Proverbs 5:3

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

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Another woman’s flattery can be sweeter than honey and smoother than oil. Like a bee to a flower, foolish men rush in to their own destruction, never discerning the poisonous delicacy until it is too late. It is better to limit your ears to the grunting of a sow than to fall into the treacherous net of a whore’s lying praise and deceitful invitations.

Honeycomb is one of God’s sweetest creations. Pure, golden, sweet honey oozes from its cells. It drips with delightful pleasure for the man wanting a delicious treat. Oil, which smoothes the dryness and texture of any food, and is very pleasant in a dry climate, is also a precious food. Together they represent a smooth, sweet delicacy, which Solomon used to describe the deceitful danger of flattery from a strange woman.

What is a strange woman? Any woman you have not married is a strange woman to you! She is off limits for you; she is foreign to your marriage; she is not your intimate companion; she belongs to someone else; she is an alien to your embrace. You have no right to exchange sweet words with her, for your ears and heart belong to another. Job said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid” (Job 31:1). If he could not look at her body, then neither could he listen to her words.

Good fathers will warn their sons of the horrible temptation of loose women, as Solomon does in this chapter. He points out the horrible consequences of sexual sin (Pr 5:3-14), the safety in a good marital relationship (Pr 5:15-19), and the judgment of God on men who compromise in this area of life (Pr 5:20-23). This is not a light matter at all. Many strong men have been wounded and slain by her (Pr 7:26). Christian man, beware!

Solomon was a realistic father. He told the truth plainly. There is no wisdom in telling a son that whorish women are revolting. Paul admitted that sin has pleasure for a season (Heb 11:25). To tell young men otherwise is a lie, and they will be unprepared for the horrible temptation that will come their way some day. Wise fathers will admit the attractive temptation, but they will also describe the horrible consequences.

God made men to desire and seduce women, in order to bring about marriage (Pr 30:19; Gen 34:1-4; Ex 22:16; Deut 21:10-14; 24:5). It is the greatest chase of a man’s life. The adoring response of a woman, declaring her love and submission with intimate and tender words, is one of the most powerful temptations a man will ever face. Her kind and passionate words of affection, respect, and desire are like gasoline to a fire, and any man who denies this is either a liar or has an unnatural sexual problem.

Strange women know these facts well. They use their power of speech to seduce victims. It was this deceptive and delightful speech from other women that Solomon repeatedly warned against (Pr 2:16; 6:24; 7:21; 22:14). David also described the danger of soft and smooth words hiding evil motives (Ps 55:21). Men, get away from her!

Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph with words, but he defied her (Gen 39:7-12). Samson, on the other hand, fell to Delilah’s obvious and destructive lies, because they were clothed in seductive flattery (Judges 16:15-17). Do not think poorly of Samson, until you have followed Joseph’s example two or three times!

The only safety is distance. “Remove thy way far from her” (Pr 5:8). No man can easily resist the flattery of a woman. It is too pleasant, rewarding, and tantalizing. It is like honeycomb and oil, sweet and smooth. It strokes the soul and stirs the fire of a man’s sexual lusts. The willingness of a woman for intimacy, expressed in alluring and bold language, is like throwing a match in a powder keg. Get away from her!

The chapter began by Solomon asking his son to bow his ear to his father’s instruction (Pr 5:1-2). There is no room for pride or stubbornness here. A strange woman is more than a match for most any man, as sacred and profane history show many times. Every man must bow to the warning and do all he can to avoid her. There is no wisdom or right in social conversation with a woman that attracts you. Get away from her!

This sober warning applies to face-to-face conversations, telephone and cell phone conversations or texting, letters and notes, instant messaging, and emails. Seductive flattery from a woman is too much, even if it is words on a computer monitor. It will lead your heart to plan the sin that will destroy you (James 1:14-15). Get away from her!

Christian woman, there is an indirect lesson here for you. Do you understand the power of flattery and praise in pleasing and winning a man? If you do, then how good are you at using such womanly arts to love your husband? Another woman may very well do it, if you do not keep him entranced with you. He will be responsible for any sin, but you will be an accomplice (I Cor 7:1-5). When was the last time you used honeycomb and oil to seduce your husband? You know from Solomon’s Song that flattery in marriage is good and pleasant. Be a great woman, and use your mouth for righteousness.

The whorish Church of Rome offers her strange religion to men with flattering and beguiling words (Rev 17:1-6). When she speaks of peace, she only desires their souls for herself. The apostle Paul had to oppose such philosophical deception under enticing words at Colosse (Col 2:4,8), and he feared that false teachers would seduce Corinth from her spiritual virginity (II Cor 11:2-4). Get away from her (Rev 18:4)!

Only street prostitutes announce their intentions plainly. Society whores hide behind honorable terms and manners of their deceitful hearts (Pr 7:13-18). In the same way, belly worshippers – carnal Christians – hide their religious hypocrisy under good words and fair speeches (Rom 16:17-18; II Cor 11:13-15; II Tim 3:3-6). Get away from them!

The true servants of Jesus Christ are plain, bold, and direct (II Cor 1:12; 2:17; 3:12; 4:2; Eph 4:14; I Thess 2:3-6). They have sworn allegiance to their Lord, Who is known in heaven and on earth as the Faithful and True Witness (Rev 3:14; 19:11). He will not and cannot lie or flatter (Titus 1:2), and neither will they. They will never sugarcoat the truth, for they are bound in perpetual marriage to the Lord of truth for the cause of truth.