“This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
“Prostitute” and “the forbidden woman” and “adulteress” are metaphors used in the book of Proverbs to describe the seductive dangers of a fallen world; the temptations that would cause us to abandon God’s path.
Proverbs warns repeatedly to stay far away from the forbidden woman. As this verse tells us, the forbidden woman indulges her immoral appetites with zero conscience. Here is what earlier verses in Proverbs had to say:
“Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.” (Proverbs 5.20-21)
“The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.” (Proverbs 22.14)
“For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind.” (Proverbs 23.27-28)
We live in a fallen world. There are snares and pitfalls we need to avoid. There are temptations and seductions we must stay away from. There are people who seek to deceive us and ideologies that want to pull us off-path. There are lies and deceptions we must have the discernment to recognize and the discipline to reject.
Let me say that again: There are lies and deceptions we must have the discernment to recognize and the discipline to reject.
Proverbs issues the warning: Don’t be intoxicated by the forbidden woman; by the destructive seductions of the world. Why would you want to be under the influence and control of someone or something that wants to do you harm? That is the nature of an attractive lie. It is pleasurable in the beginning, but it is also intoxicating … that is, it impairs your judgment and distorts your decision-making.
Under the influence of lust and lies, we do foolish things that damage ourselves and others.
We must trust God’s standards and stay on the path. We must recognize the intoxicating deceit of the forbidden woman and walk in a way that is worthy of God’s call on our life.
“So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.” (Proverbs 2.20)