Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 7:23
"Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life"
This is the Hebrew word kabed, which means liver. This is also the word used from burdensome, heaviness, sorrow, weighed down. There is the idea that the Hebrews thought that the liver was the place where great pain was stored or kept – a physical location for guilt, pain, sorrow, disaster.
The idea here is that you think that you have found the way to really live, but you have added immeasurably to the pain in your life. When you are unfaithful to your spouse, you will have a level of heaviness, sorrow, and guilt shoot through you that will be very hard to deal with.
Betrayal of your spouse should not be entered into lightly because your body will keep score.
This is the Hebrew word pah, which means bird trap or net. The idea is that only an insane bird would fly toward a net or into a trap it could see. It just won't do it. Solomon is trying to paint a picture of what marital unfaithfulness is like. He says it’s like a bird that knowingly flies into a trap so that it can be eaten.
No animal in its right mind goes willingly into a trap. Only the creature that God created in His image – who has freedom of choice – can use this wonderful power which was meant to produce noble choices and honest love to willingly move into a destructive trap.
In our culture, we have minimized the meaning of marital unfaithfulness so that people don't believe it is a big deal. Even though it is not a big deal in our culture, it is a big deal. It is a big deal to the person you betray. It is a big deal to your children. It is a big deal in God's eyes. It is a big deal to the diseases and bacteria that you introduce to your body. It is a big deal to your soul. God is saying that you can't walk past this moral boundary without consequences. Do not do this.
Thankfully there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. If you are willing to confess and repent of your actions, you can be forgiven by God. But that does not mean that all of the other consequences go away. The disease may continue. The loss of one's marriage may continue. The damage to one's other relationships may continue.
God is willing, through the propitionary death of His Son, to forgive your sin and open to you the path to heaven.
This is the Hebrew word nephesh, which means life, soul, mind, etc. There are two different ideas that Solomon may be aiming at here. One is that in a pre-pharmacological culture committing adultery opened one up to all kinds of diseases, such as syphilis in which its final stage was insanity. The second idea or direction of this verse deals with the soul in that the person who betrays their spouse in adultery damages their soul and their life in significant ways. It is not possible to blast a hole through your soul and have your life continue on as though there is no damage or no impact to that kind of destruction. It is possible that both ideas are meant. The second idea probably carries more of the intent of the verse as Solomon has and will consistently suggest that one's life is lived through the soul, not the external body. If your soul is damaged through sin, selfishness, and stupidity, then one has significantly affected the size and functionality of your soul. Without a clear and open soul, life as it was meant to be lived cannot be fully enjoyed.
In fact, this is what we find when a person violates moral boundaries – they pervert their soul so that simple pleasures no longer satisfy them and they begin an endless selfish search for pleasures that will move them. They have left behind the simple pleasures of a good conversation, a child's love, a tender moment, a walk in the park. It must all be thrill, adrenaline, and risk. They have closed off the lower ranges of their soul's nerve endings.