We are in the Wisdom Stream reading from the International Standard Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Dear God: make us wise according to your word. Give us wisdom and hearts that do not stray. May our lives be a testament to right living as you teach us to live. Amen.
5 – Solomon knew the world of women. And it’s intriguing that God has us to be taught on this topic by a man who had 300 wives at his disposal and 700 concubines trolling through his world. So in this scripture today we can basically receive a wise word from a man who knows too much. He was an expert in right and wrong in this area so we better ingest what he has to say. Come the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is virtually depressed by doing anything outside of what God allows and he is wishing that all he had was one wife -for therein is joy. We can assess Solomon’s theology of love and prayer in four words: One God – one love. Duplicity in either area makes the human heart/mind crazy. Being loyal to one God and being loyal to one other soul in a hetero-sexual setting for life (‘need to include ‘hetero’ these days) is the only way to keep life rich and wonderful for it aids us on the right path. Those who commit for life build a beautiful life. We love the sign at the gateway of an enchanting estate we saw somewhere that reads, “all because two people fell in love!” On the other end of the wisdom scale we could also put a shameful sign, “all because they refused to love-and-stay with the wife of their youth.” We know of too many people who have found themselves on the earthen scrap heap of rack-n-ruin from a life of switching lovers seasonally until there was nothing left but aimless dismay. A failed love-life and a failed life feel exactly the same way.
6 – Things to avoid like a hornets’ nest: shady business deals and the people involved in them, lazy living, edgy dealings and duplicitous wicked schemes, arrogance, lies and trouble-making, shunning parents’ advice (therefore follow your parents’ advice), running with whores/all loose women and thereby getting entangled with other men who are enraged with you… all these things Solomon urges us to stay away from.
7 – Listen to your father’s advice! If your earthly father is not a man of the truth and light in God, still listen to your heavenly father. He knows what a wrong woman can do to your soul. Solomon tells a protracted tale about a man led astray by a trolling woman who looks for new victims to take into her sexual den. In this setting, as in so many other, one’s father is a guide who is living decades on down the same road you are on now. My husband and I are in our middle years and we see people in their teens and 20’s approaching-or-at this fork in the road. [How shall I manage my love life?] Taking the wrong path here is a road to decades of darkness and a high likelihood of never coming back to the land of the living. The wisest man who ever lived bellowed “DON’T GO THERE”. Your God and your parents say the same thing.
8 – Solomon has gone into detail how a sinister woman will drag you to your death, and how your father will instruct you against being ensnared in such a mess. Here he is urging you to follow on the wondrous life-giving path of wisdom. Solomon employs the pronoun, ‘She’ will guide you to life. [Wisdom is a feminine noun in the ancient language.] So whereas your father knows and understands wisdom, perhaps we could articulate that your mother IS wisdom. It isn’t that black and white of an issue in Hebrew but for the sake of literature it may help with our understanding to ingest the wisdom Solomon is trying to impart to us. I may be overstating this to say that the Bible isn’t saying that fathers [males only] know all and females lead us down the road to outer darkness. The gender issue point blank cannot be equated here. Just as is asserted today that men are the problem in society and women are the answer. That is equally not true. But as Solomon gives us a menagerie of good insight here, he continues that wisdom is accessible to all who call for her to come strengthen/guide us through manifold dilemmas. Wisdom gives discretion. It teaches the hatred of evil. It anchors leaders to govern properly. The wisdom attribute of God responds to those who beckon for her and they receive something greater than riches by asking for wisdom and seeking it. God gives us such wisdom because He uses wisdom as He did when He created everything; in wisdom. So watch for wisdom, listen for it, look for it. We either operate in wisdom or we die early in an untimely and unfortunate manner.