devoid of understanding

Devoid of Understanding

“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, and saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding, passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” – Proverbs 7:6-9

The voice of wisdom from a loving father is of such great value to his children! Wise sons and daughters receive great benefit when they listen to and follow it. For, by God’s grace, wisdom has taught the father many things. Wisdom has given the father helpful experience and discernment to know the path Madam Folly enjoys, to know the streets the harlot walks, as well as the house she lives in.

With all of this knowledge, the wise father sees the evil, stays far away from it, and teaches his young men to do the same. Why is this so important? Because apart from the instruction of wisdom, there is much that young men lack. They are among those whom the Solomon referred to as the simple. What does he mean by this? He isn’t referring to those who lack intellect. Rather, he’s pointing to those who are untaught and inexperienced. Walking in wisdom takes godly instruction and good judgment. Wisdom is a matter of practical godliness. In order for young people to have knowledge and discretion, they must hear and increase learning (Prov. 1:4). They must attain wise counsel.

In Proverbs 7, we find Solomon sharing an instructive example as he describes his looking through the lattice and seeing a young man walking down the dangerous path. Solomon says this young man was devoid of understanding. He was naive and unskilled in life. The young man didn’t know that what he was doing, nor the danger of it. Yet, he not only passed along her street corner but turned to go to her house. What was even worse was that he did so in the dark of the night when sin and evil flourish.

This was all the more reason why Solomon’s son needed to heed his counsel as he said in v. 1 of this chapter –”My son, keep my words and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye.” This is so important because young people have a low estimation of the power of temptation and sin and its effects. They need to see it for what it really is. They need to understand how sin defiles our thoughts, words, and actions continually (Matt. 15:19). Sin brought an awful change to our natures. Man is now a fallen creature, corrupt throughout. There was then a great cost, a great price that had to be paid to provide forgiveness and pardon for sinners. God’s own Son had to come into the world and take on human flesh in order to pay the price for our redemption and deliver us.

It’s such sin that young and old wrestle with. It’s such sin that God’s people have been freed from bondage to in Christ and therefore need to be increasingly wise and diligent to stay away from. Truly, Solomon’s son needed to hear his father’s words and, with knowledge of the harlot’s presence, stay away from those streets and paths. This young man needed to steer clear of her corner and walk the opposite direction from her house.

Beloved, some of you may have been raised by wise parents who gave you the same biblical instruction and it bore good fruit in your life. Some of you may have grown up with it, but ignored it in your youth. Some of you may have grown up without it all together. And yet, here are these wise and needed words of the Lord for all of us and our young men! May we be faithful to follow them. May we be faithful to impart this wisdom to our children so that they will grow in knowledge, discernment, and obedience.