Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Simple Seduction

“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.” (Prov.7:6-7)

This young man, who falls under the spell of the infamous “strange woman,” is said to be “simple.” In other words, as the dictionary defines it, “lacking in ordinary sense or intelligence.” He hasn’t got a clue. If Hollywood were telling the story, the vignette in this chapter would be told as an entertaining comedy of errors; but on the stage of real life, it plays itself out as a tragedy. This young man, “void of understanding,” made some devastating mistakes and they are just as prevalent today as they were then:

1. He went to the place of temptation (7:8). When he turned the corner onto her street, the die was cast. It was only a short distance then to her door, which he thought had a sign on it that read, “Pathway to Pleasure.” What it really said, however, was, “Highway to Hell” (7:27).

2) He thought he would be the exception to the rule (6:27-28). Somebody else might get burnt, but he would not. Over-confidence almost always leads to short-sightedness, never able to see (or fear) potential danger.

3) He thought he could make up for it later (6:29-32). Wrong again. Solomon reasons that although a man who steals because he is hungry must be held accountable, still, one can understand his motivation. And it is possible for him to make restitution. But what do you give to repay a man or woman whose spouse you have taken? or whose virtue you have sullied?

4) He thought it would be forgotten over time (6:33-35). But the verse says, “his reproach shall not be wiped away.” It doesn’t say he cannot be forgiven for this sin, but the reproach connected with it will haunt him (or her) indefinitely.

But what of the “strange woman” in the story? Shall we not shine the light of truth on her as well? For if there are men who still fall prey to such behavior, there are still women who prey upon them. “The adulteress will hunt for the precious life” (6:26b). We are told very little about how she looks, but much about the way she acts. We know she uses her God-given beauty, and her eyes, the window of the soul, as a lure to her unsuspecting victims (6:25); and she meets the boy “with the attire of an harlot.” Rather than trying to pin-point the attire (which obviously has changed through history), I think the indisputable lesson is this: There is a way of dressing that says to those who see you, “Come and get it.”

Her actions, however, are listed for all to read—from the man who is in danger of being caught, to the woman who thinks her weapons of allure are unique. To the former God says, “Beware!” To the latter He says, “We know you.” one of her greatest weapons is flattery (7:5 & 21), which I would characterize as intemperate praise. Though the compliments may be true, they are given without restraint, and with an ulterior motive.

“She is loud and stubborn” (7:11). She will be heard; and she will have her way. She has an impudent, “in your face” kind of look, and she would rather be the initiator when it comes to affection (v.13). Verse 14 gives us an especially odious feature of her character: she insists that she enjoys the blessing of God. Why, she even attends church. “Christian fornication,” no less! “I have been waiting all my life for you, and our rendezvous of love will be unique,” she whispers. “And my husband is gone; there’ll be no one to see us” (vv.15-20).

God will.

The best line of defense against sexual impurity is found in the first four verses of chapter seven. It is Solomon’s favorite remedy: the wisdom of the ages as found in the Word of God. Keep God’s laws and commandments at your fingertips; and write them indelibly on your heart (v.3). It was Charles Bridges, the old Puritan, who suggested that “the love of Christ is the counteracting principle of the love of lust.” Impure love must be met head on with the purest of all loves.

So mark it well: the “strange woman” still walks among us. She waits to ruin the lives of those who are simple enough to succumb to her seduction. You may see her anywhere, even at church—or perhaps, even in the mirror.


  1. I always worry about death. I need to remind myself that it is all in God's plan. Any of us could die at anytime. The good thing is if we are saved...we will be going to a way better place!! That brings me peace of mind:)

  2. Dear "Anonymous": For those of us who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, it is not death we fear,for He has taken away the "sting of death" (1Cor.15:55); it is rather the means of death, "the valley of the shadow." And this is understandable. But, as you say, God has a plan for this as well. And He doesn't just meet us on the other side; He promises to walk the path from here to there with us (Psl.23:4). And it is that, dear friend, that gives me peace of mind!