For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.
I have this tradition the past few years to always keep an extra trail map from the Texas State Parks I visit. It usually has a picture of a bird and gives you the bird’s eye view of the park and trails.
Everyone who hikes refers to the map to recalculate, make sure they are on course, and determine how many miles are left.
In reading Proverbs 5, there are four characters: a husband, an adulteress, and each of their spouses. The entire Proverb is on adultery and what happens if you do or don’t choose that path.
Imagine this scenario being played out on a trail map with you looking down on the map. Imagine having four Monopoly game board pieces with each one representing a character. The two spouses not “hiking” are off at their individual campsites.
The adulteress piece would be moving on the trails but all over the place on the map. She would be wandering aimlessly going in circles and never having a plan on which trail she is taking or even trying to complete. What’s worse, this poor girl is clueless that she is directionless and purposeless.
She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
Then, imagine the husband piece starts on a trail on the map. His goal is to finish a trail and make it back to his campsite where his wife and his belongings are.
He starts on a specific hike with a goal of starting and finishing. While hiking he hears the adulteress, who has spotted him, calling out to him seductively. However, she isn’t asking for help or directions. She is seductively suggesting that he join her on the trail for something else.
At this moment, internal warnings and wisdom start crossing his mind.
- If he joins the adulteress, he will wander aimlessly with her leaving his spouse alone at the tent worried, scared, and lonely. If he returns, he will not be the same man he was when he left. He himself will experience death of a lot of things that aren’t physical but valuable. If he doesn’t return, he leaves his spouse in a state of hurt that will takes years to heal while she is forced to pick up all the pieces of their campsite and head home without him. At some point he will also have to live with regret.
Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.
- If he listens to the wisdom of God embedded in his heart and head, then he will experience life and blessings.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Meanwhile the adulteress’ spouse may be at the camp waiting or he may be doing his own thing. When they arrived at camp, she had already earned the title of adulteress. So when she went out, her spouse already knew what she could do or would do. It’s not a surprise for him like it is for the other spouse.
For the lips of the adulterous woman…..
……Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
- It’s always best when hiking to not go alone. Having another person with you when a bad situation occurs can be live saving.
- Stay on the path as marked. Sometimes you see something off of the path that you want to see closer or explore. However, it’s typically not a part of the designated path because there are some hidden dangers.
- Take a trail map with you. Sometimes the markers can be confusing and you will want to refer to the map for clarity.
Be blessed and happy trails,