Sermon: Practical Proverbs, Pt. 3

Written by Timothy

Practical Proverbs, Part 3

We take the final part of a practical look at Proverbs and letting them soak in. Primarily, we want to store them in our hearts so that when situations arise the Holy Spirit can bring those things to our mind and hearts. Then we can walk with wisdom and with understanding.

Proverbs 4:18 – The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Those who belong to God always grow in his light, move forward, and increase.

Proverbs 4:19 – But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; …

The wicked continue to sink into more and more darkness.

Proverbs 4:19 – … they do not know what makes them stumble.

They stumble and fall. They seek counselors and they even seek prayer sometimes. They try to understand why they fall. In fact a lot of times people in the church spend most of their time trying to figure out why they did something, rather than repenting of what they have done. The righteous always continue in more and more light, and more and more understanding. We have already concluded that we are sinners. We have already concluded we need to change. We know we are wicked and that God wants to work righteousness and holiness in us. While he still convicts and shows us sin, if we get stuck on looking at what we have done, not growing in his light and moving forward, then we will not know what make us stumble because we move in deeper and deeper darkness.

I call this section “the world does not revolve around you” We tend to think that our Christian world and relationship with the Lord is centered around our own little experience. In fact, the whole concept of asking Jesus Christ to enter your heart as your personal Lord and Savior is a western idea. The New Testament believers always met together as a church, fellowshipping, and breaking bread together.

Proverbs 14:10 – Each heart knows its own bitterness,…

All of us know the sorrows in our life; each heart has its own individual things that it has experienced.

Proverbs 14:10…and no one else can share its joy.

Some people constantly talk about their misery and the things they have experienced because they sense they are not quite communicating it deep enough. Yet, Proverbs tells us that while you can share the things you go through, no one can fully appreciate the misery or the pain you experience but yourself. In old folks homes, individuals go around and talk about their pains, surgeries, and all the sicknesses they have gone through. Each tries to convince the other person that what they went through was more serious than what anyone else went through. Each heart knows its own bitterness. Each of us has those things that God has convicted and God has crucified in us. Each of us has those things in our life that we have experienced. Proverbs then says no one else can share its joy. We can talk about how God has spoken to us, how he has guided our lives, but we are only going to know that to the depth of our own heart. We can share and glorify in it together, but don’t expect people to understand exactly what you are sharing because there is a private part in your heart that only you know about. So the world doesn’t revolve around you and all your misery and all your joys. Share those things, glorify God, and talk about the things that you go through, but don’t expect the world or anyone to fully understand your experiences.

Proverbs 18:13 – He who answers before listening―that is his folly and his shame.

How can you tell how well a man listens to the Holy Spirit? By how well he listens to man. How do I know when a man studies the word of God, whether he accepts God’s word for what it says? By how well he listens when other people talk. If you talk to a man for whom you try to explain a point and he immediately responds before listening to what you have to say, I guarantee he does the same with Scripture. He reads Scripture and God tells him one thing but he immediately offers his opinion as he reads those Scriptures. People who always interrupt you, so you cannot finish what you say, will not let the Holy Spirit speak to them, guide them and direct them. They interrupt the voice of the Holy Spirit telling Him what they think is best. They get mixed signals from the Lord. They heard a certain portion of God’s will but then their opinion and thoughts pollute it. No wonder their lives are a mess.

Proverbs 18:13 – He who answers before listening―that is his folly and his shame.

Think about how Jesus took the disciples to the mount of transfiguration and God said to the disciples, “Listen.” Shut your mouth and examine. Take in very carefully what you hear. Even Jesus tells us be careful how we listen and what we listen to.

Proverbs 18:13 – He who answers before listening―that is his folly and his shame.

Not listening throws us into all kinds of foolishness and pain and sorrow. If we would just sit down and listen to what God says without telling him what is correct, without even quoting Scripture back to him, but just listened to what he had to say, we would know the proper steps to take. Why should God talk? We are so busy giving him our opinions and our thoughts and our ideas about things that he eventually just shuts up and goes somewhere else or waits until a better time.

James 1:19 – My dear brothers, take note of this…

You can circle it; you can highlight it, but take note of it. Everyone should be quick to listen. As we fellowship in the body, have the attitude of listening fully to what the other person has to say before offering your opinion and your thoughts. All of us should be ready at any moment to shut up with what we are saying because the world doesn’t revolve around our opinions and our thoughts. The world revolves around Jesus Christ and his wisdom and his understanding that he works through all the people that he chooses to speak.

James 1:19-21 – My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

How can we accept the word humbly if we are busy talking and interrupting the Lord as he begins to speak? If we constantly interrupt and give our opinions and our thoughts and changing what the word says when we study it, then we are not accepting it. Notice how quick a man listens to know how well he listens to the Spirit. Look at your own life and your own heart. How well do you listen to what other people have to say? I guarantee that you do the same thing to the Lord. He tries to speak and direct. He tries to do things in your life, but you interrupt him and he can’t speak fully. How often do you try to finish what another person is saying? It’s a lot quicker and easier than enduring what they have to say to you. You finish people sentences, and so God comes along and he starts to tell you something and you finish the things he’s bringing. A lot of times God will get quiet and let you believe the delusion hoping later you’ll realize you weren’t listening.

Proverbs 20:22 – Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

Your world doesn’t revolve around your petty little problems and all the little fights you have, or even the persecution you suffer. We need to quietly wait for the Lord to deliver us, to work vengeance, and to do all that is right and proper. We are so involved in our own little worlds and the things that come against us, our problems, even our own sins and we become so self absorbed that when something happens to us we lash back. We want to take matters in our own hands. We want to answer the questions, we want to fill in the blanks, and we want to do it all within our own power instead of waiting upon God who will work good in every situation.

Proverbs 24:27 – Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

We are to be in the field that God has assigned us, preaching the gospel, before we take care of our home. Sadly, so many Christians busily build their homes. Yet when you look at the work and at the evangelism and the amount of labor for the Lord, you’ll notice they have not opened their home up to other people. They are busy building their own home first. They think, “I’ll get my home finished and get my retirement plans all together, and then I will get busy with the Lord’s work.” Not so. We are to be first in the field that God has assigned us to, and work and labor in that field.

Proverbs 10:5 – He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Now is our time to work out in the field and out in the world and to be in people’s lives laying down our lives. Really walking in the light with them. Being involved in their lives and their homes, and then come back and work in your home.

Jeremiah 8:20 – The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.

Some people will not work during the summer. They will not labor. They take care of their own homes, their own life, their retirement, and their plans. They do not make themselves poor for other people and eventually they are going to say with Jeremiah 8:20

Jeremiah 8:20 – The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.

The time to be saved is gone. We are not sanctified, we’re not made holy and we are not prepared for Him. They were working in their own homes, taking care of their cars and their life instead of working in the field God called them to. All the questions we have about where to live and what to do would take care of themselves if we were busy in God’s field. Just be so busy doing his work that he has to fill in all of those blanks of where you are going to live and where you are going to go and how you are going to get there because you are busy doing his work and he will supply the need.

Mark 6:17 begins a whole new section of Proverbs about the adulterous woman and the prostitute. Proverbs is a very practical book, with practical applications. First, we have to set the stage that adultery is a sin, which I know seems obvious.

Mark 6:17 – For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married.

Somebody had divorced and re-married. In John’s mind and in God’s mind that is considered adultery. As we begin to look at what God has to say in the law, anyone who is divorced and remarried is in adultery. In a moment, we’ll see what Proverbs has to say about that.

Mark 6:18 – For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

He held the law up even though he ushers in grace. The law says it is not proper for a man to have another man’s wife.

Mark 6:19 – So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to,

If you talk about this today and say a lot of relationships are not lawful, people will nurse a grudge against you.

1 Corinthians 7:10 reminds us of what the Lord said about this whole issue. One of our members was visiting with somebody this weekend and she said she doesn’t feel it is proper for her to consider marrying somebody else as long as her husband is alive. The guy said that’s not how the Bible reads in the original Greek. It always amazes me how the original Greek doesn’t say anything remotely related to what’s in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 7:10 – To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord)…

So this command comes from God.

1 Corinthians 7:10 – …A wife must not separate from her husband.

But if she does, if for some reason she separates from her husband, this is the command that comes from the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:11 – But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband…

If she separates, if she divorces, she must remain unmarried until he dies or be reconciled. Those are the only options. Anything else is adultery. Anything else must be taken before the throne of grace and before his righteousness to be worked out in all the holiness that is in God.

Proverbs 22:14 – The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit…

It opens wide to receive many a man. How do you know whether a man has grace and mercy in his life or whether he belongs to the Lord? This is what Proverbs says.

Proverbs 22:14 – The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the Lord’s wrath will fall into it.

When we see the sexual immorality around us today, we have to declare that this nation and the church are under judgment. When you begin to see divorce and remarriage sanctified and made holy, and pastors marrying individuals who should not be married, it is sin. There are even ministries to reach out to those who are divorced. There’s a serious problem when you find institutions, books, studies, and guidelines that help everybody survive their divorce in order to find another mate. When you find singles groups for the main purpose of finding another mate and all the above things take place, you’ll find a lot of sexual immorality because God turns those people over to judgment. A person under the Lord’s wrath will fall into the deep pit of the adulteress. It takes divine grace and power for a man to remain holy in this world―especially from sexual immorality. When a man will not give himself fully to God, God will give him over to his sexual desires and sin. He will fall into that deep pit.

Let’s go to Proverbs 5:1 with that sober thought. The only way to escape adultery is to latch on to the grace of God—to humble yourself and be broken by him.

Proverbs 5:1-2 – My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.

Let’s talk about what’s holy. And let’s preserve that which is holy and declare that if a man separates from his wife he must remain unmarried or be reconciled. Let us preserve knowledge and stand up like John the Baptist to declare these arrangements unlawful. People must acknowledge and confess it as sin to find repentance.

Proverbs 5:3 – For the lips of an adulteress drip honey…

It is sweet, and it looks natural. A lot of times the arguments go like this. “Well why wouldn’t God want me to have a mate? Surely God surely wouldn’t want me to be alone.” It drips with honey and looks righteous but it is not.

Proverbs 5:3-4 – …and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.

The adulteress, the pit that men walk into is something smooth and easy. She talks nice but her bitterness will endure forever. In fact verse five says this.

Proverbs 5:5 – Her feet go down to death…

Look at the contrast between what she presents and how she presents herself. Notice what happens with adultery and where it ends.

Proverbs 5:5-8 – Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,

How men like to play and flirt with lust and sexual things all the time. How we like to flirt with one another, looking into each other’s eyes, thinking maybe we’re still attractive to everybody else. How often we like to think other people are attracted to us because we want to think we are still of value in their sight.

Proverbs 5:8-12 – Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!”

The Lord comes along to rescue a man, break him, make him righteous, and to make him holy but he refuses that correction. He doesn’t want the discipline and so God eventually turns him over to the adulteress, and he begins to walk down that path not knowing that it’s leading into destruction. When you find the church holding up these kinds of relationships as something holy and righteous in the Lord, then you will find many people going down to a pit and they don’t know it.

Proverbs 5:13 – I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors.

Instead they nurse a grudge against these things.

Proverbs 5:14 – I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.

They’re in a church and they don’t know the sin they’re in. No one says you need to repent, so the wickedness continues to increase. Eventually they will come to ruin.

Proverbs 5:15-18 – Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Do not give your strength to somebody else. Some men finally come to the Lord after all the different relationships, having worn themselves out with the things of the world. They’ve wasted their youth, and spent it somewhere else foolishly.

Proverbs 5:18-19 – May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love?

How many men marry for looks anyway? When that begins to disappear or lust begins to increase, they are not captivated by the love of their wives. How many marriages are cold because the wife doesn’t love as she should in the Lord? She doesn’t love by the grace of God. So the excuse men use, of course, is their wives don’t understand them. There are all kind of reasons and sins and excuses.

Proverbs 5:20-22 – Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife? A man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.

It will take a sheer act of God’s grace to keep a man from the adulteress, from sin, from prostitution, and from sexual immorality. Scripture says he will die from lack of discipline. What are we back to again? God teaches each man how to discipline his life and to bring it under his grace.

Proverbs 5:23 – He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

He can blame no one but himself.

Proverbs 6:20 – My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Let every father as he raises his sons and daughters speak to them of keeping away from sexual immorality, and from sin, folly, and shame. Speak to them of the consequences; not in the worldly fashion of just saying no so that they can get some fulfillment later, but because of righteousness, holiness, and purity in God’s sight.

Proverbs 6:21-22 – Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

Bind them around the heart, but not just with intellectual concepts. Not just by signing an agreement that says, “I’ll remain a virgin until I’m married.” It’s not some intellectual understanding, but something that is bound around the heart and beats within the heart of an individual. That is what will save a man and make him secure. As I told you before, when I first became a pastor, all I heard was story after story of how pastors run off with other women. In deed, time and time again, adultery comes to light. These commands have to be embraced around the heart if we are to protect ourselves; it must be by God’s grace. Don’t think you can do it by signing an agreement or a contract to remain holy. If the law were capable of making us righteous, there would be many holy people around.

Proverbs 6:23 – For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life,

Stop whining and complaining about being broken and convicted in the things God shows you. It is the way of life to be corrected. And if you want to avoid the adulteress pit, if you don’t want to pay attention to her smooth words and the glances of her eyes then embrace a way of life where you’re constantly corrected. Stop blaming Satan, other people, and the problems around you, and listen to what the Lord has to say. Discipline is a way of life.

Proverbs 3:11 – My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke,

Verse twelve is probably the most important thing to pay attention to because all these other sloppy white wash messages about God’s grace and mercy drown it out.

Proverbs 3:12 – …because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

So, when God delights in a man, and you tell others how you and God have a tight relationship, then he will seek to discipline you more than everybody else does. It won’t be Satan coming against you. It will be the fact that God loves you. He says, “Since I love you, I will discipline you and show you everything you can endure, and five more things you can endure beyond that. Because I love you, I give you my attention to make you holy and righteous.” That will spare a man from the adulteress pit, but the average Christian life will not spare you. The normal Christian walk will not cut it. Reading a book about Proverbs will not do it. You must respond to a way of life that when God disciplines you time and time again, you say, “Thank you, Lord” and “Yes Lord” and you stop to listen fully to what he has to say. Don’t finish his sentences for him and don’t tell him how to come to you. Listen to what he has to say with a humble and contrite heart.

Proverbs 6:23-26 – …and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread…

While the Scripture talks about the adulteress wife, who is it talking to? It’s talking to men, urging them to become wise and not be reduced down to a loaf of bread. Think about it. A loaf of bread has a lot of air to it, but nothing very substantial.

Proverbs 6:26-32 – … for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.

What he’s trying to say is that even in the world if a poor man goes out to steal something he has to pay the penalty for what he did, even though we tend to look on it with some grace and mercy. But he who commits sexual immorality, he who falls prey to the adulteress woman, he who goes to prostitutes destroys his very self.

1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us how to handle all sexual immorality. Proverbs tells us what to do—don’t go near the house. Don’t even walk down the street. Don’t even look in her eyes. Don’t even go that direction. Fix your eyes forward and keep away from the sexually immoral.

1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee from sexual immorality…

There is only one effective way to deal with sexual immorality and that is to run. So often we do not run. We glance at her, and I know each of you know how that story ends when you glance. First you just glance and then you look a little bit longer and then you flirt. Then you move one little step closer and begin to listen and pretty soon you’re entangled in all kinds of sin. If you don’t wake up soon enough you sin against the very body that God has given you.

1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins…

Think of any other sin like murder or stealing.

1 Corinthians 6:18 – …All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

The Lord has given you your body to be used in a holy and proper fashion. And he who sins this way, sins directly against himself and what God has given him. He will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 6:33 – Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away;

He will be caught and exposed. It will come into the light. Even in the world, God often allows this to be exposed. Think of family members you know who are in adultery, eventually everybody knows about it. If this is brought out in the light in the world, how much more does God and the holy angles know?

Proverbs 6:33-35 – Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away; for jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.

Now it’s bad enough when a man sins in the world, but what about in the church. Who does each woman belong to in a church? She belongs to Jesus Christ, who is her true husband. When adultery happens in the church, they don’t just sin against somebody else’s husband in this world, they sin directly against Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 6:35 – He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.

Proverbs 7:1-2 – My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

If somebody tries to poke your eye, think of your reaction. You do everything you can to defend yourself. In the same way, you keep these commands so close that you will not compromise with these commands. When somebody tries to tell you the Greek doesn’t quite say this and Hebrew doesn’t say that and God understands our weakness you won’t accept the compromise. Keep them as the apple of your eye, and every defense comes into motion. This teaching is the apple of your eye. John the Baptist lost his head over the doctrinal issue of divorce and remarriage.

Proverbs 7:2-5 – Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings 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 kinsman; they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.

With all the talk in the church today about how God permits certain situations, where are the individuals that keep these commands of the apple of their eye? Who binds them in their hearts and their fingers for everybody to see? Let others see not only just a doctrinal statement but also an emotional response that you’ll lose your head before you’ll compromise this doctrine.

Proverbs 7:5-8 – They will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words. At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house

He just moves along in his life, not really thinking about where he’s going and what situations he is in. Let me tell you men, I’ve heard stories of men who said they went to someone’s house, to share the gospel and they had no intentions of falling into sexual immorality but it happened. As we fellowship with one another let’s be sure that we will not sin against anyone in the body. Don’t run into paranoia and start putting the men on one side and the woman on the other side. That’s not what we’re talking about. It’s about moving in the grace of God and being able to love each other with purity. When we begin to see things rising in our heart, when we begin to do things with our body that we should not do, we cry out before the Lord as if it were a serious thing.

Proverbs 7:6-10 – At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.

There’s a subtlety to her words. Women know how to play it well. They know how to look in a certain direction; they know how to use the eyes, the speech, and the movements. But men aren’t too much smarter to see through it. They enjoy the attention.

Proverbs 7:11 – She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home;

In Titus, it says women should be busy at home. Not so with the adulteress wife. She’s in the work place. She’s out there among the men. She’s out there finding her life; she even has her ministry and her work. She’s not busy at home.

Proverbs 7:12-13 – . . . now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks. She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said:

What does she say? Does she sound like an ungodly woman? Does she immediately say, “Let us go commit adultery”?

Proverbs 7:14 – I have fellowship offerings at home…

She is a religious woman who has things to fellowship about.

Proverbs 7:14 – …today I fulfilled my vows.

Vows to whom, and to what? She’s ready to break her vow to her husband and yet she talks to him about keeping vows. She talks about fidelity, holiness, and of keeping her word, yet it is her words that lead him to help her break her vow. She speaks of love and commitment, but her actions declare an adulteress women.

Proverbs 7:15 – So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!

What’s happening here? What is she appealing to? Let’s read that again.

Proverbs 7:15 –So I came out to meet you…

In other words, she says, “I’m here to lay down my life for you and give myself to you. I’m concerned about you. I’m listening to what you have to say. Look into my eyes and let’s talk. Let’s fellowship, and let’s fulfill these vows.”

Proverbs 7:15 – I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!

She appeals to his ego. She entraps and snares his ego by saying, “I’m here for you. You’re such a man, you’re cute, and you tell funny jokes.” She laughs at everything he says, because the seduction is in process.

Proverbs 7:16 – I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt.

All the worldly means are laid out. She has gathered her arsenal; she has all the world would bring to entice somebody.

Proverbs 7:17 – I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

It’s all for you, because you are so important—because she loves you so much.

Proverbs 7:18 – Come, let’s drink deep of love…

She doesn’t talk in terms of sexual immorality, and prostitution. She talks in terms of love, caring, and giving him attention.

Proverbs 7:18 – Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love!

This is the calling of a worldly prostitute. It happens in the church all the time.

Proverbs 7:19 – My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.

She comes with logic and wisdom about her household. She comes speaking about how she’s not understood and appreciated, and how her husband is such a jerk. She’ll do whatever she can do to seduce him into the house.

Proverbs 7:20 – He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.

She said, “We’ll not be caught at this. Everything is ready and in its place. I’m here for you.”

Proverbs 7:21 – With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.

Know verse twenty-two tells us what most of us have probably experienced at one time or another.

Proverbs 7:22 – All at once…

He was standing there listening when he should not of been listening. He was by a door that he should not have been next to. He was watching what he should not have been watching. Their eyes were making contact when they should have never made contact. There was flirting with the body, with eye contact, with her voice, with laughter, with the seductive words. And then all of a sudden he moves, he’s taken captive and he can’t stop himself. He has reached that threshold, and he has crossed the line. He cannot turn back. He is moved along unable to stop, even if he decided he wanted to. He has to complete the act.

That’s why 1 Corinthians says the only way to deal with sexual immorality is to run.

Proverbs 7:22-23 – All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.

He knows deep down inside. Even in the world when people commit sexual immorality they sometimes talk about the guilt they feel afterward for a moment or two. He has no wisdom or understanding and it is wisdom that will save him. To avoid her he needs understanding about human nature and who we are. His understanding about who the adulteress woman is, and how she lures men into sexual immorality, will save him. If we will fully admit who we are and what our character is, we can plead for the grace and the discipline to accept the rebuke. We can understand that we fall into sexual immorality because we ignore what God tries to tell us in Proverbs.

Proverbs 7:24-25 – Now then, my sons listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.

It’s easy to see that our hearts shouldn’t be drawn in that direction, but how easily we get into a situation because we strayed little by little by little. As I’ve counseled and fellowshipped with brothers in this body, so many times we’ve seen that they fell into sexual immorality because something else in their lives was undisciplined. It had nothing to do with sexual immorality. The goal isn’t to get ourselves into a place where we’re so strong against sexual immorality, because we’ve been told to run from that. The goal is to be self disciplined, holy, and to do what we are supposed to do, then God will give us grace not to fall into the pit.

Proverbs 7:26 – Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.

What if all the sexual immorality going on in the church today was revealed right now for everyone to see? Someday it will be. Someday it will be brought fully into the light. I remember preaching a sermon one time on sexual immorality, and we spent the next hour with everybody confessing sexual immorality. It is a mighty throng of men and women who go down into that pit.

Proverbs 7:27 – Her house is a highway to the grave…

It’s fast, it’s quick, and it’s easy. And without the grace of God in our lives, without responding to his rebuke, and without binding these things in our heart, we’ll run down that highway.

Proverbs 7:27 – Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

That’s where it ends, in the chambers of death. Sinning against our own body.

Revelations 19 talks about the great prostitute, the adulteries of this world. While Proverbs talks to us about physical immorality God talks to all of us about spiritual purity and holiness.

Revelation 19:1-2 – After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments…”

What are they shouting about? What are they rejoicing in? What makes them so glad? What fills them with joy?

Revelation 19:2-3 – …He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

God calls us to come out and be separate from the seduction of the world not just from the adulteress women. Just ignore of the smooth words that the world brings and even so many in the church bring us to come away to an easier gospel. They want us to enjoy the things of Egypt, and to enjoy the perfume and the myrrh and all the things that the world can bring. They do not want us to embrace the message of the cross, but a wider road. But the saints overcame, and they long for the great prostitute and her adulteries to come under judgment. Let us be found walking on that narrow road, not going near that house, not going near that place. Do not let it touch your heart. Put God’s commandment as the apple of your eye. Write them on your fingers and your heart, for all men to see.

Proverbs 9:13 – The woman Folly is loud…

She comes on strong and loud. She boasts, brags, pleads, and comes with seductive words.

Proverbs 9:13-15 – The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way.

She’s trying to get our attention. Proverbs tells us to store God’s words in your heart so that when she shouts and when she yells, you can hear the whisper in your heart to avoid her.

Proverbs 9:16-17 – “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. “Stolen water is sweet…”

She’s saying, “Claim the water of life though it’s not your right to have it. Lay hold of the gospel of Jesus Christ even though you haven’t had the privilege to do so.”

Proverbs 9:17 – Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!

She seduces by saying, “Take those things which God has given and eat them in secret, they’ll be a little bit more fun. You’ll enjoy yourself a little bit better.”

Proverbs 9:18 – But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Many people listen to folly. Let us be a people preserving knowledge. Let us be like John the Baptist losing our head over doctrinal issues. Look for things in our heart, and avoid the loud call of folly that just wastes time.

Let’s pray.

Father, glorify your name, and work with in us, Father, give us a simple and quiet heart that is quick to listen to what you have to say. Neither adding to nor taking away from what you speak, for, Father, every word you speak is a precious gem. We pray, Father, that in this body you will keep us clean and pure, and you will not let secret things go on. Father, that your light will search and bring them to light. We pray this not just so the sin will be exposed, Father, but that we might be holy and righteous. Grant us all grace, Father, to avoid the seductive words of the great prostitute. Write these things in our hearts, Father, by your Spirit, and glorify your name. Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.


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Host of The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, madness, and folly.