In our age of rampant immorality, we would do well to consider carefully and regularly the warnings of Proverbs regarding sexual purity. I was reading Proverbs 7 this morning and again was struck by the force of what is spoken here. The divine wisdom of Proverbs is powerfully life-preserving for those who will heed its instructions.
“And behold the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.” (Prov. 7:10-15)
She is a “church” girl. She was there when the doors were open. She did her duty in the congregation of the saints but we see now that her true delight was in something else. The text says she speaks to him “with bold face” (v. 13). With astonishing brazenness, she combines her pursuit of carnal passion with a self-promoting piety.
Why on earth does she mention worship (“sacrifices” and “vows”) at a time like this? It is as though she doesn’t quite want to shed the image of the ‘good girl’ while she engages in the secret activities of the ‘bad girl.’ She apparently finds a degree of religious activity to be a good cloak for her sin and a sedative for her conscience. As Charles Bridges in his Commentary on Proverbs has observed: “She durst not play the harlot with man till she had played the hypocrite with God, and stopped the mouth of her conscience with her peace offerings.”
Notice in v. 21, much time is spent by the seductress in persuading him (“with much seductive speech”). But in v. 22, his response is immediate, abrupt, and impulsive. “All at once he follows her.” This is the way of temptation and sin. He toys with the tantalizing seductress for a prolonged period of time before his will to resist finally collapses like a dam bursting. At this point, he impulsively and with great zest pursues the object of his illicit desire. In this irrational moment (sin is never rational) the text simply tells us that “he does not know it will cost him his life” (Prov. 7:23). Take heed that you do not follow in his steps. It is not enough to put off sin, if at the same time you make a companion of temptation.
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12)