Friday, January 27, 2023

Folly in Action (Proverbs 7)

"And he strides along the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening of that day, in the middle of the night, and in the thick darkness." (Prov. 7:8b–9).

Proverbs 7 reveals an impassioned father who wants to protect his son from adultery. Solomon may have tasted in his own life this bitter drink and then was spurred to save his own children from its poison. He certainly learned a great lesson from his father’s mistakes. He warns of the dangers and consequences of adultery, which ultimately leads to destruction and brings dishonor on our profession of Christ.

Solomon tries to deter his child from committing adultery by reminding him that his life is laid open before God. Everything we do and everything we think and feel is known to our omniscient God. God does not simply watch our lives through the lens of providence, but He is a just Judge. Just as we cannot escape His gaze, no matter how we try to hide under the cover of darkness, neither can we not escape His justice. This should inflame our consciences and deter us from taking the path of the foolish youth described in Proverbs 7.

Here we witness folly in action. The boy obviously has time on his hands to engage in such behavior. If he had been busy at home, he would be too occupied to dally before the door of an adulteress late at night. But her snares are alluring and her pleas compelling, and he soon drinks the drought of sweet poison that could very well end his life. This foolish boy personifies all those who do not watch for temptation and guard against it. Those who do not fear temptation will soon fall into sin. “Who would avoid danger must avoid temptation to sin. Who would avoid sin must avoid temptation to sin,” Bridges wrote. “The force, to which the youth’s own folly subjected him, he could not plead as an excuse. When the first bounds of modesty are broken through, the door of the fancy is opened to the tempter for the kindling of lust. Thus to rush into the very jaws of ruin is to ‘enter into temptation’ by your own will.”

To avoid such ruin, our Lord admonishes: “Keep My commands and live and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your nearest kin, that they may keep you from the immoral woman.”

How do those who commit adultery get into such a situation? Throughout the day, number the times you are tempted to lust. How do you deal with such situations? Do you avoid the temptation? Do you turn away your eyes? Meditate on God’s Law and Christ’s warnings that your conscience may be tender.