It’s been said, never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I say, always look a gift horse in the mouth. In fact have the whole animal completely vetted. If this gift horse comes your way, it may have “Trojan Horse” written somewhere on it in very, very tiny print. And it’s always very, very alluring. It draws you, makes you curious, pulls you in, hooks you… then destroys you. As it turns out, it may be a very good idea to turn this horse right back out to pasture where she came from!
So, any time something too good to be true arrives in your space, it always pays to ask, is there a hook hidden in this bait, enticing me to swallow it hook, line, and sinker? Is there something here that I need to see that is not obvious?
If this question is not carefully approached, the first thing you know the hook beneath the bait has taken you out, the same way the adulterous woman in Proverbs 5 works her wiles on the unwary. “For the lips of of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” [Proverbs 5:3,4]
Wisdom is depicted as “She”, yet so is this – the essence of deception – presented as a woman, yet a very different kind. This deceptive she-creature can come along in many forms, through various life circumstances. She may appear as anything from the charming woman of worldly wiles with a view to dismantling a man’s life, all the way up to and including the great Babylon harlot of Revelation 17:18, referred to as a “great city” ruling over the kings of the earth.
Many interpretations have been given to the Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John. I’m not going to go into debate over all of that, and I didn’t think that Proverbs 5 would take me in this direction. Yet it has. And I think it’s worth taking a look at.
Again the speaker begins with [Proverbs 5:1,2] the continual reminder, “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow down thine ear to understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.”
It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? There’s a real need for steadfast commitment to Lady Wisdom.
But then along comes the “Black Magic Woman”… and a musical interlude? In case anyone remembers this Carlos Santana hit from “back in the day” as I do, it’s the perfect description of her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slvqH3kI6Vk Sometimes a blast from the past helps emphasize a point.
Having a high regard for Lady Wisdom works toward protecting us from the deception, the harlot, that rules over the kings of the earth? This king, however – the wise king – reiterates his case again in verse 7, reminding his children to “depart not from the words of my mouth.”
Was this, sadly, a case of “do as I say, not as I do”, considering the fate of Solomon, as his many consorts [devotees of foreign gods] took him down into corruption later on in his life? It is an irony that the wisest man who ever lived should thus make his exit from life’s stage, is it not? Somehow I think the Lord lets it stand as a warning to us just how real and intense is the nature of deception, even for one so blessed with Wisdom as King Solomon.
This is an especially needed reminder in these times. It brings to mind Mark 13:22. “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
Signs and wonders? This sounds like something pretty “spiritual” to me, something very enigmatically powerful, yet something that will also very powerfully seduce many Souls away from their loving Heavenly Father and Lady Wisdom! They may not even realize it.
It is interesting how Jesus’ use of the phrase “to seduce” reminds us of Solomon’s description of this Black Magic Woman in Proverbs 5, along with the description in the Revelation of the harlot of Babylon. The point is – deception is always seductive, and it seems like it’s very pleasant and good in its approach. Deception’s nature is usually subtle, alluring, and beautiful. If it were otherwise, who would swallow the bait?
Defeating deception begins with attentiveness and faithfulness to Lady Wisdom! She not only advises us through the many directives, commandments, and imperatives in God’s Word – Old and New Testaments, but by way of heeding that little built in Still Small Voice called the conscience. We’re to be ever vigilant about this, praying without ceasing [1 Thessalonians 5:17]. We must be fervent about repentance. We ask for discernment and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We have need of putting on the Mind of Christ.This is the straight path Jesus calls the “Narrow Way” with all diligence. There are few that find it, this Way that leads to life [Matthew 7:14].
Jesus’ path is the Way leading Souls away from deception, destruction, and deadliness – in order to be transformed evermore into His glorious image [Romans 8:29] and be filled up to all the fullness of God [Ephesians 3:19].
There is also the matter of some cosmic business that needs to be addressed concerning Wisdom: “…To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” [Ephesians 3:10]. Think about that one for a moment!
Apparently there are bigger fish to fry than waiting for pie in the sky in the sweet by and by… Much food for thought here and now.