Friday, June 9, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 16, Wisdom Helps Us Think Before We Act, Part Two

Solomon has been telling the tale of a young man who lacks wisdom. Through his window the king saw this young man lurking about in the twilight near the house of a woman who is unfaithful to her husband whenever he is out of town. The young man follows the woman into her house, into sin, because he lacks the wisdom that would help him to think before he acts.

"With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk." (Proverbs 7:21) Several days ago we noted that it's the words of the wayward woman that lead him astray. We don't know whether this woman is beautiful or not, but she's persuasive. She's telling the young man the kind of things he wants to hear. I find it interesting that it's her words rather than her looks that seduce him. I think it's because in his heart he has a need for someone to tell him he is special and valuable and loved, but he's seeking to get these needs met in the wrong kind of way. First of all, he has God to tell him he is special and valuable and loved. His sense of identity and self worth should be found in what God says about him, not in what someone else's spouse says about him. Second, since he's evidently of age to carry on an adult relationship, he needs to be looking for a godly woman to marry and build a life with. Then he will have his own wife to love him and tell him he is valuable.  He shouldn't be going to another man's wife for this type of assurance.

But the youth, because he lacks wisdom, doesn't think any farther ahead than the next few minutes. "All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life." (Proverbs 7:22-23) He's stepped right into a trap. Even if he doesn't lose his physical life when the woman's husband finds out, this illicit relationship will cause him to drift farther and farther away from God. His relationship with the Lord is going to die a little bit every day. His conscience is going to become so numb to sin that he won't even feel guilty anymore. He might even become so hardened to a life of sin that he never repents and turns back to God.

"Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death." (Proverbs 7:24-27) Many a great man, and many a famous man, has been brought low by lust. Men of the Bible, like King David and the mighty Samson, fell into this trap. Politicians have lost their careers, their families, and their reputations when news of their affairs broke. Celebrities and famous athletes have met the same fate. So have several television evangelists and church leaders. So have people in our own neighborhoods and communities. We can all think of several examples of people who have lost pretty much everything they had due to lust.

Solomon uses the wayward woman of today's passage as a symbol of all sordid affairs when he says, "Many are the victims she has brought down." Lust brings down men and women every day. The Lord created us with physical desires, but these desires are intended to be fulfilled only within marriage. These desires are for the purpose of creating children and for the purpose of creating a closer bond between a husband and wife. The Lord wants us to have a stable home environment, and one of the ways to create a stable home environment is for the husband and wife to be committed to each other in every way, physically and emotionally. No good can come of sneaking around with someone else's husband or wife. Solomon wants us to see that it didn't turn out well for his father King David and it won't turn out well for us.

I would like to conclude by saying that it isn't too late for anyone involved in a wrong relationship to turn his or her life around. God's ears are always open to the prayer of repentance. His hand is always held out to help a person back onto their feet and onto the right path. No matter what any of us did with our yesterdays, our today and our tomorrows can be something much better. The Lord isn't interested in beating us up for our mistakes; He's offering us a new beginning. Today can be the beginning of something fresh and new, something godly and wise.

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