Summary: There was once an African queen who heard about a powerful king in a faraway land. She was told so many tall tales about this king that she found it impossible to restrain her curiosity.
“There was once an African queen who heard about a powerful king in a faraway land. She was told so many tall tales about this king that she found it impossible to restrain her curiosity. So she left her Ethiopian palace and embarked on a long journey. When she arrived in the fabled kingdom, the queen came face-to-face with the world’s richest man.
His vast estates included parks, zoos, temples, libraries, universities, and lavish resorts. A thousand delights awaited him in his palace of pleasures.
This hedonist was also the greatest thinker in antiquity. He wrote four books that are among the towering classics in history, and he composed wise sayings that are still repeated today, as well as three thousand poems and more than one thousand songs.
After spending months with the king, the African queen gushed, “All that I heard is not even half of what I have seen.” You remember this Ethiopian queen by her kingdom’s ancient name, Sheba. The king was Solomon. The Ethiopian left with memories to last several lifetimes. A thousand years later, an official of the Ethiopian royal court traveled to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple. On the way home, a church deacon told him about Jesus and baptized him. The court official brought Christianity back to Africa, making the Ethiopian Orthodox Church the oldest continuing Christian body in the world —all this because a curious African queen decided to visit a king!” –The One Year Book of Amazing Stories, Robert A. Petterson, p. 609
Today we continue our spiritual journey series, and we consider, from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the encounter with the temptress, and the encounter with the lover. Much like Solomon and Sheba meeting, we see these two encounters are about living with great wisdom, and how powerfully wise choices can change our lives.
This is part of our spiritual journey as we live this life. We all have an innate desire for companionship in life. Some of us are meant to be married, and have a family, others are meant to stay single and serve the Lord.
There are two encounters that you’ll face on your spiritual journey. The first is the temptress, or the tempter. The second is the union with the lover. Let’s begin with the temptress. For this description, we turn to Proverbs chapter 7. In this chapter you have a young man, and he’s on his way in life. He’s growing, prepared to meet someone and settle down together, but instead he comes across a woman that is a danger to him. And if you’re a woman, it’s a man, a tempter, who seems exciting, or mysterious, but something isn’t quite right. You’ll get that feeling in your gut.
It says, Proverbs 7:10-27, "Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.(She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.)She took hold of him and kissed him.”
So you have this woman, who is always out and about looking for someone to get with. Growing up me and my friends called these kinds of women ‘bar girls.’ Same thing ladies, the guy you see whose always with someone new, he’s really slick in how he speaks, he knows just what to say to get a woman into bed. You could call him ‘the bar boy.’ You get the idea.
So she just comes up and kisses this guy in Proverbs and says
"15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
So there drops the bombshell. Shes married! But her husband is away and she wants to get with this guy. Crazy stuff, right? Have you ever developed a sort of friendship with someone of the opposite sex, and they kind of lure you in, and once you already like each other in a deeper way, they drop that bomb and say “I’m married.” And your upset, you feel betrayed, but they’ve already hooked you in, a real connection has developed there. So they say something like, oh you know, its already over, we don’t even talk anymore. And we want to believe the lie because we already like that person. Has that ever happened to you? Terrible!
And that’s actually how sex trafficking can take place. A guy will just act like he’s romancing a woman. He’ll take her to fancy restaurants, take her to the movies, and they start dating. But what’s really going on is he’s grooming her. He’s establishing a romantic connection. Especially for women that is hard to break once it’s developed. And after he’s led her into that connection, he’ll begin to slowly ask her to do things that she wouldn’t normally do. Slowly but surely. And if she refuses, he may beat her, or scare her into doing things. And eventually this woman is working for this man, having sex with strangers for money. She has become a victim of sex trafficking. All through the power of romantic connection. So women, be careful of that, even men, be careful of that, sex trafficking can happen to men as well. Scary stuff.