Perhaps you heard about the 30 “followers of motivational speaker Tony Robbins” who “were burned while walking on hot coals” in Dallas, Texas (nbcnews.com). Mr. Robbins should have heeded Solomon, who wrote, “Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Proverbs 6:28).
This statement comes as part of Solomon’s warning about “the evil woman” and the “adulteress” (cf. 6:24). He warns about her alluring beauty and ways (25), showing the consequences that one may miss when driven by lust rather than law: one is reduced (26), destroyed (32), wounded and disgraced (33), reproached (33), and repaid with revenge (34).
One of Solomon’s two metaphors to depict adultery’s repercussions is feet being burned by walking on hot coals (the other is taking fire in his bosom and his clothes being burned).
Countless men and women have been deceived by the seemingly harmless effects of allowing attraction for someone other than their mate to grow in their hearts and minds. One may let admiration and attraction for this other person to take root in their hearts. Defenses are lowered and lines begin to be crossed. The thrill and excitement of the prospective relationship can come to eclipse rational thoughts about the negative consequences, and the fallout in the lives of all the people affected.
When David gazed at Bathsheba from his rooftop, he saw a beautiful, naked woman rather than murder, death, humiliation, dysfunction, loss of influence, and agonizing heartbreak. His unlawful desire for her prevented him from seeing past what he wanted in the moment.
God’s laws are immutable. One cannot flout them without the fruit that follows. So many who have crossed that line have desperately wished they could go back to the other side of that firebed and taken the righteous path. May each of us have the wisdom to see that pursuing a person who is not your lawful mate is like playing with fire! Don’t get burned.