Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 2:16
"To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words"
This is the Hebrew word nasal which means to rescue, deliver, save. The idea is that if you embrace wisdom in depth you will be plucked out of the problems that come from an adulteress relationship. Now the deliverance will not necessarily take place from the midst of an affair. It will most likely take place through wisdom by never meeting the woman whose charms would be your downfall. It is not wisdom and strength to walk away from sin when you are right at the entrance point. It is wisdom and strength to keep a long way away from it. Realize that the deliverance of the Lord steers a wide path around sin and temptation. Just as in 1 Corinthians – No temptation has over taken you but such as is common to man and He will with the temptation provide you with a way of escape – the way of escape is often very early before you are under the full tug of temptation.
Live your life wisely and you will not feel the hurricane force of temptation, but instead you will feel the breeze and allure of temptation which is much easier to resist. Make good decisions early and it will be much easier to resist.
This is the Hebrew word zur which means stranger. The Hebrew idea of marriage is that there is one person whom you are to bond with in a lifetime commitment; every other person is a stranger to you. This would apply to singles also. There is a person whom God would want you to commit to and marry. Every other person whom you could meet and marry is strange or unfitting to you. There are many people you might date or get to know, but you know immediately that “I could not marry this person”. It may be because of their values, their lack of values, their faith or lack of it, their personality, etc. But it is obvious to you that this is not the person. So they are strange to you. But if you continue in a relationship with them long enough, the temptation to consider them as a potential mate grows stronger. If they are clearly not God's choice, then do not continue deepening the relationship. Be wise. I watch singles who continue in relationships with people that God is clearly not pleased with, that their families hate, and that they are not even excited about just because it is someone to be with for now. And then down the road they settle for this person the Bible would call a strange person. Then they diminish the potential of their life because they did not act with wisdom early enough and now they are married to a person who is not God's best.
This is the Hebrew word nokri which means foreign, strange. It is really a synonym for the word above. It means an adulteress or a person who would have sexual relations with someone who is not their mate – their God-given spouse.
Solomon is stating a key lesson to his young students. There will be temptations to break your promises. There will be things that will promise pleasure and fun but are clearly the wrong way. If you live wisely, looking for the triple-win choices and taking them, you will not destroy your life down these dead-end roads. They seem exciting and wonderful, but they bring heartache and pain.
In our culture we are making a mockery of sexual control, abstinence, fidelity, and virginity; but following God's path of wisdom and joy – while it is counter to the culture these days – is the best life and yields a much better life than the momentary pleasures of sin.
Thankfully, also Jesus Christ offers everyone the forgiveness of their sins through His death on a cross. They need to repent, turn away from their sins, and walk into His arms agreeing with Him that what they did was wrong. He then invites them onto the path of wisdom. His grace is amazing and can empower even the worst sinner to a new life.
This is the Hebrew word halaq which means to divide, to share, to portion. The idea here is an interesting one in that the adulteress divides the person from his true mate through words. The translators of the NASB have chosen to use the word flatters to try and understand the word; but the idea is that using words, the adulteress lures you into a deep relationship with her. Having interviewed a number of folks who have been caught in the web of adultery, it is just as Solomon says here. It is the use of words – listening and conversation – that either slowly or quickly strengthens a relationship that leads to sexual unfaithfulness. Many men have said that affairs are mediocre sex but great listening.
Notice the point of what Solomon is saying. It is the words that create the wedge between you and your spouse and draw you towards someone you shouldn't be with. I weary of people who tell me that they can have a friendship with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse and it is okay. This is playing with fire. It is through words, conversation, listening, sharing of ideas, concerns, feelings, appreciation, gratefulness, etc., that a man or woman is lured away into adultery.
Do not go there. Share these words, thoughts, feelings, and ideas with your spouse. If you and your spouse are not having these kinds of conversations, then you are weakening your marriage and increasing the power of temptation in your spouse's life.