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Bitter Words from Honey Lips

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ME: Intro - Danger of Sexual Sin

One of the most exciting events in military history is the defense of the Island of Malts in 1565.
The Island of Malta was a small island that had been besieged by Islamic forces.
Suleiman the Magnificent sent in Turkish forces,
Outnumbering the troops of Malta eight to one.
On the island of Malta was a strong fortress.
Despite how outnumbered the defenders were,
Utilizing the strength of the fortress,
The Maltan forces were able to withstand wave after wave of assaults.
You can imagine how terrifying it would be for the defenders,
Attempting to stand strong against the onslaught of attackers.
There was a key moment in the assault,
Attackers managed to breach the way.
Some stones had fallen away,
The fortress was vulnerable,
There was an opening.
So, the commander of the defenders jumped down to the opening.
He stood there,
Sword in hand,
Defending the opening until more forces came to help in defense.
The Maltan troops plugged the whole with their bodies to keep the enemy from getting in.
Inspired by this account,
John Bunyan wrote what he titled “The Holy War.”
It is an allegory about how believers fight against sin.
The human person is a walled fortress.
We are all fortresses,
And like the fortress on the island of Malta,
We have a breach.
Church history has shown this glaring breach in the area of sexual purity.
It is a breach,
A weakness is the defense for all of us.
My hope is that we would shore up this defense.
Like the defense of Malta,
We too have a Commander who jumps down and guards this breach.
Our Commander is Jesus Christ.
He jumps down in the weakness of our defense,
Sword in hand,
That is, the Word of God.
He stands in that breach and helps us to fight for holiness,
As He is holy.
That is the picture for our passage today.
This morning we are doing an overview of chapters 5-7 in Proverbs.
Where we are warned about Bitter Words from Honey Lips.
This warning should strike terror in us.
It strikes terror in me.
I never want to have to confess sexual sin.
This is a healthy fear.
I believe our passage this morning affirms that we should be afraid of sexual sin.
And that is my hope for us all today.
That we would walk away from this text more afraid of sexual sin than you are right now.
But also understanding that this is a holy fear.
A fear that keeps us from the destructive damage of sexual sin.
So, to be completely honest,
This is not necessarily a sermon I am excited to preach,
Because the entire sermon is a warning,
It is a sermon that brings us into uncomfortable territory.
And a sermon that can be taken wrongly.
When understanding the grace of Christ in response to sexual sin,
Some may be tempted to justify their continued sexual sin.
Yet, hearing the warning of a deadly and destructive sin,
Can potentially overwhelm others who already feel the weight of this sin struggle,
And they may wrongly reach the conclusion that they cannot be forgiven.
So, I pray we will understand both the grace of God,
Which restores and renews,
But also hear the warning from God that sexual sin is a weakness,
That, when left open,
Can have catastrophic consequences.
So, I pray as we go through these chapters in Proverbs,
That God will give you what you need,
Wherever you are at.
Understand that I do not know your specific struggles,
But God does.
And God says that there is no temptation that has overtaken us,
Except what is common to all mankind.
So, friends, we are all facing the same kinds of trials that other believers face.
This breach in our defense was established in the first people.
Gen. 2:25 says that the first man and his wife were both naked,
Yet they felt no shame.
One chapter later,
After they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
Gen. 3:7 says their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked.
At that moment, they felt shamed.
Because they made coverings for themselves out of fig leaves,
And they hid from God.
Immediately after they ate,
Sin did something to their minds.
Sexuality is like the breach in the wall.
It takes incredible courage and the Word of God with the power of our Commander,
Jesus Christ.
Without Him, we will fail.
The enemy will come storming in and we will fall.
The bodies of believers who have fallen to sexual sin are all around us.
Sexual sin is a tragedy.
Throughout the years,
Many leaders have fallen into sexual sin.
Both in the church and in the secular world.
There are stories of politicians, coaches, movie stars, and more who confess to adultery,
And the damage that follows,
At the very least,
They experience humiliation,
At the most, they lose family, friends, relationships, opportunities,
And some even attempt to take their own lives.
Add on top of this,
The increase of sexual temptation through the availability of internet pornography,
And our sex saturated culture.
We are living in an incredibly tough time,
Our heart is under constant assault.
The heart issue is lust.
That is what we are talking about this morning.
James says, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. And when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.”
How do we survive this?
There is a vicious animal living inside us!
Paul says in Romans 7, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, and what I hat, I do.”
“When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
“I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.”
“What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
The answer? He says,
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Thanks be to God, indeed!
We are in the midst of a fight my friends.
And we have the Word of God, the blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in our arsenal.
We have the weapons needed to win the fight.
We do not need to doubt this victory.
We will live to see lust meet its demise.
Please remember this truth as we listen to this convicting warning in Proverbs 5-7.
Because this truth is what gives us the strength to fight,
Knowing that one day, you will win,
You will be 100% free of lust.
Meditate on this truth
And embrace the reality that we need help.
Because we will not have the time to read every verse in these three chapters.
I urge you to find time to read these chapters this week.
If you have the Bible app on your phone,
You could listen to the audio if that works better for you.
When you do,
Read these in light of Christ’s crucifixion, the power of the Word, and the presence of the Spirit.
Reading with these lenses readies you to battle for sexual purity.
Sexual purity is so important because,
Sexual activity mysteriously unites two people into one flesh.
It is a deep intimacy unlike any other relational connection between people.
That is why sexual sin is so deadly.
So, the outline for our text this morning is:
Avoid Adultery (Ch. 5)
Seductive Sin (Ch. 6)
Wise Warnings (Ch. 7)
Do not let lust drift you away, let love drive you to safety.

WE: Avoid Adultery (Ch. 5)

It is best to read ch. 5 as a logical development of thought,
Urging us to avoid adultery.
Adultery by biblical standards is sexual sin between two people who are not married.
It is explicitly forbidden by God’s law,
And the penalty for adultery is death.
Adultery was seen as a crime against one’s spouse,
As well as a crime against society.
Because adultery is a violation of the covenantal relationship between God and His people.
In fact, God accuses His people of adultery.
Scripture uses the metaphor of a marriage relationship with God being the husband,
And we, His people, are His bride.
So, to worship anything other than Him,
Is to be unfaithful to Him.
This is why the Bible places such a significant value on fidelity in marriage.
It is meant to portray our relationship with God.
James 4:4 accuses lovers of the world to be adulterers.
Jesus Himself condemned adultery.
Often lumping it in with lists of other sins that defile a person like murder, stealing, lying, greed, pride, and abuse.
In fact, Jesus extends the condemnation of adultery even further than the OT does.
Saying, even looking at someone with lust is committing adultery.
And yet, there is an account in John 8 where a woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus.
The law found the woman guilty.
The reality is, she deserved to be stone.
However, Jesus used her sin to hold up a mirror for all her accusers to see their own sin.
Instead of stoning her,
He responded with grace.
But it is not as if her sins went unpunished.
Jesus took the mutilation she deserved when He was beaten and whipped and died on the cross.
We see the deadliness of sexual sin in our passage this morning.
These chapters convict all of us,
Because all who are enemies of Jesus are adulterers.
Jesus called the Pharisees, the religious people, adulterers.
2 Peter 2:14 says false prophets have eyes full of adultery.
At one point or another,
This describes all of us.
Like the woman in John 8 we are all caught in adultery when we are brought before Jesus.
But also like the woman in John 8,
Jesus does not condemn us on the spot.
He does not stone us.
He offers us grace and takes the consequences for our adultery.
The question for us then becomes,
How will we respond.
Will we continue in our adultery?
Or will we give our heart to Jesus in trust?
Chapter 5 uncovers the corruption under the surface charm of the seductress.
It warns us of the price of adultery,
And it contrasts the lasting delight of finding sexual satisfaction within the covenant of marriage.
Something that is far greater than the pathetic alternatives offered by the adulteress.
Verses 1-6 begin similar to many other parts of Proverbs;
A father giving wise instruction to his son.
It is important we remember this throughout this passage because it defines the genders used in Proverbs.
It should go without saying,
But sadly, this has not been the case,
Just because Proverbs refers to the tempter as a female,
It does not mean only women tempt poor, innocent men into sexual sin.
Men can just as easily tempt women into sexual sin.
Nor does it mean that only men are susceptible to sexual sin.
Women can just as easily be tempted into sexual sin.
Generally the tactics used by the enemy may be different from men to women,
But the heart issue of lust is shared by both genders.
So, the warning against sexual sin goes back to the end of our previous chapter,
Guard your hearts against lusting after others.
That is clear.
Start there.
But the adulteress also provides another clear warning,
Do not be a seducer either.
Do not tempt others to lust after you.
Guard your hearts against this type of person.
Guard yourself from people who seek to woo you,
People who want to entice your sexually.
Or in general, people who want to draw you from devotion to Christ.
Because in the end, it is destruction.
And again, do not be a person who allures others into lusting after you.
Chapter 5 contrasts the danger of adultery against the wisdom and joy and blessing of marriage.
So, keep away from the adulteress.
On the outside, she seems sweet and good.
But underneath, she is poison.
She will entice us into sexual immorality.
Because she is corrupt.
It is an enticement that ends in destruction and death.
Embrace your wife instead.
Her deception initially is sweet as honey and smooth as oil.
But in the end, she is bitter and sharp.
Her end leads to death.
That is what we must remember.
When temptation comes,
Pause for a moment and imagine past the sweet temptation,
Picture where that road travels,
And ask yourself if that is really where you want to go.
Then you can have the understanding to keep from her path.
In vs. 2, we are told to listen up so that our lips may guard knowledge.
This is an ancient phrase that means when we speak,
We should say something of meaning,
Something substantial.
The same phrase is used with more detail in Mal 2:7;
Malachi 2:7 ESV
For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
This phrase also implies the responsibility that we pass on wisdom.
Our lips are to be a protection against the honey lips mentioned in vs. 3.
Honey lips seem charming and attractive,
But the words they speak are deceptive and deadly.
In the end, vs. 4 says,
She is bitter as wormwood.
She is sharp as a two-edged sword.
She causes affliction.
She devours us.
The only thing she offers is destruction.
Because destruction is her own end.
Proverbs does not want us to forget this reality.
It warns us about her honey lips.
What starts out sweet and delicious,
Ends as disgusting and deadly.
Vs. 5 says her feet go down to death,
Her steps follow the path to Sheol,
The place of the dead.
This not necessarily talking about death in this world,
It is speaking on an eternal level.
Adultery leads us away from the promises of life God gives.
The end of the path of adultery is eternal death,
All who are enticed by her join her on this path.
Because she does not focus on the path of life,
As 4:25 said.
She is unstable,
Vs. 6 says her ways wander.
Her ways are shifty and slippery.
She is restless.
Adultery is foolishness.
It lacks morality.
It rejects God’s way.
It wanders from the path of life.
Therefore, the wise make a conscious choice to keep far away from it.
Avoid any contact with adultery.
Stay away from all temptation.
Do not even go near the door of her house.
It is foolish to engage in adultery,
And those who do pay a steep price.
Jesus echoes this in Matt. 5:29;
Matthew 5:29 ESV
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
Jesus is talking about radical amputation here.
If your job causes you to sin, it is time to update your resume.
If using Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Tik Tok causes you to lust,
Delete your account.
If you have friends who tempt you toward sexual sin,
Make new friends.
If you cannot watch certain shows or movies without your heart being drawn toward adultery,
Change the channel, turn off the TV, cancel your streaming service.
Because if any of these things cause you to sin,
Jesus says, tear them out and throw them away.
For it is better that you lose these things than your whole body be thrown into hell.
Notice in the warning in Proverbs 5:9,
We are not overpowered in this sin,
We are willingly giving ourselves over to this sin.
Vs. 9 warns against giving our resources to the adulteress,
And our years to the merciless.
When we give ourselves away like this,
We are exploited by the adulteress,
We become condemned by our conscience,
And we live on the brink of ruin.
One such example is the threat of the merciless.
Who are the merciless?
Other translations describe this person as someone cruel.
It is believed this is a reference to the spouse of one who participates in adultery.
Looking ahead to Proverbs 6:34-35,
We are given a description of the outraged spouse;
Proverbs 6:34–35 ESV
For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
This is the merciless revenge 5:9 is speaking of.
There is no compensation can be given to satisfy the fury of a person whose spouse participated in adultery.
Vs. 11 shows that this leads to regret.
We look back on life and see the waste and futility of adultery.
Adultery epitomizes the foolish way of thinking and living.
Vs. 12-13 show how this sin rejects discipline and wise instruction.
This quote is being spoken as an expression of grief and lament near the end of one’s life.
It is words from a son who, despite his father’s warnings, chose foolishness.
The destiny of a fool is one of ruin.
Vs. 14 mentions the assembled congregation.
The warning here is that adultery is not just a private ruin,
It results in public disgrace and destruction.
So, in vs. 15, we are told of a better path,
The path of fidelity.
We are told to embrace our spouse.
Unlike the adulteress, your spouse is not dangerous.
Your spouse is not seeking to devour you.
Your spouse is a gift from God.
God joined you together to embrace and love one another.
God gave you each other to drink from one another’s cistern.
This is a metaphor telling us to enjoy the sexual and emotional satisfaction of a marital relationship.
All of the figurative references to water refer to one’s spouse.
It is an allusion to quenching our sexual thirst.
Vs. 16 continues this metaphor,
Asking if our sexual and emotional satisfaction should be poured out to anyone?
The best way to answer this question is to unpack the metaphor.
A cistern or a spring holds the precious resource of water in a desert.
Many houses had their own private cistern to store their water.
It is refreshing, a satisfying source of life.
Imagine if we were to take that and just dump it in the streets.
It is a destructive waste of this precious resource.
The same is true when we live promiscuously.
So, instead, the text continues,
Let your relationship with your spouse be like a fountain overflowing with water.
Enjoy the blessing of this precious resource.
Take pleasure in your spouse.
Hold one another tightly,
Keep one another for one another alone.
Let this blessing happen in your marriage.
Promote blessing and enjoyment in your marriage.
Celebrate and take joy in one another.
Be satisfied with one another.
Do not seek another spouse.
This is a deep and personal love between a husband and wife.
And yes, this is talking about sex.
Vs. 19 makes this clear with poetic language that is echoes in the Song of Solomon.
Yes, Proverbs is using erotic imagery,
But this is not a sleezy magazine.
The imagery of a graceful animal.
Speaks of natural beauty that we enjoy.
So, in the same way we might pause to enjoy watching a wild animal grazing on a hillside.
Proverbs says, we get to enjoy sexual intimacy with our spouse.
It says we get be intoxicated in love with our spouse.
Instead of being intoxicated with someone who is not our spouse.
Desire one another.
Be lost in pleasure with one another.
This poetry is stressing the importance of understanding that sexual delight in marriage is God-given.
Marriage is not a business arrangement.
It is a God designed outlet for human passion and enjoyment.
In light of this,
Our heavenly Father asks why?
We have been given this gift, so why then would we be infatuated with another?
It is inexcusable to stray to another spouse,
And to embrace adultery.
The gift of marriage is the gift of one another.
If we do not avoid adultery,
vs. 21-23 teach us that we will suffer consequences.
Proverbs says that God sees and knows and takes note of all our ways.
That includes any adulterous ways,
He knows and He will judge this sin accordingly.
When we are committing adultery,
Or perhaps sowing the seeds,
Or looking longfully at another person,
Or watching pornography,
Or any other form of lust,
We would be wise to picture God sitting right next to us.
We live in the presence of God at all times.
We have no secrets from God.
Vs. 22 says these adulterous ways will capture us.
We will be tangled in the ropes of our own sin.
It is voluntary slavery.
Because of our own stupidity,
We will be led astray from the path of life,
Lost to eternal death instead.

GOD: Seductive Sin (Ch. 6)

The first half of chapter six takes a break from addressing sexual sin.
For time’s sake,
We will skip over these verses,
But Lord willing, we will come back to them in future sermons that speak to the topics these verses address.
Vs. 20 resumes the warning against adultery.
The remainder of ch. 6 uses some elaborate word-pictures to heighten the urgency of this warning.
It also shows the relationship between wisdom, the warning against adultery, and the Law.
The relationship between adultery and the Law is one of condemnation.
Exodus 20:14 simply says;
Exodus 20:14 ESV
“You shall not commit adultery.
Leviticus 20:10 gives a little more detail;
Leviticus 20:10 ESV
“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
The relationship between wisdom and the law is one of affirmation.
Wisdom affirms the law in its condemnation of adultery.
It also affirms the inevitable disaster that adultery brings.
Proverbs wants you to focus on the penalty of adultery.
It wants you to understand what it will actually feel like to commit this sin.
Vs. 23 is the first word-picture used to do this.
Psalm 119:105 uses the same word-picture.
It pictures the law metaphorically as a light.
A wise person depends on the light,
Uses it to examine the world,
And to find life.
Vs. 24 says it protects you from the smooth and flattering tongue of the adulteress.
From words that appeal to your ego.
It protects you from the temptation of physical beauty and alluring eyes.
These are the weapons used to reduce you to a pile of rubble.
History shows how effective these weapons have been,
And they are still effective today.
So, vs. 25 says to be aware of the danger of lust.
It says do not lust after her in your heart.
Do not let the words, the beauty, or the eyes captivate you.
Realize what the seductress is doing.
Notice that lust starts in the heart,
Before it progresses to the action of adultery.
This is what Jesus makes clear in Matt. 5:28;
Matthew 5:28 ESV
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Sexual sin often begins with some sort of internal lustful imagination ignited by some sort of visual stimulation.
The two are like fire and gasoline.
When they come in contact, they ignite into a blazing fire of destruction.
That is what this verse is warning about.
The next word-picture comes in vs. 26.
It is a harsh word-picture,
Calling a prostitute cheap yet still destructive.
This illustrates the terrible penalty of adultery.
The evil woman referenced throughout Proverbs is being compared to a prostitute.
To a person who exchanges sex for money.
It is from this Greek word we get the word pornography.
It was often used as an insult.
Ezekiel 16 is one example in Scripture of this word being used to describe God’s people in very insulting and graphic language.
The prophet accuses God’s people of prostituting themselves to other gods without even receiving any payment.
Looking throughout the OT,
This began happening within God’s people under the reign of King Rehoboam in 1 Kings 14:24,
Why is this significant?
Because Rehoboam is Solomon’s son.
Believed by some to be the son that Solomon is addressing with this warning.
Despite the warnings against prostitutes,
In the Gospels, we see Jesus spend time with prostitutes.
He did not pay for or lay with a prostitute.
But He still brought the gospel of grace to prostitutes.
And this is good news for us because we prostitute ourselves to idols.
But it says that adultery with a married person destroys not only those committing the act of adultery,
But the marriage is assaulted,
It destroys the spouse, and often many others.
Frankly, sexual sin reduces all people involved.
Pornography for example, does not care about the image-bearers being filmed,
It reduces the people to body parts.
No relationship, no personality, no conversation, no testimony, nothing,
Just body parts.
Prostitution reduces a person to a product exchanged for financially.
The punishment for sexual sin is inevitable and severe.
Vs. 27-28 continue to demonstrate this with further word-pictures,
Adultery is like hugging fire.
But Satan tries to tell you that you are the exception.
You won’t get caught, he says.
Surely, you will not die, he will tell you,
Just like he told Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Vs. 29 corrects this by saying that no one who participates in adultery goes unpunished.
This is the expected consequence of adultery.
There is a natural cause and effect chain that happens,
But this also implies judgment from God on top of that.
Vs. 30-31 begins the final word-picture in ch. 6,
Bringing home all the other word-pictures in this chapter to express the severity of this punishment.
It says that a person who is starving may steal,
And others may be understanding to that person’s situation.
Yet, that person will still be subject to the law.
But a person who commits adultery does not receive the same level of understanding.
The person who commits adultery destroys himself,
All he gets is wounds, dishonor, and disgrace.
Both the thief and the adulterer suffer legal consequences,
But only the adulterer is guaranteed communal consequences.
And anyone who brings this upon himself is brainless.
Derek Kidner writes in his commentary;
“The picture of the adulterer as social outcast may seem greatly overdrawn. If so, the adjustment that must be made is to say that in any healthy society such an act is social suicide.”
Generally speaking,
This is still true of our society.
Christian or not,
A person who cheats on their spouse invites destruction into their home and their community.
And friends, these are just earthly consequences.
But the consequences of sexual sin just crash into your life,
Like waves crashing into the side of a boat,
Repeatedly, unexpectedly, and endlessly.
David’s life is a tragic example of that.
In the early parts of his life he was a strong, virtuous, and courageous leader.
After he sinned by sleeping with Bathsheeba,
He was a shell of his former self.
The warnings here in Proverbs are drastic!
But I want to make sure we maintain the balance of John 8.
There is grace, mercy, and forgiveness, even for sexual sin.
Jesus takes the consequences.
So, if you have committed sexual sin,
And you feel like you do not know what to do,
Flee to Jesus!
He is your only salvation.
Through Him, you can be saved from the eternal consequences of sexual sin.
This will not take away the horizontal consequences Proverbs is talking about.
Sexual sin will still produce great suffering in this world.

YOU: Wise Warnings (Ch. 7)

Let us turn our attention to ch. 7 now.
Ch. 7 is made up of three parts.
Vs. 1-5 connects the end of ch. 6 to the rest of ch. 7.
Vs. 6-23 is the main focus.
It tells dramatic narrative observed by Solomon of a simpleton and a seductress.
Then, vs. 24-27 conclude with a wise warning to avoid adultery.
The opening verses of this chapter serve as a prologue to the dramatic presentation of our heavenly Father’s wise warning to us.
In this prologue,
Once again we are shown that good advice is useless against the temptations of adultery.
Unless, these warnings are taken to heart.
When wisdom is written on the tablet of your heart,
It will translate into wise habits
Wisdom and understanding are introduced as a sister or close friend.
You are to think of wisdom this way,
Because this is the desired level of closeness you must have with wisdom.
It speaks of wisdom as someone to have a relationship with.
Someone you interact with.
Someone who, through your interactions, keeps you from the forbidden adulteress and all her temptation.
Solomon begins a narrative in vs. 6 about observing a young man.
Picture Solomon, a king, sitting up in his palace.
From up high in his palace,
He has a good view of the streets where he is able to observe a seduction taking place.
The two people he is observing have no idea they are being watched,
In fact, lust always makes the assumption that no one can see what you are doing.
If there is one thing I am able to accomplish as your pastor,
I hope it is that it becomes intensely real for you,
That you are always under the constant and detailed watch of another.
It is not the government, it is not big brother, it is not a king in his palace.
It is God, your Heavenly Father, seeing and knowing everything you are doing.
So, this dramatic narrative pictures Solomon in a God-like role for us.
As Solomon sees this play out,
It allows us to picture God seeing the details of your life that you think no one knows about.
This young man Solomon sees has not yet acquired the protection of wisdom and discretion.
We could describe this young man as the victim of this narrative.
Temptation looks for the simple, the young, the naive, the inexperienced.
That is why the opening verses of Proverbs are directed at this type of person.
Because they are impressionable.
They need to be armed with wisdom.
Solomon says he saw the young man stroll right to the seducer’s house.
He lacks judgment.
He is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He wandered into temptation,
Into a dangerous place he ought not to be.
And while he is aimless,
The temptress is not.
She is attractive on the outside,
But he does not know that she has a hidden agenda in her heart.
And she is cunning in her efforts to see her agenda through.
This is where we get the phrase, “dressed to kill.”
Our culture has driven clothing in this same direction.
And I do not want this statement to be offensive,
I want it to be helpful,
So, I pray it is taken that way.
The way you dress shows your intent.
The seductress in Proverbs makes it clear.
She intends to seduce.
The young man is empty-minded,
But she dressed to kill.
She is ready,
Using shock to continue to seduce the young man,
She grabs hold of him and kisses him!
Next, in vs. 14, she tells him she has a reason to celebrate.
She offered sacrifices and paid her vows,
It would be unthinkable for him to not celebrate with her.
And, here is a significant warning, she is portraying herself as religious.
She went to the temple and offered sacrifices, she is religious.
Brothers and sisters, beware of a person who comes at you with their spirituality.
They may be part of the church, part of the youth group, a pastors kid or a missionary kid.
If they start to make their lustful intention clear,
It does not matter that they a part of a church,
They are a predator.
And they are ready for you.
Then, in vs. 15,
Seduction begins a verbal assault that works like a battering ram,
Pounding away against your defenses.
Just pounding and pounding until it breaches your heart.
Listen carefully to what seduction says.
I have come out to meet you.
To seek you eagerly.
And now I have found you.
What flattering words.
Seduction seeks to feed your ego.
To tell you how special you are.
That it has been searching everywhere for you specifically,
Choosing you over everyone else.
But in reality, she has just been on the hunt for any vulnerable person who would stroll right up to her house.
Her seduction continues in vs. 16-17 by describing the luxurious nature of her bed.
This is the sensuous appeal.
But it once again shows that she has planned this whole thing out.
She promises that when you give into lust,
You will not get caught.
You will enjoy the moment of the night,
And you will never suffer the consequences of your sin.
Allow me to just quickly recap the verbal assault of seduction in my own words.
Starting in vs. 14:
“I am a good church-going person, so it would not be a sin to fool around with me. My motives are pure, I just want to have a good time with you (vs. 14). I have waited so long and dreamed of finding someone like you. I am so glad I found you, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. It is wonderful we get to be alone and feel the passion between us. I have been preparing to meet you. (vs. 15). I have arranged everything for us to make love. It’s gonna be perfect. I know all the special things that other boring people overlook (vs. 16). I care about you more than anyone else. Look at the efforts I have gone to. There is a love between us that no one has ever had before (vs. 17). So, let’s fully experience the depths of this unique and special love. No one has ever felt as strong for you as I feel for you. When we make love it will exceed all the other sexual encounters in the history of the world. We will find wonderful comfort and pleasure in one another. It will last the whole night and the rest of our lives. Don’t worry about any risk, my spouse is away (vs. 18). My spouse loves work more than me. I need your love. So, I have figured everything our for us to make, we have nothing to worry about (vs. 19). My spouse loves money, but we have a love that money cannot buy (vs. 20).”
In the middle of the relentless pounding against your defense,
Is an invitation in vs. 18;
Come, let us take our fill of love till the morning.
Other translations says, “Let’s feast on each other’s love!”
She is pretending that what she offers is satisfaction.
She is inviting to have what only your spouse can give.
Such a false invitation!
This is saying that casual sex can satisfy this deep longing you have for mutual, loving commitment.
This is a destructive lie!
This is an invitation to lust, not love.
The cross is real love.
1 Cor. 13 writes about real love.
Romans 5:8 says that God demonstrates real love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
That is real love.
This invitation in Proverbs is not real love.
It is a relentless seduction.
And in response, vs. 22 shows the young man follows her all at once.
All indecision is gone,
The young man yielded to her seduction,
Just as an ox walks to the slaughter.
An ox was believed to be one of the dumbest animals.
It would be completely unaware that it was walking to its own death.
Likewise, the person who walks into adultery,
Walks into a trap.
Like an arrow piercing the liver,
It will cost you your life.
The liver was believed to be the reservoir of lifeblood.
So, piercing the liver was a fatal shot.
The premise of a snare is to draw the unsuspecting in with something attractive,
And when you go after it,
You are caught and killed.
One hope I have in preaching this sermon is that you cannot plead ignorance.
Adultery, lust, sexual sin, it will cost you your life.
Know this!
After seeing this happen to the young man,
Our heavenly Father speaks to us,
So, we can see ourselves as conceivably filling the same role as the young man.

WE: Conc. - Sex is good, sin has broken it.

So, let us draw out application.
In vs. 25-27, we are given a threefold defense.
First, keep your heart from adultery.
As Proverbs 4:23 says,
Guard your heart above all else.
It is no coincidence that sexual sin is addressed immediately after the command in ch. 4 to guard your heart.
Lust seeks to draw your heart to adultery.
So, stay away from the path of adultery,
Avoid the places where you may be tempted.
You are in danger the moment your thoughts wander toward lust.
Second, do not stray into her paths.
This is talking about literally avoiding adultery,
But also warning you to avoid adultery in your mind.
Third is an implicit warning.
When you see through the adulterous woman,
Vs. 26-27 show you her casualties.
So, avoid the carnage that results from adultery.
Adultery has seduced many victims to death.
In fact, it says, the slain is a number to great to count.
Know the consequences so you can say no to the temptations.
I want to step back and give four more broad applications in closing.
First, we have a Savior from this assault.
Jesus wants to jump down into your life with the sword of His Word in His hand and guard you from lust.
He demonstrates this by shedding His blood on the cross for your sin,
Then by giving you the Holy Spirit to live in you,
If you trust in Him.
Cling to this.
Because, if you live by the Spirit, you will not gratify the flesh.
So, I hope you start there.
Friends, if you are feeling guilty or condemned or ashamed for your lust or sexual sin,
Go to Jesus,
Confess your sins to Him,
Trust in Him,
Let Him forgive you.
You are not any worse a sinner than I or any other person in her is.
As the Apostle Paul said,
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.”
Second, with the Word being written in your heart, you will lose.
So, listen to your Heavenly Fathers advice.
Protect yourself. Fight. Stand Firm.
Third, understand seduction’s strategy and flee.
Be careful with members of the opposite sex.
Treat a brother or sister in Christ as just that,
A brother or sister.
Do not avoid members of the opposite sex like they are the bubonic plague.
Have conversations, encourage one another, pray for one another.
But that does not mean you flirt with one another, secretly text one another, or call one another in the middle of the night to complain about your spouse.
When understanding seductions strategy, we must consider the costs of the way of seduction.
So, set standards for yourself.
You may say you would never spend the night with a prostitute,
But you are willing to watch one behind closed doors.
You are not the exception.
Do not listen to Satan, you will suffer the consequences of sexual sin.
Do you want the destruction caused by sexual sin for the momentary pleasure?
God sees everything we do.
We must always be aware of God’s watching presence.
We cannot conceal or hide our sin from Him.
What happens in the dark is brought to light.
What is whispered in secret is shouted from rooftops.
So, what do we do?
If you are in a relationship, delight in your significant other.
Spend time, buy gifts, build into that relationship.
If it feels like it is not where it needs to be, work toward healing it.
Give forgiveness, seek forgiveness.
Delight in being a safe refuge for one another.
But regardless if you are in a relationship or single,
The fourth application is simply to love.
Ultimately, love for God.
In Jesus’ sermon on the mount where He speaks against the heart sin of lust,
He also says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
The biggest issue with lust is that it prevents you from seeing God.
It makes God feel distant,
Then our hearts become hardened,
And we drift away.
Do not let lust drift you away,
Let love drive you to salvation.
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