Congratulations! If you are reading this you have completed one week.
At the beginning of chapter 7, for the third time, Solomon calls the young person back to the Word of God, (vs. 1) because keeping God’s commandments is a matter of life or death. The adulteress lives on a dead-end street: “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (v. 27)
The familiar phrase “apple of your eye” (v. 2) refers to the pupil of the eye. We protect our eyes because they’re valuable to us, and so should we honor and protect God’s Word by obeying it. Sexual sin often begins with undisciplined eyes (Matt. 5:27-30), but the heart of the problem is… the heart (Prov. 7:2-3). If we love God’s wisdom as we love those in our family, we wouldn’t want to visit the house of the harlot.
This chapter vividly describes a naive young man who falls into the trap of the adulteress. Note the steps that lead to his destruction.
He puts himself in a place where temptation will be (vv. 6-9). You get the impression that this young man is either terribly dumb or very proud, convinced that he can play with sin and get away with it. But he’s only tempting himself and heading for trouble. To begin with, he’s out at night (“walking in darkness”—see 2:13; John 3:19-21; 1 John 1:5-7), and he’s deliberately walking near the place of temptation and danger. He didn’t listen the wise counsel of the Lord, “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house” (5:8 NKJV). God’s Word wasn’t controlling his feet (3:26; 4:27).
We can’t help being tempted, but we can certainly help by not putting ourselves in places we know there will be temptation.
The woman pours on the temptation thick (vv. 10-20). Like the deadly spider in the web, the woman was watching at the window, ready to pounce on her prey. She was a man’s wife, but when he was out of town, she dressed like a prostitute so she could attract the men who were searching for her services. While her husband was away, she saw no reason why she shouldn’t make some money and enjoy herself at the same time. She’d been in the streets, looking for victims (Prov. 7:11-12), but now one was coming right to her door!
She caught him kissed him (Prov. 5:3), and convinced him that it was an opportune time for him to visit her. Before leaving town, her husband had gone with her to the temple where he’d sacrificed a peace offering (Lev. 7:11-21), and she had some of the meat at home. She would prepare him a feast that he would never forget. “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wickedness’ ” (Prov. 30:20, NKJV).
She appeals to the young man’s male ego as she flatters him and makes him think he’s very special to her. What she’s offering to him she would never offer to anyone else! She appeals to his imagination as she describes her beautiful bed and the expensive spices that perfume it. She assures him that nobody will find out about it (except that somebody’s watching, 7:6) and that her husband won’t be home for many days. They have plenty of time to enjoy themselves.
He is destroyed by giving in to the temptation (vv. 21-27). The youth made a sudden decision to follow the woman, and when he did, he began to act like an animal. He was no longer a young man, made in the image of God, but an ox going to the slaughter or a bird walking into the trap. Human beings are the only creatures in God’s creation who can choose what kind of creatures they want to be. God wants us to be sheep (Ps. 23:1; John 10; 1 Peter 2:25), but there are other options, such as horses or mules (Ps. 32:9), or even hogs and dogs (2 Peter 2:22). When we live outside the will of God, we lose our privileges as human beings made in His divine image.
By going to her house, her table, and her bed, the young man willfully disobeyed God’s Law, but the Lord didn’t intervene. He allowed the youth to indulge in his sensual appetites and suffer the consequences. If the youth had looked up to the Lord and remembered His Word (Prov. 7:24), looked within and kept his heart focused on God’s truth (v. 25), and looked ahead to see the terrible consequences of his sin (vv. 26-27), he would have turned around and fled from the harlot’s clutches.
There are definite steps you can take to avoid sexual sins. First, guard your mind. Don’t read books, look at pictures, or encourage fantasies that stimulate the wrong desires. Second, keep away from settings or people that tempt you to sin. Third, don’t think only of the moment — focus on the future. Today’s thrill may lead to tomorrow’s ruin.
Until tomorrow, Darrell