The Bible was written thousands of years ago, and although our civilization has advanced and progressed in countless ways, it is still relevant for our lives today. The reason for this is because even though we have different ways to express it, the human heart is the same—corrupted by sin. This passage today is shows us that the dangers of lust and adultery are an expression of the sinful heart.
So far in Proverbs, we have seen the contrast between wisdom and folly, a right way and a wrong way. In this particular passage, we see the picture of a father teaching his son how to evade the “forbidden woman.” In verses 3-6 we see that the forbidden woman looks appealing on the outset but proves to be disaster in the long run. Then the wise father implores his son to keep far away from her, to not go near the door of her house (see Ephesians 4:27). The Father says that the reason that people go down this path of destruction is a lack of desire for wisdom.
He then implores his sons to be content with the way God has provided for them to be fulfilled relationally and sexually (15-20). Then the most daunting comment comes in verse 21: “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.”
Solomon is imploring us to realize that:
- Pursuing the forbidden woman (or man) is foolish, that only harm and sin can come from this pursuit.
- Solomon teaches that the only way to not go down this path is to pursue the opposite, which is the way of wisdom and discipline (ultimately: pursuing God’s design for your life).
- He teaches us to be content in the God provided means of grace for sexual fulfillment, namely marriage. But for those who are not married, this does not mean that you are off the hook. Rather, it means that we all must rest in the place God has us in life: either in marital faithfulness or celibate faithfulness.
- Finally, we must understand that God knows our hearts and knows our weaknesses. But he is also offering us a gift of grace in wisdom that is free for the taking for those who seek it and desire it. At the end of the day, we must worship God more than the fulfillment that we get from any earthly pleasure.
The good news is that the gospel has saved us from the sin of lust and adultery, and it gives power to not be enticed by its longings. If you are someone who has been enticed by this or are currently being enticed by it, realize that this sin is not outside the means of God’s grace, and that you are not too far gone.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice