*This is the text of the speech given at a Young People’s Mass Meeting held in 2018.
Introduction, Verses 1-5
In verse one Solomon tells us he speaks to his son. In the rest of the chapter we see he is speaking to his son about the “strange woman.” The strange woman is sexual temptation personified. Very plainly Solomon talks about sexual temptation in this chapter. How much more must these things be talked about at an appropriate age today. And the “appropriate age” seems to be getting younger. This article is not intended to replace the calling of parents, only to supplement it, and perhaps help it, for the issue is urgent.
Solomon by inspiration uses a cautionary tale, an example of himself watching another young man fall to temptation, to impress upon his son the seriousness of these sins. In verse six he sets the story up by saying “at the window of my house I looked through my casement.” The rest of the chapter is what he saw.
The Sin, Verses 6-13
Verse seven describes the youth he sees as one “among the simple ones.” That is, the ones void of understanding, not wise to the power and destruction of sexual sin. Probably you reading this, as this young man, have heard much about sexual sin and temptation. You know enough to know fornication, sexting, pornography, snapchatting lewd pictures, etc. is sin. But maybe you have stumbled into some of these things somewhat innocently. Maybe others older than you introduced you to it. Maybe you have been caught off guard by the devil. And what you may have been naïve to is how dangerous these sins are to you, your future spouse, and the body of Christ. Like this young man, you were void of understanding.
But notice that it quickly moves from a certain falling into temptation, to intent to have what one has stumbled into. Verse eight, “Passing through the street near her corner, he went the way of her house.” He is now seeking out what he perhaps naively came into contact with. Maybe you are too. And maybe, like this young one, you are seeking it out at night. Verse nine, “In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” He doesn’t want to get caught after all. At night—on the computer, on your phone, whatever it is—trying to hide it, cover it up, do anything to turn potential day into night. Maybe you try to erase the history on the computer. Or use Snapchat so it goes away. Delete Snapchat from your phone when you know your parents are going to check it, and then reinstall once the “checkpoint” has been crossed. You know it’s sin and shameful, and sin loves the cover of darkness. And if some of you have been exposed, thank God that he has shined the light on it. Sin is a strange kind of plant, it grows in the dark, but dies in the light.
In verses ten through thirteen this young man is lured by his lust and her advances. “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart… so she caught him and she kissed him.” How many young men here have been taken in by such a woman? In pornography on the internet, lewd images and videos are all designed this way, so that if you go near, she will attempt to catch you and kiss you, to take you in. She seeks you out wherever you go on the internet. Verse twelve, “Now she is without, now she is in the streets, now she is lieing in wait at the corner.” On your phone she is there. On Youtube, Vimeo, apps, and on seemingly innocent sports sites, she wants to catch you and kiss you. Innocently searching for something she can pop up.
Are any of the princesses in the kingdom of God learning from her? Dressing to entice? Flirting to entice? Taking pictures of yourself to entice? To catch and kiss? It’s whorish. Are any of you guys pressuring them to be her? To dress in a revealing way, to act in a sexualized way, to take pictures of themselves and send them to you? And only if they do, do they have your attention? One of them might be your wife someday. If not, she might sit across the isle from you in church with her own husband. Will she not remember what you wrote her in that text, or what the two of you did in the black and dark night?
The Excuses, Verses 13-18
Now comes the impudent face (hardened face, revealing a hardened heart), that believes the lies, the excuses to ease the conscience, and she wants him to believe them too. There are three lies she tells the young man. The first is in verse fourteen. “I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.” Peace offerings are offerings made in the temple that, aside from the Passover, were most like the Lord’s Supper. Her vows were vows of worshipful dedication to God. She’s saying, “don’t worry about what we are doing, I performed my religious duties. We’re both people of God, it’s ok, we won’t go to hell.” You ever say that to yourself? “I go to church, we go to church, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re the chosen people. I’ve been baptized. I have been raised in a covenant home, the child of believers, its not a big deal.” In the words of Jeremiah 7, “I have been saved to do all these things.”
“Therefore, I came forth to meet thee,” verse fifteen says. Therefore, “because I went through my religious duties I came forth to meet thee. I got God off my back, paid him off, therefore I feel free to do this with you. I appeased my conscious by going through my religious motions.” Don’t say it young people. You are the people of God, a royal generation, a holy priesthood that you should show forth the praises of him that called you out of darkness into his light. If you are his, you have been saved not to get away with it, but to be different.
The second way she tries to excuse the sin is by calling what they are doing love. Verse eighteen, “Let us take our fill of love…let us solace ourselves with loves.” But it isn’t love. It’s lust. And the lie is that it will fill you up; it will solace you. It will scratch the itch, satisfy, give life and joy. It won’t. It’s like a mosquito bite, the more you delve into this, the more you itch it, the more it itches, the more you want it. It never fills up, never satisfies. The only thing that does is the reality of those religious motions she went through—fellowship with God in Christ! When that isn’t there strong, the devil sees a low hedge to jump over, lust can be made to look like love. And more easily we can think it will be our solace.
In verses nineteen to twenty she says one more thing to ease her and his conscience. “We won’t get caught.” “The goodman (her husband) is not at home. He is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” How many of us have said that to ourselves? Generally, you will get caught at some point. But even if you don’t, there is always one who is watching, isn’t there? He sees, and he knows. And he makes sure you know he sees and knows by that burning in your conscience and heavy hand upon you like it was on David, and that won’t go away until you repent, put it away and ask him for forgiveness and strength to fight it.
The Consequences, Verses 21-23
Lust has a hook in him now, doesn’t it? He is enslaved. Like an ox doesn’t know its going to its slaughter, he doesn’t know how much this has a hold of him and is ruining his life and testimony before the face of God and man. Then the arrow (mortal wound) strikes him through, and it is too late. So many have been caught by the devil in this sin and are snared there and must battle it even for the rest of their life. For some it is right now perhaps robbing their marriages of joy, robbing their relationship to God of joy, and their other relationships of joy.
Do you realize pornography is as addictive as heroin and cocaine? Many studies have found that the same chemicals your brain releases when you use drugs are released when, especially men, but women too, look at sexual images. And If the statistics hold, which I pray they don’t in our midst, 70 percent of the males and 23 percent of the females have already been users. And If the statistics hold true, and I pray they don’t in our midst, 30 percent of the young men are addicted to it, and something like 13 percent of the women. If you are, by the way, please come to your pastor or another and seek help, there is help, he will help, don’t fight it alone in the black and dark night.
The Application, Verses 24-27
Verse twenty-four, “Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children!” You sense the urgency. Solomon knows the temptation here. Hearken! And, verse twenty-five, “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, go not astray in your paths.” Flee the temptation! Don’t put yourself in a position to be tempted. If you do not have Covenant Eyes or some other software on all your computers and phones why not? If you do not have filters, why not? Flee the temptation. Should we really let our young people have smartphones if it puts them on her street corner? Remove the temptation!
But I am strong. But my young person is strong. Verse twenty-six, “For she hath cast down many wounded, yea many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell.”
The Answer, Chapter 8:1-6
“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?” Solomon is personifying wisdom as an alternative woman to the woman of sexual temptation. Young men, young women, simple ones, the siren song of lust is playing loudly in this culture and into your ears. But the lovely voice of wisdom is crying too. Don’t you hear her voice crying out to you, “Her way is the way to hell! It is sin against God; it will damage your soul and the body of Christ!”
As we go on in Proverbs 8, wisdom is Christ. Ultimately, Christ calls out to you as wisdom. The Christ who redeemed you, took away your sins, even these sins that you now repent of. He says, “I love you. Am not I more lovely to you than lust? Am not I satisfying? Will you not find solace in me and the gospel and promises that I carry with me?” May that cry be louder to you than the cry of the woman of Proverbs 7. For in following the cry of this one, there is life.