Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you.
The seventh chapter of Proverbs is also known among the Hebrews as the 15th Lesson of Solomon. Here we find Solomon offering wisdom to his son concerning women who would try to seduce him. He also explains to his son in graphic detail the stupidity of the young man who falls prey to her seduction.
What we learn from Solomon’s example is that fathers need to teach their sons about the dangers of being seduced by women. Most dads shrink from this responsibility – especially when put in the straightforward language used here in Scripture. This is to the detriment of their sons – and the ability and wisdom they need to fend off such women. It is also to their sons’ demise that they do not warn of how, what I will call, “sudden sexual stupidity syndrome” can strike if they are not careful and wise. That syndrome strikes when men of any age, in the throes of temptation, shut their minds off – listen solely to their sexual desires – and act with incredible stupidity to gratify their desires by engaging in sexual immorality.
Before we are finished reading the seventh chapter of Proverbs we will be somewhat shocked at the graphic way the wiles of the sexual seductress are described. The Bible is not prudish when telling us how an immoral woman uses her words and her promises to lure naïve, unwise young men into an evening of sexual immorality. But at the beginning a reminder is given to the young man that we would be wise to remember as well. It is good for us to be reminded that this battle is not going to be won through the use of strategies and methods of the world. What this young man is told to do is what everyone will need to do if they are to win this battle.
Keep my words! That is the first point of wisdom. The word “keep” here we’ve seen several times by now in Proverbs. It means to watch over, guard, and be careful about something. Here it refers to what the father is saying to his son. Dads! Do you hear this! You MUST talk to your sons about these things! If nothing else – read the seventh chapter of Proverbs with them. Sexual morality is not something natural to fallen mankind – especially among young men! Our culture has abandoned all biblical wisdom in this regard. Therefore – DAD, SPEAK UP! Your sons won’t have any wise ammunition with which to fight if you are withholding it from them by remaining silent. The book of Proverbs deals with this same issue in chapters 2, 5, 6, and 7 with long discourses by a father to his son. We also have multiple individuals like David, Amon, Solomon, and Samson from whom we can learn the dangers of stepping outside of God’s boundaries for sex. Dads, you certainly don’t lack material – so step up and protect your children – especially your sons!
Treasure my commandments within you! That is the second point of wisdom given to the son. Here we need to remember that the commandments are not ours – but God’s. Teach your sons the Word of God. Teach them by example – as you memorize and treasure up Scripture within your own heart. Take the time to search out specific passages you and your sons can learn to fight sexual sin. I’ve put a small list of them at the bottom of this post if you need a place to start. The reason to do this is because God has a promise for those who treasure His Word in this fight.
Psalm 119:9-11 instructs us as follows, “How can a young man keep his way pure, but keeping it according to Your Word. With all my heart I have sought You, do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
This cannot get any clearer! God specifically says this is for young men wanting to keep their way pure. The way is to watch over your life with the Word of God as your guide for acceptable sexual behavior. Then there is an example. Oh dads, follow this and show it to your sons in your life! It is the example of a man praying he would seek God with all his heart. It is an example of a man requesting God’s help in not wandering away from God’s commandments. Finally, we are told that when we treasure God’s Word within us (which is the same thing said in Proverbs 7) – we will NOT sin against God! One thing to note here is that the word “treasure” means much more than just memorizing something. I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address when I was in school – but I can promise you I did not treasure it. To treasure the Word in our hearts is to value it highly and to consider it riches and great wealth to us! I treasure words that my wife has spoken to me because they remind me of her love. I treasure the words of my children because they remind me of how very dear they are to me. I treasure God’s Word in my heart because He has spoken; He has promised; He has given love to me that lasts forever. Finally, I treasure the Word also because it is my sword in fighting the enemy in my mind and winning the battle against sexual temptation and sin.
If ever there needed to be a clarion call to fathers – it would need to be the call to step up and give your son both your word – and God’s Word in fighting sexual sin. Our delinquency on this has led to losing many in this generation to the standards of the world. We see it every day – and as dads we face the same kind of temptations every day. Don’t leave your sons to fight this battle alone! Don’t leave them to enter battle defenseless – absent of any weapons mighty through God to fight this fight! Talk to your sons whether they are boys or even if they are fully grown and gone from your home. Earn that right through treasuring the Scripture in your own heart and fighting the good fight before them. Then speak to them. Have your own moment when as a battle-hardened veteran and commander – you issue your “Be a Man” speech to them. I’m not referring to a “Braveheart” kind of speech – but more of a “Second-hand Lions” kind of speech. The kind where we tell our sons how to live – because we tell them Who and what is worth living for! Being a slave to sexual sin and our fickle desires – that is not living. Experiencing God’s victory over them and then loving one woman well to the glory of God – that men is living! Loving her and also loving the children than come from your union . . . that, my brothers – is worth living for!
For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her will not go unpunished. Proverbs 6:26-29
Here we have the "harlot" described for us in very expressive language. Interesting that we don't even call sexually immoral women harlots any longer - but the term is what God uses to describe a woman who has sexual relations with men - and is not married to them. Harlot is the word "zanah" and it means to commit fornication, another word we've left behind in our enlightenment - or should we say, "endarkenment." This word is used to describe anything from adultery and prostitution to fornication and unfaithfulness. It is the word used for the women involved in sexual immorality, and that is what it refers to in this passage. Let's take a closer look at how she is described.
1. She reduces you to a loaf of bread . . . This was the price of a prostitute. What God intended to be a beautiful thing in the sexual relationship between a man and a woman has now been reduced to giving someone a loaf of bread for sex. What a sad picture of how high we fall.
2. She hunts for the precious life . . . The adulteress hunts for our very lives. Too often we see sexual things in our lives without this revelation. We would think twice about illicit sex if we grasped that we were not being seduced - we were being hunted for the kill.
3. Hugging fire . . . The harlot wants us to think of her embraces. She's there to comfort us and bring us pleasure. Interesting that the Scriptures say that when we do this we're hugging fire to ourselves. The harlot promises pleasurable embraces - but would we think of them this way if we were getting ready to hug a burning log to our chests with the result that we'd be badly burned?
4. Burned clothes . . . The result of embracing the harlot is to be physically burned - and what would be burned is our clothes first of all. All affairs seek secrecy. We don't want any trace of our indiscretions leaving any evidence. But in a day when a person had very few changes of clothes - we are told doing this is like embracing fire while thinking your clothes won't be burned. The fact is there is evidence - and just like burned clothes - their will be proof of our unfaithfulness.
5. Walking on hot coals . . . The harlot wants us to think that we can walk into her bedroom without harming ourselves. Yet the Scriptures tell us that doing so is like walking on hot coals and thinking we won't burn our feet. Our "walk" is going to be extremely hindered! That is the result of sexual immorality. We get burned - and that burning severely hinders our ability to walk with the Lord - and sometimes walk much at all. Imagine being laid up for weeks with feet scorched and blistered. Those caught in adultery not only hinder their walk with God - for many it is even painful to walk outside among people because of the stigma attached to their actions. Think first about this - before visiting the harlot.
The conclusion to this is a warning - so is the one who has sex with his neighbor's wife! All these pictures - and they are graphic pictures indeed - are what we'll get for a few moments of stolen pleasure. Just seeing these things by themselves - we'd run from the situation - but our problem is that often the pleasure promised - and our blindness to the situation - keep us from seeing all this. God knows that these graphic pictures will help us to see the real danger - the real harm - the real damage that will come from visiting the harlot.
The warning is clear - "Whoever touches her will not go unpunished!" This word "unpunished" means to be acquitted - to be declared free, clean, or pure. The one who visits and uses the harlot will not enjoy these things. There will be punishment for adultery - and that punishment is sure.
Ours is a visual society . . . and that in itself is often why we get in trouble. The harlot used to be a physical woman alone - and not images we see on billboards, in magazines, and in movies and television shows. But thanks be to God that in His battle against sin He has given us pictures - graphic portrayals that get our attention. He does so to remind us of the dangers of sexual sin. May we see the pictures - be horrified at what they show us - and turn from the harlot at every opportunity for sin.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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