Beware of Flattery

“For the commandment [is] a lamp, and the law a light; and reproofs of instruction [are] a way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of the strange woman. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, and do not let her take you with her eyelids. For on account of a woman, a harlot, [a man comes] to the [last] loaf of bread, and another man’s wife hunts for the precious soul. Can a man take fire into his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be burned? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; everyone touching her shall not be innocent. They do not despise a thief, if he steals to fill his appetite when he is hungry. But [if] he is found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the goods of his house. He who commits adultery [with] a woman lacks heart; he [who] does it [is] a destroyer of his own soul” (Proverbs 6:23-32).

I am not endorsing or promoting Augustus Toplady as a true Christian when I quote from him. But I think the following is a good quote:

“Flattery is nectar and ambrosia to little minds. They drink it in, and enjoy it, like an old woman sucking metheglin through a quill” (Augustus Toplady, Complete Works, p. 546).

God the Holy Spirit through the writer of Proverbs says (cf. 2 Peter 1:21) that the man who succumbs to the flattery of an adulteress “lacks heart” and is “a destroyer of his own soul.”

The man who yields to the whorish woman’s flattery is a small-minded, stupid, effeminate, enervated, and adulterous weakling.

“My son, pay attention to my wisdom; stretch your ear to my understanding; so that you may keep judgment, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drip honey, and her palate [is] sweeter than oil, but afterwards, she [is] bitter [as] wormwood, sharp as a sword of mouths; her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell, lest you should meditate on the path of life, her tracks are movable, you cannot know them. Then hear me now, O sons, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your ways far from her, and do not come near to the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel; that strangers not be filled [with] your strength, and your labors [be] in the house of an alien, and you moan when your end [comes], when your flesh and muscle are eaten away; and say, How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction; and I have not heard the voice of my teachers, nor stretched my ear to those instructing me” (Proverbs 5:1-13).

Mr. Toplady speaks of flattery in general; Proverbs speaks of the flattery that is sometimes mingled with the pine sap of porneia (i.e., fornication).