The Danger of Being Simple – Prov 7

In Proverbs 7, Solomon warns his son about getting and keeping wisdom, especially to keep him from the strange woman. He then tells how he saw a simple young man be taken in and destroyed by her, so this chapter is designed to instil wisdom.

The key is to realise that this young man ended up being taken in by her and hurting, not because he deliberately sought for sin, but merely because he was simple or naive (v.7). He was a young man who was ‘void of understanding’ – he didn’t know. And he became a victim to sexual sin. He was just too dumb to realise the danger he was in.

What were some of the lessons he learned the hard way:

  1. Don’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time (v.8-9). The prudent person foresees the evil and takes steps to avoid it; the simple passes on and is punished (Prov 22:3, 27:12).
  2. Beware of lying appearances and lying words (v.10-15). This gullible young man is taken in by her appearance and her flattering words. He is not able to see through the lies. Simple people believe every word, but the prudent look at a person’s actions as well (Prov 14:15).
  3. Gain true wisdom so you can identify lies (v.16-21). She continued to talk to him, to tantalise him, to make him lying promises that wear down his defences and with ‘much fair speech’ ‘cause him to yield’. His ignorance of wisdom led him to being taken in by lies.
  4. Simplicity and ignorance can lead to as much pain as outright scorning and rebellion (v.22-23). Even though it seems this young man did not deliberately go out seeking for sin, he did not make adequate preparation for the dangers that were out there. Maybe he did not have anyone to teach him or he did not listen to the advice he was given. Regardless he is in a really bad place, hurting as much as the deliberate rebel.
  5. Sexual temptation is something that all people must be cautious about (v.24-27). The application of this account is to listen to wisdom, to guard our hearts, to be careful where our paths take us and to realise just how dangerous sexual sin is. It has cast down many wounded and slain many strong men. It can lead a person to death and hell.

So, simple people need to listen and keep wisdom. Parents and wise people need to warn the simple of these dangers. And all of us, need to realise there is no reward for being naive or ignorant. We need to daily be in God’s Word which makes ‘wise the simple.’ (Proverbs 19:7).

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