Message: Proverbs 7 is a directive warning to Solomon’s son to obey and treasure the commands and keep wisdom and understanding close to his heart like a sister and a close relative. These instructions were intended to protect him from the temptation of the “forbidden woman.” The story that follows shows the seductive behavior of the “forbidden woman” and the lies and flattery she uses to entice a young man who is unprepared to handle the pressure of temptation because he hasn’t established discipline and wisdom in his life. This story is obviously very plainly talking about the temptation and destruction of adultery, but this also applies spiritually to us as the bride of Christ. God uses marriage to mirror his relationship with the church so when we disregard wisdom and obedience, we become like this young man walking around “with no sense”. Our sin is not just a mistake or a bad grade on our reputation. God views our unfaithfulness like a cheating spouse and it destroys our lives. When we view our sin for what it is, we are less likely to downplay it and continue repeating it. The point of this story was to teach prevention so that we aren’t enticed by situations. Wisdom is obtained through consistent discipline and obedience. When we are in the habit of obedience we are less likely to be tempted and we develop the wisdom to recognize the schemes for what they are. We might read past this story because we don’t relate to that type of temptation but there are so many other kinds of temptations. Most of us have seen our share of financial scams out there. Someone pretends to offer a deal that is too good to pass up. To a young, immature person it may be tempting but those of us who have been around a while aren’t tempted even a little bit because we are fully aware of the scam. Wisdom has taught us well and we are not moved by it. A kidnapping ploy that has been used for years on young girls is the flattery of telling a young teenage girl that she is pretty and that someone wants to help her get into modeling. The flattery and the dream of modeling is too much and despite her underlying suspicion that it sounds too good to be true, and knowing she shouldn’t be engaging a conversation with a stranger she falls for the trap and is kidnapped and taken into sex trafficking rings. To a girl who has no interest in modeling she might not be lured so easily with this tactic, but she may be lured to rescue an injured or lost animal. My point is that most of us are wise to scams and dangerous situations out there in the physical world, but the enemy of our soul knows which strings to tug on in our hearts. He plays on our insecurities, goals, dreams, fears and even in our heart to help. Wisdom and obedience keeps all of these things in check and protects us from falling from the schemes and traps of the enemy. We develop that wisdom and obedience ourselves directly connected in relationship with God. We have to be in the word, and we have to have our hearts surrendered so that we aren’t chasing our own desires. We are prayerfully submitted to wherever God is leading us.