Solomon contrasts wisdom with an adulteress. His challenge is to get as much wisdom as possible without falling into the trap of the adulteress. The two are exact opposites, because one makes your life better than before while another promises a better life but cannot deliver. His words to his son are such powerful reminders of the cruelty and devastation of sin. He says, “lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel.” How many of us have wasted years and years of our lives living in bitterness, guilt, or heartbreak because of the “adulteress” in our lives? She promised fun, pleasure, and eternal happiness and then reneged on that promise. Now, we must live with the consequences of our decisions and miss out on so much that God planned and prepared for us. Solomon tells his son to enjoy the fruits of his labor instead of sharing them with strangers. He is not putting down generosity; instead, he is saying that when we follow the adultress, other people enjoy our reward, but when we follow wisdom, we can enjoy the reward and freely give to those who are in need. The adulteress steals our joy and our best years and gives it to others. Is that how you hope to live? Solomon only wanted the best for his son, and he knew that wisdom would lead him to the best. He concludes with a powerful reminder: “he will die for lack of discipline; led astray by his own great folly.” Our culture is crumbling due to a lack of discipline. We must choose to chase after wisdom with our whole hearts and trust that God will use it to bring His best to our lives.

Help me, Lord, to seek after wisdom with my whole heart. Help me to enjoy the years You have given me on this earth and not give them away to the great adulteress.