Day 7: Proverbs 7:1-4
My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
and call insight your intimate friend
- Chapter 7 provides a sharp contrast of the Simple Man to the Wise Man.
- The Simple Man is "devoid of understanding" (v. 7) and follows his senses without regard to the long-term impact (v. 27). He is "simple-minded" - naïve, childlike.
- The Wise Man diligently seeks and actively pursues understanding and wisdom (v. 1-4) and lets this be his guide. He is prudent, sound, judicious - wise.
- God has provided His wisdom freely to us. To avoid worldly pitfalls the Wise Man treasures and protects God's wisdom at all costs and seeks His commands as instructional and life-bringing.
- The Simple Man is easily manipulated by his senses (vs. 10, 13, 17 and 21), emotions (v. 14), intellect (v. 14), desires (v. 17) and vulnerability (vs. 19-20).
- The Simple Man does not think through the situation. He listens, entertains her offers and is persuaded in his thoughts, then "immediately" follows his emotions without control (v. 22). He succumbs to the harlot's offers over time until he cannot control himself any longer.
- Chapter 7 closes with a warning to everyone (v. 24-27) - that no one is immune, even strong men have fallen (v. 28).
The world is full of temptation and would have us believe that the fulfillment of our desires is our right and should be our focus. Our senses are constantly bombarded by what we see, hear, smell and encounter, for example through billboards, TV, movies, music, internet and books. The Simple Man is controlled by his senses and what he takes in becomes embedded in his inner being.
In contrast, the Wise Man pursues God, adhering to the Lord's commandments and wisdom result in spiritual growth. The Wise Man avoids temptation of the world by focusing on God.
Simplemindedness is not a sin. It is a stage we pass through in our spiritual development, much as a youth passes into adulthood. But to progress in our spiritual walk with God - to grow spiritually from the Simple Man to the Wise Man - we must protect our hearts and actively pursue God's commands and wisdom. This is summed up in Psalm 19:7-8 (ESV):
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple...
How does the Wise Man respond in times of temptation? Proverbs 7 gives us the answer - he turns to God and listens to His command, and God will grow him in wisdom.
God, I desire to bring You honor and glory through my life, my thoughts and my actions. Please open my eyes to those things which cause me to stumble rather than focusing on You. I pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit my heart will be protected from the world and fleshly thoughts, and with Your help, I will grow in the wisdom You freely and generously provide. Amen.
- Philip Gallaway