Proverbs contains blunt and challenging words of advice by Solomon, which help us counteract the values of life that surround us today. “My son, be attentive to my wisdom”, writes Solomon, “incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge” (Proverbs 5:1,2). Solomon particularly warns about the forbidden woman whose “speech is smoother than oil” (verse 3). Such women have always existed, whose “steps follow the path to Sheol (the grave); she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander …” (verses 5,6). He advises, “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house …” (verse 8).

The climax to Solomon’s lesson is the warning, that if you fail to follow his advice, “at the end of your life you groan … and you say, ‘How I hated discipline and my heart despised reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors’” (verses 12,13). Today, we can all access the instruction from God in His word the Bible. “At the end of your life” may it be, that you do not groan because you have read, listened and acted upon God’s words.

Our final thought is in Luke 19. It tells us that when Jesus “drew near and saw the city (Jerusalem) he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes’” (verses 41,42). It is not just an association with the wrong sort of woman that can destroy our lives, but wilfully ignoring the teaching of Jesus. What a terrible end came upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. A disastrous end faces our world, and when that happens may that not be “the end of your life”. Today you must choose.