My son, attend to my wisdom, and bow your ear to my understanding:…
One particular vice is here denounced; it is necessary to warn the young against its snares and sorrows. What is here said, however, of this sin is applicable, in most if not all respects, to any kind of unholy indulgence; it is an earnest and faithful warning against the sin and shame of a vicious life.
I. ITS SINFULNESS. The woman who is a sinner is a "strange" woman (ver. 3). The temptress is all too common amongst us, but she is strange in the sight of God. She is an alien, foreign altogether to his purpose, a sad and wide departure from his thought. And all vice is strange to him; it is a departure from his thought and from his will; it is sin in his sight; it is offensive to him; he "cannot look on" such iniquity without abhorrence and condemnation. He who is tempted may well say, with the pure minded and godly Joseph, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
II. ITS SHAME. It is a shame to a man to allow himself to be deceived by a vain, shallow-minded woman (vers. 3, 4); it is a shame to a man to permit a mere selfish temptress to beguile him, to prevent him from entertaining the true and wise thought in his mind, to hinder him by her artifices from reflecting on what is the path of life and what the way of death (ver. 6); it is a shame to a man to surrender his manly virtue to one so utterly undeserving of his honour (vers. 7-9). He who yields to the solicitations of the temptress, to the impulses of a vicious nature, is forfeiting his honour, is resigning his true manhood, is a son of shame.
III. ITS FOLLY. (Vers. 15-20.) How senseless is sin! how stupid is vice! It. embraces a guilty and short-lived pleasure only to reject a pure and lasting joy. Why should men resort to shameful lust when they can be blest with lawful and honorable love? Why sink in debauchery when they can walk along those goodly heights of moderation and of pleasures on which God's blessing may be invoked? Whatever the sense may be (whether of seeing, hearing, etc.), it is the pure pleasure which is not only high and manly, but is also unaccompanied by bitter and accusing thoughts, and is lasting as life itself. Why turn to devour the garbage when "angels' food" is on the table? Vice is the very depth of folly.
IV. ITS PENALTY. This is threefold.
1. Impoverishment (ver. 10). Vice soon scatters a man's fortune. A few years, or even weeks, will suffice for dissipation to run through a good estate. Men "waste their substance in riotous living."
2. Remorse (vers. 11-14). How bitter to the sent the pangs of self-accusation! There is no poisoned dart that wounds the body as the arrow of unavailing remorse pierces the soul.
3. Death (ver. 5, "Her feet go down to death; her steps lay hold on hell"). Death physical and death spiritual are the issue of immorality. The grave is dug, the gates of the City of Sorrow are open, for the lascivious, the drunken, the immoral. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: