Guest Author: Ben Puthukeril
“I have spread my couch with coverings, With colored linens of Egypt. “I have sprinkled my bed With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, And numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death. | Proverbs 7:16-27
Last time we took a look at the first half of Proverbs 7 and the advice Solomon had to share with us concerning lust. The first four points were: it’s the second look that kills, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, stay hydrated in God’s word, and don’t justify it when temptation comes along. Now, we will be going through the second half of Proverbs 7 to see what other points we can pull from the chapter to help in our constant struggle with lust.
Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Lust is so desirable because it is attractive to our minds. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t have a struggle with it. In verses 16-18, lust compares itself to all of the finer things in life, such as colored Egyptian linens, perfumes, myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. In some ways, it is almost like a drug because it gives you that false high or sense of relief from whatever may be causing stress or anxiety in your life. In reality, what it truly does is desensitize you. It turns something that was once considered as sinful and detestable into something that is cheap and desired. It molds and forms our minds to the point where what we started with is no longer good enough. It forces us to constantly seek the next most attractive thing that satisfies us – which, if we follow that path will never be enough. We will be in that constant, endless pursuit because ultimately it can never give us the satisfaction we are seeking.
Your Secret’s Safe With Me
Lust is so much more of a problem now than it was in generations before. The reason for that is because it is easily available, accessible from anywhere, and easy to keep hidden. We live in a different time than that of our parents. We are growing up in a different culture, being exposed to so many more things at a young age, and feeling the effects of those changes firsthand, both mentally and physically. Just as it describes in verses 19 and 20, lust is easy to keep hidden. Satan tells us the lie that no one will ever find out – which may be true considering those who are around us, but to the One who is omniscient, nothing can be hidden. That should be a reminder to us the next time that we are tempted to fall into lust. Would God approve of me pursuing this in front of Him? It’s been resurfacing slowly over the last couple of years, but more and more people are starting to wear the bracelet that says “What Would Jesus Do?” It’s time to take that into consideration and ask ourselves, “Would Jesus stand in the midst of lust and follow the desires of His mind?” No! He would stop that temptation before it even consummated into sin! That is the responsibility each one of us has as believers. We are incapable of stopping it ourselves, with our own will power, but we should truly rely on God’s power to get rid of it before it even starts.
A Knife To The Heart
Every time I see an action movie and I see someone getting stabbed unexpectedly in the gut; it makes me cringe. When Solomon describes the result of falling to lust, he depicts it just like that! In verse 23 he compares it to an ox going to the slaughter and then being pierced in the liver. If you’ve ever seen an animal get killed, it’s nothing nice. Most cattle are unaware that they are about to get killed before they actually do. They will quietly go where you lead and may only realize they are in danger once they are locked in and about to be executed. In the latter part of verse 23 he even warns, “he does not know that it will cost him his life.” That is exactly what lust does to us. It may sound very enticing at first and we may go along with it for a while, but in the end it has awful consequences. The other day, I was looking at a site that describes stats around infidelity in relationships. Now keep in mind this is talking about both physical and emotional infidelity. The stats are very shocking considering some of the things that they survey. What we have to realize is that all of these stemmed from lust. Lives are ruined, families are broken, and especially marriages are wrecked just because of the lust that is allowed to develop in child’s mind from a young age. It may have delayed effects in a person’s life in a literal sense, but it always has immediate effects in a spiritual sense. When you allow lust and sin to grow in your life it always causes you to drift further and further from God.
Words Of The Wise
Solomon most likely wrote this Proverb after the fact, meaning he had gone through life and fell into the sin of lust with his multiple wives and concubines and then only realized how much pain and suffering it had cost him. By the end of his life, his wives had persuaded him to follow other gods and he had an assurance from God that the kingdom would not remain in his family line. Worst of all, he had completely drawn away from God. He tried to take matters into his own hands to control his destiny, only to realize that God alone is all-powerful, regardless of how wise of a king he was. Solomon writes the last couple of verses of Proverbs 7 as a plea to all the young people out there: Don’t pursue lust, it WILL ruin you! In verse 26 and 27, he describes the victims of lust as the following, “for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.” He is in essence saying that there are plenty of victims of lust to the point that there are too many to count! His last words are that it ultimately leads to death. Not physical death which is inevitable, but rather unspeakable sorrow with pain and regret that cannot be undone.
Luckily all hope is not lost if you do struggle with lust – which being a young guy/girl, almost all of us do! We just have to be mindful of what Solomon recommends as the cure for this in the first three verses of this Proverb. He says in verses 4 and 5,”Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.” One thing to be mindful of is that we cannot defeat lust by ourselves; we must cast our burdens and rely on God completely for us to be freed from our struggle. This involves us making a daily altar and dedicating time in His Word and before Him in prayer. As it says in Psalms 119:105,
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Often times when it comes to lust we may not always know where to turn or from whom we can seek advice. That is why God has given us His Word. We don’t need to seek anything or anyone else; everything is contained in His Word to provide us guidance and counsel. When we are lost and can’t find our way, all we need to do is turn to His Word for direction! Let’s strive to live for the Lord and overcome lust in the coming days!