By Pastor Sarah
Proverbs 7 is probably the clearest example we have of the 7th commandment: do not commit adultery. So many people tell me that they have difficulty reading and understanding the Bible – it doesn’t make sense when they read it or they don’t fully understand what is being communicated – but this chapter doesn’t fit into that category! In the plainest way possible it depicts a young man who turns away from wisdom, wise counsel, and the commands of scripture and meets with a sinful, seductive woman and it results in death for both of them. God knew what He as talking about when He commanded the nation of Israel – do not commit adultery – because He knew it would lead to pain, problems, and death on all sides.
On a larger scale this passage also makes a case for the need to set boundaries in our lives. Wisdom from the word of God helps us to do just that. Sin abounds and how will we keep from being seduced by what appears right and pleasurable for the moment? In this story no one was where they were supposed to be – the woman never stayed at home but rather wandered through the town, her husband was far away and unaware of what was happening, and the young man chose to leave his house as the sun set for no other reason than to wander aimlessly through the town. No one stayed within the boundaries of their own homes. More importantly, no one stayed within the boundaries that Wisdom set.
Furthermore, choices were made by all parties – the young man chose to leave home at an hour when nothing good could happen, he chose to be led further into sin, and chose a path that led to death and destruction. The woman chose to lead a life of “crafty intent”, and chose to sin against the covenant she had made to God and her husband. Choices were made from the moment they decided to leave their homes and the boundaries that Wisdom had set around them, and they continued to make wrong choices throughout the encounter.
What boundaries are we putting into place in our own lives to help us make right choices when it comes to sin? Are we storing up the commands from God’s word and from Godly counsel? Are we keeping wisdom close by? Verse 3 instructs us to “bind[the teachings and commands] on our fingers and write them on the tablet of our heart.” It’s reminiscent of Deuteronomy 5 and 6 where God reminds them again of the commandments given to Moses and then instructs them to love the Lord with all their hearts and to teach these things to their children so that they too can obey the Lord. He then tells them to write them down on their hands and tie them to their houses. God’s word, when we read it, know it, talk about it, memorize it, teach it, remember it, apply it will help us set boundaries and make right choices that will lead to life rather than destruction.
We all have a choice to make when it comes to sin. Maybe you find yourself making choices today that are leading to death rather than life – you can make a choice today to change all that. You can choose today to make Jesus the center of your life. Forgiveness is yours if you ask and you can be set on a new path. I encourage you to make that choice today, and begin asking God for wisdom each day to set boundaries around your life that will keep you from sin and heartache.