For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
Fornicators and adulterers think and say, “We will not get caught.” In this proverb, an adulteress enticed her victim by promising safety for a secret liaison. Lying no less than Satan to Eve, she told him no harm would come, for her husband was traveling. Lying no less than Delilah to Samson, she did not tell him that his God was not on a long journey.
The older English word “goodman” means a husband. The sly Jezebel here in Solomon’s parable used this word to speak of her husband distantly and disrespectfully (Pr 2:17), to keep both consciences from thinking about her innocent husband, her lover from her youth. Adultery usually requires some degree of criticism of spouses for it to ever occur.
Using male pronouns like “he” and “him” to slight her diligent husband (Pr 7:19-20), she suggested her own bed as a safe place for their tryst (Pr 7:16-17). She offered much time for great lovemaking, as he would be gone a good while (Pr 7:20). It is godly wisdom for women to practice the reverence of Sarah when thinking of their husbands (I Pet 3:5-6).
She further spoke of her husband’s long journey, and implied frequent business trips by it, to solicit sympathy from the fool that she was lonely and needed his love and affection. How many adulterers have excused their heinous sin by blaming a spouse, when it is rather a lack of the fear of God and temperance to keep them content in their marriage?
Sin is deceitful, but sexual sins are more deceitful than most (Pr 3:13). The short pleasure can be so great and the distant consequences so obscure, sexual sins are considered victimless as long as both parties consent. But sin does not tell you about sexual diseases, unwanted pregnancies, guilt, shame, jealous husbands or angry fathers, future sexual dysfunction, unwanted memories, confusion of love and sex, resentment, loneliness, etc.
America and much of the world now entertain themselves with such sexual intrigues as this parable describes by their songs, novels, and movies. Adultery is epidemic and encouraged by the media for women to find themselves and for older women to have fun with younger men. Men think it is their prerogative and role to bed as many women as possible. But what does God and the Bible say about such heinous wickedness?
Solomon’s lesson here would be a great plot for a movie or novel today, and the whore would be the heroine. All would enjoy her arts of beguiling the young man; her conquest would be celebrated as the triumph of love; the drama would conclude pleasantly; and most young men that saw or read it would desire to be so lucky. Thus fools make a mock at sin (Pr 14:9). Thus Satan sells his poison (Ps 101:3). But what does the LORD say?
He condemned both parties to death (Lev 20:10; Deut 22:22-24; II Sam 12:13; John 8:5). What if both were consenting? It is a sin worthy of death (Heb 13:4; Rev 21:8). A husband in Israel returning from a business trip could take his wife to the priests for the test of jealousy, with no need for circumstantial evidence. If she were guilty of sexual infidelity, her belly would swell and her genitals would rot immediately (Num 5:11-31).
Business trips are often more dangerous for men, for there are many temptations in a fine hotel far from home, with much time, luxurious food and wine, and anonymity. Let every man that nameth the name of Christ limit his travels and keep his vessel (I Thess 4:1-8). To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Let Joseph be your example (Gen 39:7-12).
Keep your marital separations to a minimum. Separation only makes the heart grow fonder if both parties are godly and the separation necessary. Otherwise, spouses have daily lovemaking obligations, and unnecessary separations become covenant breaking and defrauding and give sexual place to Satan (I Cor 7:1-5). God knew separations would occur due to business and war, so He prohibited them for the first year (Deut 24:5).
A virtuous woman can always be trusted, no matter where she is (Pr 31:10-12). Yet to be safe, women should limit and guard their time away from home (Pr 7:11-12; I Tim 5:12-15), for the woman is an easy target for seduction (Pr 30:19-20; Gen 3:1-6; I Tim 2:14; I Pet 3:7). She can help herself much by staying busy at home (Pr 31:13-27; Titus 2:3-5). And she must have fulfilling and frequent lovemaking with her husband (I Cor 7:1-5).
Though a husband leaves for a long business trip, the eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching everything the sinful wife thinks and does, and be sure her sin will find her out (Pr 15:3; Num 32:23). The husband far from home should remember that God watches his sexual intentions and actions also (Pr 5:21; Job 34:22; Jer 23:24; Heb 4:13). Beware!
Dear reader, the goodman of the church will soon return, the Lord of glory, the bridegroom and husband of the church (Matt 24:42-51; Mark 13:34-37; I Thess 3:13; 5:1-10; II Pet 3:9-17). Will He find you waiting in adoring purity and faithfulness? Or in bed with the world (James 4:4)? The pleasure of meeting Him confidently far exceeds any pleasures of sin for a season here, ask Moses or Jesus (Heb 11:24-26; Mark 10:28-30).