Once, while they were watching for an opportune day, she went in as before with only two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was very hot. And no one was there except the two elders, who had hid themselves and were watching her. She said to her maids, “Bring me oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I may bathe.” They did as she said, shut the garden doors, and went out by the side doors to bring what they had been commanded; and they did not see the elders, because they were hidden. – Daniel 13:15-18
One inner circle behavior wasn’t evident until a therapist helped me see it.
It’s easy to read this story and see the judges’ faults of lust, plans to gang rape Susanna, and lies under oath.
Do not miss their voyeurism. It is easy not to spot it in the story or in your own life. I spied not how I spied others.
At the beginning of this story, the elders are watching Susanna come and go. Here, they’re watching her as she goes to bathe.
One behavior led to another. Had the elders practiced custody of the eyes, they would not have lusted to the extent they did. They would not have turned their eyes from Heaven. They would not have conspired together to sin more gravely.
In my life, I called voyeurism by innocuous names like “people watching” and “curiosity.” It started as a glance, then a stare, then a peep through closed window blinds. Next I bought binoculars and a camera. I took the pictures with me when I was alone, and pleasured myself to them.
I never committed a rape, but neither did the judges. Why? The circumstances were not right. Had things been different, could I have attempted it like them? Could I have lied in court like them? Could I have gone through with it? Could they have? The answer to all those questions is yes.
God’s grace has pulled me away from this darkness. I repent and choose to follow Him.