16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
I probably should have made this clearer to begin with: I am not a bible scholar. That might be obvious already. I’ve only read the Proverbs a few times, and I don’t know what other people say about them. Not much anyhow. I’m writing about these in the moment, as an exercise for myself in consistency, communicating with the Spirit, and as a safeguard against despair, as mentioned in earlier articles.
However, my way of seeing things might be different than your way or someone else’s way. This is one person’s interpretation, taken in light of modern events and Christian perspective, and changeable as new information comes out. If you want a concrete interpretation that is scholarly and widely accepted, then you might prefer a different bible study series, and there is nothing wrong with that.
All that aside, what do I think about here? I’ve been thinking more about the personification used in the Proverbs. There are two women in the Proverbs, and the distinction between the two can be used to help us understand multiple things.
We can take this as a general distinction between a godly and ungodly woman, which is useful for today’s women, wives, and mothers, as I mentioned in an earlier article within this series. We can also replace these women with other female personified entities, like nations. I think that would work well too. We can also consider these women as a personification of the Christian church while comparing what we read here to Revelation’s Mystery Babylon and the woman in Revelation 12.
That is one thing I love about the word of God! He can speak so many wonderful things to us in such short order. In one book, we can glean so much that will help us to be better people, have better family lives, to be more faithful Christians, and to stand against deceit on a massive scale. How awesome is that!?
If we consider all these interpretations of the “strange women,” how might the scripture above apply?
As an individual that reflects women today, we can think about much. On the surface, we can consider adulterous women who lure men off and away from their wives. Women such as that have a way about them. They are good at flattery, seduction, and leading men off to their doom while destroying marriages and families.
It is good for a man to learn about this, to be wise, and to refrain from the tactics of adulterous women. It is good for a man to know how devastating it is to go after such a woman. It is good for a woman to know how destructive it is to be such a person. There is a lot that goes on within women like this and within men who are drawn to them, so a lot could be said about it. There are voids that Jesus needs to fill, if He so chooses.
As any sinner, forgiveness is possible. However, such sins are especially life-altering and deadly. All young men and women need to have a good lesson in this before they become married.
What if we consider this in terms of a nation, like the United States? I love what true Lady Liberty stands for, but there is another woman creeping up. She is a stranger in this land, and she does not belong here! She flatters. She forsakes her Christian heritage and the sacrifice of her fathers. She despises the masculine, devours the poor with deceitfulness, and leads the people to their ruin. If we go after her, we will not return again. Our nation will perish.
What if we consider this in terms of the church? There are many within the church that use flattery to fill their church benches and bank accounts. They speak soft words of comfort with no exhortation to righteous living. They make light of sin and even celebrate it. They make the grace of God into wicked living, and they wear the blood of Jesus in vain. They forsake His ways. They do not repent. They teach half-truth gospels. They lead people to their death, and many who follow them do not return. They get to hear what they want to hear, and that is fitting.
As for Mystery Babylon, we can speculate. We are not quite there yet, but I imagine she will look a lot like a mixture of all of these we see here. She celebrates ungodly women while destroying our men, gets her power from an ungodly government, and claims to be a Christian while she rejects Jesus at the same time. She speaks flattery and falsehood. Those who stand against her are hated and destroyed, but Jesus will avenge. He will raise His faithful servants from the dead and those who follow this strange woman will perish forever.
It is good for us to live in this time. We are seeing glimpses of what is to come. We can become stronger in Christ Jesus, learn from our history and from the scriptures, and prepare ourselves should the day of destruction—the day of the strange women and her lover—come upon us.
I will be thinking about this today. What weaknesses do I have that would make it more difficult to stand in such a day—sin in particular—that makes me prone to vanity, covetousness, pride, fear, murder, and blindness?