TemptationWe noted in earlier devotions from Proverbs 7 Solomon’s employment of story telling to convey to his son the subtle ways of an immoral woman and the tragic end of a man who falls prey to her temptations (Proverbs 7:6-23).  Solomon has painted a beguiling portrait of a temptress—her appearance (7:10a), attitude (7:10b), actions (7:11b-12) and character (7:13-21).

In today’s proverbs (7:22-23), Solomon reveals the tragic end of the man who gives rein to fleshly lust and forbidden passions.

Proverbs 7:22-23 – “He [immoral fool] goeth after her [the adulteress] straightway [suddenly; immediately], as an ox goeth [comes; carry; go in] to the slaughter [butcher], or as a fool [silly; perverse, licentious man] to the correction [discipline; reproof; chastisement] of the stocks; stocks23 Till a dart [arrow] strike [cuts; slices; pierce] through his liver; as a bird hasteth [speeds; quickly; rushes headlong] to the snare, and knoweth not [fails to perceive; understand] that it is for his life [soul; mind; heart].”

Our narrative has taken a foolish, naïve young man from the company of his peers to the abode of an adulteress who cares not for his soul.  Like an ox that follows his master unknowingly to a slaughterhouse, this fool follows his temptress to her abode.  He throws caution to the wind, disregards parental admonitions and entertains his flesh with her flirtations and beguiling words.

Setting aside all moral restraint, he will pay for his indiscretion at the sacrifice of his name, marriage, family and future.  Like an arrow that pierces a vital organ, his immorality will sacrifice everything a good man holds dear.  Whispers of scandal, the plaque of disease and the heartache of loss will follow him to his grave.

Christian friend, I close with the exhortation of the Apostle Paul to the believers who lived in the midst of the notorious city of Corinth:

Flee fornication1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”