My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
turn your ear to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
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,
lest you lose your honour to others
and your dignity to one who is cruel,
lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another.
At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent…
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.
The book of Proverbs features two women: Madam Folly and Lady Wisdom. Folly is characterised by her adultery, wickedness and devious schemes (see also Proverbs 9). She is the harlot. Here the wise father writes to his son and warns him to stay far away from her house, from that place of sexual temptation and sexual sin. He knows that if his son walks along the edge of the cliff, he will inevitably fall into the chasm.
A few days ago we prayed that God would give us a willingness to gouge out and cut off whatever it is that causes us to sin. Have you done that? Now Solomon warns us that we need to stay far, far from any area of temptation. What path do you walk that leads you to sexual sin? What pattern do you follow before you fall into sexual sin? Is it mindlessly browsing Facebook? Is it staying up too late? It is driving past the house of the prostitute? Read Solomon’s warning, pray for God’s wisdom, and beware your steps.
Father, I ask that you would show me the patterns I follow that lead me to sexual sin. I don’t want to go near the door of the prostitute or that work colleague with whom I’m infatuated. I don’t want to go near the porn site. I don’t want to go to any place where my eyes and mind are prone to wander into impurity. I don’t want to walk along the cliff and expect that this time I won’t fall in. Thank you for your kind warning, given through Solomon. Now give me your wisdom, give me your strength, give me your protection. Let me do, and let me long to do, only what is right.