Proverbs 20-24; Solomon continues to speak of Wisdom, beyond just knowledge and facts, but the proper implementing of what is known = wisdom. There is a constant contrast in the Proverbs between the Wicked and the Righteous – the wicked scoff at wisdom or life teachings and lessons,; whereas the righteous learn from and pursue understating of life and our Creator God through the wisdom insights about life. In Christianity I have found that many people/believers know plenty “about” the scriptures, but lack the understanding of the relevancy to life, more specifically their own life. Foolishness seems to be the dominant characteristic of the unredeemed. You and I have been accosted by people who think they know better than anyone else or the facts. “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is death.” Wisdom, the great desire of Solomon and the gift from Jehovah; Solomon as we find in Ecclesiastics has the ability to TEST all that the world has to offer and measure it against the knowledge and wisdom of God. In the end Solomon says that all is vanity – the truth is fear God and live Holy, that is what really matters.
Solomon uses almost a “barb” sometimes in these Proverbs to expose the wily desires and destruction of the wayward woman or wife. Two time Solomon talks about a “contentious woman/wife.” I wonder at this point how much Solomon was exposed to the inordinate wishes of His some 1000 women? Scripture indicates that he entered into many of these “marriages” for political reasons and alliances with neighboring lands. But Solomon speaks of the “temptress” who seeks to have a love affair with men, only to enact their downfall. Speaking of which – even this year there have been many men brought low because of the temptress tactics – both politically and spiritually. I wonder sometimes about the motivation and desires of the #metoomovement? I do understand and support the equality of women – I am a complementarian; we are all equal before God [Gal. 3:28], however God in His wisdom has outlined and identified the specific roles for men and women, especially within the Church body.
Moving on, the Wine topic. Scripture tells that Kings were not to drink “strong drink/wine” but the bible does not prohibit drinking of wine – only the excess of wine. I know this is a hot topic for most believers with a conservative position on the Bible; but let the scripture speak not the wiles of often misguided clergy. It is obvious to all of us that a drunken man/woman is obnoxious and usually a vagabond of sorts. Solomon ties the lazy or sluggard to one who has a lifestyle of drinking; especially in Proverbs 23:29-35. We live today as in the past in a cultural society that does not know or adhere to a “balance life,” but rather swings from one extreme to another. I personally do not drink – I know what it does to me [experiences from my youthful/rebellious days] and have chosen not to drink at all. I hold to what Apostle Paul said – he would refrain from his liberty if it would cause a brother to stumble.
The last W is woes – the sorrows for living out of the will of God. The unredeemed bring upon themselves by their choices a condition of consequences for their actions. I hear too often when things go wrong in life, the first place ridicule and blame is put is on God in Heaven. I know that God is long-suffering and compassionate; but I also know He is just. While there is forgiveness with the Lord – we are not to expect that the actions we put in motion will be wiped away. The Wicked will have woe, the Christian will also have woes, if they disobey the Word of the Lord and Wisdom.
So in life we are accountable for our actions; yes we have a battle with the flesh – but the Word of God, a pure Heart and a righteously motivated life God will bless. I cannot blame the Heavenly Father for my own rejection of His Word. God loves all, not all loves God. Yet He is willing that none should perish. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Simple enough, yet so many stumble over what God has written.