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Proverbs (Part 024) - Pro 2:17-19

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17. Pro 2:17 - "Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God."

A. Which forsaketh the guide of her youth
i. Traditionally, women have married young in accordance with the command of scripture which says that "the younger women [should] marry, bear children, guide the house" (1Ti 5:14).
a. Solomon exhorted his son to "rejoice with the wife of thy youth" (Pro 5:18), and Malachi likewise referred to a man's wife as "the wife of thy youth" (Mal 2:14).
b. In that men and women married in their youth (especially in those days), and given the fact that "the husband is the head of the wife" (Eph 5:23), the guide of a woman's youth is therefore her husband.
ii. Guide n. - 1. a. One who leads or shows the way, esp. to a traveller in a strange country; spec. one who is hired to conduct a traveller or tourist (e.g. over a mountain, through a forest, or over a city or building) and to point out objects of interest.
a. This verse implicitly teaches that a husband should fulfill the role of a leader for his young bride, directing and teaching her in the way of life.
b. A Christian woman should cherish the opportunity to have a godly husband who is not only her lover and provider, but also her mentor; but such is not the case with the strange woman which forsaketh the guide of her youth (Pro 2:16-17).
c. Forsake v. - 1. trans. To deny (an accusation, an alleged fact, etc.). Obs. 4. To abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from; esp. to withdraw one's presence and help or companionship from; to desert.
d. Thus the strange woman, having been her husband's "companion" (Mal 2:14), forsakes him and withdraws her companionship from him that had stood by her side and led her for many years.

B. And forgetteth the covenant of her God.
i. She is not only the wife of her husband's youth, but she is also "the wife of [his] covenant" (Mal 2:14).
ii. He had "made a covenant with [his] eyes [that he] should [not] think upon a maid" (Job 31:1).
iii. The covenant that she and her husband had entered together when they married was not merely an agreement between the two of them, but was also struck with Almighty God who joined them together and bound them to that covenant (Mat 19:6).
iv. Therefore, when the strange woman forsook her husband and the covenant that she made with him, she also forgot the covenant of her God.
v. Having forsaken her husband, she turns away from him and turns toward another man whom she tries to seduce by "flatter[ing] with her words" (Pro 2:16).
vi. Wisdom from the word of God will deliver the young man from an unfaithful woman, for it instructs him that just as "the Ethiopian [cannot] change his skin, [n]or the leopard his spots...[neither] then may [she] also do good, that [is] accustomed to do evil" (Jer 13:23).
a. The young man should beware: if a woman forsakes her first husband, she is likely to forsake her next one also.
b. If she forgot her first covenant, she is liable to forget subsequent ones as well.
c. Thus the strange woman cannot be trusted, for "her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them" (Pro 5:6).
d. The only sure way to protect oneself from the adulteress is to keep clear of her entirely and "remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house" (Pro 5:8).
e. He that has wisdom will avoid such a woman like he would the plague, for he that flirts with her flirts with death (Pro 7:25-27).
vii. If a Christian man is to protect himself from being swallowed up by the strange woman and having his life and soul destroyed by her, he must receive God's words and hide His commandments with him (Pro 2:1), 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" (Pro 6:23-24).

18. Pro 2:18 - "For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead."

A. For her house inclineth unto death
i. An encounter with a strange woman may be deadly.
a. Her house is a place where men go to lose their souls and possibly their lives as well.
b. A man that enters therein destroys his own soul (Pro 6:32-33).
ii. Not only is his soul in jeopardy; if the whore's husband finds him, his very life may be at risk (Pro 6:34-35).
iii. If the adulterer escapes the revenge of the strange woman's husband, he will not escape the retribution of the LORD (Rom 12:19).
a. Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Heb 13:4).
b. The judgment of God on a man who commits the "heinous crime" (Job 31:11) of adultery might come suddenly, as did the death of Ananias and Sapphira who likewise committed a wicked sin against the LORD (Act 5:1-10).
c. Or it may come later at the time of God's choosing (1Ti 5:24).
d. The man who is tempted to give in to the allure of the strange woman better remember that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31).
e. The LORD's judgment for such an odious sin may well be the sexually transmitted disease he received from his lover, which he will have to suffer with and regret for the rest of his life (Pro 5:11-13).
iv. If the whoremonger escapes with his life and health, he is still not off the hook, for the LORD has yet more ways of chastising him, such as taking from him his house, wealth, and retirement, destroying him financially through the courts for his dreadful sin (Pro 5:8-10; Pro 6:24-26; Job 31:9-12).

B. And her paths unto the dead.
i. Here we find the identification of the victims of the strange woman: the dead.
ii. She primarily seeks for those who have no moral compass nor godly principles that guide their lives.
a. She isn't usually looking for those who are "dead to sin" (Rom 6:2), but for those who are yet "dead in sins" (Eph 2:5) and are only concerned with "fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind" (Eph 2:3).
b. Such reprobates are easy targets for the adulteress because they don't have a regenerate spirit within them warring against the flesh and its lusts (Gal 5:17).
c. Furthermore, they don't have God in their corner protecting them from her, for "the mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein" (Pro 22:14).
iii. Desirous of a challenge, the adulteress not only goes after reprobates who offer little resistance, but she also "will hunt for the precious life" (Pro 6:26).
a. She seeks the "young man void of understanding" (Pro 7:7), who, when properly enticed, will go "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 that hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life" (Pro 7:22-23).
b. Thus the reason that Solomon wrote this warning to his son and exhorted him to listen to him and get wisdom which would save him from her and his death that would follow (Pro 7:24-27).

19. Pro 2:19 - "None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life."

A. None that go unto her return again.
i. Solomon gives one final reason to be wise and avoid the strange woman.
ii. It's a one-way trip.
iii. There is more than one reason for this.
a. Foolish whoremongers could simply lose their lives for one of the reasons given in the comments on the previous verse, such as:
(i) God slaying them directly,
(ii) dying due to the natural consequences of an STD, or
(iii) being killed by vengeful husband.
b. But there is also another way in which those that go unto the strange woman will not return again.
(i) They will not return as the same men that they went as.
(ii) The man that commits adultery gets "a wound and dishonour...and his reproach shall not be wiped away" (Pro 6:33).
(iii) The reproach of such an egregious act is never entirely removed, even after decades have passed, because the memory of it resides in the minds of his family, friends, and neighbors for the rest of their lives.
(iv) Thus the man who was held in high regard never returns from the strange woman's house as his former self.
(v) David experienced the devastation of social ostracism after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, which he painfully lamented when he besought the LORD's mercy, saying "my lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off" (Psa 38:11).
(vi) As Solomon later noted in the book of Ecclesiastes, the social stigma of this sin increases in proportion to the reputation of the offender (Ecc 10:1).

B. Neither take they hold of the of the paths of life.
i. The man who commits adultery has gone the way of the evil man and has left "the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness" (Pro 2:13).
ii. He has veered from the strait gate and narrow way "which leadeth unto life," and henceforth shall walk through the wide gate on the broad way "that leadeth to destruction" (Mat 7:13-14).
iii. All the joys of living shall be taken from him.
iv. As he tries to take hold of the paths of life, they shall slip through his fingers as sorrow compasses him.
v. Psalm 38 is considered by many to be David's lamentation for his dreadful sin of adultery, in which he vividly expressed his feeling of despair after taking another man's wife (Psa 38:1-10).
vi. Let the Christian man take heed and hearken unto wisdom in order to spare himself from the agony which will certainly befall anyone who follows in David's footsteps.