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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Robert McLaughlin
Tree Of Life
Week Ending March 28, 2021

“God’s Word: The Ultimate Guide To Man + Woman.”

Continuing our study of Defense Mechanism #22 – “Moti Maris of Memphis” or MMOM.

We are looking at the bitterness and personal misery that results from a believer or unbeliever operating outside the parameters of God’s divine establishment principles, in particular those regarding sex between right man and right woman. We have been studying the examples of both the correct relationship as given in Gen 2:18-25, Ecc 9:9, 1Co 7:17, Pro 18:22, 19:12, Pro 5, 31. We have covered these in detail in previous TOL editions for reference. Solomon gives us the best account of the folly of operating outside God’s plan and seeking happiness from all the worldly fascinations, from human knowledge, to achievements, to glory and reputation, to wealth, and sexual promiscuity. When we engage in sexual relationships with anyone other than our right man or woman, refusing to wait for God and instead “going shopping” as Solomon did, the result is scar tissue, insensitivity and coldness, and bitterness in the soul. This will destroy the spiritual life of the believer as well as any relationship with wrong or even right man or woman. Bitterness is a cancer in the soul!

I. Definition and some principles

Moti Maris of Memphis, or MMOM, was a character in Solomon’s life who really exemplifies this Defense Mechanism through Solomon’s relationship with her. She is one of his failed attempts to mine happiness through seeking sex and love outside of God’s plan, instead of waiting on God’s timing to bring him his right woman. This DM manifests as a sexual desire or lust toward a person of the opposite sex.

Life without God and independent of His plan and His  Divine Establishment Principles leads to bitterness and dissatisfaction and can ultimately lead to discipline and even the sin unto death. We have been looking at Ecclesiastes and the 8 experiments of Solomon. They are the perfect picture of what we call “the frantic search for happiness.” But there is true happiness, as in +H, or haring the happiness of God (Problem-Solving Device # 9), and then there is what we call “pseudo-happiness. Pseudo-happiness is like eating junk food or candy bars. It gives you a kind of buzz or a temporary energy and pleasure, but the empty calories spike your sugar and then leave you feeling tired, and you have to keep shoveling them in to keep going. It only gives a temporary burst but it never lasts. There is no lasting satisfaction. The more you eat, the more you need to feel the same. Solomon experienced this at every step, concluding “all is vanity and striving after wind.”

To recap, Solomon had 8 experiments in pseudo-happiness:

1. Anthropocentric academic speculation.

In other words, worldly knowledge. This is what intellectuals and philosophers do. It comprises the full spectrum of speculative human thought. We pretty much make it all up! If it sounds good, people will believe it. Once you begin to think you have it all figured out, you have no use for God….until the rug is pulled out from under you and you realize you were living in a fantasy! Those of us who are lucky experiene this while we are young enough to recover, and the wise ones make the right choice to trust Jesus Christ from then on, instead of our own brains. NOTE: after this experiment, Solomon concluded that this did not produce lasting, inner contentment or satisfaction. He did not however become bitter. This is important.

2. Pleasure.

This is what Pastor calls the “eat, drink, and be merry” experiment. Others might say “wine, women, and song.” Partying, dining, wining, socializing, entertainment, dancing perhaps? Nights on the town. Seeing the sights, smelling the smells, tasting the local fare, you get the picture. Social life and good conversation with friends can also be quite stimulating, and I am sure he had many good times with many memorable characters. But in the end, what did it really profit him? It did not bring the abiding inner contentment he was searching for, the sense of not needing anything, not seeking anything outside of one’s own soul in order to feel good. “All is vanity and striving after wind.” Again, after this experiment, Solomon was not bitter.

3. All In The Family.

For many, family is the crown of life. They are very proud of their famliies and their legacy. The Bible mentions “the pride of life” in 1 Jn 2:16. After concluding the experiment with pleasure as vanity, vanity, Solomon began to think “I have experienced the best of life’s pleasures, maybe I should start a family so I can have a legacy, and someone to pass all this wisdom on to!” A lot of parents unwittingly impose their own failed ambitions onto the children, hoping for some kind of redemption when the kids succeed where they failed. But if our happiness depends on children or on the success of our children, we will be miserable, and make them miserable as well! But in the end this too was vanity. Still, Solomon was not bitter.

4. Time Orientation a.k.a. The Organized Life

Solomon was “the preacher”, but he was also quite the philosopher. In Ecc 3:1-9 he decides that everything in life is timing, and so his problem is that he is out of sync, his timing is off. He needs to get organized. Being organized is without a doubt a very helpful thing and makes life easier both for self and others in your periphery. But it is not the key to eternal bliss. Some may remember the popular song, “and to everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season turn, turn, turn...” This of course comes from this chapter. Timing is everything, and everything has its time. All is vanity….still not bitter!

5. Money!

People have always thought money was the ticket to happiness and the answer to all problems, especially people who don’t have much! But the world is full of wealthy people who are still miserable, having found new things to be unhappy with and enjoying the special insecurity that comes only to the rich – the fear of losing their fortune, and the security that it buys. It is a false security. Money comes and money goes, all the quicker to the fool. Solomon saw this and wrote about it in Ecc 5:10: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with it, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Material wealth is not bad in itself, the Bible never says that it is. Solomon does not say “he who has money”, he says “he who loves money”. ‘Loves’ in this case is referring to idolatrous love, to greed. Solomon had more money than most of us even daydream about. He had so much he had to find creative ways to spend it. Nothing was out of his reach. That means if anyone is able to really put the value of money to the test, it was him. And he concluded that it is one more thing that can not fill the “God-shaped hole.” It can’t bring true lasting independent happiness. It can’t provide anthing that compares with +H. Still, Solomon was not bitter.

6. Reputation.

Ecc 7:1 “A good name is better than a good ointment (perfumed oil).” The preacher opens the chapter with that initial assessment. Surely, to be well-respected and admired is the secret to life! He also says in Pro 22:1, “A good name is to be more desired than great riches.” Our Lord did not have a good reputation among men. He was slandered and maligned, up, down, backward, forward, all the hours of the day. His own family even thought he was crazy at one point (Mk 3:21)! At best, people outside of the religious elite thought He was a magician, or a healer, nothing more. But our Lord was not concerned with what men thought of Him. He was focused on executing His mission in the plan of God. A good reputation with God is surely more to be desired than great riches! But a great reputation among men is “vanity and striving after wind”! In fact, I often say, if the world thinks you’re wonderful, it is probably a sign of malfunction in the spiritual life. As James 4:4 warns us, “You adultresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity toward God, and he who makes himself a friend to the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  After this experiment, the King may have been feeling jaded, but he was still not bitter.

7. Sexual Athletics.

Now Solomon got in over his head. In his promiscuity which was outside of his right woman and outside of God’s plan, there was one thing he didn’t count on; vulnerability. When we are intimate with another person, when we have sex, we open ourselves completely up. We reveal all. This is a great vulnerability! We are open to the kind of criticism and shame and exposure that can cause permanent wounds and hurt. A betrayal of trust in this arena can destroy a life, and a spiritual life all the more. It also builds up scar tissue and makes us callous and indifferent, and shameless. A person without shame or sensitivity is a person who almost incapable of learning humility and therefore teachability. Disaster in their life will only make them more bitter and resentful. Because of these things, Solomon now did become bitter toward the female sex. In Ecc 7:26 the King wrote, “And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.” Promiscuous relationships are often compelling, but rarely fulfilling, and never as fulfilling as the right man/right woman relationship can be between two mature believers. Solomon did not wait for his right woman, and he paid for it with much heartache and bitterness.

8. The Hero Image.

The King tells us a story about a certain city which is under attack by a great King and his army, and the people are in dread as doom looms over them, inevitable and imminent. But a poor old wise man has an idea that could save them and, having no better hope, the city approves and implements his plan. His idea works and the city is saved! The old wise man is a hero. But, once peace is restored and life returns to normal, the memory fades and the old man is not remembered. Nothing that can be gained in this life from earthly means and human power will last, all is impermanent, and nothing can compare to the silhouette of what God has already laid aside for those who attain spiritual maturity! This is Solomon’s final conclusion. The secular world and counterfeit religion has many wondrous things to offer, but like life itself, it is blooming one minute and withered the next, and one day will vanish completely leaving no trace.

II. Moti what the who?? Who is Moti Maris of Memphis?

Moti Maris of Memphis was known as Solomon’s favored wife. He had 300, so that is probably saying something! She was the daughter of Pharaoh, and from the original Memphis, in Egypt, not Tennessee! (Just a joke!) While Moti Maris was his favorite wife, she was not his right woman, as we see from his continued escapades and searching. Since he rejected the doctrine of right man/right woman, and instead of waiting, did what modern people do – played the field – he never did find his right one. So, the Defense Mechanism is named for this woman as an illustration of the results of giving yourself to lust and giving your treasures with the wrong man/woman so that your right man/woman gets leftovers (if you even find or are able to recognize them!).

To recap and review (repetition is good for us forgetful human beings!), the human race is to be perpetuated out of something that should be of great pleasure, and I say something that should be of great pleasure because often it is not of great pleasure. Sex was designed by God for right man-right woman relationship and it was designed for that which was recreation, pleasure and enjoyment.


Let’s begin with our main passage in ECC 7:23 where Solomon said;  I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me.


ECC 7:24  What has been is remote or distant and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?
25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness.
26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
27 "Behold, I have discovered this," says the Preacher, "adding one thing to another to find an explanation,
28 which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.
29 "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

Now, in Ecc 7, verses 23-29, wisdom reveals the fact that intimate relationships are compelling but often not satisfying at all for the believer.

Let me get this straight finally; Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. His favorite wife was known as Moti Maris of Memphis, on the Mount of the Temple or Mount Moriah, though the one he wanted more than any other was Bathsheba, who he never really got, for we read in 1KI 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.


1KI 11:4   For it came about when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.


Little did people know that that Solomon disobeyed the Lord because the Lord had said to all the Israeli kings in DEU 17:14   "When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, 'I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,'
15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.

16  "Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt [the world or the cosmic system] to multiply horses [the Israeli military], since the Lord has said to you, 'You shall never again return that way [that is the ways of the world].'

Then notice the corrected translation next in DEU 17:17  "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

Solomon had an edification complex, he had a soul structure which was built upon doctrine but he reverted from that and one of the things which he rejected was the doctrine of right man right woman. He will say that he believes in it when we get there but like so many he believed after he learned the hard way. The doctrine of right man--right woman is a doctrine which I have taught often and clearly, and if you have any trouble with it, it's your problem or your loss.

As we have covered the doctrine of Right Man/Right Woman in the previous lessons I will not include it here. It is taught in the Bible in the following verses, Gen 2:18-25, ECC 9:9, 1CO 7:17Pro 18:22, 19:12, Pro 5, 31, just to name a few.

Solomon says in ECC 9:9  Enjoy your life with the woman whom you love all the days of your passing life which God has given to you under the sun in this life for this [your right man or right woman] is your reward in life, and enjoy your job in which you have labored under the sun.


I want you to notice that there are three grace gifts given to man:

  1. Your life from God
  2. Your Job as your niche in life
  3. Your right man-or right womanA couple more verses to consider:

    1CO 7:17   Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And thus I direct in all the churches.

    PRO 18:22  He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor or grace from the Lord.

    Now, there is also a very interesting verse that most believers do not understand that I will translate for you which says in JER 31:22 "How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth and then the new thing is mentioned in the last part of the earth by the phrase “A woman will encompass a man."


And when it says “A woman will encompass a man” or “a woman will live a life that surrounds her man” it is like like the moon revolving around which means her life we have a phrase that says “a woman will live a life that surrounds her man.”\


The verb encompass is ‎cabab (saw-bab'); which means “to revolve, to surround, to encompass, to circle about, or to live a life that surrounds her right man as the moon revolves around the stars to make a life that is dedicated to surrounding her right man.”

In REV 12:1  And a great sign appeared in heaven [this is a reference to Abraham and Sarah and the beginning of the Jewish race through circumcision as well as the fulfillment of the Cross]: a woman [Israel] clothed with the sun [a reference to Jacob], and the moon [a reference to the wives of Jacob and his mistresses who reflect him as the moon reflects the sun, the twelve patriarchs came from Jacob's two wives and two mistresses] under her feet [Israel], and on her head a crown of twelve stars [the twelve patriarchs].


Since the day that Satan discovered that Israel was to be the source of the incarnate Christ, Israel has been the target for the devil's hatred and antagonism. Those people who reject God’s ways and statutes end up embracing the Devil’s ways, which are always anf forever in resentful opposition to God. So we see that secular humanism which is the anti-God religion also antagonizes all the things of God. Marriage between a right man and right woman, and celibacy until that marriage takes place, as well as the nuclear family, are always the target of attack from all secular humanist ideologies and groups. There are many attacks on these divine institutions today, and many attackers.

In all of human history, right woman is the oldest human gift, for Christ brought the woman to the man, Gen 2:18.


The fall of man did not change their relationship. So, because the right man - right woman relationship is one of the three gifts God has made available to mankind, Satan has tried to destroy the principle of right man, right woman.


So he says in ECC 7:25  I directed my mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly or stupidity and the foolishness of madness.


Now, what did he discover during the course of his playboy adventures?


ECC 7:26  And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains.


Solomon is saying that he has discovered that women were a snare and that their mind was filled with little nets that they toss over you like you're a butterfly. And their hands are like chains! And once they get their hands on you with their tactical ability you have had it!


When he makes that statement, he is not necessarily insulting the ladies he is merely showing that after having more sex than anyone in history, that sex isn't all that fulfilling. And furthermore, through fornication he has destroyed his ability to recognize the one woman the Lord had made or designed just for him.


By the way, if this has happened to you there is a healing process that can take place in your soul, so that you can recover the ability to recognize the man or woman God has designed for you. Now, he goes on to say in ECC 7:26 that the One who is pleasing to God will escape from her but the sinner will be captured by her.


Notice what he says in ECC 7:26  And I kept on discovering more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, and whose right lobe has destructive allurements and her hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will be delivered from her, but the reversionistic carnal believer will be captured by her.


"will be captured" is the niphil imperfect of lakadh which is jilaaked meaning to captured, to be caught, to be trapped. So the entire verse looks like this;

ECC 7:26  And I kept on discovering more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, and whose right lobe has destructive allurements and her hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will be delivered from her, but the reversionistic carnal believer will be captured by her.\


The only time that Solomon ever had any kind of relationship with a human being that was bona fide one was in category three, a total non-touching soul friendship. He found soul compatibility with one man....category three, friendship is a soul compatibility. It was not a touching relationship! So he says......I have found one man among a thousand, Out of a thousand he finally found one man who was truly his friend......


Now, that's alright, that's a part of happiness but it is absolutely nothing compared to right man right woman.....nothing!


We will try and conclude our passage this evening in ECC 7 beginning with verse 27.


ECC 7:27  "Behold, I have discovered this," says the Preacher or the man with the message, "{adding} one thing to another to find an explanation,


And then the corrected translation of ECC 7:28 says what my soul is still seeking I have not found. I have found one man [category three love, friendship] among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.


Now, when he says in verse 28 what my soul is still seeking I have not found, Solomon is referring to his soul seeking for his right woman.

On the other hand, when he says I have found one man among a thousand, he is referring to his soul looking for an intimate friendship and he found one who fulfilled that desire.


So again ECC 7:28 says what my soul is still seeking I have not found. I have found one man [to satisfy his soul which means category three love, friendship] among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.

Not found” is the qal perfect of ‘matsa’ again which means he never did discover his right woman


Some principles:

1. It wasn't his body that was doing the seeking, he didn't have a libido problem, it was his soul that was seeking for something. His physical or biological urge for sex was satisfied, but his soul was not.


  1. Your body may be very gratifying to someone you freely give it away to but it will never satisfy their soul unless it is right man right woman......or what God has designed. The point is that Solomon's soul did the seeking and it was his soul that was never satisfied.


  1. Don't be so anxious in a moment of libido to pass around something that Jesus Christ gave you to fulfill one man or one woman. Remember what we noted recently - outside of spiritual things, your right man or right woman is the greatest happiness you can have right now.ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this [now here is the doctrine which Solomon learned in reversion recovery]


"Found" again is the qal perfect of ‘matsa’ and it means that here is the doctrine which Solomon learned in reversion recovery. This is he same reversion recovery which is stated in Ecc 12.

Solomon never found his right woman because he was too long in reversionism...… However, in reversion recovery, he did discover some principles of doctrine which are important for us to understand.

ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this [I didn't find my right woman but I did find out or I discovered this], that God made men [not upright but.......something else that we must note.]


However, let's begin with the phrase "God made" which is the Qal perfect of ‘asah’ which has to do with man's soul related to his looks like this in the Hebrew `’aasaah



Now, when God creates the soul, the Hebrew verb barah is used which means that when God makes something out of the soul......asah is used.


Barah is the essence of the soul, the mentality, the self-consciousness, the emotion, the norms and standards, the volition. Asah is the personality related to the soul......and in love it's the personality related to the soul. And that's what Solomon says here.....he doesn't say barah, he's referring to the personality that comes from the soul which is category three love.


How do you think you're going to find your right woman or your right man? Not by having the honeymoon first, the identification is in the soul first, not the body. The identification can be made through the soul...…

‘Asah’ means that a personality comes through from the soul. This means that you're going to love the personality of the one God has designed just for you! Now, no one can see the essence of another soul. You can't even see your own essence. It's there......but all you can really see what is derived or what is distilled from the essence of the soul which is personality. And this doesn't mean to have a pleasing personality, I'm talking about personality in it's true sense which is manifestation of soul essence.


ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made [asah] men

The word for men is ‘haaaadaam’ which is mankind, male and female, man and woman.

So the correct translation says ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made mankind [the human race] man and woman......


Now, we need to define and explain the word upright!


Upright comes from the Hebrew word jashar which has the following meanings, upright, just, righteous and right. Now, there's only one of these definitions which can accurately fit into our translation correctly.......let me show you what I mean! If the word for man means the human race, man and woman, then the following translations cannot be true.


ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made mankind upright\


That's not true, you and I were not made upright, we were born in David said in PSA 51:5.


PSA 51:5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.


PSA 58:3  The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.

Then in ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made man and woman uprightbut they have sought out many devices."

We know that man and woman have not been made righteous and just and upright by God because we are told that man is born in sin and has a sin nature. However, that God is making man and woman right for each other, a.k.a. ‘Right Man/Right/Woman’ is a doctrine taught throughout the Bible and therefore it fits under the principle of categorical doctrine.

Principle: Sex between right man right woman is a form of recognition of the greatness of God and the greatness of grace.

ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made man and woman right for each other, but they have sought out many devices.”


The verb "sought" is the piel perfect of ‘baqash’ which is ‘biqshuw’ which means to seek diligently or persistently. Solomon is saying that mankind, men and women, have sought diligently to pervert what God has provided.


ECC 7:29  "Behold, I have found only this, that God has made man and woman right for each other, but they have sought [a frantic search for happiness] out many devices"


"Devices" is the noun ‘chis-ha-bo-nowt’ meaning perversions or distortions. This refers to the perversions of God's grace in the design of right man right woman! When a woman sees her role, her person, her experiences, even the calamities that have impacted her life in the eyes of God objectively and with stability, that person's world comes together....and that woman can handle it.


I love the story of five year old Mike, who saw his dad's car drive in the late the headlights were on!


He met him at the door.


And dad was dragging himself through the doorway.


He was so tired he could hardly make it to the recliner.


He finally slumped down and pulled his tie lose and Mike jumped up on his lap and said...."Hi dad, let's play."


Dad thought, "Oh no!"


He was at a lost to know quite what to do with his five year old son however, he did know that he didn't feel like playing!


He looked over on the table and he saw a newspaper which had on the front page a recent moon shot of the world.


In fact, it was in color....and he thought, now here's my chance.


"Get some scissors Mike!"


Mike went and got some scissors and dad said, "Now look son, we're going to play a game."


So he starting cutting out the world into about 20 or 30 pieces.


And he shook up the pieces and said; "Here son, figure this out and tape the world all back together and when you get that world all back together come back and we'll play!"


So Mike takes off, 6 minutes later....."I'm back dad, here's the world, let's play!"


"Mike, dad said, how did you do that?"


Mike said, "Well, it was easy daddy, you see on the other side was a large picture of a man's face, and when you get the man put together, the world.......comes together!"


That's what Solomon is saying in a much wiser way!


When you put the man together, your world comes together!


All we have to do is make ourselves available to the wisdom of God and we will be able to put ourselves together through His grace.


And God will take care of the world.


When you put the person together, the world comes together.

In closing, a poem:

I’ve had many tears and sorrow,

I’ve had questions for tomorrow,

There’ve been times

I didn’t know right from wrong,


But in every situation,

God gave blessed consolation,

That my trials come to only

make me strong,


I’ve been to lots of places

And I’ve seen lots of faces,

There’ve been times

I felt so all alone,


But in my lonely hours,

Yes those precious lonely Hours,

The Lord let me know

that I was His own.


And I thank God for the mountains,

And I thank Him for the valleys,

And I thank Him for the storms,

He’s brought me through,


For if I’d never had a problem,

I wouldn’t know that He could solve them,

I’d never know

what faith in God could do!


Through it all Through it all

I’ve learned to trust in Jesus Christ,

I’ve learned to trust in God,


Through it all, Through it all,

I’ve learned to trust in Jesus Christ

I’ve learned to trust in  God

I’ve learned to depend upon His word!





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