare those who otherwise would never seek association with her. The vision of Revelation 17 may well be studied in connection with this chapter.
Finally, the author of Proverbs reveals the dreadful fate of the youth who foolishly followed the strange woman. Shameful death will be the sad result of refusing instruction and listening to the words of the flatterer.
With enduring patience God continues to instruct all who hear and desire to have an understanding heart. In this passage, as in all Scripture, we hear the very voice of God and find every word profitable. Happy the youth who keeps these instructions. He will be preserved from the bitterness of remorse that so many have suffered when ignoring God’s warnings.