Proverbs 7:13-20

Proverbs 7:13-20 "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 payed my vows.  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed."
Christian Ministry WNY
With knowledge comes power.  Insight brings advantage.  Solomon knew this better than any.  The moment he took his God-given insight to discover the true mother of the living infant, he knew he had the power to lead his people.  His wisdom gave him the power to solve problems.  His wisdom gave him the power to outsmart any potential opponent. His wisdom gave him the confidence of the people and that confidence preserved his power as a king.  With knowledge comes power.

This is true in all areas of life.  Take the work force for example. Work ethic is very important but work ethic without knowledge leaves you without advantage in the work force.  When I worked in the machine shop after college, my work ethic was valuable to the company but it didn’t make them turn a blind eye to my lack of knowledge.  I didn’t go to college for machining nor did I have any experience in machining.  For that reason, I couldn’t advance ahead of the machinists who had knowledge by education and experience.  Sweat didn’t make produce good parts off the machine.  Ambition didn’t make the equipment perform any better.  Diligence and determination, as good as they are, can’t replace knowledge.

A strong military is important but strength without knowledge leaves an army without advantage in battle.  A unified military is important but unity without knowledge leaves an army at a disadvantage to an opponent who has better intelligence.  Bigger vehicles do not guarantee a victory on the battle field.  More muscle doesn’t ensure a victory on the battle field.  Grit doesn’t win conflict.  An intelligent person in a small cubicle hundreds of miles away can defeat a mighty army with just a few clicks of a mouse.  Military strategy is more important than military might.  Solomon wrote of this very truth in the book of Ecclesiastes when he recounted the story of a “great king” besieging a “little city.”  The great king was eventually defeated by a “poor wise man.”  He concluded, “Wisdom is better than strength” (Ecc. 9:16) and finished by saying, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war” (Ecc. 9:18).

With knowledge comes power.  It is important to note however, that this power isn’t always used for good.  Historically and presently, governments all around the world use their knowledge of people to control them.  Companies use their knowledge of human nature to get money from people.  Drug lords and drug companies use their knowledge of chemistry to enslave people for the sole benefit of getting wealthy.  Perverted and hideous adults use their knowledge of young children to destroy their lives for personal pleasure.  With knowledge comes power.  The best salesmen and saleswomen are those who have knowledge pertaining to human nature and to the specific natures of men and women.  There are people in this world who have tremendous insight into human nature and for that reason alone, could sell ice to an Eskimo.  These are the people who can market a harmful product in such a way that people are convinced it will help them.  This reality makes knowledge and insight potentially very dangerous.  
 
By experience and observation, Solomon knew how dangerous some people could be to his children simply because of their knowledge of human nature.  He was writing to warn his son of these powerful people. In this chapter and in his illustrated lesson, he was attempting to equip his son with the insight necessary to see and avoid these insightful people.  Life is a battle of the mind.  The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to avoid those that know a lot.  This “strange woman” was incredibly powerful.  She was powerful but not because of her beauty, nor of her social status.  She was powerful but not because of wealth or success.  She was powerful because of her mind.  She had tremendous insight into human nature and more importantly, into the mind of men.  She knew how men thought.  She knew how men felt.  She knew what made a man tick.  She knew what excited a man.  She knew what interested a man.  She knew what a man couldn’t resist.  She knew what a man couldn’t ignore.  She knew how to get what she wanted from men.  This knowledge made her incredibly powerful.  Sadly, she used this power for selfish and evil purposes.

Note this “strange” woman’s insight as recorded in Solomon’s observations:

1. She knew that men immediately respond to being touched.  

13a So she CAUGHT him…

Before she said anything, she touched him.  At some point in her life, she learned that if she wanted to get a man’s attention, words do very little.  At some point in her life, she learned that men prefer the physical over the emotional.  She learned that men are best engaged physically rather than verbally.  Men certainly learn in the classroom but they learn best on the basketball court, on the football field or in the shop.  In general, men don’t mind conversation but they prefer interaction.  This woman was strategic in her intentions with the young man.  Her knowledge of men made her nearly irresistible.  
 
2. She knew that men become easily captivated by a kiss.  

13b So she caught him, and KISSED him…

Once she had his attention with the touch, she proceeded to kiss him.  Before she said a single word, she first touched and kissed the young man.  This simple act was not done out of passion nor was it done out of romantic desire.  It was intentional and strategic.  She kissed him so as to provoke a male-specific response.  A kiss from a “strange” woman would incite passion within him.  A kiss from a strange woman would gain her his undivided attention.  This kiss would begin to break down self-control in his soul and remove reason from his mind.  Her words would be nearly impossible to resist after a kiss.  While women also respond to touch and certainly to a kiss, few women would respond to the touch and kiss of a strange man.  Most women would be turned off and even offended by a strange man who engaged in physical activity before any verbal conversation.  Men and women are very different.  Men and women respond very differently.  This woman knew men very well and she used her knowledge to get an advantage over men.  

3. She knew that men become excited by bold advances.  

13c So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an IMPUDENT FACE said unto him,  

After touching him and kissing him, this insightful woman intentionally put on a specific “face.”  She raises and lowers her eyebrows while looking deeply into his eyes with a sense of romantic boldness.  She knows that he will be looking at her face when she speaks her words so she speaks with a daring countenance.  An impudent face is a face without shame and without modesty.  An impudent face is one without concern or respect for consequence.  This woman knew that a man would be excited by such a face.  Given what she is about to say, this face would stir up male-specific passions.  This woman knew that men are sight-oriented.  She knew that one’s facial expression means just as much to a man as one’s words.

4. She knew that men are more comfortable with reputable women than sketchy women.  

14 I have PEACE OFFERINGS with me; this day have I payed my VOWS.

This is a most curious statement that she starts with when engaging in conversation. It would appear that she starts with a reference to her feigned morality so as to distance herself from the ill-favored reputation of a prostitute.  Peace offerings are those offerings within Judaism that were offered after fulfilling a vow or simply to express gratitude to God.  Peace offerings were typically followed by a feast using the remaining portion of the animal sacrifice (unlike burnt offerings where the entire animal was burnt).  The feast following the peace offerings had to take place within a day or two of the offering.  While this is most likely a lie, she knew that men are more comfortable going home with someone who appears to be an upstanding individual versus a person of questionable character.  Given her profession and her motive for money, a prostitute would not be trusted.  A “church-going woman” would be more trustworthy, despite the blatant hypocrisy in such an advance.  A man would tend to believe her advances as sincerely emotional or physical rather than merely financial.  Again, this woman’s knowledge of men made her powerful, dangerous and nearly irresistible.

5. She knew that men long to feel wanted by women.  

15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, DILIGENTLY to SEEK THY FACE, and I have found thee.

This was the secret sauce of her strategy.  She knew what few women know.  She learned what few women learn.  She knew that men live lives yearning to feel wanted by a woman.  Most men feel perpetually unwanted by their wives because they hear more criticism than praise and because their wives typically express more dissatisfaction than satisfaction with them.  Because a man thrives on respect, he feels unwanted when he receives so little respect.  Men quickly and easily fall for women who make them feel wanted, which is precisely why infidelity so easily takes place in the workplace where professional relationships naturally make men feel wanted.  This woman knew men incredibly well.  With her knowledge came great power.

6. She knew that men are highly sexual beings with a unique weakness to resist the bedroom.  

16 I have decked MY BED with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed MY BED with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

Having touched this young inexperienced man – having kissed this young man “void of understanding” – having captivated this ignorant man with her impudent face – having stroked his ego and appealed to his gender-specific mind, this strange woman goes for the male jugular.  She paints the picture of a bedroom waiting for him and for her.  Where this woman learned about men, we don’t know.  How this woman learned about men, we don’t know.  What we do know is that she knew men very well.  She knew that men have a mind that instinctively goes to sexual fantasy.  With a hand on his body and with an impudent face, she painted the picture of a bedroom with great detail.  She knew his mind would be nearly powerless to resist going to see this bedroom with his own two eyes.  While women could resist this temptation and deny such advances, this young man would be nearly powerless to deny her invitation.  Her insight into the opposite sex made her powerful over the opposite sex.

7. She knew that men are looking for a thrill but not a threat.  

19 For the GOODMAN is NOT AT HOME, he is gone a long journey:
20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

Having identified herself as a moral woman and not a lewd prostitute, she knows that the young man will be thinking about something else.  Having identified her bedroom in prosperous terms and not as the bedroom of a cheap hotel, she knows the young man will be thinking about something else.  She knows he’ll be thinking about her home and whether or not there will be a man in the home.  She finishes her seduction by assuring him that the man of the house is not in the house and won’t be coming back to the house for a while.  She is careful not to call the “goodman” her husband, lest that awaken his conscience or discretion.  She knew that men love the thrill of romantic passion with a “strange” or curious woman but she also knew that men are not interested in a fight with another man.  She knew that men know full well how a husband would respond to his wife’s infidelity.  She knew what Solomon just concluded the previous chapter with, “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Prov. 6:34).  This woman had a masterful strategy that finished with keeping his mind on the bedroom without any concern of being caught in the bedroom.

By choice, this young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Because of his inexperience, indiscretion and lack of insight, he would become victim to a far more knowledgeable foe.  He would be slain by her seduction.  This woman was full of insight into men and she used that insight to sell ice to an Eskimo.  She used her knowledge of men to gain advantage over them and to exercise power over them.  Testosterone was no match for this woman - she was smarter than men.  Men may have had more physical strength than her but her mental strength was superior to theirs.  Later in this chapter, Solomon would tell his son that “many STRONG men have been slain by her” (vs. 26).

This evil woman would be defeated not by will power but by brain power.  Rehoboam would need to get wisdom from God so as to know himself and his weaknesses well.  He would need to get understanding from God so as to know women and their tendencies well.  He would need to get insight from God so as to perceive evil intents in people and avoid those people.  Temptation is hard to resist.  Insight from God helps us avoid temptation altogether.  Wisdom keeps us from being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.  With knowledge comes power.
 
Wisdom from God brings us power from God.

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