Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs which was written by Solomon the son of David, king of the nation of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters four through six of this Old Testament book. WORDS OF A FATHER! THE INSTRUCTION OF A FATHER! MORE THAN SIMPLY SOLOMON SPEAKING AS A FATHER TO HIS SON! MORE THAN JUST SOLOMON SPEAKING TO HIS CHILDREN! THE WISDOM OF THE FATHER! THE INSTRUCTION OF THE FATHER! WHAT WORDS IS THE FATHER TRYING TO SPEAK TO YOU? WHAT WISDOM IS THE FATHER SEEKING TO GIVE YOU? ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE FATHER? ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE WISDOM OF THE FATHER? REMEMBER WHAT YOUR FATHER SPOKE TO YOU! REMEMBER THE WORDS WHICH YOUR FATHER SPOKE TO YOU! PARTING WORDS TO THE NEXT GENERATION BEFORE DEATH! THE WORDS WHICH DAVID SPOKE UNTO SOLOMON BEFORE HE DIED AND WENT THE WAY OF ALL THE EARTH!
“Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel. And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will e his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as He hath said of thee. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work. Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee” (1 Chronicles 22:6-16).
“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God will e with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall e with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skillful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment” (1 Chronicles 28:20-21).
When you read the words which Solomon wrote and spoke within the Old Testament book of the Proverbs it is absolutely necessary to consider that the wisdom which he presented unto his son in this book was more than simply the wisdom which the LORD his God had given and bestowed unto him. If you read and consider the words which are found within these two passages of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with the words which David Solomon’s father spoke unto him before he died and prepared to go the way of his fathers—the way of all the earth. Prior to David’s death he spoke directly unto his son Solomon and gave him a very specific charge and command. Prior to his death David spoke directly to Solomon and not only gave him the charge concerning the construction of the sanctuary, but David also gave Solomon a charge concerning obedience to the commands and Law of the LORD. In all reality, we would might even be able to say that the construction of the house and sanctuary of the LORD was directly and intrinsically linked to the command which was given unto Solomon to walk in all the commands and law of the LORD. We might very well say that for David obedience to the Law of the LORD, and the construction of the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD were connected to each other and could not be separated. As David spoke unto Solomon his son before his death he spoke unto him concerning two very specific and two very important things—namely, the construction of the sanctuary, and obedience to the commands of the LORD. For David, the two most important endeavors Solomon could engage in and complete within his life were completing the Temple of the LORD in the land of Moriah, and obeying the words, commands and instruction of the LORD. For David the two highest legacies Solomon could leave the next generation was the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, and obedience to the commands of the LORD. When Solomon wrote the words which are found within the book of Proverbs I can’t help but get the strong sense that his sole desire and sole ambition was to guide and instruct the heart of his son in the wisdom of the LORD, and in obedience to His commands, His law and His statutes. When Solomon came to the end of his life—despite the fact that he was a man who loved many strange and foreign women and went whoring after their false and strange gods—he sought to instill within his son a passion for obedience to the words and commands of the LORD. In order to understand this more fully and completely, I invite you to consider the words which were spoken directly unto his son in the first three chapters of this Old Testament poetic book beginning within the first chapter:
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners enticed thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: my son, walk not in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof” (Proverbs 1:8-19).
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou ripest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path” (Proverbs 2:1-9).
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy n elk; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4).
“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he dlighteth” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of student fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (Proverbs 3:21-26).
Within the first three chapters of the Old Testament book of Proverbs you will find Solomon speaking directly unto his son charging and commanding him to listen to and heed the wisdom which he was speaking directly unto him. When and as we read the Old Testament book of Proverbs it is important for us to note that one of the main purposes and functions of the book of Proverbs is to provide solid instruction and wisdom to his son. We cannot read the Old Testament book of Proverbs without first and foremost recognizing that at the very heart of it is wisdom and instruction which Solomon sought to impart unto his son in order that his son might walk in obedience to the commands, the laws, the statutes, and the decrees of the LORD. It might very well be said that Solomon wrote the book of Solomon to instruct his son in the ways of righteousness, and in the ways of the Law and command of the LORD. The more I read the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs the more I can’t help but get the sense that Solomon wrote this book that he might warn his son lest his son walk in the same steps and path he himself walked in. It’s worth noting that Solomon was very specific in his instruction to his son, and not only warned him of walking with the wicked, but also being enticed by the wayward woman. Solomon might not have known anything about walking with the wicked, however, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he knew all about wayward women as he had one thousand women in his harem between wives, princesses, and concubines. There is not a doubt in my mind that Solomon desperately sought to instruct and guide his son in the way in which he should go that he might not make the same mistakes that he made within and during his life. This reality is completely and utterly evident in the specific instruction which is found within this Old Testament book. There is within this book very personal, very intimate, and very specific instruction which was given and spoken directly unto his son that intended on bringing him to the place where he would walk in a way that was perhaps different from his father. It is with this in mind that I invite you to consider the additional instruction that is found in chapters four through six and the specific and personal instruction that is found and contained within these chapters:
“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life” (Proverbs 3:10-13).
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Probers 4:20-27).
“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: that thou mayest regard discretion, and a that thy lips may keep knowledge” (Proverbs 5:1-2).
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver himself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; Go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler” (Proverbs 6:1-5).
“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life; to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange women” (Proverbs 6:20-24).
WARNING AGAINST WALKING WITH THE WICKED! WARNING AGAINST THE WAYWARD WOMAN! PROVERBS 2:16-22! PROVERBS 5:1-14! PROVERBS 5:15-23! PROVERBS 6:24-35! PROVERBS 1:10-19). MESSAGE TO THE CHILDREN! MORE THAN JUST WISDOM FOR A SON! WISDOM FOR ANOTHER GENERATION! WISDOM FOR THE CHILDREN! If you continue reading the words which are found in the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters you will notice some distinct language which is found and contained within it—namely, the additional instruction that was not only directed to “my son,” but instruction which was directed to the children. I am convinced that this must be carefully considered, for when we think about the words found in this poetic book of wisdom found within the Old Testament, we must recognize that as much as it was wisdom and instruction for a son, it was wisdom and instruction that was for children and for the next generation. What’s more, is I would dare say that the words and language we find within these chapters speaks forth and suggests that the words and message contained within this book are words which were designed to provide instruction for that generation which was coming up after Solomon—and not only that generation that was coming up after Solomon, but all future generations that would spring up throughout history. Throughout history since the days and time of Solomon men and women have gleaned a tremendous amount of instruction from the words which Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs, and have gained a tremendous amount of insight for their lives and how they should conduct themselves. It is actually quite remarkable and astonishing to not merely read Solomon speaking directly to his son, but to actually speak to those whom he referred to as children and giving them instruction, wisdom, guidance and insight. What’s more, is the wisdom which the living God gave unto Solomon was wisdom which wasn’t hoarded or simply enjoyed and experienced by Solomon alone, for Solomon sought to instruct the future generations with the wisdom the LORD had provided and given unto him. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these chapters beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of the fourth chapter:
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine. Forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, let thine heart retain my words: Keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee; love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understand. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:1-8).
There is not a doubt when you come to this particular portion of Scripture that Solomon was speaking to more than simply his son, and was actually speaking unto the next generation—to that next generation of sons and daughters which would come up needing the wisdom of a father. Stop for a moment and consider that reality of the wisdom of a father, and how absolutely necessary such wisdom would be. Pause and think about how many sons and daughters have not only not grown up without a father, but have also grown up without the wisdom of a father. Consider how many children have grown up with a father who never took the time to impart unto them true wisdom—not the wisdom which is of this world, but wisdom which is of heaven and which comes directly from the throne of God. Oh, I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that there have been countless sons and daughters who have grown up with a father who has been absent within their lives, as well as without a father who was able to impart unto them spiritual wisdom—wisdom which is directly from the heart of the father. We do know that the eternal Heavenly Father can indeed impart this wisdom directly unto those who ask, for even James the half brother of Jesus spoke of and declared that those who lack wisdom need only to ask, and the Father in whom there is no shadow of turning will give unto them liberally. It’s important that we recognize and understand this concept of a spiritual father writing to and speaking unto children, as well as a father writing and speaking unto children, for if you come to the New Testament epistles of First and Second Timothy, as well as the first epistle which the apostle John wrote, you will find both the apostle Paul writing unto a spiritual son in the faith whose name was Timothy, as well as the apostle John writing unto the Ephesian congregation and speaking unto them as children. I feel that before we can truly get into the words which are found in the book of Proverbs and speak to the reality of Solomon writing as a father unto his son and unto children, it is necessary to read and consider the words which are found within these two epistles, for within these epistles we find two apostles of Jesus Christ who were writing specifically and solely unto children—those of the next generation—as they imparted unto them godly wisdom from above. In fact, this reality of spiritual fathers speaking directly unto sons and daughters and unto the next generation is something that must be carefully considered, and something that must paid very close attention to if we are going to truly understand the purpose behind the book of Proverbs.
With all of this in mind, I would like to invite you to consider the words which are found within these three New Testament epistles, for the words which we find in these epistles bring us face to face with the reality of two spiritual fathers who walked with Christ, two spiritual fathers who had heard and received directly from the LORD, and who took that which they have received from the LORD and given unto them. To help set the stage for what this impartation truly looks like, I would like to first draw and call your attention to the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the first New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints. Here within this passage you will get a glimpse of what this impartation truly looks like, and once you have considered these words, you can then transition to the words which are found in the two epistles written unto Timothy, as well as the epistle which was written unto the Ephesian congregation. Consider if you will the following words which are found within these passages of Scripture concerning this impartation directly unto the next generation of sons and daughters from spiritual fathers who sought to impart unto them that which they heard, and that which they received directly from the Heavenly Father:
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup .For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby do we know that we kno Him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I. Know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:1-6).
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:12-17).
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (1 John 2:18-24).
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (1 John 2:28).
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God AR manifest, and the children of the devil: whoso doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:7-11).
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us” (1 John 3:18-24.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. IN this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfect in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:4-13).
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21).
“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; for the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1-9).
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow-helpers to the truth” (3 John 4-8).
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:1-2).
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will envy us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:1-13).
I fully realize that the words which I presented unto you from the epistles which were written unto Timothy by the apostle Paul, as well as the epistles which were written unto the Ephesian congregation from the hand of the apostle John might not seem like they have anything to do with what we find within the Old Testament book of the Proverbs, however, in order to understand the words which are found within this poetic book found in the Old Testament you must understand this concept of fathers speaking directly unto sons, and fathers speaking directly unto children. The more you read and the more you consider the words which are found within the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs the more you will find that it is essentially an importation of a father unto his son—and not only to his son only, but also unto his children that they might hear and receive the wisdom which he himself had received. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the Old Testament book of Proverbs is that it isn’t merely a book of wise sayings which Solomon wrote during his reign as king over the nation of Israel. It would be very easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in the reality and notion that this book was simply one that was centered upon wise sayings of Solomon knowing that he wrote three thousand proverbs, however such a thought is false and misleading. The Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs is first and foremost a message of wisdom which would be written directly unto the son of Solomon. In fact, as I read the words which are found within this Old Testament poetic book I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that Solomon sought to impart wisdom unto his son that his son might not make some of the same mistakes that he himself made. I do not doubt for one moment that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel did not seek to speak directly unto his son that his son might not make the same mistakes that he made. In fact, we know and understand from Scripture that perhaps the single greatest mistake which Solomon made, and perhaps the greatest struggle Solomon had was his love for strange and foreign women. It has been said that what one generation does in moderation another generation will do in excess. In order to truly understand this reality of Solomon not wanting his son to walk in the same path and make the same mistakes he made, it is necessary and imperative to first begin with his father David and the adultery he committed with Bathsheba, and then transition to Solomon. Consider if you will the adultery of David which he committed with Bathsheba, and then the love which Solomon had for strange women, which would eventually allow his heart to be turned away from walking with and worshipping the living God:
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent an inquired after the woman. And one said, is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Job sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servant’s of his lord, and went not down to this house. And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? Why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou live-streams, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house. And it came to pass in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Job: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; and charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of war unto the king, and if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so night unto the city when ye did faith? Knew ye not that they would shot from the wall? Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbeseth? Did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? Why went ye nigh the wall? Then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thous ay unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him. And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and she bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:1-27).
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:1-13).
These words must be carefully read, studied and considered, for one of the main and underlying truths that is found within the Old Testament book of Proverbs is Solomon speaking directly unto his son concerning the wayward woman—concerning that woman which would entice and lure away simple men in her web of lies, deceit, lust and fornication. When you consider the lives and narratives of David and Solomon you will find that David did in fact commit adultery with Bathsheba, and he did in fact have her husband murdered to cover up the fact that she conceived a child as a result of that affair, however, we find that after Nathan the prophet came and confronted David with the error of his ways, and with the error of his transgression, David humbled himself before the LORD and I would dare say he even wept bitterly before and in the sight of the LORD. The fifty-first psalm found within the Old Testament book of Psalms is a powerful picture of the repentance, the humility, the brokenness, the sorrow, the anguish and the remorse that was found within the heart of David as a direct result of his iniquity and his transgression. Upon comparing the lives of David king of Israel and Solomon his son you will find that David himself had multiple wives, and David did in fact commit adultery with Bathsheba, however, when you think about and consider Solomon you will find that what David did in moderation he would do in excess. Solomon had seven hundred wives and princesses, and this was in addition to the three hundred concubines he also had. What’s more, is that Solomon didn’t merely struggle with his love for many strange women, but in his latter years when he was old, his wives turned away his heart. Scripture is very clear that when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and that his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. The narrative of Solomon wasn’t merely one that centered upon his love for strange women, but also his going after false and strange gods. Solomon himself would take what his father David did—and not only take what his father did in that he had multiple wives, but would also love many strange women. The narrative of Solomon wasn’t merely that he loved women, but that he loved many strange and foreign women from the nations concerning which the children of Israel were commanded not to go in to, nor should they go in to marry. What’s more, is the LORD specifically warned the children of Israel concerning this thing and declared unto them that if they did in fact do this thing those wives whom they would take unto themselves from the nations round about Israel would turn away their hearts after their gods.
The narrative of Solomon king of Israel is not merely one that centers upon his love for many women, but rather his love for many strange and foreign women. These strange and foreign women whom he loved he would cling to and hold fast in love, thus indicating that Solomon allowed his heart to be consumed with both love and lust for many strange and foreign women—those of the nations which the LORD specifically warned and cautioned against when speaking directly through His servant Moses. It’s important for us to recognize and understand this, for Solomon’s cleaving to these women in love would eventually and ultimately allow his heart to be turned away with him, and his heart would be turned away and enticed by false and strange gods. That which the LORD warned through His servant Moses Solomon would do in excess and abundance, for everything Solomon did was in excess and abundance. If you read the account of the life of Solomon you will find that there was very little he didn’t do excessively and abundantly, as Solomon would take everything he did and would raise it to the next level being king over the nation of Israel. You cannot read the narrative of Solomon king of Israel and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that he was a man who lived luxuriously, he was one who lived lavishly, and he was a man who lived in abundance and excess. This excess and abundance would translate into his loving many strange and foreign women—and not only his loving many strange and foreign women, but also his going after the false and strange gods whom his wives worshipped and served. This is something truly worth thinking about and considering, for there is a great and present warning and word of caution concerning that which we bring into our homes. Solomon would allow his heart to cleave and hold fast in love toward many strange and foreign women, and eventually those women—those foreign and strange wives whom he had taken unto himself—would turn away his heart from walking with and wholly following the LORD his God, as David his father did. Eventually and ultimately Solomon’s heart would be turned away after strange and foreign gods, and he as the son of David would be the first king to go after strange and foreign gods.
When and as you read the words which are written and recorded within the Old Testament book of Proverbs you cannot help but get the strong sense that Solomon sought to warn his son of the dangers, the snares and the pitfalls that he allowed himself to experience and walk through. There is not a doubt in my mind that when you read the words which are written and found within this Old Testament poetic book that Solomon desperately sought to warn his son against the snares and traps of the wayward woman, for he himself was taken away and enticed by a wayward woman—and not just a wayward woman, but multiple women. Solomon knew the dangers, the sorrows, the anguish, the shame, the destruction and devastation that surrounds going after such women with love and lust within one’s heart, and through the book of Proverbs he sought to warn his son lest his son walk in the same path of destruction and devastation he himself did. You cannot read the words found within the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs and not come face to face with the strong reality that Solomon sought to speak directly unto his son and warn him against allowing his heart to be turned away after a strange and foreign woman. Though Solomon within the book of Proverbs didn’t speak of strange and foreign women from the nations concerning which the LORD spoke unto the children of Israel and commanded against, he would nonetheless seek to warn his son concerning the dangers, the snares, and the trap of a strange women who flatters with her eyes and entices with her eyes. Consider if you will the words which Solomon the son of David and king of Israel wrote and sought to speak directly unto his son concerning the dangers and snares of a strange and foreign woman, and the devastation and destruction that follows:
“When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the forward ness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and thy froward in their paths: to deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the strange which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neiether take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it” (Proverbs 2:10-22).
“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understand: that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her st eps drake hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with they wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly” (Proverbs 5:1-14).
“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’ s wife; whosoever touches her shall not be innocent. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal, to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; but whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For Jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, thou thou gavest many gifts” (Proverbs 6:20-35).
“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: and, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: now she is without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day I have payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not home, he is gone a long journey: he hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:1-27).
There is not a doubt when reading each of these passages that Solomon sought to warn his son concerning the dangers, the snares and the trap of a strange woman, and desperately desired that his son not walk in the same footsteps which he himself walked in. We know and understand that David’s adultery with Bathsheba took place at a time when kings go out to battle, when David chose to remain behind in Jerusalem, and when David beheld from the lattice of his palace Bathsheba bathing herself. Although we cannot compare, nor even consider Bathsheba to be a strange woman, it’s worth noting how the events unfolded with David looking out from atop his palace and beholding a woman. Solomon also looked out from his casement and beheld a simple one who was going in the direction of the house of a strange woman, and we can’t help but wonder if this simple one was in fact looking for something, or if he was simply traveling in a specific direction and encountered this strange and adulterous woman. It is something worth considering the words which Solomon wrote unto his son, and I can’t help but wonder how Solomon allowed himself to get entangled with so many women. How does one man—even the king of Israel—get entangled and consumed with seven hundred wives and princesses, and manage to have an additional three hundred concubines? How does one man encounter that many women within a single lifetime—and not only encounter them, but also bring them into what could only be considered and classified as a harem? Was Solomon himself that simple man who found himself being enticed by a strange woman? Was Solomon himself that one who wandered a little too close to the house of a strange woman, and found himself being led astray by her lust and wantonness? It’s quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that Solomon was given such great wisdom, such great understanding and knowledge from the LORD, and yet when it came to women he could be so simple-minded, and so easily led astray. This same reality might very well be said about Samson who was endowed with such great and such supernatural strength from the Spirit of the LORD that came upon him, and yet despite his physical strength he was weak within his flesh. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that Samson could be strong in the physical and natural sense as the Holy Spirit gave him such strength, and yet when it came to women he could be so weak. Consider how Solomon possessed such great wisdom given him from the LORD, and yet when it came to women he could be so simple.
When you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture located in the book of Proverbs you must come face to face with the absolutely astonishing reality that Solomon was the wisest man in all the earth, and his wisdom came directly from the LORD Himself. Solomon possessed such great wisdom that he was wiser than all the wisest in the land of Egypt, was wiser than all those in the land(s) of the east, and was wiser than even Ethan the Ezrahite. Solomon’s as the wisest man during this generation, and yet despite the fact that he possessed such great wisdom he was so simple and so foolish when it came to his love and his lust for women. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it is possible to be strong in another area of our life, or in multiple areas of our lives, and yet be weak when it comes to lust and love. It is possible to possess wisdom in many areas within our lives, and yet when it comes to wisdom concerning lust for and lust after other women, we allow ourselves to become so simple, so naïve, and so foolish. I would be lying if I said that I myself haven’t been in this place within my life, and haven’t myself been guilty of being strong in certain areas, and weak in other areas. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been wise in certain areas and being foolish and simple in other areas. We dare not be so naïve to think about and consider the fact that we ourselves can be strong in many areas within our lives, and not struggle in so many other areas of our life, and yet there might be that one area where we allow ourselves to struggle with. The question I can’t help but ask is what is that one area within your life that you find yourself struggling with. What is that one area within your life which you have found yourself struggling with greatly on so many different occasions? If you are truly willing to be honest with yourself—what is that one area within your life where you lack, and where you lack that one thing which is perhaps the most critical and most vital part within your life? This reality is so aptly seen and found within the narrative of the rich young ruler who came unto Jesus searching and looking for what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. As I bring this writing to a close I would like to leave you with the words which are found concerning this encounter—specifically within the gospel narratives written by Mark and Luke, as they both emphasize Jesus speaking unto this man and declaring unto him that there was one thing he lacked still. I leave you with these words in the hopes to invite you into a place of self-examination within your own heart and life. Consider if you will the following two passages which are found within the New Testament gospel narratives written by John. Mark, as well as the beloved physician Luke:
“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him. Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:17-22).
“And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these things have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich” (Luke 18:18-23).