A devotional on Proverbs 7:6-27
All temptation starts with a natural appetite and a desire/lust to fill it. The word ‘lust’ doesn’t necessarily have a negative connotation. It merely means desire. Desire is the focal point in temptation. How we manage the appetite determines whether we end up overcoming or succumbing to sin. Sin means to miss the mark (as in archery,) so when we succumb to a temptation, we’ve missed the mark. Scripture uses the temptress or seductress as a metaphor of all types of temptation because sex is such a primal and powerful drive.
“Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (2) By the time we meet him, the ‘young fool’ in the Proverbs 7 passage is knee deep in the process of temptation. Whether it is a chance encounter or premeditated, he “finds” himself strategically at the right place (near her house) at the most opportune time (in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.)
The temptress takes over from there. Note these 10 characteristics and apply them to the context of your besetting sin, whatever it may be:
- She is prepared in advance and looks the part, v. 10.
2. Her heart has already determined this is what she wants. She is committed and not wishy-washy.
3. She has the corner market. She trolls everywhere and physically puts herself out very strategically. Not only is her home on a corner, but she also goes to every corner, v. 12.
4. Once she catches him, she wastes no time further arousing him, v. 13.
5. She may be a religious woman, v. 14.
6. She customizes the lure that he’s already bitten so she can set the hook, v. 15.
7. She appeals to his senses and aesthetics, vs. 16, 17.
8. She promises that fulfillment of the desire won’t be perfunctory, v. 18.
9. She reduces the risk factors and downplays the consequences, bolstering his comfort v. 19, 20. (like Satan saying to Eve, “you will not surely die,” Gen. 3:4.)
10. In this ‘honey and oil’ stage, (view my YouTube teaching on this https://youtu.be/SvGgTHpbETI) she uses her words and lips to set the hook, v. 21.
The rest of the passage clearly speaks for itself: “Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.
Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death,” Pr. 7:22-27.
Here’s a promise for the wise: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death,” James 1:12-15.
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(1) Image retrieved 5/7/21 from https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4014/4715063994_4a097298bc_b.jpg
(2) James 1:14
(3) image retrieved 5/7/21 from https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/bird-dead-strangled-by-trap-260nw-99878078.jpg