Where Does the Fault Lie?
I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me. What exists is beyond [reach] and very deep. Who can discover it? I turned my thoughts to know, explore, and seek wisdom and an explanation [for things], and to know that wickedness is stupidity and folly is madness. And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, her heart a net, and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her. “Look,” says the Teacher, “this I have discovered, by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation, which my soul continually searches for but does not find: among a thousand [people] I have found one [true] man, but among all these I have not found a true woman. Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright, but they pursued many schemes.” Eccl 7:23-29 (HCSB)
The pursuit of wisdom is an arduous journey. The more we grasp, the more we realize how short our reach remains from obtaining it. If only we could grasp enough of it to recognize the fault of our own wickedness and the price of stupidity it brings upon us.
The ultimate test for a man who claims to be wise and the envy of others is his reputation with women. When man lustfully pursues a woman, it is the pursuit, not the woman herself, that ensnares the man. A wise professor once told me that when a man and woman establish an intimate relationship, a chemical connection begins that outlasts their lifetimes, even though the two ventured onto separate paths. A man will remember vividly each woman he has encountered, given the right circumstances. That is an interesting trait that marks our life full of relationships, however many of those memories come with regrets and consequences.
Are women wicked? Are they to blame for man’s wickedness and stupidity? Why do proverbs identify sin as a temptress? Proverbs and Ecclesiastes both were likely written by a man who felt the need to lust after what he could never possess – the love of the women he lusted after in life.
Women are not some wicked temptress and at fault for man’s lustful desires. The temptress resides in man’s own sinful, lustful heart. Just as wisdom is always beyond our reach, so too is the satisfaction of man’s lust for women. However, the pursuit of wisdom helps us to recognize that our insatiable lust for wisdom, wealth or women is for selfish purposes.
Our only hope and not be at fault is found in pursuing God’s will, ways, and wisdom so that we can learn to love and appreciate others rightly, and break the shackles of lust that imprison us. Lust is the seed of sin that tempts all mankind. Men beware! Do not blame women for our sinful wanderings that when left unchecked destroy all the relationships we claim to cherish most.
Words of Wisdom #242-26EC