- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 7:27
"Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death"
This is the Hebrew word sheol which means the grave, the place of the dead. In the Old Testament it is the place where all the dead go – both the righteous and the unrighteous.
Solomon even defines Sheol with the second phrase of the proverb: descending to the chambers of death. Sheol is the place of the dead. It is the holding tank where people wait for judgment.
Solomon is saying that when a man is unfaithful to his wife, he violates God's law and is destined for the place of the unrighteous dead. Unless he repents and gains forgiveness, he will bear the penalty of his selfishness.
There is also the suggestion that a man who is unfaithful to his spouse will hasten his trip to Sheol. The idea is that this type of rebellion against God's law leads to other types of rebellion and selfishness. A bent towards doing what you want just because you want to leads to all kinds of sin, rebellion, and difficulties. It accelerates the moral decay process and moves you more quickly towards the place of the dead.
Solomon is saying: Do you want to make sure that you end up in the place of judgment for the unrighteous dead? Then by all means move forward with your infidelity and adultery. This was a real warning because the culture had the general understanding of the reality of judgment and hell. In our culture, people dismiss the idea of hell and judgment as myths of a bygone era. But just because we do not retain the memory or understanding of hell does not mean it does not exist. It is a real place and there will be judgment for everything we have done. For those who have admitted that they are sinners and embraced Jesus Christ as their Savior, there will be forgiveness and comfort. Amazingly there will even be rewards for our cooperation with Him in good works. For those who maintain that they are good enough to earn God's favor on their own and unaided by His gift of forgiveness in Christ, there will be exacting judgment.
The early church understood in parallel with Luke 16:19-31 that there were at least two general compartments in Sheol prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There was the upper compartment called Abraham's bosom and/or paradise and the lower compartment called Sheol/hell/hades/death. The upper compartment was the place where the righteous dead waited. The lower compartment was the place where the unrighteous dead waited for judgment. The one was a place of comfort and rest the other was a place of regret, sorrow, and torment.
The early church understood based upon Ephesians 4:7-9 and 1 Peter 3:19 that Jesus Christ went to this place called Sheol (the upper compartment) and proclaimed that He had vanquished death and paid for the sins of the world. He then took those who had expressed faith in God (righteous through faith) to the Father. He emptied that upper compartment and took those captives who had been waiting for Him to finish His work of atonement to be with Him in heaven. The lower compartment is still filled with the unrighteous dead who are awaiting the final judgment day. Revelation 20:11-13; Daniel 12:2
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