For today’s devotional thought we return to Solomon’s story of a young man who, in the company of other like minded fools, allows his heart to be drawn away by a temptress (Proverbs 7:6-9). The verses in today’s study take our focus to a woman who, in the absence of her husband, forsakes the vows of her marriage and commits adultery.
We will note the appearance, attitude and actions of an adulterer.
Proverbs 7:10-12 – “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)”
Notice the adulterer’s appearance: Her dress is as the “attire of an harlot” (7:10a). Solomon lived 3,000 years ago, well before malls, slick advertisements and Hollywood glitz; however, he drew a distinction in a woman’s dress and that of an adulterer. It is my observation that the dress of the harlot has moved from the darkened, seedy street corner to Main Street in America. Modesty is still God’s standard for Christian women (1 Timothy 2:9-10) and believers should strive for appropriate decorum in dress and action (1 Peter 3:1-2). Sad to say, the church has followed the world in its style and standards.
Solomon also addresses the adulterer’s attitude: She is “subtil of heart” (cannot be trusted; her ways are sly and cunning – 7:10) and “loud and stubborn” (7:11a). She has a rebel’s heart. She is loud and raging, venting her rebellion with angry words and threats.
Finally, we notice her actions betray the heart of a fornicator, driven by lust and a passion for sin (7:11b-12). Her thoughts are not set upon the matters of her home nor the needs of her family; “her feet abide not in her house” (7:11b). She is everywhere, when she should be at home! She is “without” [on the highways], “in the streets” [in the marketplaces, shopping centers and malls] and “lieth in wait at every corner” [as one lying in ambush, she entraps the fool who entertains her in his heart and thoughts].
It is said that the rate of divorce in the church is equal to that of secular society. There was a time I would have challenged that observation, but no longer. I have known far too many professing Christians who allowed their hearts and thoughts to entertain forbidden lust, casting aside the sacred vows of marriage, as though God will overlook their sinful indiscretions! What preachers of past eras use to say still holds true: “The chickens do come home to roost” and your sins will find you out (Numbers 32:23; Galatians 6:7)!
Some reading this devotional are victims of an unfaithful spouse; like the husband of the adulteress in today’s devotional, you carry the sorrows and consequences of a spouse’s sins. If you are a member of a Bible-believing church that addresses adultery, as it should, the unfaithful spouse who refuses to repent shall be declared by the church an unbeliever (Matthew 18:17). When the church addresses adultery in its midst, Paul writes that the believer married to an unrepentant spouse is “not under bondage” (1 Corinthians 7:15).
I close with Solomon’s challenge to his son:
Proverbs 4:23 – “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”