7 Strategies to Fight Seduction - Proverbs 7 (Sermon)



Manuscript

INTRODUCTION 

Hi, I am pastor Rob. It is an honor to share with you today. 

SPARKLER

Do you know what this is? (Light it) Right. It is a sparkler. They can get really hot. What are some foolish things we could do with it? I can think of a few. For example, if I put it next to my skin, I would get burned. That makes sense. Doesn’t it? 

BURNING 

Today, the Bible uses a similar image to describe the foolishness of sin. Sin is stupid. If we play around with it, we will get burned. Sexual sin is a prime example and the subject of the text this morning. 

DISCLAIMER

I am going to be direct but discreet. I have six children, from sixteen to five years old, five boys and a girl. I am preaching to them. If you are not comfortable talking about this, I won’t be offended if you have to step out or watch YouTube another time. 

READERS

This morning, we find ourselves finishing chapter 6 of Proverbs, starting at verse 20 and moving through chapter 7. I have asked R.K., M.S., and R.S. to read for us. We have a tradition of standing in honor of God’s Word. Would you stand with me, if you are able? We will be reading Proverbs chapter 6, starting in verse 20. Please, follow along. 

TEXT 

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts. 


My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with boldface she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. 


And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death. (Pr 6:20–7:27) 

PRAYER

Thank you. That might have been a record amount of verses read before a message. I like that each of these men has young teenagers or soon-to-be teenagers in their homes, much like Solomon had when he wrote this. Let’s Pray. God, we need you. I need you. We don’t see things. Help us. Protect us from temptation. Make us more like your Son, Jesus. In his precious name. AMEN. You may be seated. 

CONTEXT 

This year we are studying the book of Proverbs. It is 31 chapters long. King Solomon wrote most; he reigned about 3000 years ago and was the third king of Israel. People around the world knew him for his wisdom. The first nine chapters stand out as lessons from him to his sons. He hoped that his sons would hear his wisdom and pursue it. He defined wisdom as fearing God, the beginning of knowledge, and practical in nature. This wisdom applies to all of life. 

WARNING 

What does this wisdom look like? What dangers does he warn against? Young men face dangers we adults know all too well. As part of the majority culture, with privilege, power, prestige, prosperity, and popularity, Solomon urged them to pursue righteousness, justice, and God. He challenged them to fight laziness, lying, and lust. This is the context of our discussion. Our text zeroes in on the dangers and seduction, from which I see seven strategies to fight seduction. 

TODAY 

What if you are not a young man, or you don’t struggle in the ways young men do? How does this text relate? Great question. Jesus connected sexual immorality to lust in the Sermon on the Mount. If we lust with our eyes, he said we had committed adultery in our hearts. What is lust? In Greek, it has a broader sense. It means “to strongly desire to have what belongs to someone else and/or to engage in an activity which is morally wrong...” (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 290). New York: United Bible Societies.) Let me say that again, “to strongly desire to have what belongs to someone else and/or to engage in an activity which is morally wrong...” Sin begins with desire. Jesus cared about our hearts. Who of us has not strongly desired something that belonged to someone else? Who of us has not engaged in something morally wrong? Who of us has not been jealous? I believe this passage is a challenge, yes to young men, but also to all of us who are tempted to sin. 

STRUCTURE 

These forty-some verses break down into three sections: verses 20 to the end of chapter 6. Then chapter 7 through 23 and verses 24 through 27. I see seven dangers in these three sections, and I have come up with seven strategies to fight them. 

WORD OF YOUR MOTHER

Verse 20 begins with an affirmation to listen to your mother and father. I love that Solomon mentions mothers. He talked about them in chapter 1. I think he is right to include them. Side note, moms are intelligent. They know you better than you know you. My mom would tell us kids she has eyes at the back of her head. Children, God put those eyes there for a reason. She is watching you. She cares for you.

WHAT ARE YOU MEDITATING ON? 

Verse 21 tells us what Solomon wants us to do with our parent’s caring wisdom. 

Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck (Proverbs 6:21), 

If we have read the other passages, we have heard this before. It is not new. What does he mean? Solomon is saying that this particular parental advice is essential. Pay attention.

GENERAL BENEFIT

Why? Look at verse 22. 

When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you (Proverbs 6:22).

The reason we treasure our parent’s counsel is that it will lead us, watch over us, and speak to us.  

Next Level Why?

Why does that matter? Look at verse 23. 

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23).

Solomon connects this parental teaching to God’s commands and the way of life. It is not just a bunch of amorphisms, witticisms, or other isms. It is wisdom, God’s wisdom, from your parents’ mouths. 

GEAR SHIFT SEXUALITY 

Unfortunately, our parents are not the only ones wanting to lead, watch over, and talk to us. In verse 24, Solomon talks about another woman. Look at verses 23 and 24.  

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Proverbs 6:23–24

The first danger Solomon seems to warn against is SEDUCTIVE CONVERSATION.

SEDUCTIVE CONVERSATION 

We have heard this smooth-talking woman before. What she says sounds pleasant but isn’t. Therefore, be careful what you listen to. I find that the world influences me oh so subtly. The first strategy to fight seduction is to ask yourself - 
  • Whom are you listening to? 
  • What voices influence you? 
  • What lyrics do you sing? 
  • What tv do you watch? 
  • What videos do you stream? 
  • What websites do you visit? 
  • Whom are you listening to?  

Be careful. Don’t think hearing smooth words will not affect you. Music, movies, videos, and friends can lead you astray. This is the first danger I see Solomon mention, but not the last. 

SEDUCTIVE ATTRACTION 
  1. Seductive Conversation - Whom are you listening to? 
  2. Seductive Attraction 

The second is about our hearts: The danger of Seductive Attraction. Look at verse 25. 

Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes (Proverbs 6:25). 

There is something attractive about temptation. Desire doesn’t justify treating people like commodities. Beauty doesn’t warrant disobedience. One way to combat this type of danger is to recognize what is going on with our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). We can pay attention to our hearts and do something about them. One way to protect our hearts is to remember that this person we lust after is someone’s daughter or son. Think of them as your sister or brother. If they aren’t your spouse, don’t treat them like your spouse. Don’t allow your heart to run on autopilot. Guard your heart. Know what is going on with your heart. Direct it to God and his ways. That is the strategy to fight e seductive attraction. 

REPEAT

Solomon is not done with this lecture. He goes back to his familiar set-up in chapter 7. “My son. Listen up. Stay away from the adulteress.” Then he takes an interesting twist. He tells a story. Verse 6

For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. (Proverbs 7:6–8)  

The woman he is about to encounter is not good. The young man went near. He came and took the road to her house. Who was to blame? It was the young man lacking sense. He chose to go down that road, late at night, by himself. Don’t go near danger. Stay away.

SWEATER

One time, I was cooking after church with a wool sweater on. It was very fuzzy. I was multitasking, like usual. For some reason, I was doing something with the back burner and began to smell something burning. I was on fire. I got too close. I survived, or I wouldn’t be here. My sweater didn’t. (It really wasn’t that big of a fire.) But it could have been. If you get too close to a fire, you will get burned. Stay away. Don’t go near this danger. The Bible says. Free. Some places are just not wise to go near. Don’t play around with this fire. 

SEDUCTIVE SITUATIONS  

Let’s talk about timing. He went out at night. There are times when we are more prone to sin, aren’t there? I know that is the case for me. I had a friend at church tell me about an acronym that helps identify when it is typically hard to follow the Lord: HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). I mention that because of the last letter, two letters T - Tired and L - Lonely. Solomon’s story happens at twilight, and the young man is alone. He would do better to be going to bed in the room near his family than walking through the red light district by himself to get some fresh air. Much evil is done under the veil of darkness. 

  • Where is that for you? 
  • When are you at your weakest? 
  • What websites do you need to avoid? 

Make a plan right now. What tempts you to disobey God? Think of alternative paths and times and ways to avoid temptation. Let’s develop a battle plan. What can you avoid this week to follow him better? (TAKE A MOMENT NOW TO THINK THIS THROUGH). Don’t play with fire. FLEE. Get out of that situation and go somewhere else. That is the third danger and strategy.

  1. Seductive Conversation - Whom Are You Listening To? 
  2. Seductive Attraction - Guard Your Heart 
  3. Seductive Situations - FLEE 

SEDUCTIVE STRIKE

Look at verse 10. The story goes on.

And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him. (Proverbs 7:10–13)

Temptation can come at us like a comet. Marketers and scam artists appeal to our base desires. I can think of many times I am innocently doing my work or going about my day and temptation attacks. This is seductive aggression. How do we combat it?

JESUS

Jesus is a great help. He inaugurated his ministry led by the Spirit into a wilderness. There, he fasted for forty days. At the end of that time, Satan came to tempt him. Satan knew how minds work. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in every way, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). How did Jesus fight back? Precisely how Solomon commanded in 6:21, 7:1, 7:3, and 7:24. He followed the teaching of Psalm 119:9–11, which says, 

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 

Friends, God tells us to put on the full armor (Ephesians 6:11). That includes wielding the sword of the Spirit: which is the Bible. Do you have your sword sharp and ready? How do you do that? Hide God’s Word in your heart. How do you do that? Memorize. What are you memorizing? 

  • What verse would you quote, if you are about to click on a website you should not? 
  • What verse would you quote, if you are about to gossip about someone? 
  • What verse would you quote, if you are struggling with selfishness? 
  • What verse would you quote, if you are struggling with self-control? 
  • What verse would you quote, if you are worried? 
  • What verse would you quote, if you are bitter? 

Prepare for battle. Memorize. 

HOW TO MEMORIZE

How? Personally, I repeat the verse out loud over and over and over again. I might write it on a scrap of paper and carry it around with me. I may tweet the verse or do something artistic with it. We at church want to equip you for the fray. One way to do this is to join us in memorizing the ABC Bible verses. They are not just for kids. This week is F- “Fear not, for I am with you” Isaiah 41:10. Say that verse with me. F- “Fear not, for I am with you” Isaiah 41:10. F- “Fear not, for I am with you” Isaiah 41:10. Who is with us? God is with us. What difference does Isaiah 41:10 make? That means God is with us. It reminds us of the fact that we are not alone. God is with us. He will help us. Call upon him today, church, while we are in this combat. Prepare your mind for conflict to avoid this aggression. Memorize. 

SEDUCTIVE SUPERSTITION

Solomon continued the story. The forbidden woman went on to say,

“I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows.” (7:14)

She is presenting him with a Superstition. 

  1. Seductive Conversation - Whom Are You Listening To? 
  2. Seductive Attraction - Guard Your Heart. 
  3. Seductive Situations - Flee.
  4. Seductive Aggression - Memorize. 
  5. Seductive Superstition - Know The Gospel.

She cloaked her seduction in religion. We see this happen in cults all the time. Other times people play fast and loose with Scripture. They take it out of context, ignore the rest of it, and pick and choose what suits them. Others practice self-atoning behavior to make sinful choices feel right. They read their Bibles more, pray more, give more thinking that it offsets the wrong they did or are doing or are about to do. We can’t do enough to outweigh the bad or make it undone. We are sinners in need of a Savior. We are morally bankrupt and need God to cancel our debt and give us his line of credit. And that is what God did on the cross. That is a definition of the Gospel. Don’t fall prey to views of God and the Bible that just are right. Know the good news of God’s love for you. That will motivate you and help you say yes to God and no to unrighteousness. Knowing the truth of Jesus’s forgiveness and compassion will set you free. It defeats the lies and will not leave you feeling dirty or embarrassed. Know the Gospel. 

SEDUCTIVE IMAGINATION

The woman goes on to tempt this young man in more. She says:

I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (Proverbs 7:16–17) 

She offered an atmosphere that looked pleasing, valuable, delightful, and special. It is not. It sounds alluring. It is fake. Don’t buy a word, she says. She offers a couch, but it is a coffin. The adrenaline must have been pumping through the young man’s veins. She turns up the heat up. Look at verse 18. She said, 

Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love (Proverbs 7:18).

It sounds so right. Her seduction appeals to the imagination, but what is going on? 

Look at verse 21 to the end of the chapter. It echoes chapters 5 and 6 of Proverbs. 

With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. (Proverbs 7:21–23)

Her offer for a night of love is a pipe bomb with too short of a wick, and he is left holding it. Don’t fool around with this fire, or it will blow up in your face. She is out for blood. Don’t be fooled by temptation.

CAPTIVE THOUGHTS 

How do we fight such a tricky enemy? You can’t control other people. But you can control what you dwell on. Paul wrote, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Are you taking every thought captive for Christ? I am not doing the best job with this. I need to work on it. Join me. 

  1. Seductive Conversation - Whom Are You Listening To? 
  2. Seductive Attraction - Guard Your Heart.
  3. Seductive Situations - Flee.
  4. Seductive Aggression - Memorize. 
  5. Seductive Superstition - Know The Gospel.
  6. Seductive Imagination - Take Every Thought Captive.  

We are at war with temptation. We are prey. This young man doesn’t realize it; if he doesn’t reverse course, he is on a highway to Hell. 

SEDUCTIVE SECLUSION 

She has one more thing to offer. Like a good salesman, she answers his objections before he raises them. How did she conclude her pitch? Look at verse 19.

“For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home” (Proverbs 7:19–20). 

The coast is clear. But it isn’t. God sees everything. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” She offers seclusion. Even if the husband never finds out, God already knows. In the end, what is hidden will come to light. We will all have to stand before God and give an account for our lives. It is better to live in the open now than on that day with regrets. Therefore, sons and daughters of our mighty God, 

  1. Seductive Conversation - Whom Are You Listening To?  
  2. Seductive Attraction - Guard Your Heart. 
  3. Seductive Situations - Flee. 
  4. Seductive Aggression - Memorize. 
  5. Seductive Superstition - Know The Gospel. 
  6. Seductive Imagination - Take Every Thought Captive. 
  7. Seductive Seclusion - Live In the Open. 

God calls us to be in community with each other and honest with him. We really can’t hide. Let me encourage you to take a step to be known by others and know others. Don’t wait for someone to reach out to you. Get to know someone to help you fight temptation and talk to God honestly this week. 

MOTIVATION

Why? Solomon goes from talking about this hypothetical fool to his sons. He concludes, 

And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 

Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:24–27)

Friends, our flesh, the world, and the Devil will tempt us. I guarantee you that. What tempts you? What are you going to do about it? What strategy will you use this week? What step will you take? Whom are you going to listen to? Guard your heart. Flee. Memorize. Know the Gospel. Take every thought captive, live in the open before God and man. 

SECOND CHANCE

What if you have already gone the wrong way? What hope do you have? Psalm 49 says, “But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.” (Psalm 49:15). How can a Psalmist look forward to Sheol without fear? He was aware of the future Messianic hope and character of God. God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. We can look back and see that Jesus was the answer to the Psalmist hope. Jesus said, He “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). He has ransomed all of us who genuinely believe in him. He died to forgive. If you confess your sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive and purify you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Turn from the slavery of sin to hope in him. Repent and believe today. Don’t be taking sparklers and poking one another’s. Let us prepare for the journey ahead. It is not easy. But God has gone before us to warn us and protect us. You who have ears to hear, may you hear. 


Let’s pray. 


*Use by permission. All Rights reserved.

Comments