5–11 July 2015.
There are so many voices in today’s culture that encourage people simply to follow their heart. So many songs and movies tell us that the heart never lies, so we can depend on our hearts, depend on our feelings to guide us. While sometimes that can be good advice, we should never fall into the trap of thinking that our hearts don’t lie. Just like the rest of us, our hearts are also influenced by sin. That means that at times our hearts also deceive us. Our hearts lie to us and lead us astray. That’s why it’s often safer to depend on our minds, and allow our minds to lead us. While our minds also make mistakes, at least we have Wisdom to guide us.
Today’s passage gives us a good example of this problem. Woman Wisdom talks about the problem of adultery, not only to warn young men about these problematic relationships, but to show us the dangers of allowing our hearts to lead us astray.
In chapter 7:14–20, a married woman leads a boy astray with everything that the heart could desire: promises of sensuality, rich food and fragrant spices, luxurious linens and bright colours, and most of all the promise of love.
But without wisdom, the boy doesn’t realize that he is being lured into a trap, into a relationship that will destroy the lives of so many people – not just his own. Verses 22–23 describe the boy as an ox, a deer, or bird, edging closer and closer into the trap that is about to kill him.
If only the boy had wisdom, if only he knew how to guide the passions of his heart in the right direction, then he wouldn’t fall into the trap of choosing a little short-term pleasure and paying for it with sorrow and destruction. As verse 27 reminds us, a heart disconnected from wisdom is one that leads us to death and disaster. In chapter 8, Wisdom calls out in the streets, desperately calling for people to pay attention. If only we would listen to her, how much better would things go for us!
Pastor Stephen Lakkis