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Warning Against Seduction (Proverbs 7)

April 22, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

This week’s sermon demonstrates the deceitfulness of sin. Elder Woodard explains the need of wisdom to combat seduction. The focus of this sermon is on the characteristics of the simple, the seductress, the seduction and the sagacious.

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Characteristics of the Simple: Naïve, Seducible, Foolish

For at the window of my house

     I have looked out through my lattice,

and I have seen among the simple,

     I have perceived among the youths,

     a young man lacking sense,

passing along the street near her corner,

     taking the road to her house

in the twilight, in the evening,

     at the time of night and darkness (Proverbs 7:6-9;ESV).

Elder Woodard describes the young man in this proverb as ignorant or unaware of the Lord’s watchfulness. He was devoid of wisdom and understanding. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, because he was headed in the wrong direction. Moreover, he did not seek the wisdom of his father or keep his commands. Therefore, this foolish young man was susceptible to the seduction of the seductress.

Characteristics of the Seductress: Sophisticated, Unruly, Shrewd

And behold, the woman meets him,

     dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.

She is loud and wayward;

    her feet do not stay at home;

now in the street, now in the market,

     and at every corner she lies in wait (Proverbs 7:10-12; ESV).”

The seductress is crafty and cunning, unlike the foolish young man. In fact, Elder Woodard rightly likens her characteristics to those of the devil and sin, which constantly seeks to destroy, to dishonor, and deceive as many as possible. She had the appearance of godliness, but her heart did not truly desire the things of God (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). She sought to satisfy the lust of her flesh (Matthew 16:23; Luke 4:1-13).

Characteristics of the Seduction: Temptation, Allurement, Death

She seizes him and kisses him,

     and with bold face she says to him,

I had to offer sacrifices,

     and today I have paid my vows;

so now I have come out to meet you,

     to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.

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.

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.

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 (Proverbs 7:13-23; ESV).”

Henceforth, the seductress moves quickly by engaging all of the senses of the foolish young man. First, she appeals to his flesh by touch. Then, she flatters him with her words (appealing to his hearing; cf. Judges 14). Next, she prepares a meal (from the meat she was supposed to sacrifice unto God) and her bedding with colored linings and perfume to entice him (appealing to his taste, sight, and smell; cf. Judges 5:24-26). This young man was fully engaged in her seduction, because sin seeks to take captive the whole person, and then suffocates the victim to death (heart, mind and soul) [cf. Judges 16; 2 Samuel 11; 1 Kings 11:1-3; James 1:14-15].

Characteristics of the Sagacious: Attentive, Trustworthy, Life

My son, keep my words

and treasure up my commandments with you;

keep my commandments and live;

     keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;

bind them on your fingers;

    write them on the tablet of your heart.

Say to wisdom, You are my sister,

     and call insight your intimate friend,

to keep you from the forbidden woman,

     from the adulteress with her smooth words

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 7:1-5, 24-27; ESV).”

Wisdom understands the repercussions and consequences of sin. Wisdom calls sin what it is, rebellion and an offense to the holiness of God. Wisdom will help us anticipate and avoid sin. Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, who sagaciously lived to please the Father by keeping His word even to the point of death (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; Philippians 2:1-16). He gave Himself, not for His own sin, but to save the foolish, the seductress and as many who would come to Him (Isaiah 53; Matthew 11:25-30; John 8:12-46; Hebrews 4:15, 9:28).

How can I avoid being seduced?

First, we have to understand the seriousness of sin. God sees all of our actions, motives and thoughts, and He will require all these things and our unrepentant souls, to be subject to Him (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:14). However, as the father in this proverb gives his son a way to live and avoid death, God the Father gives His Son as the only Way to live and avoid eternal death (John 14:1-12). We must count the cost of seduction, lest we find us ourselves more speechless than this young foolish man, when the wrath of God is revealed on the Last Day (Romans 3; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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