Proverbs 6:20–28 – The wily ways of an adultereress

Proverbs 6.27I confess that, although I have read the Book of Proverbs hundreds of times throughout my life and ministry, I have been amazed at the number of times Solomon addresses the tragedy of immorality. I feel some of my readers might be exasperated with the repetition of warnings concerning adultery; however, given the proliferation of pornography and the lack of moral restraint in our society, these warnings are both timely and necessary.

Solomon continues to admonish his son regarding the tragic consequences of adultery in today’s proverbs (Proverbs 6:20-28). I will note three major themes in Solomon’s admonition. The first, Solomon exhorts his son to hear and heed his parent’s instructions (Proverbs 6:20-22).

Proverbs 6:20-22“My son, keep thy father’s commandment [God-given instructions he has passed on], and forsake not the law [teachings] of thy mother [the law of her God]: 21 Bind them [father’s instructions & the mother’s teachings] continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

Consider for a moment what “It” might refer to in verse 22–it shall lead..it shall keep…it shall talk with thee.” What is the “It” that will lead, keep and talk with the heart of a man? I believe Solomon is reflecting on the influence of a father’s instructions and a mother’s teachings. Mom and dad, don’t under estimate the far-reaching impact of your life on your child’s future.

Solomon’s second theme magnifies the moral benefit children derive from the instructions of godly parents (Proverbs 6:23-24).father's instructions

Proverbs 6:23-24 – “For the [father’s] commandment is a lamp; and the [mother’s] law is light; and reproofs [discipline; corrections] of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil [adulteress] woman, from the flattery of the tongue [smooth words] of a strange woman.”

Solomon’s third theme is an exposition of the character and wiles of immoral women (Proverbs 6:24-26).

1) Solomon identifies the character of an immoral woman—she is evil and strange (6:24).

Proverbs 6:24 – “To keep thee from the evil [adulteress] woman, from the flattery of the tongue [smooth words] of a strange [prostitute; immoral] woman.”

2) Solomon exposes three beguiling ways of a cunning immoral woman (6:24-26).

Proverbs 6:24-26 – “… the flattery of the tongue [smooth words]…25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids26b… the adulteress will hunt for the precious life [men of noble stature; wealth].

An immoral woman flatters [she has a smooth, beguiling way with words – 6:24); she entices with her beauty and eyes (6:25); she sets her desires upon men of wealth and position. Like a beast in pursuit of prey, the adulteress sets her trap into which foolish men stumble and fall.

lampI close with an exposition of three grievous errors committed by a fool who falls into the embrace of an adulteress: a) He disregards moral instructions (6:23-24a); b) He casts aside moral restraints (6:25a); c) He underestimates the consuming infernal of sexual lusts (6:27-28).

Proverbs 6:27-28“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”

I close with a word of warning to a man who takes comfort in justifying his addiction to pornography by protesting his sin is not as wicked as the man who committed an act of immorality with another woman.

Matthew 5:28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith