Proverbs 5:3–14, 20–23; 6:23–24, 27–29, 32–34 comment (0)
May 1, 2014
By Robert Olsen, Ph.D.
Related Scripture: Proverbs 5:3–14, 20–23; 6:23–24, 27–29, 32–34
Explore the Bible
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
Live in Moral Purity
Proverbs 5:3–14, 20–23; 6:23–24, 27–29, 32–34
Bitter Deception (5:3–6)
I know a pastor who keeps a mousetrap on his desk. The mousetrap is decorated with bright colors, sparkles, glitter and small crystals. It makes for quite an attractive mousetrap. On the mousetrap is written the word “sin.” He uses this as an illustration of the deceptiveness of sin. People do not sin because they are aware of its destructive force. Sin often looks harmless, or quite often, attractive. However, just like the mousetrap that looks really pretty, sin has a bite — a serious bite. What begins as a “casual” sin can easily lead to catastrophe.
In this section of Proverbs, the sin in question is adultery. We live in an age in the United States where the understanding of what is proper sexual behavior has been blurred by society. Many people think there is nothing wrong with having sex outside of marriage. They tell themselves that it is not hurting anyone and that it is not wrong. You are even beginning to see married couples who believe there is nothing wrong with having adulterous relationships as long as their spouse accepts this behavior. However, all sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful and damaging and has serious consequences.
Utter Downfall (5:7–14)
The best way to avoid falling into sin is to avoid the temptation. People do not set out to have an adulterous relationship. Instead they end up in a situation where the opportunity presents itself. A look through the past few decades reveals many famous pastors who let their guard down as they thought they would never fall into sexual sin only to find themselves in a position where they are susceptible. In order to avoid compromising situations, Christians need to be wise and establish ways to keep themselves free from temptation. Never put yourself in a situation where you will be alone with someone of the opposite gender. Have accountability partners who have access to your computer history and who meet with you on a regular basis. Also when traveling, if possible, travel with a friend of the same gender. The best way to avoid sinning is to avoid putting yourself in a position where the sin will present itself.
Enlightened Direction (5:20–23, 6:23–24)
The Bible teaches that sexual activity is to only take place within marriage. Many young people today think that having sex before they are married is acceptable behavior, but the Bible is clear on this matter. One thing that people seem to overlook is that God’s laws are for our benefit. God is our heavenly Father and He knows what is best for us. Just like our earthly parents have rules for us for our benefit, so too are God’s rules for our benefit. A 3-year-old may think it best to run around in the street with scissors at night, but any parent would quickly recognize that this behavior is destructive. And so parents have rules to help the child grow up in a safe environment. God is no different. His rules are not outdated or mean-spirited. If we follow them we will benefit because God knows best.
Dreadful Disgrace (6:27–29, 32–34)
It is easy to fool yourself into thinking that sin is harmless, but all sin has consequences and is an offense against God. Many people who have been caught in adultery have suffered greatly. Jobs have been lost, marriages have been broken and relationships with children have been destroyed. All of these are a real possibility when adultery takes place. This is not just a struggle for lay people in the church. Many prominent pastors have lost their churches and their honor by having adulterous relationships. It seems that every year there is a case in the news where a famous pastor is caught in an adulterous relationship and has to step down.
It is important to remember though that even for those who commit adultery, there is forgiveness. If we repent of our sins God forgives us, and we need to be willing to extend grace to those who have been involved in adulterous affairs and then repented of their actions and changed their behavior.