My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you
This is the thirteenth group of instructions to the young learner of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. The master pauses and instructs his pupils in the ways of wisdom in short little groupings.
This is the second packet of instruction on the problem of adultery and how to avoid it. The last packet of information on this subject was in what we call chapter 5 but what was the 7th packet of wisdom information.
This particular pathway of foolishness called adultery is so tempting and such a sure way to be diverted from a fruitful and productive life that Solomon spends a lengthy period of time to give an example of a person he has seen be sucked into this errant path. This type of example or actual story is unique in the book of Proverbs, suggesting that this diversion from the path of wisdom is the most common or the most powerful. Those who would learn wisdom or live wisdom must be aware of the power and the danger of this foolish direction.
The point of this section of the proverb is to show the results of those who go down this path. Solomon even shares the nature of the conversation and the look of the woman. We are taken inside the foolishness so that its powerful, seductive energy will be known to us and thereby not as intoxicating. Solomon is saying: watch for this; watch for that; this is what it will feel like; don’t get fooled by this. It is all the same and has been that way since the time of Solomon and before.
The young learner is to observe the interaction of adultery from a safer emotional distance. They are to see the trap being sprung and the effect in the individual. He wishes that he had not done it even though he wanted with all his being to do it before he did it.
treasure my commandments within you
The things I am saying are so valuable – is what Solomon is saying. You have to realize how valuable and to embrace their value. This is not relative value; this is absolute value. If you want to have a life filled with riches, honor, and life, then do not go down this path. The seductions of the adulterous and adulterer are strong and seem incredibly valuable, but they are fake pearls and cosmetic jewelry. They have no real value compared to wisdom.
Remember these lessons and do not give in to the pull of illicit sexual behavior.
In our day and age this type of lesson needs to be taught to young men from 11 to 65 years of age and maybe beyond. The spread of pornography and a loose culture adds to the acceptance of this wisdom-destroying action. Realize that if one is to make something of one’s life and not get shoved into a dead end cul-de-sac in life, one has to practice self-limiting behavior. Only when we practice self-control and stop ourselves short of all we could do, do we prepare ourselves for great relationships and have the control and energy to excel at what is really important.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.