Proverbs 7:13-20

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Proverbs 7:13-20 13 She seizes him and kisses him;
she brazenly says to him:
14 I have made my peace offerings;
today I have paid my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I sought you, and I have found you.
16 I have decked my bed with coverings,
with colored linen from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
with aloes, and with cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning.
Let us delight in loving caresses!
19 For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took with him a bag of money
and will not return till the moon is full.

Proverbs 7:13-20 (NLT) 13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said,
14 Ive just made my peace offerings
and fulfilled my vows.
15 Youre the one I was looking for!
I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17 Ive perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, lets drink our fill of love until morning.
Lets enjoy each others caresses,
19 for my husband is not home.
Hes away on a long trip.
20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him
and wont return until later this month."

Why is this adulteress talking about a "peace offering"? Let's read about the Peace Offering in Leviticus 11:

Leviticus 7:11-18 (NLT) 11 These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the LORD. 12 If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeastthin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil. 13 This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast. 14 One of each kind of bread must be presented as a gift to the LORD. It will then belong to the priest who splatters the blood of the peace offering against the altar. 15 The meat of the peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the same day it is offered. None of it may be saved for the next morning.
16 If you bring an offering to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, the meat must be eaten on the same day the sacrifice is offered, but whatever is left over may be eaten on the second day. 17 Any meat left over until the third day must be completely burned up. 18 If any of the meat from the peace offering is eaten on the third day, the person who presented it will not be accepted by the LORD. You will receive no credit for offering it. By then the meat will be contaminated; if you eat it, you will be punished for your sin."

She had made a perfunctory but voluntary peace offering and had to eat the meat before the third day or burn it because it is considered contaminated on the third day and "you will receive no credit for offering it". The reason being, in the heat of the Middle East, meat would putrefy and begin to rot. Anyone eating this would be eating something unclean and therefore an abomination.

"Shelamim, 'peace or thank offerings,' were divided between Jehovah, the priests, and the offerer. Part of the appointed victim was consumed by fire; the breast and right shoulder were allotted to the priests; and the rest of the animal belonged to the person who made the offering, who was to eat it with his household on the same day as a solemn ceremonial feast (Leviticus 3; Leviticus 7). The adulteress says that certain offerings were due from her, and she had duly made them. This day have I payed my vows. And now (the day being reckoned from one night to the next) the feast was ready, and she invites her paramour to share it. The religious nature of the feast is utterly ignored or forgotten. The shameless woman uses the opportunity simply as a convenience for her sin." - Pulpit Commentary

This woman had meat on hand from her peace offering and wanted to have a feast to finish off the meat before it went bad. She is inviting this young man, a stranger, into her home under the pretext of helping her eat the meat. She covered her lewdness with the mask of piety and devotion. So this sacred ordinance was being used as an excuse for feasting, drinking, self indulgence, carousing and debauchery. She must have had sufficient money to do a peace offering and have plenty on hand to have a party. She has a home and the luxury of perfumed Egyptian linens on her bed. The man of the house, presumably her husband, is away on business taking sufficient money for his expenses and whatever he may have been going to purchase. He won't be home until the full moon. Since the night is dark, she has plenty of days to party without interruption until he gets home.

This young man was hanging out waiting for her to come out. He may be immature, naive, stupid, but he was NOT deceived. He knew what he was doing. He had no business being around her house, at night, and he made the choice of going with her even though he knew she was married. She used the pretext of a sacred feast, but she was dressed like a prostitute, she grabbed him, kissed him, told him she was married but her husband was gone. She told him a party was waiting and her bed was ready and they could make love for days. He was not deceived, he made the wrong choice. He was tempted because he was already weak in that area of his heart and he kept drawing closer and closer to the flame.

Let's look at this from a logical point of view: He didn't have to do this. He didn't have to sin. He didn't have to suffer temptation. If he felt the sexual desire or the pull of this woman, he could have made the right decision by not going around her house. At night. When her husband wasn't at home. But he knowingly put himself near the flame. She came out and fanned it. Even then, he could have thrust her from him, turned on his heel, gone home, taken a cold shower and picked up a good book. But he kept pushing to see how far it would go. He let her kiss him. He let her talk to him. He let her persuade and cajole him. He let her fill his mind with lustful thoughts. Finally he snapped and fell right into the trap. You see, both of them were playing with fire and they got burned. You can't play with it. You have to extinguish it, walk away. If you keep toying with it, playing around, flirting... you are asking for trouble.

Sometimes it means:
Verbally telling them "NO!"
Blocking cell phone calls
Blocking their posts on Facebook
Blocking their emails
Avoiding them at work, school or wherever you see them
Refusing to talk to them at all
Walking away when they walk up
Don't ride with them even if it's a group
Don't hang out with them even if it's in a group
If you see them at a restaurant, turn around and go to another restaurant
Throw away and destroy anything they've given you
Refusing to talk about them with your friends (no gossip, no slander, no sexual innuendos, no boy talk or girl talk about them)
Do not be alone with them
Even if it means getting another job, it's better to do that than to stay and get burned

Remember Joseph refused his master's wife over and over again. He was a slave and had no choice in staying. But when she grabbed him, he literally slipped out of his coat and ran away from her.

Now let's look a little deeper. This has all been very practical. But let's remember who the real villain is. Satan will do anything to tempt you into sin. You are especially vulnerable if you have a weakness in an area. Maybe you are weak in the area of gossip, or lying, or stealing, or sexual perversion, or drugs, or alcohol, or jealousy, or rage... satan will pull out all the stops to attack you in your weak areas. He will dress it up to look good and tempting. He will hang around your neck and try to whisper in your ears. He will pull on you. He will make it look godly (remember, this woman used a religious celebration). He will make it look easy, beautiful, sexy, fun. He will make it look like there will be no consequences (this woman's husband was gone for days). But once he has you hook, line and sinker, you will suffer the consequences of sin and it isn't pretty!

You really don't want to go where he will take you. So don't let him near you with temptations. If you feel tempted, find a way to run from it! Remember, God loves you and He wants you to withstand and remain free of sin. He gave you His Word and the Holy Spirit to enable you to flee from sin and remain pure. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die to pay for your sins so you wouldn't have to be bound to sin any more.

And, praise God!, if we fall into sin, Jesus is always there to forgive us and cleanse us. He will set us back on the right path. All we have to do is go to Him and repent. He is faithful to forgive us of our sins and we can start again with a clean slate.

Have you ever used a religious holiday for sin? Maybe it's getting drunk at an office Christmas party. Why are they having a party? Because it's Jesus' birthday, but they are using it as an excuse for self indulgence and debauchery. What about Sundays, the Sabbath? What about Mardi Gras? There are a lot of "religious" festivals and holy days but they are used as an excuse to carouse. Does this give you any new thoughts about it?
Learning about the peace offering and feast, did it give you new insight into this passage in Proverbs?
When you first read about a prostitute you might think about poor young women on the streets trying to get enough money for a fix or some food. But the woman in this passage was married, had a home and was affluent enough to do the peace offering and have some luxuries. Why would a woman who seemed to have it all, go looking for trouble? Why would she pick just any stranger on the street to carouse with?
Have you ever compared the adulterous woman with satan trying to tempt you into sin? Can you see the similarities?
Are you aware of danger triggers in your life? Be honest with God and lay it out to Him. Tell him about these triggers and weaknesses and then ask Him to help you avoid the temptations and to empower you to be victorious over them. This is a daily struggle. We all have struggles with our pet sins. You are not alone. But accepting that doesn't mean we accept sin and wallow in it as a "lifestyle choice". God tells us what sin is. We don't have to guess. It's right there in His Word. We just need the clear eyes to see it and He sent the Holy Spirit to give us that clarity and remove all confusion on the issue. So pray and ask God to give you that clarity, remove all confusion, let you see it for what it is and then to empower you to live free. If you have indulged in sin, it is essential to repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness. He loves you and you aren't hiding anything from Him behind a measly fig leaf of excuses, lies, or justifications. He knows. So drop the fig leaves and get on your knees before Him and ask forgiveness.