Don’t Be a Dumb Ox (or Ox Bait) — Proverbs 7

Solomon spends a lot of time admonishing his son about what the Bible calls “strange women.” By that the Bible doesn’t mean strange in the sense of weird. It means strange in the sense of foreign to your God-given personal relationships. (You ever notice how much time God spends on the concept of relationships? Relationships are really important to Him.)

But even though this proverb is focused on Solomon’s son, you daughters can learn from this too, so don’t tune out!

Verses 1-4 show you how to keep from getting into trouble in the first place:

Proverbs 7:1-5
(1)  My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
(2)  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
(3)  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
(4)  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
(5)  That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

Saturate yourself with God’s Word and make it the centerpiece of your thoughts and you’ll have godly perception. You’ll see trouble coming before it gets to you. And notice again how God describes this as a relationship. “Say into wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman.” The key to all your relationships is your relationship to God, and the key to that relationship is your relationship to His Word. How is your relationship to God’s Word going? Is it growing every day?

For the rest of the proverb, Solomon describes the stupidity of the victim, one of the “simple ones,” and the subtlety of the strange woman.

He describes the victim pretty bluntly:

  • One of the simple ones
  • An ox
  • A bird(brain)
  • By implication, gullible and easily led

If you don’t want to be a dumb ox, be led by the Spirit and be discerning always. The Bible calls this “walking circumspectly.” In other words, always be sizing everything up the way God sees it so you don’t get taken.

Solomon describes the ox bait (the woman) like this:

  • “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”  (v. 10) (“Subtle of heart” means clever, but in this context, clever in a bad way; like the serpent in the Garden.)
  • Loud and stubborn (v. 11).
  • Unstable (v. 12): “Now she is without, now in the streets…”
  • Hypocritical (v. 14).
  • She has no regard for relationships, particularly marriage vows. (v.19)

The proverb ends speaking of the many that have fallen as a result of this strange woman. They will be accountable for having fallen victim to her and she will one day give account for all the victims she has taken.

The advice to son and daughters is the same: “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths” (Pro 7:25 ).

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