A Matter of Heart
Page 5

by Mary Van Nattan

The Attire of An Harlot

Next we will deal with some things that God has to say about whorish women in the book of Proverbs.

First of all let's read the main passage that we will be studying from:

Proverbs 7:1 ¶ My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: 5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. 6 ¶ For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, 7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: 10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) 13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. 15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. 16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. 21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. 22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; 23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. 24 ¶ Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. 26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. 27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

The subtil heart

Verse 10 is the key verse we will be looking at now.  10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.  Right away we see that the harlot's attire and her heart are linked together.  By her clothing we can tell that she is a harlot and therefore we know that her heart is subtil, like that of her father the devil.   Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made...    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  

The reason the harlot dresses the way she does is because her heart is wicked!  Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  Clothes don't make the woman, but they sure can tell a lot about her.  Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.  This woman's clothes are speaking for her.

Let's take a look at one of the most famous harlots in the Bible.   Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  From this description we see that the whore of Babylon is dressed in purple and scarlet (rich colors) and fancy blipelry.  She has arrayed herself in the clothing of her trade.  

Now, some folks would have us to believe that Christians women should wear drab, ugly clothes and ought to strive to be unattractive always.  This is not true.  The virtuous woman in Proverbs dresses quite nicely and dresses her family so as well.   Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.  Notice that she uses the same colors, but this is not because she is dressing like the harlot, but rather the devil counterfeits the truth by dressing his "wife" like the virtuous woman.  

The true clothing of the virtuous woman, however, is in Proverbs 31:25, Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.  Strength and honour - adornment of the hidden man of the heart - are her among best her qualities, not her outpiano coversd apparel.   Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman retaineth honour...

So, why can the harlot's attire distinguish her so from the virtuous woman?  First, because of the lacking element of honour.  A whorish woman in not honourable, as our main text above shows all too clearly.  But there is more that makes her stand out in her wickedness.

It has been the habit of prostitutes for centuries to advertise their trade with their bodies.  From Corinth where they shaved their heads (1 Corinthians 11:6), to wearing short skirts (the Old West), to sitting naked in the store windows (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) they are notorious for this custom.  They shorten their hair, their necklines, their hemlines; they paint their faces, their hair and their nails; they wear high heels, tight clothes and no clothes.  Their main goal in life is to be "sexy."  Hellywood has "perfected" this "art" to the last degree.

Godly people have tried to hold themselves apart from this wickedness in the past, but in modern times Hellywood has slowly broken down their resistance with their subtilty.  The devil has advertised his piano coverses on the "sweetest" people until those who were "too brittle" and "stuffed shirts" finally were worn down and began to partake of his dainties.  Proverbs 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. 8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

Now, some will tell us, "Our great-grandmother would never have worn anything but skirts."  That's true enough, but it does not stop there.  They would also not have worn such skimpy under clothes and such short skirts either.  But, on the other hand, some of them wore necklines that were far too low and the bodices on their dresses were too often very tight.  What they did yesteryear is not a high enough standard.

Over the years, as the world's standard has slipped, the church has followed the world down at a "safe" distance.  In other words, as long as our standard has been higher than the world's we have been content and considered ourselves separated.  But, we have failed to realize that our standard was far below that of God's because, rather than measuring against His high calling in the Bible; we have measured ourselves against the world's low-down, sloppy standard which is constantly getting lower, so we have followed them down.   2Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  How much worse to compare ourselves to the ublipved!

Added to this we have endeavoured to be friends of the world.  James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  As the church's doctrines have slipped, so have its' standards.  

The "love gospel", which excludes man's fallen state and the need of godly repentance, has made way for "Christians" to ignore sin.  They have attempted to be friends of the world under the pretence of winning someone to Christ.  They are not a "friend of sinners" as our Saviour was and is, they are at peace with the world.  They are the enemies of the cross of Christ and of God.  Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  

1) They are consumed with a desire to make their bodies look what the world calls "perfect."  They have to be "sexy" even if they aren't allowed to show much of their body in their church.  They have to look good in a swim suit even if they don't wear one in public.

2) They glory in the very things that they should be ashamed of!  The women are proud of the fact that they have the "liberty" to wear pants.  They even go so far as to think it's cute to dress like whorish women.

3) They worry about what the latest fashions are and how they will appear to their neighbors and friends.  They will wear mini skirts and other revealing clothes, even if they feel uncomfortable in them, simply to be "in style."  They would rather please the world's crowd than the Lord Jesus Christ.

1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

You cannot have both.  You cannot love the world and love God.  It won't work.   Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  You will either hate one or the other.

This is why so many women are so extremely offended when they are confronted with the need to dress modestly.  They hate the very thought of it and will rail on whoever dares to suggest that they please God in this area.  It is sad that there so many who try to bring this subject up in a spirit of Phariseeism as law makers, but that does not excuse you from looking into the perfect law of liberty and submitting to God's standard!   James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

The actual dress of an harlot

We have already seen that the harlot wears rich and costly clothing and blipelry.  Let's look at some more aspects of whorish attire.

First of all, we have recalled already that much of the "fashions" that have become accepted originated in harlotry.  Short hair, shortened skirts, low necklines, pants, shorts, etc.  

To be continued.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?


graphics by mary vannattan