From the writings of the wisest man that has ever existed comes a story that is like no other: an upfront and personal look at the moment an affair is devised (Proverbs 7:6-23). Though this story has been told and retold, preached and repreached countless number of times, the intricacies must be re-examined countless more times if for no other reason than to drill into the minds of another generation what to be on the lookout against, and to save countless more marriages that might fall prey to the lips of a seductress. Someone once said “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles,” and so we also have to know what we’re up against, and that begins with seeing the motives behind the manner.
Acts without Warning (7:12-13)
Already acknowledging that he is “naive” and “lacking sense” (7:7), the adulteress has already selected her mark, “lurking in the corners” until the time is right. While he may be about his way, in the workplace, at school, walking through the grocery store, she has it in her mind what will come to pass, and waits for the opportunity when he is at his most vulnerable. And when the time is right, as she’s sitting in silence and he’s approaching, she “seizes him and kisses him,” already broaching that first barrier of contact before he can even dispute the moment. She has seized the emotional upper hand, and it is now that much harder for him to refuse.
Appears to be Religious (7:14)
Any trepidation he may have about her integrity, or any scruples about how God feels about it are immediately assuaged by the first thing she says to him, claiming that she has already made her religious sacrifices for the day, and they are now spiritually free to embark on whatever path they choose. Solomon is right to describe her face as “brazen” as she woefully invokes the name of religion to calm his fears about his eternal soul, and, believing her to be religious, not imagining that what is about to happen is the worst kind of anathema to God. Unbeknownst to him and to us, the wolves that are lurking to take our soul are sometimes not the disbelievers in the street, but the ones in the pew next to us (Acts 20:29-30), lying in wait under the guise of spirituality until they can strike at your soul.
Appeals to the Senses (7:16-18)
With that hesitation out of the way, now it is a matter of enticing the body to desire it, and so she lures him in with the expectation of what is to come: colored linens from Egypt, myrrh, aloes and cinnamon – all things that delight the body and appease the eyes! With that, she pounces on the moment of opportunity by describing the encounter as a feast, drinking their love together and letting their emotions take over – after all, isn’t that what life is about? His mouth begins to drool at the prospect of such an exciting rendezvous, imagining the pleasure that is at his doorstep, ready for the taking – all for you.
Acknowledges Possible Fears (7:19-20)
“And don’t worry about my husband,” she continues. “He’s gone on a far off journey, miles away from here, with his mind occupied by a lot of things, and he won’t be back anytime soon.” There is no rational excuse then, for them not to engage in the utmost desires of their heart! The reasons against it are removed out of the way, and they both are convinced that no harm will ever befall them for their actions, and why should it? In that moment of desire, when all you want is her and all she wants is you, logic goes out the window, and with those obvious fears “removed,” there’s no reason not to take advantage of every enticement this world has to offer.
Acquiesces Without Protest (7:22-23)
And off they go. What started as a seizing kiss concludes with him willfully following her to the depths of depravity, with no mention in the entire passage of him speaking up or protesting what is about to happen, justifying Solomon’s description of him as a bird to the snare or an ox to the slaughter. If only he had been able to see what she was really saying, and what the eternal implications of that one night would have been, then he would have never walked down that street in the first place. In this situation, we are like Solomon, unattached observers who can see all the myriad of negatives to this situation, both physically and spiritually. But when you’re in that moment, if you are not spiritually ready to stand up against what’s going on, the fate will be the same for us. Such is the necessity of preparing our hearts towards our God and our spouse, with eyes only for them in the pursuit of holiness, and rejecting the pleas of Satan.Last modified: January 22, 2019