Wisdom Protects from Immorality
1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
1. Solomon once again addresses his son. This has been a very personal, father/son talk through the past several chapters.
2. Since 6:23, Solomon has been warning his son about the sin of adultery and its consequences.
3. 7:1-4 might seem like a diversion from the context, but actually, it is not. It is a continuation of the same theme.
4. In this section, Solomon is speaking about the importance of holding his words of wisdom near and dear to his heart… SO THAT they might provide protection from that evil woman in a time of temptation (vs. 5).
5. Thus, he charges his son once again, to KEEP (guard; obey; take heed to) his words and commandments.
a. In particular, he is charging his son to obey what he has just told him… the commandments and words of wisdom found in the previous section.
b. What words? What commandments?
• vs. 24 – stay away from the evil woman…
• vs. 25 – don’t lust after her beauty…
• vs. 27 – don’t take fire into your bosom…
• vs. 32 – don’t commit adultery…
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
1. Now he states that his son is to keep these commandments and LIVE.
a. Keeping these commandments is a matter of life and death.
b. Adultery was punishable by death according to the Mosaic Law.
c. Lev. 18:5 – Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
d. Lev. 20:10 – adulterers were to be put to death.
e. Jesus was brought to a woman caught in the act of adultery, and He too upheld the law. He asked the accusers to cast the first stone…
f. Thus, in a real way, obeying this commandment could save the life of Solomon’s son!
g. We don’t live under the Mosaic law—but that doesn’t mean we should take the sin of adultery less seriously! God hates this sin and so should we!
2. Keep this law as the apple of thine eye!
a. This expression means either:
• The apple on the tree that catches your eye—a special apple…
• The apple of thine eye might refer to the pupil of the eye… and would speak of the perhaps most sensitive part of your body. You guard your eye much more carefully than you do your arm or leg. With that same extra care, guard yourself concerning this commandment!
• Either way, the meaning in this passage is similar — “There are lots of commandments. But be sure to keep this one! This one is especially important!”
• Just as you guard your eye with special care—guard yourself in the area of moral purity with special care too!
• Of all the commandments “on the tree”—this one should catch your eye and be seen as one especially worth paying attention to!
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
1. Solomon’s words of wisdom, advice, and commandments concerning sexual purity are to be bound on his fingers and written upon his heart.
2. Fingers: this principle of purity should affect everything he DOES with his hands… everything he TOUCHES with his hands…
3. Heart: These principles about holiness ought to affect everything he THINKS about in his heart…the inner man.
4. Thus, there is to be purity for the inner man (don’t lust in your heart) and the outer man, the body (don’t commit the act of adultery).
a. Solomon wanted purity in his son’s heart… but he also wanted it demonstrated in his outward life…
5. We are to be perfecting holiness and to be cleansed from filthiness of the flesh and the spirit. (II Cor. 7:1)
• It is possible to have our body or flesh pure (never committed the act) but our spirit defiled (lusting in the heart).
• God requires complete holiness…
6. 6:21-24 – the same context — this wisdom, if bound to the body and the heart, will protect you, lead you, and counsel you throughout your days… and throughout your life!
7. Having these commandments bound to the hands and heart also speaks of how precious they ought to be to us.
a. Purity and holiness ought to be near to our heart!
b. Holiness should be written upon our heart… deeply etched in our heart
c. All of the commandments are holy… but this one should be especially kept near our heart.
8. The fact that it is written on the heart also implies that there should be some passion about keeping this commandment.
a. Written on our heart, we will have a heart-felt conviction about the importance of this commandment!
b. This sin isn’t like an unfortunate slip of the tongue… or getting angry at the dog. That is sin too, but this command is to WRITTEN on our heart…
c. This sin is far more serious in that its consequences are far more serious.
4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman
1. Thou art my sister (relative; beloved; wife) and thy kinswoman (female relative)
a. This implies that Solomon wants his son to LOVE wisdom… to have a close relationship to wisdom.
b. It may well be that wisdom is to be his wife…
2. Here Solomon personifies Wisdom… Lady Wisdom. (He speaks of wisdom as a lady calling unto us to hear her – 4:5-9)
3. Thus, there is a sharp contrast being made here between Lady Wisdom and the Evil or the Strange Woman…
a. Both are calling to this young man… trying to lure him to them.
• Lady wisdom calls him – 1:24; 8:1-4 – she is calling to young men to come to her… hear her…
• The harlot lady is calling to the young man too – 7:18 – come!!!
b. Solomon tells his son to avoid the strange woman and her enticing ways, and to embrace Lady Wisdom… “say unto wisdom, “Thou art my sister.”
c. Solomon encourages his son to enter into a close relationship with Lady Wisdom… and to avoid the evil woman.
5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
1. The words of wisdom Solomon is giving his son (personified as a Lady Wisdom) will protect his son from the strange woman… the harlot… the prostitute… the immoral woman.
a. Solomon’s son—like our sons—need protection. They need to be warned.
b. And as we go through the next couple of chapters, we will see that Solomon warned his son OFTEN about this sin!
c. It is repeated a lot, but worth repeating. We need to hear it!
2. One lady will keep you from the other.
a. Lady Wisdom will keep you from the evil, immoral woman…
b. And the evil woman will keep you away from God’s wisdom!
c. His son must choose… who will he listen to?
d. Solomon has been trying to train his son in making the right choices—the kind of woman to pursue, and the kind of woman to avoid.
e. One man wrote, “If wisdom is not loved, lust will be indulged.”
f. To love one is to hate the other.
3. The stranger flatters. That is her method of alluring and enticing…
a. Cf. 2:16; 5:3; 6:24
b. This is her method—a smooth tongue… convincing… reassuring that it will be OK… just this once!
c. Contrast the words of Lady wisdom (8:6-8). She speaks excellent things; right things; her words are truth… there is nothing perverse in her words!
4. It is interesting to follow the descriptions of the two women throughout these chapters—Lady Wisdom, the godly, wise, woman… and the strange woman, an evil adulteress.
a. Young men need to be taught the difference between the two and to seek a godly woman!
b. Young girls need to be taught the difference between the two, and should be encouraged to follow the example of Lady Wisdom…
c. Our daughters are bombarded with images of movie stars, whose lives are glamorous—but are just like the strange woman Solomon warns us about! They allure through scant, slinky clothing… and Hollywood has somehow managed to make sin look glamorous. It is not!
d. How our young girls need examples of a godly woman!