“To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” (Proverbs 1:6)
Many people believe that the Book of Proverbs is just a book of lessons on the practical principles of daily living.
But here we read at the beginning of the book that it says of itself there is an interpretation to these dark sayings.
The Hebrew word for dark sayings literally means puzzle or riddle. So we see that just as it is with the parables that Jesus told, so it is with the Book of Proverbs.
On the surface they seem like practical stories or instructions concerning the natural world around us, but underneath the surface there are deeper spiritual meanings.
Although there are many subjects touched upon in the Book of Proverbs, there are two main and prevalent themes written about and woven throughout the book.
These are the comparison of the wise and the foolish, and the warnings concerning the strange or adulteress woman.
By understanding the spiritual truths underlying these two themes, we can better comprehend how the flesh and the world operate to deceive us into yielding to temptation and hindering our walk in the Spirit.
Although the Bible teaches that fornication and adultery are sins to abstain from and repent of, it places no greater emphasis on these than on any other.
However, in the Book of Proverbs the subject is dealt with so extensively that it becomes apparent that the adulteress, harlot, or strange woman represents more than it first appears.
“Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Prov. 7:27)
In the Book of James in the New Testament we find that someone who is a friend of the world is called an adulterer or adulteress:
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
Thus we find out that the adulteress or strange woman represents the world. What the Book of Proverbs has to say about the immoral woman teaches us how the devil will use the world to draw us away from the path of righteousness and from walking in the Spirit.
“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Prov. 6:26)
As with the parables of Jesus, the proverbs have a practical application and a spiritual meaning.
The practical application of this particular proverb is that sexual immorality will cause an individual to lose their family, lose their honor, lose their reputation, and even lose their business and prosperity; thus reducing him or her to “a piece of bread”.
The spiritual truth lies in the statement that “…the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”
You need to understand that you are precious in the eyes of God. Jesus said:
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)
You are special to God. Jesus has said that no man would come to Him unless the Father draw him. (John 6:44)
The Bible says that you were chosen in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4) When you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you and loved you and even called together the parts of your body in the way that He wanted them to be fashioned. (Psalm 139)
He chose you and called you, and you answered His call, and now you are precious in His sight:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Peter 2:9)
However, in the same way that the Lord wanted you, chose you, and called you, the world that at one time had you does not want to give you up. It will try to draw you and entice you with all that it has if you will only choose to follow its way.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
The devil used the world to tempt Jesus and he will use it in the same way to tempt you:
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-6)
Jesus said you cannot serve “two masters”. (Matt. 6:24)
You cannot walk towards the world and towards the Lord at the same time. You cannot concurrently walk in worldliness and walk in the Spirit.
Many a man and woman of God has lost the anointing because they chose profit margins, attendance records, social recognition, and building a ministry over walking in the Spirit.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10)
The message to learn from this proverb is that the world is stalking the Christian.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
We cannot ignore the world. We cannot separate ourselves and have nothing to do with the world.
But we can resist the world. We can be aware that the world and all of its ways are not designed by the devil for the sinner, but they are designed to draw away and entrap the believer from following the ways of the Lord.
And the world has targeted you to make sure that its ways are always presented as an option for you to choose.
We must always ask ourselves, “Is this the way the world would have me do it or is this the way the Lord would have me do it? Is this what the world does or is this what the Lord would do?”
If we choose the still small voice of our new nature, if we choose the voice of our born again spiritual man who is being guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, even if that voice goes against the rationality of our mind, then we are walking in the Spirit.