Guardrails- Proverbs Week 5- Day 2- Proverbs 5:7-8

Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.  (8)  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 

Proverbs 5:7-8 


We read in the previous verses about the contrast between the attractiveness of the “strange woman” and the danger that participating in adulterous and illicit activity with her brings.  In verses 3 through 6 we were told that her words would seem like honey and her mouth like smooth oil.  Yet at the end her words are more like wormwood and swords, and her end is instability, death and hell.

Now that the framework for thinking about this kind of extra-marital sexual activity has been laid, the father, speaking to his kids, pleads for his children to listen and obey what he is about to say in verses 8 and following.  Notice what he says:

(8)  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

Is this a biblical law saying that it is breaking God’s law just to be near a sexually promiscuous person, or to go even in their yard?  If that was the intent and we were to follow it to the letter of the law we would need a background check on every neighbor before we bought a house.  We would have to be very careful about going “door to door” and hanging invitations to church on people’s houses because we could be in the yard of a promiscuous person.  No, this is not the intention.

The idea that the father is proposing is the idea illustrated by guardrails.  Guardrails are on highways and roads simply because running into them would cause less damage than going beyond the guardrail into the ditch, ravine, or other potential hazard that lays beyond it.  The father is pleading with his children to decide beforehand to not even go near the temptation that this kind of person represents because the hazards that lay beyond are too great.


In application it doesn’t mean that we cannot be nice to or have compassion for those who are sinning in this area of life.  The idea is that wisdom can be found in avoiding tempting scenarios that would cause us to be tempted.  We should decide before the temptation comes that we will avoid certain scenarios.

In my case, I am never alone with a woman other than my wife.  I don’t go out to eat with another woman.  We don’t ride in the same car.  It is a guardrail.  The potential risk is not worth it.


It is wise for us to think about how and where we consume media, who we meet with and why, and how we conduct relationships with others.  What guardrails do you need in your life?   Are there any relationships you need to change or even end?

Be warned! Proverbs- Week 5- Day 1- Proverbs 5:3-6

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:  (4)  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.  (5)  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.  (6)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 

Proverbs 5:3-6 


Who is talking?  It is still the father speaking to his son.  Verse 1 says, “My son, attend to my wisdom…”  He then goes into his teaching.  What is that teaching?

Well, the “strange woman” is the subject of these verses.  The word “strange” here dispenses the idea of a foreign woman.  The Jews were not supposed to marry gentiles.  Women who were foreign to the Jewish faith at this time did not live in a culture with the morality of the law espoused to them.  Gentile culture was pagan, and generally immoral.  The point of this passage is not to claim that every gentile woman was absolutely sexually immoral.   Again, remember that Proverbs deals in probabilities.  The general wisdom about the “strange woman” is that she does not have the same moral virtue.  The father, wanting his son not to be hurt, gives him this insight.  What does he say about this “strange woman”?

In terms of her speech, she sounds good.  The sweetest food that they had in Israel at the time was honey.  This is a lurid word picture.  Her lips drip with smooth words like honey does from the honeycomb.  He also says that her mouth is “smoother than oil”.  The most common oil in that day was olive oil.  It was used in a myriad of ways that were beneficial.  Olive oil was often seen as a sign of prosperity, and a lack of oil as a travesty.  Essentially the father is saying, “Son, the sexually immoral, forbidden woman will sound as good as the best things in life, but…”.

That conjunction “but” is pretty important, for it leads to the wisdom of the passage.  The “strange woman” will look good. She will sound good, but her end is devastating.  The father says that her end is bitter as “wormwood”.  Wormwood is a word describing a type of plant associated with other plants that are poison.  The same Hebrew word is translated “hemlock” in Amos 6:12.  Her end is also described as a twoedged sword.  In the Hebrew it is better translated as a “sword mouth” or a mouth full of swords. 

It is a vivid contrast.  Her mouth is not honey and oil, it is poison and razors. 

Where she takes you is not good.  She takes you on a path to death and hell.  (v.5) Her path does not even consider the way of wisdom, way of life, or way of justice.  Her ways are unstable.  The way of wisdom is not clear to her in any way.  (v.6)


Be warned.   The father is wisely letting his son know where the traps are.  She looks good but her end is death.  The scripture is so clear when it talks about a proper response to sexual temptation.  Look at what the Holy Spirit wrote through Paul in 1 Corinthians.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 

1 Corinthians 6:18

Be wise.  Wisdom suggests not to mess around with sexual sin.  Run!  Flee! Avoid even getting near a place where you can be tempted?  Why?  The end is death.

Be loving.  What is the right way to genuinely love the “strange woman”?  You can’t see her as an object of desire.  You must not use her a source of pleasure.  She is a daughter and a sister.  She is someone for whom Christ died.  The loving thing to do is to flee her seductive words and ways and to pray for her to be redeemed out of her sinful lifestyle.


  1. Repent.   If you have been tempted and succumbed to sexual sin, there is forgiveness offered to you in Christ.  Repent!
  2. Run.  Don’t flirt with sexual temptation.  It can destroy you.  Run!

Guard your heart! Proverbs Week 4- Day 5

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  (24)  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.  (25)  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.  (26)  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.  (27)  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Proverbs 4:23-27

In yesterday’s passage we looked at three categories of terms.  One category was body terms.  He used the words like ear, eyes and heart.  Remember that the Father has pleaded with his son to listen to his words, to keep his words in front of his eyes, and to keep them in the midst of his heart.

In verses 23-27 that body language continues.  Let’s walk through the text by looking at these terms for the body.

1. The term “heart” in verse 23.  The heart is the critical piece of this whole framework.  The father told his son to keep his words in front of His eyes and in the midst of his heart.  Why?  Because out of the heart are the issues of life.  The heart describes the inner man.  It is the thoughts and emotions of the person.  In this verse the Father tells his son to “keep” or guard his heart with all diligence.  He is saying that his son must make an effort to guard the inner thoughts and emotions because it is out of that inner person that we make our choices.

2. The terms “mouth” and “lips” in verse 24.  The idea here is to avoid using our mouths for destructive, degenerate, and disgusting speech.

3. The terms “eyes” and “eyelids” in verse 25.  This is continuing the “path” and “way” language.  The idea is to keep the eyes focused on going in the right direction and not even looking at other evil paths.

4. The term “ponder” in verse 26.  This isn’t a part of the body, but describes the activity of the mind.  The idea here is to think about what path you are going to take.

5. The terms “feet” and “foot” in verses 26-27.  This is the part of the body that takes the rest of the body down the “path” or the “way”. 


We must be careful as stewards of our bodies to use our whole selves, the inner-man and the outer-man, to honor God by taking the right path.  The Word of God in our ears and eyes effect our hearts.  Out of our hearts we make all the choices with rest of our body.  We decide what path to take.

How do we maintain our heart?

1.  Be careful about what comes in the eyes and ears.

2.  Spend time in the Word of God.

3.  Spend time with wise and godly people.


What do you need to do most to guard your heart today?

Your Eyes and Your Heart. Proverbs- Week 4- Day 4

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  (21)  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  (22)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 


Let’s remember the context of these verses.  The father continues to speak to the son, pleading with him to stay on the right paths and to avoid the evil paths of evil men. 

In these verses I want to point out three categories of terms that will help us make a right interpretation and application.

1.  Ownership words- “my” and “thine”The father uses the term “my” two times. These are possessive nouns talking about the fathers words and the fathers sayings.  He also uses the word “thine” two different times.  This term he uses in regards to his sons eyes and his sons heart.  The matter at hand is the complete ownership of the way of wisdom by the son.  The father states his ownership of the way of wisdom.  He calls them “my words” and “my sayings”.  Ownership means hearing and attending to these words. In other words, the wisdom is to be heard and to be obeyed.

2. Body Words- “eyes” and “heart”.  He points to the eyes and the heart of his son.  For the son to own his father’s words he has to take responsibility for his own eyes and his own heart.  Our eyes will see something.  Something will be in the midst of our hearts.  The father is pleading for his words and his sayings to be the object of that kind of visual, intellectual and emotional ownership.

3. Result Words- “life” and “health”.    The ownership of the way of wisdom is passed on from the Father to the son by the words and sayings kept before the son and valued internally.  When this happens the probability is “life” and “health”. Notice that the words are “life to those that find them”.  I love the idea of the picture of finding here.  The imagery is that these wise words are like treasure that has been found.  It is like the father has found a treasure that he is trying to give to his son.  He is pleading with his son to steward this treasure well because of the life and the health that the treasure can give.


To pass along the way of wisdom it takes three proactive values:

1.  It takes ownership.  If we want our kids and those we influence to follow us, we must own the direction we are taking them ourselves.  From a development perspective, you cannot truly take someone to a place that you have never been.  We must treasure the Word and the wisdom of God if we want the next generation to treasure and steward it well.

2.  It takes effort.  The hymnwriter wrote, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.  Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it.  Seal it for thy courts above.”  The father says similarly to the son “keep them in the midst of thy heart.”  We’ll read tomorrow that the out of the heart flow  the issues of life.  So many things demand attention of our eyes and affection from our hearts.  We must guard it diligently.

3.  It takes vision.  We must keep before ourselves and those we influence a vision of the results (life and health) of the way of wisdom.  We must also envision and avoid the potential consequences of the way of evil.  We get distracted and we forget.  So much is at stake.


What can you do to keep wisdom in front of your eyes and in the middle of your heart today?