1 Corinthians 10:12 – “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Welcome, we will be talking about lust and temptation. When we start reading with these kind passages, we think either that doesn’t applies to us, or we are too strong, and that this will never be my case. Some people say that these passages are for singles, other people says that this is for married people. Others say that this is for young people only.
The truth is that this applies to us all. All in this room or all listening/reading this message at home, are exposed to this. Also, we can see that this kind of sin operates exactly as the rest of sins. We will be going through this during all this study.
As we will see, and Solomon will remind us, we need to be reminded again and again. We need to be getting stronger in the Word.
Remember Wisdom (Prov. 7:1-4)
Every time I read this kind of verses; I can’t do anything but to remind myself the importance of the Word of God. I can’t think anything but how perfect is the Word of God. We can find the whole counsel of God and be instructed in all different matters of this life. In fact, we find new life in the Word. We find the Truth. We find God.
Many of all this proverbs, open with this plea and reminder and some other proverbs develop this deeply and in a beautiful way. Solomon loved Wisdom (at least for long period of time in his life) and explained it with the same love. He showed his son how to obtain and the importance of applying Wisdom. We discussed about this in the first 3 chapters.
Just as quick reminders I can say quickly:
We are students first and we should be very diligent on it. Ask God that during our studies we can see Him, then see ourselves in the scripture and then ask and be willing to be transformed by Him. You can use this knowledge with others but, we don’t start preaching to other people before of ourselves. That’s why we always should have the focus on learn and study first for our own growth and transformation. The teaching to the congregation, our family, friends, co-workers… should be the result of the application of the topic in ourselves.
In other proverbs, Solomon uses the word silver to refer to Wisdom, talking about a treasure. As we can see people getting crazy for gold and silver, stock markets, bitcoin… we should do the same (and even with more excitement, there is no comparison) with the Word of God and examine each word, each verse, chapter, each book. The whole counsel of God. It is the most valuable possession we could ever have in our hands and the most beautiful message we could be taught.
Fall in love of it, Christian. The love for the Word, the Love of God is safe as It is perfect! You will find and know God. You will have only but love, excitement, wisdom, instruction and correction, Truth. Everything we need for our life is in here.
Our motivations changes and we are not studying to comply, but to know more about God as we fall in love of Him more and more. The moment I seek Him honestly and sincerely, I will find Him. Make the Word your life. This verse is telling you to have wisdom and understanding close.
In Proverbs 4, Solomon uses the phrase “incline your ear” in denoting urgency and importance. It is an intentional action, a deep focus in the matter. Bible reading by itself doesn’t provide a magical protection against sexual immorality or any other sin, but the application of wisdom will make us less prompted to fall. We can identify a progression
Listen/Read/Study → Meditate → Memorize → Apply
The Trap is Set (Prov. 7:5-12)
Here we can see an application of Wisdom in this proverb. I think Solomon was struggling and battling sexual immorality when he wrote this kind of proverbs. Maybe this was one of his stories. I can be wrong and maybe he was just being honest on this warning to his son. However, we know how he ended up his life: he was drowning in a sea of lust, money and power that diminished and maybe extinguished his love for the Lord. Women took his heart away from God’s.
He writes verses 5-12
A young simple man
This phrase is referring to someone without knowledge nor experience. Applies to everyone and not only to young people. Someone could be 70 years old and still be and young simple man. Could have 45 years coming to church and still be this young simple man. The phrase applies to single and married people as well. When somebody doesn’t know God and His word or maybe is weak on this, will walk by this earth without any conscious and will be more susceptible to practice all kind of sin and sexual immorality is one that is easy to fall into.
And living in this world doesn’t make this easier neither. The task of keeping men and women from sexual immorality sometimes seems impossible (Guzik). This is due to many factors, including:
- A secular, sexually saturated, sensual, and permissive culture
- Easy access to pornography
- The disconnection of sex from pregnancy and reproduction
- Laws making divorce easy
- Social media technology making anonymous meetings easier
- Marriage is not popular anymore
Society is really sexualized and is easy to have access to pleasure. It’s common to hear comments like “we need to enjoy this life” and “we deserve everything”. “There will be a time you will settle down and be religious and proper”. This behavior includes all kind of excesses and sexual encounters. Living a pure life is -nowadays- a synonym of being boring. However, we know that that’s not true. The problem is the worldly perception of joy and happiness. Everything is about my satisfaction and pleasure. Living according with God’s heart will give us joy and we can enjoy this world in a healthy and pure way.
Passing along the street NEAR her corner
It is our nature to play with sin, to pursue temptation, to walk NEAR danger. We are so prompt to do this. We think is funny and entertaining. I cannot understand how we like to seek danger instead of running away from these behaviors. People (including people in the church) justify their games on sin as “man, don’t be so legalistic, so puritan. If I won’t get to the end, I will be OK. Jesus is love. He will forgive me” and then, they will be fornicating, living together unmarried, abusing drugs and alcohol… trying to hide their sin with out of context verses and abusing God’s grace.
They deceive themselves. Talking about these people:
2 Timothy 3:5,13– “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” – “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
Where do sheep wander and eat? Right next to fence, right next to the cliff.
Anything you should do in darkness and hidden is almost positive it is sin. “Foolish men think to hide themselves from God, by hiding God from themselves.” (Trapp)
Lurking at every corner.
Sexual immorality in any form (pornography, fornication, adultery…) and every sin are always lurking in every corner. In this passage a woman is described as smart. She has a plan and is waiting.
In this passage, we can interpret that this person is not a prostitute but has the attire of a harlot. Looks like. Sometimes we think we need to go dark places to be exposed to this, but that is not true. In this context this person is lurking there, just right on the corner, just waiting for its prey.
This person is a professional on enticing and deceiving. Is always ready to attack with the most powerful weapon she has: deceitful words. Remember how did the devil tempt Eva? Used words and make Eva to doubt about God’s word.
Attractive Condemnation (Prov. 7:13-23)
And that is how sin operates. When we doubt about the things God said and convinced ourselves about something different, we are in a problem -we are the problem-. We listen either the devil, the world, or our flesh. Even though we can identify all the red flags (this woman looks and speaks like a harlot) we as humans convince ourselves to keep going in that direction.
Like when you are in a diet: I know I cannot eat a donut. I see a donut and I know all the truth about that donut: high calories, carbs, sugar, fat… But I see the donut and start thinking “maybe if I eat it and I don’t eat the rest of the day” (I know that won’t happen, I will be eating half an hour later), “I can eat it right now and start my diet over again”, “I deserve this donut!”, “Everyone else have a donut, I want donut too”, “who said I cannot eat a donut”, “All things are lawful for me…” (out of context verse and ignoring: but not all things are helpful, but not all things edify), “I declare this donut fat free!”… We end up believing all the things I know are contrary to the truth.
With no effort this person convinced this young simple man. She had this plan, it’s easy for her. Sin is sweet, attractive, harmless, “rational” in human eyes, innocent; but at the end is the opposite. It’s bitter. She even makes look “good” that her husband was not home, as a good opportunity for this young man to enjoy the pleasure. The immoral woman described in here was not against religion. She says that she is right with her god. She favored a god who would receive her peace offerings while she lived as she pleased when it came to her sexual desires (sounds familiar right? Sounds like the god a lot of people worship nowadays that allows them to live as they please).
All the things this young simple man ignored or decided to ignore made him fall.
Other tool is the use of words and phrases we normally utilize and are familiar to, and the use of justifications hide the real danger. The world is very good making everything attractive, colorful, and casual.
For instance, the word Love [o’-hab]: (carnal sense). This word is not the same we can find for love in any form we know as love (agape, phileo, storge, not even eros). It refers to something illicit and is normally used in a plural form as “amours” and love affairs. The point here is the immoral person, and sin in general, will try to twist the sense of words to make everything less obvious and more attractive.
He yielded. The young simple man INMEDIATELY yielded.
As an ox goes to the slaughter. No rational sense anymore. He is completely lost now.
He did not know it would cost his life. Sin is death. Period
Sin is sin. No matter how this young simple man sinned, he believed these words and fell. Weighting sin without this truth is a way to deceive ourselves. Could be either the mere act of fornication or adultery as the sexual act, or desiring somebody that is not your spouse, or just in the way we think of someone…. Any kind of sexual immorality is sin. And this sin is not different to any other: Is performed in darkness, destroy testimony, robe our peace… Leads us to death.
Last Warning (Prov. 7:24-27)
Until we have our relationship and knowledge with God well and we love Him above all things, any other relationships will be ruinous.
I can’t love someone if I don’t know the love that only comes from God.
I can’t die to myself and my interests and desires if I don’t know Who died for me.
I can’t resist evil and sin if I don’t surrender to Whom created me.
Repent and fix your relationship with the Lord. Commit to live as a Christian honoring and glorifying God with your body, your mind, and your acts.