Today we look at another symbolic group of women, those who are snares and nets to unsuspecting men. We find them mentioned in Ecclesiastes 7:26.
“And I find more bitter than death The woman whose heart is snares and nets, Whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, But the sinner shall be trapped by her.”
She’s quite the contrast from the woman described yesterday in Proverbs 31, isn’t she?
The Bible is full of women who were snares and nets – Samson’s wife, then Delilah, and many of the Israelite king’s wives like Jezebel and Athaliah. Of course, Solomon, the author of Ecclessiastes had more than his fair share of wives who were snares and nets.
Let’s study this verse. First, he finds a woman whose heart is snares and nets to be worse than death. That’s a pretty bold statement. But think about it. If a man gets caught in an evil woman’s snares and nets, think of all the damage that can be done. He can lose his business, his family, his friends, his reputation. Ultimately, he can lose his life.
The verse goes on to say, “whose hands are fetters.” Do you know what fetters mean? Honestly, I had an idea, but wasn’t certain. It means a chain or shackle to the feet. Makes me think of when men call their women an old ball and chain. It’s usually said for laughs, but we’ve all known women like that who are so controlling of their men that they’ve stolen the life out of them.
I really like the last part of the verse. “He who pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be trapped by her.” What a wonderful guide for any kind of temptation. If we are living for God, we will see temptation for what it is. But if we’re living in sin, it’s easy to be deceived. Sin can look very beautiful and enticing. If we’re living in the flesh, we may find ourselves drawn to temptation, sincerely believing that it’s a good thing. The only way to avoid that is to walk daily in the way of the Lord, consulting Him on all that we do.
Let’s take a moment to reflect and to ask ourselves, first, if we’re walking in the way of the Lord or walking in the way of the world. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell. But if we take it to God, He will let us know.
We also need to ask ourselves if we’re acting as a snare, a net, or a fetter. Again, we may be doing it unknowingly, even going so far as to think we’re acting in love. We may be doing it so long we don’t know how to stop. Our only hope is in the Lord.
Lord God, open our eyes. Reveal to us whether we are walking in Your ways or walking in the ways of the Lord. Make it clear to us if we have become a snare, a net, or a fetter. Forgive us for leading others astray. Give us the strength to change and to break free from harmful behaviors. Show us how to be the women You would have us to be. We love You. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.