Today we come to the end of our look at overcoming sexual temptation in chapter 7 of Proverbs. It ends with the father warning his sons one last time of the extreme dangers of the strange woman - the prostitute - the adulteress. Just a note to dads out there. This is the third time a warning has been issued to his sons by this father in as short as 18-20 verses.
First he refers to her victims as the mortally wounded. Many, he says, are the mortally wounded that she has cast down. The word victim here refers to those who have been mortally wounded in battle. The world would have us view casual sex as something pleasurable alone - the Word tells us that it is something far more deadly. It is part of the war to destroy men and women's souls. When they depart from the Scriptures - they find themselves wounded badly - mortally by it. It probably should be noted here that this primarily refers to a man committing adultery with this woman. Although any sexual sin is deadly, the sin of adultery is more damaging in the end. Most often it ends a marriage - and blows a family apart. Those who have been through a divorce and a divided family know very well the damage such actions cause in the home. But this is only one way that sexual immorality is dangerous. There is also the specter of sexually transmitted diseases. Consider the multiple stories of men who entered into adulterous affairs - only to find out later that they had not only contracted AIDS themselves, but they had passed their disease on to their innocent wives as well. In this case death is brought to an entire household. There are currently over 30 different sexually transmitted diseases that cannot be cured. Do we really want to swim in the cesspool of the world of ungodly, immoral women and men with the state of our collective societal health in such disarray?
But there are worse things than just the diseases that come from sexual immorality. There are the victims in the families - wives, children, and parents with broken hearts. Testimonies that have been destroyed lie fallen and trampled by the effects of actions taken in the moment of unthinking, foolish passion. The adulterous woman has seen numerous ones "cast down" in this way - and numerous slain because of the problems that have arisen in the end from the disease, the anger - even double murders due to one partner being so distraught that they first kill their spouse - and in remorse for their death - take their own lives. All of them lie slain due to the horrific effects of sexual sin.
last thing this man says about sexual sin and the place the adulterous woman takes men - is that there is an address where she lives. We are not talking about the physical address - wherever that is on the earth. We are speaking of the ultimate address - Death. Her house is the way to Sheol - the place of the dead. It is a house that is a descent into chambers of death itself. The word "chamber" here means a parlor or a room. It is not a special word - but when it is further described by the father - it takes on a very ominous sense. The chambers of death.
I am not usually a fan of some of the modern paraphrases of the Bible - but here both the "Message" and the "Living Bible" are paraphrased in such a way that they almost make goosebumps rise on my arms. Let me quote what they say about this last verse so you can read them and see a picture in your heads.
The Message says in verse 27, "She runs a halfway house to hell, fits you out with a shroud and a coffin." That is pretty expressive isn't it. She promises pleasure and sexual fulfillment - but actually she is just a pit stop on the way to hell. You think she is undressing you for a night of passion like no other, but actually she is just getting ready to outfit you with a death shroud and a coffin.
The Living Bible states verse 27 this way, "If you want to find the road to hell, look for her house." Can you imagine a road sign that does say "Main Street," or "Fifth Avenue," but rather - "Road to Hell." Would you ever even want to be near that street - that pathway? That is what the wise father tries to do for his son. He seeks to paint such gruesome pictures - he may even tell true stories of the horrors of sexually transmitted diseases - of homes crushed and destroyed - of lives that crumbled - all for the purpose of warning his sons. These are not just ways of graphically describing something - they are promises from God - warning signs for us along the road to sexual immorality and adultery. Ignoring them is just as stupid as ignoring a bridge out sign. May God give us first the wisdom to heed His word for our own lives - and then may He also fill us with the wisdom and the Spirit to warn our sons in a way that engraves the truth about such things deep in their minds - reaching even to the innermost parts of their hearts and spirits.