“Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth”
This chapter is given entirely as a warning against the danger of falling into sexual sin. It is written as a letter from a father to his son, pleading with him to avoid the things that will lead to sin. While this sin is perhaps more common among young men, it is a sin we all must avoid. The principles found in this chapter will apply to guarding against all sin. To grasp the danger being warned against, look at what happened to this young man who turns aside from the Lord for sinful pleasure.
Proverbs 7:22 “Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks . . .“
While it seems as though he was suddenly destroyed by sin, it was actually quite a long road that took him there, and one filled with warning signs he chose to ignore. Falling from the Lord is never something that takes place over night. This young man’s failure illustrates the steps that always lead to a fall.
First, we read he was a young man. While he may have thought of himself as all grown up, in reality he was quite immature. We read he was “simple and devoid of understanding.” Hebrews 5 refers to a group of people who should be teaching others, but because they had failed to grow in Christ, they were still behaving like baby Christians. It is appropriate for an infant to act like a baby, but it is sad when an adult is still behaving childishly. Growth in Christ does not happen simply by being a believer for a long period of time. We grow when we invest in our relationship with the Lord. Failure to do so will make us susceptible to a fall.
Second, we read of the young man walking the street that led to her home. His failure was a result of being in the wrong place. Instead of choosing a different route, he walked where he should not have been. We cannot expect to come right to the edge of sin and not fall off that cliff. To avoid a fall we need to steer clear of the things that will incite the flesh and lead to failure.
Third, this young man is walking alone. Many of our failures could be avoided if we got others involved in the fight. Had this young man walked those same streets with a godly friend, they could watch each other’s back, and encourage each other in order to avoid failure. Finding someone who will be an encouragement to you in your walk, involves being in church regularly, stepping out of your comfort zone to get to know others, and letting down some guards so others can know how to pray for and encourage you. There are certain aspects of our walk with the Lord where we must walk alone, but for the most part, God did not intend for us to travel this road alone.
Finally, our traveler fell because he ignored the obvious warning signs. Whatever he was thinking, the moment she used the word “husband,” he should have known this was not a path to continue on. The correct response at that moment was to flee. The problem was, he had allowed himself to reach a point of no return. Once he began following his desires, rather than the Word of the God, those desires began to control him. Flattering words mixed with her embrace, her kiss and her seduction, brought him to a point where failure was inevitable. We must deal with temptation long before we get to the point where it is too strong to avoid. If we are honest, we will recognize that before we fail, we have passed sign after sign warning us to turn around and travel some other route.
Before we come to the slaughter house of sin, let’s take the time to examine our lives in light of these warnings.
Questions foe Proverbs 7
1. In verses 1-4 we read of five separate things that we should do concerning God’s wisdom from His word. What are they?
2. In verses 1-2 the word keep is used. This means much more than to obey; it carries with it the idea of keeping watch, guarding, treasuring, and paying attention to. Consider your heart toward God’s Word. Do you “keep” it and the wisdom it imparts in all of these senses?
3. Back in chapter 3 we saw many of the benefits of wisdom. Verse 5 of chapter 7 gives us another benefit: freedom from the immoral woman. The immoral woman is a representation of both sexual sin, and spiritual adultery against God. Before we look further at the dangers she poses, what according to this verse is the key to overcoming her?
4. Read verses 6-9. What was the young man lacking? Before he actually visits the woman, where is he? When does he visit her?
5. Take a look at verses 10-13. What are some of the characteristics of this woman? Remember that this is a description of not only a woman enticing a man to sexual sin, but of anyone who would entice us away from devotion to God and faithfulness to Him.
6. Read verses 14-18. What rationalization does she give in verse 14? In verse 18 what does she emphasize? Unfaithfulness to God and indulgence of sin will always be attended by at least one of these two things: lying rationalizations, and false perspective that emphasizes only the pleasurable. Be careful!
7. Read verses 19-20. The immoral woman suggests that there will be no consequence or accountability for lying with her; her husband is gone. Read 2 Peter 3. Will the husband return? Come out to Calvary this weekend as we study this chapter, or listen live online.
8. Read verses 21-27. Notice that by paying attention to her words, the young man fell into ruin. What are some of the things that happened to him? Is anyone strong enough to play with fire and not get burned (verse 26)? What is the way to prevent ourselves from being taken in by her (verse 24)?