Sly Seductress

Proverbs 7 (Common English Bible)

My son, keep my words; store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live, and my instruction like the pupil of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”; call understanding “friend,”
5 so she might guard you against the mysterious woman, from the foreign woman who flatters you.
When from the window of my house, from behind the screen, I gazed down,
I looked among the naive young men and noticed among the youth, one who had no sense.
He was crossing the street at her corner and walked down the path to her house
9 in the early evening, at the onset of night and darkness.
10 All of a sudden a woman approaches him, dressed like a prostitute and with a cunning mind.
11 She is noisy and defiant; her feet don’t stay long in her own house.
12 She has one foot in the street, one foot in the public square. She lies in wait at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him. Her face is brazen as she speaks to him:
14 “I’ve made a sacrifice of well-being; today I fulfilled my solemn promises.
15 So I’ve come out to meet you, seeking you, and I have found you.
16 I’ve spread my bed with luxurious covers, with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I’ve sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deep of love until morning, let’s savor our lovemaking.
19 For my husband isn’t home; he’s gone far away.
20 He took a pouch of money with him; he won’t come home till full moon.”
21 She seduces him with all her talk. She entices him with her flattery.
22 He goes headlong after her, like an ox to the slaughter, like a deer leaping into a trap,
23 until an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird hurrying to the snare, not aware that it will cost him his life.

24 Now children, listen to me, and pay attention to my speech. Don’t turn your heart to her ways;
    don’t wander down her paths. She has caused many corpses to fall; she has killed many people.
27 Her house is a path to the grave,going down to the chambers of death.

Well, at first glance, it seems like this is a warning against sexual immorality. However, if we take away the gender language and exchange it for anything that tempts us, it begins to make more sense. For example, “wealth seduces me with all its access, it entices me with consumerism and material items.”

We each struggle with temptation and seduction. But the warning is at the beginning and the end of this chapter, reminding us that without a God-directed moral compass we can follow seduction down the path to the grave.

What temptations are you struggling with this week?
What wisdom can you glean from this passage to keep your eye on the right path instead of staying down another?


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