A STUDY OF WISE LIVING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
Wisdom needs to be applied to our sexual urges
Proverbs 7:1-15 and (6:20-35) SCC 7/26/15
Here is the longest extended teaching on the subject of sexual immorality in the Bible. The section begins in 6:20 and concludes in 7:27. The main character is the married seductress 6:24, 26, 29, 32; 7:5, 10-11, and 19. The target is the naïve young man 6:20, 25, 27; 7:1, 7, 22, 24. So the instruction takes the form of a woman’s seductive tactics to draw a youth into adultery. It is only wisdom that will extinguish the temptations of sexual urges. A template for this situation is Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.
THE REALITY OF SEXUAL SEDUCTION WARRANTS THE NEED TO PROTECT ONESELF
Make protection from sexual seduction a permanent part of one’s thinking 6:20-24
Verse 20-21: The ‘son’ is exhorted to observe and not forsake the teaching of father and mother about this reality v 20. Implicit is that a good home life—a father and mother sharing the rearing of the children together—is the way of preventing youth from sexual deviancy. The point is that the teaching about this reality and the warnings associated with it must become permanent fixtures—memorized and practiced in the youth’s life v 21. Children must be equipped with the truth about this reality in every way.
Verse 22-24: The motivation for the permanent deployment of this thinking is direction and protection v 22. This teaching will guide you, will watch over you, and will talk to you. This is associated with the law v 23 where this idea is embedded into the legal code for Israel. It represents a basic condition of living in covenant God made with His people. Sexual urges and seduction must be controlled! This judgment was to be lodged into the permanent thinking of children as here with Solomon and son. The specific benefit was keeping the youth from the loose woman who is another mans wife v 24. Otherwise we will learn that he becomes a ‘sitting duck’.
Preserving one’s life is the reason to heed this warning 7:1-5
Verse 1-4: Here is repetition to emphasize the need to preserve and practice this counsel from parents. You will ‘live’ v 2. Notice v 27 the path of the seductress is death not life. This teaching, he urges his son, is so precious it must be guarded very dearly. Binding it stresses memorizing, and writing the instruction stresses retention of this teaching, warning, and admonition v 3. Wisdom and understanding require a familial like commitment if there is to be spiritual success in this arena v 4—wisdom like a sister, understanding like an intimate friend.
Again, just as in the previous teaching and warning,
giving careful attention to parental teaching protects from the wiles of the
married seductress. She is a wayward wife with seductive words ready to pounce
upon a vulnerable youth in her path. The danger is real. The possibility of this happening increases as the youth explores and engages
in life as a young man moving out to establish himself in the world and in the
NB: Its ironic, isn’t it, that such a great pleasure has the potential to bring overwhelming grief in life. Illicit sexual intercourse, be it fornication or adultery, is not the only misery producing pleasure on the planet, but it is way ahead of whatever is in second place. It causes affairs, divorce, financial ruin, hatred, outbursts of anger, rage, strife, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, jealousy, gossip, and crime. It leaves children without parents. It destroys families and extended families. It fosters hatred over things like alimony, child support, child visitation, and child custody. Solomon says, don’t go there!
CAPITULATING TO SEXUAL SEDUCTION INEVITABLY SABOTAGES ONE’S LIFE
Lusting can make you pay a high price 6:25-26
Sexual immorality for a man begins with lingering upon a woman’s beauty v 25. Playing with temptation is only the heart reaching out after sin. Both ‘hearts’ allured and ‘eyes’ loitering prepare one for seduction. But there is a high price to pay for such sin—it may ruin your life v 26. Adultery and fornication are a devastating and disastrous form of immorality, which permanently damage a person with irreversible consequences. When it leaves, its victims are reduced to a loaf of bread. All sin is devastating, but some more so than others. Sexual sins are among the worse. The only thing consistently worse in Scripture is idolatry. A prostitute will be satisfied with a small amount of pay whereas the adulteress demands so much more—your precious life, devotion, rendezvous, and commitment.
One’s downfall is inevitable 27-35
First, punishment is inescapable v 27-29. Scooping coals in one’s lap pictures holding the adulteress v 27 while walking on coals signifies further sexual contact with her v 28. The point is that the adulterer will ‘get burned’ meaning punishment will follow v 29.
Second, one’s life is shattered v 30-35. A comparison with thievery reveals that the thief, when caught, has to pay dearly v 30-31. In this case, a massive restitution seven times the thievery. However, the adulterer will be humiliated and ruined v 32-33. The destruction is such that under the Law he could be given the death penalty but at minimum destroyed spiritually, socially, and personally. In addition, he must contend with the jealous husband v 34-35. Nothing will satisfy him but revenge. No payoff, No buy out. His life threatened. His reputation ruined. Shame and mortification follow him.
The capitulation follows a foolish path 7:6-23
First, the young man sets himself up to be victimized 6-9. This unwary youth strolls through the streets at night. Not good. Devoid of common since, inexperienced, unwilling to follow wisdom, he is easy prey. He intentionally walks down her street to her house v 8, full steam ahead. Under cover of night, only trouble can follow this scenario v 9.
Second, the adulteress makes her move 10-12. She is introduced coming with flirty attire and crafty intent v 10. Yet, she boldly proceeds knowing her victim is gullible v 11. She promise to be more successful than Potipher’s wife was with Joseph since he lacks sexual conviction in spite of instruction and warning. She has all the noise and intent of a street woman with her feet all over town v 12.
Third, the young man is seduced 13-20. The woman boldly grabs him and kisses him v 13. She then gives a flirtatious invitation v 14-15 covering her evil intentions with religious reasoning. The offerings and vows she performed mean nothing really as she has completed them and now can turn back to her adulteress activity—much like Christmas as an excuse today for secular pursuits. She cannot be believed. She has carefully and lavishly prepared for this encounter v 16-17. The young man is now propositioned for a satisfying sexual diversion v 18 with promises of complete satisfaction and sheer enjoyment. She reassures the youth that they can get away with this with deliberate explanation that her husband is out of town v 19-20. Disarming the youth, her bold appeal is exciting and apparently safe.
Fourth, the youth surrenders to her enticement 21-23. The fall is swift. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation. It can be destroyed in a moment v 22. Of course, worldly wisdom attempts to dismantle this notion about sexuality. That wisdom wants the sexual revolution to be normalized. (A recent news story about the alarming rise of STD in Kalamazoo amongst young teens is laughable. Why the alarm? Not because they should know better than to be sexually active but because they have not been educated well enough about avoiding STD while sexually active at their age). As an Ox, a stag and a bird fail to perceive the entrapment—one to slaughter, another to a noose, and still the other hastening to a snare—these dumb animals seeing no connection between the trap and death are not unlike the stupid youth who panders with the seductress and spills his very life with guilt and corruption v 23.
Trafficking with seduction will impair your life 24-27. Back to the parental counsel to listen, pay attention, and not get accosted v 24. Stay away from the likes of her. Don’t lust! Don’t get seduced v 25! She has been the death of many and yours will be no exception v 26. They have been ‘cast down’ and ‘slain’ by her—they have been ruined. Her place is the way to the grave—pathetic for the one who ends up there v 27. A life is may not be destroyed immediately but gradually charting a course of destruction such as this will inevitably make one a victim of sin, death dealing consequences, ruin and shame.
1. Sexual stimulation has a universal appeal meaning most of us need to control these urges.
2. As in the days of Noah—every intent of the thots of his heart was only evil continually—was an evaluation of the entire human race speaking one language, living in same region. The same was true of the tower of Babel. Today, the Internet, the World Wide Web, accomplishes the same effect, gathering the entire global community under evil provoking the thots of his heart as only evil continually even though we live in differing regions speaking divergent languages. Satan is building a global kingdom and global sexual deviancy by means of the internet is another tool in his arsenal to obviate God and construct a rival dominion. Our children need to be warned about sexual prowess not educated to participate responsibly. So Solomon says and so God reveals.