Sermon – February 10, 2019
Proverbs 7:1-27 – The Faithfulness of Wisdom (mp3)
Sex seems to linger close to the center of most of the greatest points of contention in our country today. These divides typically occur over the nature and purpose of sex, spilling out into issues over LGBTQ and transgender rights, divorce law, and further downstream, abortion. This is not a modern issue, arising because of the decadence of our land in an age of prosperity. These issues seem to be fundamental to who we are. We would be right, then, in assuming that the Bible has much to say about these things! Let us listen to well to the wisdom of our God!
1. Wisdom reveals the folly of the forbidden
As we work through this particularly illuminating chapter of Proverbs, we notice many things about this forbidden woman: she is obvious in her intent, available everywhere one turns, she is bold in taking what she wants, sacrilegious in her intentions before God, seductive towards her prey, and opportunistic to get what she wants. All of these things are applauded, loudly, by many. What man wouldn’t want this festival of the senses? Yet, the father and wisdom say to this young man: she is also a butcher, and the path to her house is a path to death. Friends, listen to wisdom in your temptation – do not listen to the desires of your heart, or the reasonableness of the objections. That which is forbidden is folly – it is the way of death.
2. Wisdom reveals the location of the lure
But, is this young man just a simple victim? No, he certainly is not! He knew what was happening in his interaction with this woman – what is more, he is the one who eventually gives in to it. Something in him wanted it. This is precisely what James 1:12-15 tells us. God is impossible to tempt with evil, so he also desires no one to fall into evil. When God tests, it is always to show the value of your faith in leading you in righteous paths. So, when you are tempted, it is your own desires that lead you into sin. The temptation itself is not sin, but your engaging with it (allowing it to “conceive”) will lead to sin, and ultimately, death. Friends, you must resist the temptation! Do not give into your desires! And you do so through faith, for:
3. Wisdom reveals the fortitude of the faith
You win the battle against temptation through faith. Time and time again, the solution to these temptations is to listen to and believe the words of God. Know that this sin leads to death, and that God has in store for you greater rewards than you can imagine. Follow the path laid down for you by Jesus, who died for your sins, knowing that God would raise him from the dead, providing for you all the immense riches of his inheritance. Keep yourself from sin, friends, for all its ways are death, but there is life in Jesus Christ our Lord!