New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 Keep your way far from her
And do not go near the door of her house,
9 Or you will give your vigor to others
And your years to the cruel one;
10 And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien;
The cruel one. What an interesting wording from this passage about adultery and promiscuity. In the heat of passion with a pretty woman a man may fail to realize he’s also about to suffer the wrath of the cruel one. I’m fascinated by that wording. On one hand affection, passion and love of a woman who isn’t your wife. On the other hand the wrath, anger and hatred of the cruel one using this affection to destroy you.
Few men in the pastorate realize that behind the kisses and affection of a pretty woman who says she loves you is an enemy who says he hates you. What you see as your “soul mate” is actually the perfect weapon of the enemy of your soul whose only goal is the destruction of your life, your marriage, your ministry and your church. In a moment of passion and affection he can accomplish all of that!
Church, realize that behind every enticement to unfaithfulness, to an affair, is the cruel one in the shadows smiling at the opportunity to destroy everything you love. If you find yourself attracted to a pretty face, an affectionate glance, someone who “really cares about you” realize that behind that person is another, the cruel one, waiting to destroy everything you care about.
The cruel one wears his name proudly. He has no mercy, no care for you, your wife, your kids, your church or your life. His great deception for you is that this affection, this affair is real and will satisfy your empty soul, but all it will do is destroy everything. Solomon’s words are a vivid picture for anyone in the pastorate!