Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Glitzy Glamour

March 15, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 7:1-27 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

I get a chuckle out of this chapter from Proverbs. The truth is that I have to chuckle; the only alternative would be to get angry and rant about the sexist slant throughout much of the scriptures, including Proverbs 7. The chapter starts out simple enough with a parent instructing a child about dangers to avoid in life; unfortunately, it takes a turn down a path I cannot follow.

There is little evidence to support this notion of an adulteress woman in Old Testament times who seduces and beguiles the young men of the day. A married woman would have gone out of her way to avoid such impropriety because the punishment for her would be death. That’s right — death! Would the man in an adulterous relationship be stoned to death the way the woman would? No!

You see, during the time in which this Proverb was written, women were the property of their husbands. Should a woman have an adulterous affair, it was considered an affront to the husband because she had betrayed the trust of her owner. The woman could be put to death for dishonoring her husband while the man involved in the affair would simply have to make amends to the man who “owned” the woman in question. And if a woman rejected a man, any man, he could trump up charges against her claiming she had tried to seduce him. In such cases the woman’s voice would not be heard because it would be assumed that the man was the one with integrity, not the woman. Such an accusation could also result in the stoning death of a woman.

With that in mind, does it make sense that a married woman, as illustrated in Proverbs 7, would be lurking about the streets looking for some stranger to seduce and take home while her husband was away? Doesn’t it seem more plausible that a man, who wanted to blame his inability to control his lusts and desires, would writes these words about the wiles of the seductive woman? My guess is that it would be awfully hard to find a married woman (not a prostitute, who would have been held to a different standard) who would engage in this behavior. The feminist in me cannot overlook the sexist tone of this text and pretend as if this is actually how such adulterous encounters actually happened.

So that raises an important question for me: Is there TRUTH to be gained from this chapter without me believing that it is actually TRUE?

I think so. Looking past the sexist use of the feminine pronouns, I can see an admonition to be careful not to choose the glitzy and glamorous just because of its glitz and glamour. Instead of being beguiled by those things that provide only temporal gains, such as money, popularity, prestige, and more money, I can keep my attention focused on the aspects of life that bring about the kingdom of God on earth.

Oh, it is tempting to want more, to buy into the culture of materialism, or to be seduced by outward appearances; but the truth of this scripture rightly teaches us that this way of living is destructive — it chews us up and spits us out. Instead, choose love, choose generosity, choose humility, choose service, choose those things that may not sparkle with glitz; they are the way of Jesus, the way to invite God’s kingdom come.

Thought for the day: Don’t let the glamour fool you; choose it and you will be enslaved to it. Choose the way of Jesus and you will be free!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

Want to know more about the lives and roles of women during the times of the Bible? These books will be useful:

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