Deceived By Myself

Proverbs 7:13-14  So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I paid my vows.

When someone who has had a previous “good reputation”  is caught in hidden sexual sin, people tend to  ask, “How could they be such a hypocrite?  How could they hide it so well?  How can someone appear to be so ‘good’ when in reality they were living such a double life filled with lies and wanton immorality?”

The recent hacked Ashley Madison account disclosure with pastors and well-known Christians listed on the user accounts, has caused many people to ask questions like that.  Even non-believers are taken aback when someone with a godly reputation falls.  It causes scoffing and brings shame to the church.

We want to know why they pretended to be good.  Why didn’t they just live openly unrighteous lives instead of hiding their sexual sin and making us believe they were something they obviously were not?

People entrenched in sexual sin do not usually just decide to start deceiving people into thinking they are moral people.  Leading a double life usually starts when someone who is trying to live an upright moral life makes a small decision to compromise in an area they know is wrong.  That compromise leads to other compromises until they lead two distinctly different lifestyles.  But even then, they themselves don’t see it that way.  They view themselves as being a good person with just a small problem that they struggle with.

The first small compromise usually causes more guilt and shame than all our worst immoral actions that happen while we are living at the height of our sham.  Compromise brings an eventual seared conscience and causes us to become deceived by our own sin.  James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”.

When we know God’s standard (hearing), but we don’t do it, we become deceived.  After awhile, it really doesn’t seem that bad anymore.  We can convince ourselves that our choices will only affect us.  We become convinced we can have the best of both worlds.

In the above verses, you can see this is the case for the woman involved here.  She’s “impudent” – shamelessly bold.  There is no evidence of shyness, guilt, or fear.  She’s done this before.  She doesn’t even bother to hide her actions behind closed doors only.  Her lack of a fear of getting caught shows this is not the first time this happened.  She is used to getting away with it.

Here is a woman that is deceived about sin.  She is living in direct disobedience to God’s commands and yet she is going through all the motions of bringing offerings (sacrifices) and paying her vows.  Peace offerings, “thank offerings”,were given to the priest who took part of it and the rest was taken home to be shared with the partaker’s family.  So now she is inviting this young man to come eat this meal with her.

Today’s hypocrites look like this, too.  They pay lip service at church, look good outwardly, and may even have a list of good works to their record, but they hide a life that is steeped woman prayingin sin and self-love.  They convince themselves that they are not really that bad because they have a “form of godliness”.  They see their sin as not being “that bad”.  They reason that all the good things they do have balanced out the bad.  And when they do something for the Lord (their sacrifice), they think, “I have added good into my account..”  We can see evidence of this in this woman’s life in the next verse; “Therefore..”

But as Samuel said to Saul, “To obey is better than to sacrifice..”  They don’t realize that God hates that type of sacrifice.  It is a stench to Him.  He sees the heart and sees the hypocrisy.

But hypocrites don’t see their own hypocrisy.  They see their immorality as only a small problem in a life that is generally an upright life.  They have allowed themselves to be deceived.

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Woman Gone Wrong (Part 2)

Proverbs 7:12  Now she is without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.

Adultery is not just a sin that men struggle with.  For every man that falls, there is a woman that falls with him.  Women don’t usually fall into sexual sin for the same reason men do, but they are tempted in different ways and can fall just as easily.

When a woman is not in submission to God and is not finding fulfillment in the way God intended, she will look for fulfillment elsewhere.  It is human nature.

If she takes her focus off of the beauty of God’s Word, His Will, His Holy Spirit–if she allows her spiritual life to become dry, shallow, and superficial–she will begin to focus on herself instead.  Instead of seeing God’s beauty, she will focus on her own.  She will begin to lift herself up.  Pride.  When she becomes her own idol, she will need others to see her the way she sees herself. 

This verse gives such a clear picture of a woman in this condition.  This is a picture of a woman seeking fulfillment outside of God’s plan. She doesn’t stay at home because she cannot find her fulfillment there.  So she leaves, hoping to capture the attention of a man who can possibly fill that empty place in her.  hunting She’s out on the streets searching, trying to get the attention of a man that will be as enthralled with and view her with as much adulation as she does herself.

“Lieth in wait” sounds like a hunter stalking his prey.  She sets the trap by dressing a certain way, by holding her eyes and body with an invitation in them while she searches and waits for the right man to step into the trap.

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Woman Gone Wrong

Proverbs 7:11  She is loud and stubborn, her feet abide not in her house.

Men are not all attracted to the same kind of woman.  This is a good thing.  Different personalities in men are drawn to different attributes in women.  This is a good thing because God made us all diverse and we all need different things in a spouse.

But God did create men with some general attributes.  Things like a need for respect, wanting to be the leader, the desire to conquer, etc. are all attributes that pertain to men in general. 

On the other hand, women generally are more gentle; they desire to nurture and protect those they care about.  They are generally more soft hearted and feminine.  Instead of wanting to conquer, a woman is more likely to want to feel secure.

Most women will tell you that they prefer a man that is a leader, strong,  and makes her feel secure; rather than a man that is soft hearted and feminine. 

The same is also true for men. They prefer a woman that is soft loud and stubborn2hearted, gentle, and feminine.  A loud, brash woman that tends to take over and makes a man cower is not what a normal man is attracted to.

When a woman is out of God’s natural order, her tendency is to lose her natural gentle softness. Since these next verses in Proverbs 7 are describing the “strange woman”, that is what my focus will be on (even though some of this may be negatives for a man as well). 

The woman described here is not the kind of woman you want your son to bring home someday.  She is out of God’s natural order because her focus is completely on herself and what she wants, not what God wants. 

I had to think of the Proverbs 31 description of a virtuous woman.  “She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

This is quite a contrast in two women!  One “opens her mouth with wisdom and her tongue is the law of kindness”.  The other one is described as “loud and stubborn”. 

loud-mouthed-woman-I have known women with loud voices that are still feminine and gentle.  I don’t think that is what this is referring to. This is a clamorous woman doing whatever she can to draw attention to herself (think of a group of adolescent boys being loud and cocky to attempt to impress someone).  She wants men to notice her and she is out of God’s natural order so she is trying to be the “pursuer”.

“Stubborn” is not a quality that anyone finds desirable in a woman either.  The primary root of this word means to turn away morally.  It means to be rebellious and stubborn about it.  So the picture we get is of a woman who is immoral and rebellious, but she stubbornly refuses to admit that anything she is doing is wrong.

“Her feet (her steps) abide not in her house”– “Abide” means to be merry, saturated with wine, etc.  So we see her as being merry and happy when she is not at her house.  She is not satisfied and fulfilled with just being at home.  Her “merry-making” happens outside of home.

I see this again as being in contrast with another verse.  Titus 2:4-5 says, “that they [women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home…”

Women who are out of God’s natural order dislike being at home or being involved with their husbands.  It’s not a woman doing what is necessary to provide for her household needs.  It’s a woman that looks for any excuse to leave because she is bored at home and is looking for “fulfillment” elsewhere.

Men know when a woman is discontent at home (married or not).  And while she may not appeal to him as a wife, it may be a sexual temptation if he is not where he needs to be.

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THE STRANGE WOMAN

She’s not the woman in red,
She’s not out to win her bread,
She’s wanting something else instead.

There’s no need to fill her purse,
What she craves for is much worse,
And she won’t ever reimburse.

She’s hunting for precious life,
She cares not of how much strife
Is brought upon a man and wife.

She wants him in her power,
Makes him fall any hour,
But her sweetness turns to sour.

She gives pleasures to borrow,
Makes him forget the sorrow
Of remorse he’ll bear tomorrow.

From the first time that he fell,
Her steps led him on to hell.
Most don’t escape, but time will tell.

(Proverbs 7)

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Looking Like a Hooker

 

We all know that one woman, the one that dresses and moves to pro7draw in males.  Her eyes are bold and she carries herself in a way that lets every guy know she wants attention.  She swings her way through a room teasing and flirting and trying to compel any man to desire her.  She may or may not wear a ring on her finger.  Whether she’s married or not doesn’t really matter anyway because long term relationships are not really what she’s after.  And if she has a husband, she already lost interest in pleasing him a long time ago.

She knows the power of a well-put-together, provocative outfit.  Her goal in dress is to draw men in and she dresses to maximize her capability of drawing men’s attention – much like a hunter setting a trap.  She is not a prostitute, but she knows the same tricks a prostitute does.  A prostitute has a goal in her prowess and that is to make money.  This woman does not.  She has a goal, too, but it’s all about power. 

This is not a woman who dresses immodestly without realizing how a man thinks.  A lot of girls who have more showing than they should, have no idea how it makes a guy think.  A girl may innocently wear something that she thinks makes her look cute or “hot” and she may possibly be totally naive about how it might make a guy struggle.  But then there are some women that are quite aware and use every female attribute as a weapon. 

This verse also says she is “subtle of heart”.  She keeps her intentions, her true feelings, and motives hidden from him.  eyes coveredWomen can have a tendency towards being manipulative– sometimes with their own husbands even– but this type of woman wants power over a man and is consumed with this manipulative “subtleness”.  The reason it is so easy for her to draw some men in is because some are controlled by their lust and are lacking “heart” (what the Bible refers to as the will, feelings, intellect).  The woman, on the other hand, is not controlled by lust at all, but she easily makes him believe she only wants what he wants.  So he is “lacking heart”, and she is “subtle of heart”.

This is not an innocent woman being taken advantage of by some smooth-talking guy. She’s not sitting in her house hoping he goes away.  She comes right out to meet him.  And the next verses give more evidence of her character.

Prov. 7:10  And behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart.

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Lingering Near Temptation

Proverbs 7:8-9  Passing through the street near her corner, and he went the way to her house.  In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.

Temptation always begins in the mind.  And giving in to temptation rarely happens in one big bad decision.  Rather, it is usually a series of many small decisions to compromise just a little bit, in just a few areas, that cause us to give in to a major temptation.  The saying “many strokes fell tall oaks” comes to mind.

These verses show a picture of how temptation often plays itself out.  The first little compromise comes when this young man passes on a street near the corner where he would need to turn to go on to her street.  He probably told himself he would just glance down the other street as he passed.  He was hoping for a glimpse of the forbidden.  He might not have had any intention to go to her house. 

This is how temptation works.  He has now put himself in a position where he can now possibly be tempted farther.  People never just suddenly “fall” into adultery, or one day just decide to commit adultery.  It is a process of giving in just a little bit at a time, and the result is a series of small compromises.  As one man put it, “I gave in to the temptation of allowing myself to be tempted”.

streetThis young man probably did not think he would really do anything.  He knew he would be tempted if he walked past her corner, but he gave in to the compromise of allowing himself to be tempted. 

Giving in to that temptation led to the next one.  He probably thought, “See nothing happened when I walked past her corner, it won’t matter if I walk past her house.”

But yet, he felt at least some guilt because he waited through the twilight, (evening) and waited until it was dark to go.  He wanted the cover of darkness, just as any guilty person does.  (“And men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”  John 3:19)

He might not even have realized that he was setting up his circumstances to make it that much easier to give in to a worse temptation.  When you try to set things up for a small sin to be conceived, Satan uses it to his advantage and takes you farther than you ever thought you would go.  When the circumstances are just right for a “small” sin, they will work well for a “bigger” sin as well.

He was making decisions with physical gratification in mind.  Here we can see how he was “lacking heart”.  When the “heart”(referring to vs. 7)  makes decisions, it chooses what is best for the soul.  This man didn’t stop to think of the horrible consequences that could come from one seemingly small decision.

There is a reason that we are warned in Pro. 4:15 about evil: “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and pass away.” 

This young man did just the opposite.  He failed to avoid it, he passed by it, and then even turned down her street.

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Young, Dumb, Stubborn, and Already Know Everything

I don’t know very many people who look back on their teen years without regrets.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone say, “Boy, I wish I could go back to being a teenager again! Those were the best years!”

But yet, all of us remember thinking that we were in the best years of our life when we were in our teens.  We knew it all.  We wanted to do what ever we felt like doing and anyone who stood in our way needed to be pushed aside however we felt like pushing at the moment.  We remember hot summer nights, hanging out with friends, doing things we would never dream of doing now.  But almost every memory is tinged with a feeling of regret, guilt, shame, or self-reproach.

teensAnd what is our response when we see a group of teens standing together, being every bit as loud and obnoxious as we used to be? Do we look at them with disgust and contempt because we are not like them anymore? Do we push them aside or ignore them because they disgust us?

Unfortunately, its altogether too easy to get an attitude like this.  But when you think back to your teens, was there any one adult that made an impression on you or made you feel like you were worth something?  For most of us, there is usually at least one person that comes to mind. 

Am I willing to be that one person in the life of one foolish teen?  Am I willing to sacrifice just a little of my time to invest even just a small amount of love and acceptance regardless of the fact that I may view them as being “void of understanding”?  Am I willing to love like Jesus did– expecting nothing in return?

Hopefully we’ve grown wiser– we know more than we used to.  When we see a young person making foolish choices, we already know what the consequences of those actions will be.  What is our response?

Could we possibly make enough of a difference in one young person’s life that we could influence them not to fall into the same sexual sins that we did?

Proverbs 7:6-7  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.

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