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. 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. Prov. 7:21-27
Dear Lord Jesus, we’ve been created, and re-created, to connect with you deeply—to enjoy an intimacy, union, and communion of which our best relationships are only a hint, a whisper, a symbol. But alas, like all good things, our longings get hijacked and sabotaged by sin and death.
Samson and King David don’t stand alone in the poor stewardship of weakness and longing. Every one of us is capable of being seduced and every one of us is capable of pursuing others for self-satisfying ends. Every single day, we need the gospel to keep us sane and centered, wise and careful.
There are many lonely husbands, wives, single people who are primed for a fling, targets for an affair—aching, yearning, reaching for a few minutes of pleasure to medicate months, years, even a lifetime of disconnect and emptiness. It may never become physically sexual, but sometimes just the emotional connection can bring an exhilaration bordering on intoxication, an intoxication that can lead to addiction and an addiction that leads to multiple forms of death.
Jesus, how well I know that it’s not just lonely and unhappily married people who veer onto the “grave highway” leading to the “chambers of death.” Even when we’re connecting well—even when our marriages are at a good place, or even when we’re quite content and fulfilled in our singleness, our seduce-ability is ever present. It may be dormant, but never dead; at bay, but never beyond springing to life.
How we long for our life in the new heaven and new earth—when we will never be capable of ever sinning again, or even of being tempted. Hasten that Day, Lord Jesus, hasten that Day.
I know the way of the gospel is neither paranoia nor presumption but rather wisdom, care, and freedom. So, Lord Jesus, give us—give me, more gospel sanity. As this Scripture commands, we determine not turn our hearts toward the seducer, but turn towards you. You are constantly wooing us in the gospel, saying, “Come away, my beloved.” We praise you for your constant pursuit, daily mercies and everlasting joy.
Your desire is for us and your banner over us is love. Who do we have in heaven but you, Lord Jesus, and being with you, who or what could we possibly desire more on this earth? You alone have the words of eternal life, and only your love is better than life. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ peerless and loving name.