Prov. 5:7-14; 7:6-27
A lot has changed since people started recording human history: technology is advancing so rapidly it’s almost impossible to keep up, the world has become a lot smaller due to instant communication, and medical advances are making strides that no one could have predicted 50 years ago. But humanity itself hasn’t changed at all since our first Parents, and that's especially true in the the area of sexuality.
With a book so practical, it’s not hard to grasp that Proverbs deals extensively with this topic. This is especially true since its primary audience is young men. We’re going to spend the couple days on this, since the stakes are so high.
Today’s passage is an anatomy of a seduction of a naïve (“simple”) young man by an adulteress. Please remember, of course, that the principles found here could apply to women just as much guys. Here’s what I notice about it:
• At first glance it might seem that the woman is the one completely at fault here, but there's no way to claim that the man is completely innocent. He’s at the wrong place (her street), at the wrong time (at twilight) and with the wrong type of people. He was seduced, but he placed himself in the place where he could be seduced.
• Solomon certainly makes his opinion of this woman quite clear, doesn’t he? If you go back and examine the wife described in Prov. 31, this is the exact opposite. She’s crass, brash, loud, gaudy in dress, brazen in her flirting, and about as subtle as a brick in the head.
• In case you didn’t understand the references to the “fellowship offerings” and fulfillment of “vows” in vs. 14, she's saying that she had meat for a feast waiting back at the house. If you offered a sacrifice, you had to eat it that day (no refrigeration). The really sad part of this is that she's bringing what was supposed to be used as worship of holy God into her sordid scheme.
• I love the comparison of the young man to an ox or a bird. Animals are led and controlled by their instincts, and this is how you trap them. And of course that’s the last mistake that the animal ever makes.
Exactly how this ends up costing the man his life isn’t made clear from the passage, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? Whether there’s a sexual predator involved (like here) or it’s just a case of both parties refusing to follow God’s plan, it’s still a self-destructive path. Yes, there are physical consequences to this, such as unplanned pregnancy, STD’s, and the like. But there’s invisible damage as well: emotional scars, guilt, problems with intimacy, and a host of others. And when you add the collateral damage to the betrayed spouse and any children, the costs really start to add up.
And most of all, this completely wrecks your relationship with the Lord. If you're a believer, then you have to know better, and the Holy Spirit is going to make you miserable as long as you indulge in this. He's going to get your attention one way or another, and the longer it takes, the less pleasant the method.
It looks to me like there’s no better time to remind us all of 28:13. If you're hiding this sort of thing or thinking about indulging, then you’re cutting yourself off from the type of life that he offers. But the good news is that this sin, just like all the rest, was paid for in blood by the Lord Jesus Christ. To find mercy, all you have to do is A) Confess it, and B) Renounce it.
Lord Jesus, I recognize that my head is a gasoline-soaked rag and the world is full of lit matches. But I also know that where I’m weak, you are strong. Where I’ve fallen short of your standard, please forgive, restore, and change. And by your grace, I want to be pure.