Jesus is not in the Old Testament, I’ve heard it said. While it is true that the incarnate God-made-flesh had not yet touched the soil below, the hope and promise of this Savior breathes through the great Old Testament Story. A salvation tale that began in an Old Testament Garden took root in the hearts of God’s chosen people. Every prayer, every sacrifice, every expectation waited for that tender shoot to sprout from the stump of Jesse. And finally, one night, the Son of God broke forth, and He shined His light on the living vine that had always been there, connecting the whole story of God’s people to Jesus Christ.
Tangled in mercy from Genesis to Revelation, the story of Jesus runs through the Old Testament. And so these Old stories are not different stories, but rather more beautiful and significantly enlightened by our risen Lord. Enjoy the precious story of an Old Testament Prostitute from Proverbs 7:6-27, renewed by the promise fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
Out of the corner of my eye I can see that simple boy. An orange sky warms the deserted streets with the final glow of safe light. He strolls to the edge of the park, just outside my kitchen window.
Lights along the street pop on as evening descends. The little pins of light stand at attention in good order, guarding the perimeter of the quiet park grass. That is, until you reach the end of the street, where the corner sharply turns into the trees. A gray crooked street lamp slouches at that terrible corner of the street where evil dwells.
The young man continues his journey, wandering along the dark paths, kicking a stone here and there, leaning briefly, putting his hands in his pockets, spinning unpredictably to his new destination. As I watch, he moves closer and closer to that crooked streetlight. Not because he is curious, necessarily, nor because the light is blurry and softer, but simply because he has no other destination, as far as I could tell.
If I could yell to him, if he would hear me through the second story apartment window, across the street at the other end of the park, I would tell him to turn around. All of the children knew to stay away from that dark and dangerous corner. It is the place from where the young and foolish do not return. But my voice is too far away. My counsel is too late to have been heard. He is walking right into the trap. I can only sit and watch from afar.
And then I see her.
She slips into the misty light at the corner of the street. Red stilettos kiss the pavement with her confident sexy stride. That silky black hair transforms the dull gray streetlight into sparkling stars, almost resembling a shiny crown. Tossing her head a bit to reveal her deeply plunging neckline, she takes a long heaving breath and calls out. “Over here, you.”
He hears her. He sees her. He walks directly to her crooked corner.
She slides right up to this young one under the street light. Her voice is as smooth as oil. She says hello using every bit of her tongue to annunciate the greeting. Her lips pout and puff with nasty little words of seduction. She pulls him a little closer, brushing her breasts up his chest as she continues to hypnotize him with sensual words. Gently, her finger slides across his collar bone, down one arm, to his hip. She catches his belt and smacks her body tightly against his.
Pressing her soft warm mouth on his, her kiss tastes like a deep rich chocolate. She slithers her tongue across his teeth and deep into his mouth. Both hands claw feverishly at his back, as her body trembles with an intense craving. She draws back, her eyes stare directly into his. She leans forward biting his lip, and she leads him inside like a dog on a leash.
To my horror, he follows her into that dark little house. This cunning adulteress lies in wait for fresh young boys while her husband is away. She catches the unsuspecting with her tight dress and terrible lies. Even though I can’t see inside that house, I can only guess what she is doing. She is seducing him as she has no doubt done with all the other boys she has captured in the past. She is lying to him to satisfy her own twisted desires. Yet, He walked through her front door like an ox to the slaughter, or like a bird right into a trap. When inside, she’ll rip off his shirt. She’ll tear at his pants with erotic rage. Thrusting him onto the bed, she will lock him in the shackles between her thighs. Whipped and scourged by the beating of her powerful hips, he will become part of her sexual fantasy.
The poor foolish boy! He should have known better. Once she had him in her sight, she bound him in her chains. Her power is that this crafty deceitful woman looks and sounds too good to be true. She says all the right things. She cleans up to look so enticing. She has dutifully “offered her sacrifices,” suggesting a pious heart. What young man wouldn’t be aroused by her sweet talk? What ordinary boy could resist the temptations of her lips?
If any boy enters her house, he will never come out alive. It happens every time without fail. After this wayward woman takes her fill from these young men, she fills them with the same poisonous life of shame she lives. By uniting with this unclean woman, a foolish boy exchanges Wisdom for a lie. In fellowship with this diseased woman, he takes on her every dirty sin. If he only knew beforehand what would inevitably happen when her angry husband came home. A young boy might be sleeping, exhausted from the night of activity. But this jealous husband wakes him up in a rage. Thundering, screaming, crashing all around him, such a foolish boy would be scared beyond belief. This husband knows exactly what happened during the night; an unfaithful youth slept with his adulterous wife. There is no escape, there are no excuses, wrath will be dealt out to each of them. The unashamed woman will certainly pay her penalty. The young boy will die, and he never even saw it coming.
I look out the window. There is no movement from the house across the street. I know what happened. The boy is dead. He was killed on the path of darkness. He was slaughtered by the angry husband at the end of the street.
My gaze becomes sleepy, out my kitchen window. Scared sympathetic tears dried three days ago, yet I couldn’t look away from that hopeless house. How many more will it swallow? When will the next foolish boy wander along, only to struggle for his last breath? Who can stand up to that terrible, crafty, evil woman?
Early in the pale gray morning hour, I suddenly see a light flicker in the window at the crooked corner. A soft and clear white fire pierces the morning mist. A candle seems to be rekindled from the deadly quiet shadows. I can barely make out the figure of… could it be? The boy?? I am almost sure of it, squinting, moving closer to see. It is the likeness of that foolish youth who wandered into the temptress’ house. But there is a commanding pride now shining from this triumphant boy’s face. He is not dead, after all? He is alive!
After three long days, the boy bursts from the treacherous tomb. He walks right out of the front door. The first yellow light of dawn shines on his satisfied smile. His clothes even seem to radiate with victory. I watch him fill his lungs with the sweet breath of a new day. By this time, the shabby little gray light at the end of the street is swallowed by the rays of the dawning sun. All the other streetlights bow to this bright and awesome morning. And the boy steps forward, down the right path.
My daughter, what I just witnessed was the incredible journey of a boy who smashed the curse of the Evil One. He walked into her house of death willingly. He knew how many she had slept with. He knew the evil in her heart. He knew her wickedness would kill him. But our Boy still walked inside. She delivered him to death because of her wandering adulterous heart. She tried to pull him away from the good and faithful path, but ultimately, she was not strong enough. He was no ordinary man. He knew no sin. He was the Son of the Most High God. He was the Word of God Himself.
He paid the death toll so that His bride, His people, would follow Him out of the tomb.
Of course, now you recognize your story. Jesus Christ walked among the footsteps of a simple people. Jesus stepped innocently into the house of the Evil One, not because He was tricked, but rather because He knew this was what must be done to save the foolish ones. He had to go all the way to death to satisfy the wrath of that Angry Husband; the one who demands payment for sins committed. God never compromised His righteousness and justice. From the very beginning of creation, God declared death to those who disobeyed. Although Jesus never sinned, He embraced the rebellion of all people when He faced the Evil One.
But Jesus Christ did not stay dead. God raised Him up to eternal life. The Father was well pleased with His Son Who did no wrong, Who walked in the way of wisdom, Who would give His righteous crown to an undeserving, adulterous people. This, my daughter, is your story.
But something beyond wonder happens next. Just when we thought it was simply amazing that this young man comes back to life and turns back the curse of death, there is even another chapter to our story.
The Boy walks out of the silent tomb that quiet morning hour and seems to stall in the middle of the front yard of that terrible little house. Slowly, he turns back to gaze at the door from which he came. His right hand raises as if to point back to the passage through death. A smile bursts from his shining face. His eyes widen. And something rustles behind the dark threshold.
White lace flutters from the door frame. Under the gleaming streams of fabric emerges a slender soft foot. Delicate fingers lay hold of the rotten gray house. She glides halfway outside. A whisper of wind tosses a golden curl behind her creamy white shoulder. A magnificent woman returns this boy’s loving smile. Stretching her toes, she dances toward his outstretched arm. He gently catches her, cradles her in an embrace, and effortlessly carries her away from that house.
The Evil Temptress was surely dead, but a new and beautiful creature stood in her place. The Boy brought forth a restored woman, a beautiful bride, a new life. When he walked away from his tomb, he did not go alone. He waited for his lovely wife to share eternal life.
And so it is with our story, my daughter. Jesus did not rise from the dead for Himself. He paid the death toll so that His bride, His people, would follow Him out of the tomb. God’s people are restored with the honored title of Bride. It was no accident that many of the parables Jesus told included a bridegroom and a wedding feast. The faithful people were very familiar with this relationship language with their God. So, Jesus exchanged his pure heart for a black one stained by sin. He exchanged our filthy rags for the splendor of righteousness. We are beauties restored by the blood of Christ. We are welcomed at the great wedding feast because Jesus dressed us in His garments. We are the holy people of God because Jesus washed us whiter than snow.
Jesus revealed that He was the bridegroom for the people of God, and our hearts swelled with hope—He has finally come!