Saturday, January 02, 2016

God: Seen from the Adulteress Angle (Proverbs 2:17)

As noted in my previous post, the word “God” occurs six times in Proverbs. Today we look at the second occurrence in Proverbs to grow our understanding of the doctrine of God.

Proverbs 2:17 “That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God”

Contextually, we are being warned about the adulterous woman, who violates her marriage vows. That Solomon calls her adultery forgetting the “covenant of her God” opens several interpretive options: 1) the covenant is the Sinaitic Covenant that forbad adultery, 2) the covenant is the marriage covenant generally which God established in Gen. 2:24 implictly, or 3) the covenant is her specific marriage covenant to which God was a party.

Options 2 or 3 seem contextually more likely, and I incline to the third option--that the covenant that she forgets is her marriage covenant to which God is a party.

Given any of the three options, the text makes explicit that God is a covenant-making God. We are also reminded that breaking the divinely ordained marriage covenant involves sinning against and breaking faith with God (cf. Gen. 39:9).

Further contextual reflection on Prov. 2:16-22 suggests that not only does such faithlessness displease God, but it also harms us greatly. It leads to death (Prov. 2:18) and, generally, diverts one permanently from the paths of life (Prov. 2:19).

God cares greatly for our well-being, our happiness, our life. That is why He has established norms and boundaries (“paths of righteousness”; Prov. 2:20)--not to keep us from pleasure, but to guide us into life-giving goodness, soul-flourishing, guilt-free, regret-free living.

God is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping, Guardian from death (Prov. 2:19), Guide to life (Prov. 2:20, land-promising (Prov. 2:21), wicked-uprooting God (Prov. 2:22).

Father, thank you for caring enough for me to warn me of the destruction that menaces those who break faith with their spouse and thus with You.

1 comment:

Randy said...

"to guide us into life-giving goodness, soul-flourishing, guilt-free, regret-free living."
So good and helpful. Pondering God as God of blessing -- This speaks right to that. Thanks.