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Proverbs (Part 023) - Pro 2:15-16

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15. Pro 2:15 - "Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:"

A. Whose ways are crooked
i. This verse is the conclusion of the description of the evil men Solomon has been warning his son about.
ii. Given that these wicked men "leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness" (Pro 2:13), it is little wonder that their "ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths."
a. Crooked adj. Bent from the straight form; having (one or more) bends or angles; curved, bent, twisted, tortuous, wry. Applied to everything which is not ‘straight’ (of which crooked is now the ordinary opposite).
b. The way of the righteous is a straight path which is not to be deviated from, either to the right hand or to the left (Pro 4:25-27).
(i) To leave the straight and narrow path of uprightness, a man must bend his direction; hence his way is crooked.
(ii) Thorns and snares are laid in the bends and curves of the crooked paths of the wicked (Pro 22:5).
(iii) To keep out of the traps, avoid the path altogether.

c. Trying to walk the twisted path of the wicked with hopes of straightening it out is a fool's errand (Ecc 1:15).
(i) Here are a few examples.
1. Hanging out with friends at the bar to try to convince them to stop being drunkards by your good example.
2. Straightening out Washington D.C. by running for congress.
3. Continuing to go to a errant church with hopes of converting them.
d. Just stay off of the crooked path altogether before you fall into a ditch (Pro 4:14-15).

iii. In the context of Proverbs 2, crooked is being used figuratively, since one's ways can't literally be bent.
a. Crooked n. - 3. fig. a. The reverse of ‘straight’ in figurative senses (esp. with reference to moral character and conduct); deviating from rectitude or uprightness; not straightforward; dishonest, wrong, perverse; perverted, out of order, awry.
b. Even in this perverse generation in which we live, those who have a godly, normal sexual orientation are called straight by both the righteous and wicked alike.
c. This is a tacit admission that the way of sodomites is not straight and is therefore crooked.
d. Since the way of the sodomite is crooked, it is therefore "the way of the evil man" (Pro 2:12).
e. And to this agree the words of scripture (Lev 18:22; 1Ki 14:24; Rom 1:26-27).
iv. In this evil generation, it is as important as ever for Christians to hold fast to the faith, that we "may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Php 2:15).

B. And they froward in their paths
i. Froward adj. - Disposed to go counter to what is demanded or what is reasonable; perverse, difficult to deal with, hard to please; refractory, ungovernable
ii. A man who has a rebellious spirit which is wont to do the opposite of what is asked or commanded of him by a legitimate authority is froward in his paths and is therefore an evil man (Pro 2:12, 15).
iii. The Lord does not take a froward spirit lightly (1Sa 15:23).
a. No man's authority is absolute; and when any government goes beyond their sphere and requires of Christians obedience that is unbiblical, they "ought to obey God rather than men" (Act 5:29).
b. But when a government, or any authority, is exercising its God-given duties, then Christians ought to submit to it.
c. Those who "despise government" and are "presumptuous" and "selfwilled" are those who "walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness" (2Pe 2:10).
d. Wisdom from the word of God gives the godly man the discretion to avoid such and deliver himself from their pernicious ways (Pro 2:10-15).

16. Pro 2:16 - "To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;"

A. Not only will wisdom deliver the young man from the evil man (Pro 2:12), but it will also save him from the strange woman.
i. A strange woman is a fornicatress or a prostitute.
a. Strange adj. - 4. strange woman: a harlot.
b. Harlot n. - 5. Applied to a woman. a. As a general term of execration. c. spec. An unchaste woman; a prostitute; a strumpet. (Very frequent in 16th c. Bible versions, where Wyclif had hoore, whore; prob. as a less offensive word.)
c. Unchaste adj. - Not chaste; lacking chastity; impure, lascivious
d. Chaste adj. - 1. Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous.
e. Chastity n. - 1. a. Purity from unlawful sexual intercourse; continence.
f. Lascivious adj. - 1. Inclined to lust, lewd, wanton.
g. According to God's law, unlawful sexual intercourse is fornication (1Co 6:18) and adultery (Heb 13:4).
h. Fornication n. - Voluntary sexual intercourse between a man (in restricted use, an unmarried man) and an unmarried woman. In Scripture extended to adultery.
i. Therefore, a strange woman is not merely a prostitute, but is also a woman who offers the same service free of charge to boyfriends or men whom she dates.

ii. According to a study completed by The Guttmacher Institute, 95% of people (94% of women and 96% of men) by age 44 have had premarital sex. (Trends in premarital sex in the United States, 1954-2003, The Guttmacher Institute, 2007)
a. Therefore, by Biblical definition, 94% of women are, or were at one time in their lives, strange women, and 96% of men are, or were at one time in their lives, whoremongers.
b. With these appalling figures in this wicked and perverse generation, the need for wisdom, which will deliver the godly young man from the strange woman, is as crucial as ever.

iii. The fact that wisdom is necessary to deliver a man from the strange woman shows that she is both dangerous and subtle.
a. Though women are "the weaker vessel" (1Pe 3:7), they nevertheless wield great power over men.
b. Consider some of the great men of the Bible who were brought down by a woman.
(i) The first man Adam in his sinless innocence "was not deceived" (1Ti 2:14) by the devil, but was nonetheless talked into sinning against God when he "hearkened unto the voice of [his] wife" (Gen 3:17), forever destroying the human race.
(ii) Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived (1Ki 4:30-31), with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat 12:42).
1. But "nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin" (Neh 13:26; 1Ki 11:4).
2. Solomon should have taken heed to the counsel he gave his son and to the wise instruction of his mother who taught him to "give not thy strength unto women" (Pro 31:3).
(iii) And then there was Samson, a man of exceeding strength (Jdg 15:15), who was brought down by the antics of a sly woman (Jdg 16:15-21).
(iv) And lastly there was David, "a man after [God's] own heart" (Act 13:22), whose lust for a beautiful woman led him to commit adultery with her (2Sa 11:2-4) and to murder her husband to cover it up (2Sa 11:14-17).
c. Given the fact that women, whether wittingly or unwittingly, have great power over even the best of men, from a sinless man to the wisest man, and from the strongest man to the godliest man, it is of the gravest importance for a Christian man to "get wisdom" (Pro 4:5) from the word of God which will "deliver [him] from the strange woman" (Pro 2:16).
d. Fathers must make sure to teach their sons these things.
iv. Godly women would be wise to do the same to deliver themselves from lascivious men.

B. The stranger which flattereth with her words.
i. The primary weapon in the arsenal of the whore is flattery.
a. Flatter v. - 1. a. intr. Of an animal, bird, etc.: To show delight or fondness (by wagging the tail, making a caressing sound, etc.). Const. upon, with. Obs. 2. To try to please or win the favour of (a person) by obsequious speech or conduct; to court, fawn upon. Also intr. to flatter with.
b. Fawn v. - 1. intr. Of an animal, esp. a dog: To show delight or fondness (by wagging the tail, whining, etc.) as a dog does. b. to fawn on, upon: (of a dog, etc.) to show delight at the presence of; to lavish caresses on, to caress.
c. The young man should beware of the woman who showers him with high praise, for the woman who does so spreads a net for his feet (Pro 29:5).

ii. Proverbs 7 describes in fine detail the way of the strange woman "which flattereth with her words" (Pro 7:5).
a. She preys on the young man that is simple and void of understanding who wanders in darkness (Pro 7:6-9).
b. She dresses with "the attire of an harlot" and she is "subtle of heart" (Pro 7:10).
c. Unlike godly women who are "of a meek and quiet spirit" (1Pe 3:4) and are "keepers at home" (Tit 2:5), she is rather "loud and stubborn [and] her feet abide not in her house" (Pro 7:11).
d. She lies in wait for him, catching and seducing him (Pro 7:12-13).
e. She feigns religion to appeal to his spiritual side (Pro 7:14-15).
f. She tempts him with talk of her finely adorned bed (Pro 7:16-17).
g. She allures him with the suggestion of lovemaking, assuring him that her husband is gone and will not return for a great while (Pro 7:18-20).
h. Finally, "with her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him" (Pro 7:21).
iii. She didn't need to use superior strength or weaponry to force the young man into her filthy bed, but merely "good words and fair speeches [that] deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom 16:18).
iv. Her lips "drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil" (Pro 5:3), but her mouth is "a deep pit [and] he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein" (Pro 22:14).
v. As the following verses show, the LORD's warning to hearken unto wisdom in order to be delivered from the strange woman which flatters with her words is deadly serious (Pro 2:18-19; Pro 5:20-23; Pro 6:32-33; Pro 7:22-27).