What kind of problems come with a choice for sexual immorality and relationships with immoral men and women? This question will be answered today by our proverb of the day. This entire chapter deals primarily with the immoral person. It actually is the words of a father as he warns his son to stay away from immoral women - especially the adulteress.
In verse 9 of this section the father begins to tell the son why he should stay far away from the adulteress. Here he addresses some of the things that will happen if he were to stray into her paths and be caught by her wiles. He first mentions that if he does this he will give his vigor to others. The word vigor means grandeur - and it speaks of a man's honor, glory, and majesty. A man may be a person of honor - but when he is giving himself to a sexually immoral relationship - and this is truest when he is doing it with a married woman - he loses all that honor. Too often I've watched over the years as a man pursues an adulterous relationship with a woman - and in the process he loses any standing in the community. He may have had it prior to the relationship - but not people look at him and shake their heads.
Think about the shame and disgrace that came upon President Bill Clinton when his sexual scandal came out in our society. It was as if many in our nation lost all respect for Him. He gave his vigor - his glory and honor - to another. He had decided to spend the value of his name on a young woman solely for the purpose of sex. He sold himself far too cheaply - and in the eyes of many - he will never regain that glory or honor.
The second warning that is offered to the son about sexual immorality is that his years will be turned over to the "cruel one." The word used here is "akzari" and it refers to something or someone who is cruel and deadly. It actually refers in its root to the venom of cobras. In Job 41:10 this same word is used to describe the fierce nature of Leviathan. We should not lose sight that all of these terms are also used to describe the person or the work of the devil as well. Thus it is not too far of a stretch to grasp that when we give ourselves over the to harlot or to the adulteress, we are giving ourselves to the work and power of the devil. He is behind these things and loves it when someone steps into his trap.
Disgrace and a cruel task master . . . that is what waits in store for the young man (or any man for that matter) who makes the disastrous mistake of giving himself over to the adulteress or the harlot. Her service is terribly costly and devastating. The wise father takes the time and uses these images to teach his son what awaits him if he gives in to his sexual urges. He does so not just to scare his son (although that is certainly not an unwise thing to do) but to warn him of the reality of what awaits him on the other side of giving himself over to sexual immorality.