The “forbidden woman” is a trap and punishment, according to Solomon and the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to follow God, end up following “her.”
Before tackling this verse on “paper” I had to stop and think seriously about it. I have a hard time with the later part of it; “He with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.” It is hard for me so see God dropping someone into the middle of an adulterous relationship. Even as punishment. My bible helps states; “The forbidden woman… is thus a means God uses to punish the wicked” (ESV Study notes on Proverbs 22:14). This concept seriously troubled me. Until the Spirit brought to my mind Paul’s teachings in Romans 1.
While writing to the Roman believers, in chapter 1 Paul addresses this topic. He talks about, how throughout time God has reached out to man. But there are MANY who refuse to listen. They slap His hand away as He tries to guide them in life. Finally, God takes His hands away and lets them fall into the traps they have set for themselves. Their BIGGEST trap is chasing after other gods.
False gods, idols, and foreign alters are all terms used to describe how man has turned to created things instead of their Creator. An “adulterous woman” is another term used to describe spiritually turning to false gods. I have NO doubt that God is using the term “forbidden woman” in the same way. He is speaking of mankind turning to destructive ways and false gods and away from Him.
God will NOT force anyone to serve Him. He will call out to us, bring circumstances that point us to Him, even send angels to speak on His behalf. But He will NOT take away man’s free will to choose. He will NOT make the WRONG answer easier to swallow.
What He will do is abandon us to our sinful hearts. He will turn us over to our own reprobate ways. Ways that ensnare our heart as tightly as barbed wire wrapped around a cow’s leg. It takes the Hand of God to get you out of these dark places. Determination to be a better person isn’t enough. The only way out of that pit is through Jesus, God’s Son.
Romans 1:8-32 lays it out for us very clearly. If I didn’t know better, I would say Paul was reading from our daily headlines and listening in on our conversations. He nailed it right on the head in this description of the sin we are engaging. I did get a chuckle out of one particular verse. It sounds funny but its truth is ANYTHING but funny. In the middle of verse 30, Paul says; “…they invent ways of doing evil…” SO TRUE!
Paul is dealing with sexual sin first, but the lesson applies equally to spiritual sin. Our world has found a way to be constantly dissatisfied and always looking for that one thing that will make them happy. They will NEVER be happy apart from Him but they can go farther away. The world keeps digging itself even deeper into the pit, with both sexual sin and spiritual adultery.
God is not throwing them into this sin as punishment. He is simply removing His hands from trying to direct their paths, AS THEY DEMANDED. Where they fall from there is their own fault and punishment.
The last verse in Romans 1 is a dire warning to those who either engage in the shameful acts, or remain silent as if accepting these acts as permissible. “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).
Those in my family who practice such acts KNOW of my disapproval of their lifestyle choices. But they also KNOW that I LOVE them and will continue to pray for them. I haven’t cut them out of my life but neither have I given them my ‘blessing’ for their choices. I cannot reach those whom I refuse to even acknowledge.
Father God, I pray again for my children and grandchildren who have chosen to walk in the ways of the “forbidden woman.” Those that practice unnatural acts. I know they know of my disapproval of their actions. But if I have given them the impression that I approve, PLEASE forgive me. And help me reinforce my disapproval in a loving way. One that will not cut them off completely but will actually draw them away from their sin. Draw them out of this sin Father! Please!!! Do whatever it takes to bring my children back into a true relationship with You. Again, I put them back in Your hands.