Solomon's biggest warning
After telling his son that the most important thing for him to do is to guard his heart, Solomon gives his son the longest warning on any one topic in the book of Proverbs. For almost three entire chapters, Solomon warns his son about the dangers of breaking the seventh commandment God gave to Moses.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding
so that you may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge.
Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil,
in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol.
She doesn’t consider the path of life; she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.
So now, my sons, listen to me, and don’t turn away from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house.
The words from the lips of the forbidden woman are seductively enticing – and deadly dangerous. The young man has a choice – whose words will he listen to? The smooth words of forbidden woman or the wisdom of Solomon?
Solomon gives the best defense against the siren’s song – don’t go near the door of her house.
If she is purposely avoided, then her smooth words cannot ensnare him. However, if he foolishly gives in to this temptation, Solomon warns that it will cost him severely:
Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel;
strangers will drain your resources, and your earnings will end up in a foreigner’s house.
At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed,
and you will say,
“How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction.
I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my mentors.
I was on the verge of complete ruin before he entire community.”
If he gives in to her temptations, the young man will not be able to undo the path his life will go down. Any profit will go to another, and he will only be left with regret. The destruction to himself, his family, and his community cannot be undone.
We see this play out today as well. Sexual sin is one of the greatest destructive forces in today’s society. “Sex sells” is what we’re told, and the numbers don’t lie – advertisers prey upon our inability to control our sexual appetite. The world’s system is set up to ensnare both men and women.
If we consider its ultimate cost, what that moment of pleasure will take from us in this life and in the next, we can see why Solomon spends the next two chapters continuing his warning.
Why, my son, would you be infatuated with a forbidden woman
or embrace the breast of a stranger?
For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes,
and He considers all his paths.
A wicked man’s iniquities entrap him;
he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin.
He will die because there is no instruction,
and be lost because of his great stupidity.
Sexual sin is a great stupidity. It cannot be simply managed or contained. The only safe way to deal with it is to take Solomon’s advice and don’t go near the temptation. Avoid it, because you don’t want to pay everything it will ultimately cost you.