Proverbs 7:16-27

In Proverbs 7:16-27 Solomon continues to warn about the woes of sexual immorality.  One thing to keep in mind here is that while Solomon describes this from his point of view, it happens in the real world in many ways.  Women are certainly not always the ones who cause sin to happen around the area of sex.  But Solomon makes the point through his eyes and experiences, and most importantly, no matter where the initiation or temptation comes from, it becomes a matter of personal sin when we make a choice to participate in immoral behavior that is against God’s will.  He has designed sex for a very important but specific place in His creation, and when we choose to take part in any other way we sin.

The woman has prepared and was tempting this simple young man to enjoy a delightful experience.  “I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love”. She becomes more and more specific about what she wants.  And then she assures him that it will be in a safe environment. She doesn’t give any details that might wake up the simple man’s conscience – like her husband’s name or any details about him. “For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home”.

With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. Guzik describes the steps of seduction that the woman uses to lure in this simple man to a web of sinful behavior:

  • A well-chosen target (simple…a young man devoid of understanding, 7:7).
  • Available to meet (the path to her house…a woman met him, 7:8, 7:10).
  • Provocatively clothed (with the attire of a harlot, 7:10).
  • Of bad character (loud and rebellious, 7:11).
  • Looking to trap and seduces (she caught him, 7:13).
  • Free with physical affection (kissed him, 7:13).
  • Gave some recognition to religion (peace offerings…paid my vows, 7:14).
  • Pursuit to make one feel desired (I came out to meet you, diligently, 7:15).
  • Promise to please the senses (I have spread my bed…I have perfumed my bed, 7:16-17).
  • Invitation to her bed (I have spread my bed…I have perfumed my bed, 7:16-17).
  • Promises of love, delight, and sensual pleasure (let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love, 7:18).

This wasn’t an accidental connection.  It was planned and well executed. And it works as designed.

The simple man falls. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life”. There is no question that resisting would be difficult.  That’s how all sin presents itself.  The enemy is adept at providing us opportunity to sin that seems almost irresistible.  But the price for sin is high, and we somehow forget the reality that sin will cost us our life.  It’s why we need a Savior.  Without Jesus, we’re all doomed for eternal separation from God.  Sin costs everything.

Solomon ends this chapter reminding us to pay attention to his words.  “And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth”.  Sin doesn’t have to have its way in our life.  It is always a choice.  It never happens to us.  Solomon reminds us that adultery and sexual immorality begins in the heart. It doesn’t begin in our hormones or natural wiring as men or women. It happens when we fail to guard our heart.  If our heart falls to sexual immorality, our feet will quickly follow.  We have to win the battle there, in our heart and mind, and avoid the situations that can cause us to fall prey. “Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death”.  Guard your heart – it is the key to standing strong!

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