The Temptation

July 17, 2017

Proverbs 7:1–20

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with you. 

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of your eye. 

Bind them upon your fingers, write them upon the table of your heart. 

Say unto wisdom, You are my sister; and call understanding your kinswoman: 

That they may keep you from the strange woman, from the stranger which flatters with her words. 

For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, 

And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 

Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 

In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: 

And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. 

(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.) 

So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 

I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. 

Therefore came I forth to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you. 

I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. 

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 

Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 

For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 

He has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

Some lessons are taught in a classroom with two hundred students looking on, and others are given in the impersonal format of the electronic, audio/visual presentation. But the most important lessons of life can only be conveyed from the heart of a father who really and truly loves his son. Only a father who dearly loves his son can cry out in near desperation, “My son, treasure my commands within you. Keep my commandments and live!” The following lesson is too important, with too many life-and-death issues at stake, to be conveyed in any other way than this! Too much of our education, discipleship, and church teaching lacks urgency, sincerity, true love and concern for our children. There is an underlying fundamental problem––a lack of the fear of God––which results in an insipid love for God and others.

Here is a subtle contrast between sister wisdom and the whore. The wise father asks, “Where is your first commitment?” If you are not first committed to wisdom as your constant companion and sister, you will be taken by the seductress. 

The seductress, again, is one whose feet do not stay at home. She is rootless and wandering. She chats incessantly on the Internet, and her family has no idea what she writes and with whom she is communicating. She has anything but the meek and quiet spirit that God commends in a woman. Because there is no effort towards expressing modesty or meekness in her dress, her manner, her language, and her forward behavior, there are few fences that would prevent her from crossing the line into fornication. Rather, she invites it. Not surprisingly, this woman may be seen in church paying her tithes, attending the youth group meetings, and actively participating in the praise and worship. She likes to spend time away from her home, hang out at the mall with her friends, and carry on mindless chatter with some young man or another. She accoutres her temptations with elegance and style. She makes the man feel like a million bucks, and as far as he’s concerned at that moment, that is more than his “boring, dumpy family” ever did for him. She will know when the time is right to make her move. For some boys, just giving them the time of day is enough. For others, laughing at their pitiful attempts at comedic wit will draw them in. Add to that a subtle glance, an “accidental” touch, a light and carefree laugh, a brush past, and an extra shake of the hips; follow all of that up with a breathy sweet-nothing and one more touch of the hand, and she’s got him! His heart is beating one hundred twenty beats per minute, and there is no turning back now. 

The most important argument contained in the temptation is the utterly outrageous suggestion that the two of them will actually get away with their sin. First off, the seductress avers that God will be just fine with it because, “After all, haven’t I paid my vows? I’ve been a good girl. I’m in good standing with the church.” How often do we use our “good behavior” as some kind of a justification for bad behavior, as if we are buying off God with our good behavior so that we can engage in more bad behavior? What hypocritical and wicked perfidy! 

But she further insists that she has all the details worked out and that there is no way anyone will ever find out about their little lovers’ tryst. What she fails to calculate in her equation is the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God Who will most certainly be watching everything. “Be sure your sin will find you out,” the Scriptures warn (Num. 32:23). How many times and in how many creative ways have we seen this come about by the providence of God? If her husband had taken one hundred week-long trips of this sort in the past, this will be the first time he will return early for some unexplainable reason. It is possible that a few people have died before anybody ever found out about their wicked shenanigans. But more than likely it was because they were killed in a car accident on the way home from the rendezvous. 

Family Discussion Questions: 

1. What does it mean to have Wisdom as your constant companion? 

2. Why are we so prone to sin when we think we can get away with it? Why is this incredibly foolish? 

3. How could you identify a Proverbs 7 woman in our cultural setting today?