Present postmodern culture operates on the level of feelings – think about it: if there are no metanarratives, no universal truths or absolutes, what is true for you can be diametrically opposed to what is true for me, where is there any place for reason and logic?
I feel that… – Listen to your heart – Pursue your dreams – If it feels good, do it – Say what you feel. Even Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Not a new “problem” – remember Eve; she was deceived/tempted/seduced by the Serpent and made a choice based on desire (Gen. 3:6) instead of reason.
Laying the foundation vv. 1-2
Highly emotional & subjective topic – boy/girl relationships of the right kind and wrong. If God would open any area of life up to feelings as a basis for choices, this would be it. Yet what are the essential guiding elements Solomon emphasizes? Wisdom, understanding, discretion and knowledge.
A. Seduction is only “skin deep” v.3-6
promises always contain some measure of deception – NOT WYSIWYG v.3-4
makeup airbrushing camera angles Botox/cosmetic surgery
Controversy regarding advertising using models that targets teen and younger girls: proposed legislation (England and France) to require disclaimer or outright ban – images have been retouched. Thank you, PhotoShop for my Size 2 appearance – enhanced this, removed that, etc., etc. Ralph Lauren ad 10/2009 (supposedly published by mistake) with model’s waist smaller than head.
Seduction capitalizes on perverse idea that desires = needs, yet never satisfies the desire. If the goal is to satisfy desire, it will never be met; it’s only when we delight in the Lord that our desires will truly be met, by HIM – Psalm 37:4.
seductress and “target” have competing goals
seduction is never a servant; ALWAYS self-serving. The one who seduces does not have the other person’s needs in view, only their desires. External appeal masks internal motive to meet own needs, what the “target” has in mind also; not a surprise, it’s human nature
apparent desirability is merely the bait on the trap
the lie: what you get will be more valuable than what you give. Each expects the other to give in far greater measure than they are willing to do themselves.
seduction leads to destruction v.5-6
the irony: both seducer and seduced have the same end. Seducer anticipates the destruction of the other, not themselves. Seduced anticipates satisfaction not destruction.
seducer is staggering down the path to destruction and does not even realize; no consideration for where results of sinful lifestyle will lead
saddest irony: that which promises to serve self the best is most self-destructive. WCF I.1 – man’s chief end: glorify God and enjoy him; because of God’s design, that will bring greatest satisfaction. Perverse living has opposite effect.
B. Unfaithfulness costs v.7-14
See Augustine,Confessions, II.2.i
a life of dissipation has costs that can never be recovered
only one way to avoid payment: don’t get sucked in at the start
follow your head, not your heart – reason not passion v.7
plan your journey – choose a path that avoids/minimize temptation v.8
avoid those channels – block them if necessary
use a different checkout
swap seats at the restaurant
take a different route or time-of-day for the daily constitutional or trip home from ….
best years (honor/vigor), prime of life v.9
life lived out (spent) with nothing to show v.11
what life there is will be shortened, more difficult, less rewarding, perhaps including serious disease
end of life will be one of regrets v.12-13
your earnings will support someone outside your own home v.10
your labor will benefit another
think blackmail – if you don’t do/give, I’ll tell…./I’ll leave
or divorce decrees – who has custody,who pays
or 900 #’s, or bar tabs, or trips to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun
and who profits
the one determined to satisfy desire will not be restrained by public notice, not even by the church
will come to total and complete ruin v.14
particularly when unfaithfulness becomes public – ruined reputation, fortune
C. Faithfulness rewards v.15-23
be content with the blessing God has already given v.15
“quench your thirst” at home – don’t seek to satisfy desire outside of what God designed and provided
don’t squander the treasure v.16-17
God gave wife and family for enjoyment
blessings are given first for meeting personal need, then family, then broader faith community
God’s gifts are for our enjoyment 1 Tim. 6:17
God’s boundaries guarantee the right kind of pleasure v.18
same as boundaries in Garden of Eden
placed there for man’s good, to “guarantee” his true pleasure, satisfaction
world-think is perverse, upside down, e.g.,
real pleasure comes at a risk
gotta push the limits, take a chance to have real enjoyment
adrenaline rush won’t come without breaking the rules
cherish the gift v.19-20
proper thinking about God’s blessing brings it’s own rush
consider what God’s gift really represents
the best the infinitely wise God could provide for us
God intended desire to be satisfied properly and fully only within bounds of marriage
why even consider straying??
how can you possibly do better than God has done to satisfy your needs and desires? DUH!!
failure to honor boundaries brings disaster v.21-23
violating Edenic boundary resulted in disaster, not pleasure (cp. David & Bathsheba, following generations)
also true whenever we seek any kind of pleasure in places outside what God has designed
Obedience always brings blessing.
John Newton writing to his wife Polly:
It is no wonder if so many years, so many endearments, so many obligations have produced such an uncommon effect, that by long habit, it is almost impossible for me to draw a breath, in which you are not involved.
Try to capsulize marriage better than that!