I’ve been spending some time in Proverbs lately and I cannot help but be shocked by the amount of times especially in the beginning of Proverbs where Solomon warns against the Adulteress. And if we know much about Solomon’s history I guess that makes a lot of sense, considering he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. I think he may be preaching to himself a bit here.
LOOK AT SOME OF THE WARNINGS WE SEE IN PROVERBS 5, 6 AND 7:
My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. (Proverbs 5:1-6 ESV)
My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. (Proverbs 6:20-29, 32 ESV)
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. 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.
And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 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. (Proverbs 7:21-27 ESV)
SO, WHAT'S SOLOMON GETTING AT?
I mean it doesn’t take much to see that Solomon really really wants to make sure that the readers know that adultery leads to death, and that it can be sneaky and if you are not on guard it can happen to you. I think that is a necessary warning and we must heed it.
I am curious. however, if we’ve limited this warning too much. I mean is it the adulteress alone that we need to be aware of or is there a greater more pervasive warning of seduction and the various forms that it takes.
Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. (Proverbs 1:8-10 ESV)
WHAT KIND OF ADULTERY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
I may be in the minority here, but I have never had a woman magically appear naked in front of me. I have never had someone give me “the eye,” you know the eye and go around a corner and get busy. But I have been seduced in a different manner.
I’ve been seduced into pursuing my glory and my name over the name and glory of God. I’ve been seduced into viewing women as objects of my pleasure rather than sisters equal in value, worth, and honor, who I’m actually called to give my life for, I’ve been seduced into thinking that I deserve more, I’ve been seduced into various areas of entertainment, I’ve been seduced to make my children the center of the universe, I’ve been seduced into thinking the world is more fun than Jesus, I’ve even been seduced at points into thinking that Jesus’ church will fall apart without me.
I have not been seduced by a woman and committed physical adultery on my wife. But I have been seduced by this world and cheated on Jesus more times than I can count.
It may not be a women on the corner wearing a red dress whispering my name, its almost worse than that. Its the phone in my friends pocket silently gloating, if you had me you could be more productive, and appear more important. It is hanging on my wall in my living room, and on my lap throughout the week saying watch me watch me. It could be my children and my idolatry of them shrouded in a facade of “good motives”. They are pictures of men with chiseled bodies and chin lines saying if you look like this, your wife couldn’t keep her hands off you. The list goes on and on.
Thank God! Literally, thank God that he has given us Jesus, who went to the cross knowing all the ways that I would be seduced, and all the ways that I would cheat on him for some cheap substitute. His love and his grace are so incredible i can hardly stand it! When we really experience the grace of God its a no brainer to know that Jesus is better.
Brothers and sisters be on guard, the words, pictures and promises of this world appear much like the adulteress in Prov 5, 6, and 7. Stand firm and cling to Jesus he is where we find life, and life abundant.