Proverbs 2:16-19

Wisdom Delivers from the Strange Woman

The Purpose of Wisdom: To deliver thee from the strange woman (vs.16a)

1. The topic has been wisdom and the effect it can and should have in our lives.

a. When wisdom enters our heart, it preserves us and delivers us from evil men. (vs.10-12)
• These evil men appealed to GREED to entice the youth to follow their evil ways. (vs.12-13,19)

b. Now the author states that wisdom will also deliver us from the strange or immoral woman. (vs.16)
• The evil woman appeals to LUST to entice the youth to follow her evil ways.

c. A wise young man will pay close attention to these words: greed and lust lead to spiritual disaster!
• They are equally sinful and equally powerful in leading young men AWAY from the Lord and the place of spiritual safety.
• The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil!
• The love of physical pleasure and sex is the root of all kinds of evil too! That young man will be brought to a piece of bread.

2. Delivered: to snatch away, deliver, rescue, save, plunder; to tear oneself away, to be torn out or away…

a. This term speaks of a narrow escape! Snatched out of the fire!

b. And so it is! Solomon likens going into a strange woman to a fire… (Prov.6:27-29)

c. It is like a fire:
• Because it burns within…
• Because once the fire starts it is difficult to put it out…
• Because one little spark can lead to something much larger…
• Because like a fire, it leaves scars that don’t go away…
• And it is like a fire because of the awful damage it can do… it can burn whole households down!

d. Thus in 2:16, Solomon speaks of a young man being “snatched” out of the clutches of this evil woman… like being snatched out of the fire… another moment or two, and who knows what might ignite!

e. Joseph was DELIVERED from a strange woman (Potiphar’s wife) in this same way—he RAN! He recognized the danger. Wisdom demanded that he RUN away. Lingering gives that spark all it takes to ignite!

The Strange Woman Described

A.) She is a STRANGE Woman: “even from the stranger” (vs.16b)

1. Strange: to become estranged; foreigner, an enemy; prostitute, harlot.

2. It is used here of a woman estranged or alienated from her husband, and who has become a harlot… seeking to entice a young man or older man to herself.

3. The term implies that a woman alienated from her husband might have a tendency to become a harlot!

a. Husbands—don’t let that happen in YOUR household! Don’t grow apart from your wife… don’t become alienated.

b. Alienation might cause such a rift that she seeks satisfaction elsewhere!

c. The same is true for men… men can become alienated from their wives and seek satisfaction elsewhere.

d. The husband/wife relationship is something that needs constant attention… constant work… the relationship is always growing—either closer or farther apart.

e. If you and your spouse have started to drift apart… pay attention to that rift… lest it develop into something much worse.

f. Husbands and wives should not be “strangers… foreigners!”

g. Spend time together lest you DO become strangers!

4. Solomon warns his son about the realities of life.

a. In ancient societies, they dealt with the same kinds of sin issues that we deal with today!

b. There was a seamy side to ancient cities… they had their share of prostitutes and immorality. Opportunities to commit fornication abounded in ancient times… just as it does today.

c. Human nature has not changed at all. We need to hear the same kind of warnings today…

d. And they need to be repeated. In fact, a large portion of Prov. 5-7 deals with just this subject… so we ARE going to repeat it, because God does. In our day and age, we NEED to hear it repeated.

B.) She Is A Flatterer: which flattereth with her words (vs.16b)

1. Flatterer: to be smooth, slippery, deceitful, hence, to flatter.

a. This term does not refer to the person who likes to say nice things to another person. Rather, it refers to the person who says nice things with evil intentions… to deceive…

b. She says nice things NOT because she wants to build you up… but because she wants to TAKE something…

c. There is nothing of real love in her words. They are deceitful words.

2. Prov. 7:18-22 – she flatters with her lips, and her purpose is to cause this young man to YIELD to her… submit to her… do what she wants… illicit sex.

a. Note that he yields, but she forces him!

b. Her words are so seductive and influential, that the young man is “forced.”
• Force: to be moved; impelled; driven; drawn;

c. There is such power in words. That is why wisdom demands that the young man RUN away right away… like Joseph!

3. The first book of the Bible ought to teach us the power of listening to the words of an enticer… the beguiler… Satan.

a. Eve’s first big mistake was not eating the forbidden fruit, but rather LISTENING to the devil!

b. As soon as she realized that his words did not line with up God’s words, she should have ENDED the conversation and LEFT!
• By lingering… and listening, Eve ended up confused over what God really DID say!
• And eventually,

C.) She Forsook Her Husband: the guide of her youth (vs.17)

1. The guide of her youth: her husband

2. Guide: translated variously: friend; intimate friend; governor; captain.

a. The term implies that husbands and wives ought to be friends. (above all else—because all else will eventually fail!

b. Too often people look for the wrong things in a mate, or at least they put such things in a twisted perspective: Looks; money; social status; etc.)

c. This term for friend also implies a friend that leads and governs…

3. This strange woman has forsaken her guide… her husband.

a. Forsake: to leave, abandon, forsake, neglect, and apostatize.

b. She did not want to be under his guidance or leadership any more.

c. She did not want to submit to him as her “captain” any more.

d. She was filled with self-will… and cared not for his will or for God’s will.

e. She has cast off her guide…her yoke… and has become a slave to self-will and unlawful desire.

f. She has NO guide now… not her husband… not God… not God’s Word.

g. Hence, she left her husband, and chose to become a harlot.

h.) She has turned to prostitution… and she is out to “get someone.”

i. She is not looking for a husband, but for a body and a wallet.

D.) She forgets the covenant of her God (vs.17)

1. Covenant of her God = her marriage vows.

a. Note that marriage is first and foremost a covenant made with GOD!
• Covenant: a pledge; agreement; alliance between parties;

b. It is made before God, in His presence, according to God’s institution, and also it is made WITH God!

c. Marriage is quite a simple thing in the Bible. A man and a woman agree to become friends… intimate friends for the rest of their lives… and they make that covenant with each other AND with God. It is a solemn vow!

d. It is an agreement before God that this is my partner for life!

2. The strange woman FORGETS about this covenant.

a. Forget = to forget, ignore, to cease to care.

b. It does not mean that it slipped her mind. Rather, it means that she no longer honors or even cares about the pledge she made before her husband and before God.

c. God “forgets” our sins. They do not slip His mind. Rather, He chooses NOT to put them in His mind.
• So too the harlot “forgets” her covenant with God.
• She chooses not to think about it. She no longer cares. She has other things on her mind.

3. Anyone who consciously chooses to put God out of her mind is to be avoided!

a. She has become a stranger to God… a foreigner to God and His ways.

b. God’s ways become strange… foreign to her.

c. Beware of entering into a deep relationship with any person who is a stranger to God and His word. It leads to no good.

The Wages of Immorality

A.) The Wages of This Sin is Death! (vs.18)

1. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead

2. Inclineth: to sink down, be bowed down, be humble

a. Her house, and everyone who enters in, is on their way DOWN! It is a slippery slope! They are sinking… morally… and perhaps even physically and financially!

b. This kind of behavior can lead to DEATH!
• If her husband comes home and catches them, he might kill them!
• STD can lead to death!
• Spiritually, this is the road to destruction which leads to eternal death… separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire.

B.) No Escape: None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life

1. This is the RULE. There are exceptions to the rule—such as the author of this book himself—Solomon!

2. The book of Proverbs gives us kernels of truth… gems… nuggets… short, brief, to the point. They are not intended to cover each and every example. Rather, these gems are inspired observations of life.

3. None that go in to the harlot escape and return again.

a. This does not mean that there is no hope for the man who has had illicit sex…

b. Rather, it means that as a rule—this sin destroys lives for good!

c. There is no escaping the consequences of this kind of sin!

d. Those who become ensnared by sexual sins will never be the same again.

e. They will not be able to take hold of the paths of life as they once did. Rather, this sin is life-dominating.

f. Every sin has ugly consequences, but this sin especially!

g. When innocence is lost, it is lost for good.

h. This is a sin that you CANNOT UN-DO.

i. This is a sin that you will carry the rest of your days.

4. Ecc. 7:26 – the sinner is TAKEN in by her… and by this sin.

a. A young man can be “taken in” by a strange woman… and by sexual sins.

b. Solomon implies in Prov.2:19, that once you start down that road, you may not be able to turn around! It is a snare… a trap…

c. Avoid it! Don’t take that route!

5. Solomon states that NONE that go unto her escape!

a. That is the rule… although there may be a few exceptions.

b. Don’t play with fire! Don’t assume that YOU will be one of the few exceptions!

c. NONE are able to deliver themselves. God by His infinite grace may rescue a few, but don’t count on it… don’t tempt the Lord…

d. Wisdom tells us that once you start sliding down that slippery, icy hill, it is mighty hard to stop… it may be impossible.

e. That is why Solomon used a term for deliver in vs. 16 which speaks of being “snatched out”… like a brand plucked out of the fire…

6. Thus, Solomon pleads with his son to LISTEN TO WISDOM speaking to him!

a. 2:10-12 – wisdom delivers from the evil man… and the evil woman.

b. Listen to Lady wisdom as she cries out in the streets on this subject!