Word to the Wise (Part 17) – Proverbs 23:26-28

Proverbs 23:26-28 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind.

This subject is always and rarely addressed today. Always in the sense that we living in a pervasively hyper sexualized culture, and rarely in the sense that few know how to engage the subject biblically.

Thankfully, there are a few notable exceptions who are speaking up; For example, “The Ugly American” or this helpful book review on the economics of sex by Tim Challies, or this interview with John MacArthur as it relates directly to men in ministry.

But take note, the wisdom literature of the Bible is determined to address it. The subject features prominently in several of our inspired texts. Why?

God wants to capture the mind of young men before someone else does.

Solomon’s focus is women who are off limits, and he recommends observing his own behavior in this area. When it came to collecting wives and concubines he was a runaway success and colossal failure at the same time. However, note it well, there is no evidence Solomon ever took a prostitute or the wife of another man. The same cannot be said of his father. At least in this respect he was worthy of imitation.

In Proverbs a prostitute was a sex worker. She had distinctive clothing (7:10), companions (29:3), territory (a street or temple), and even a market price (6:26). She was less threatening because her snare was in the open. The foreigner (translated adulteress) however uses smooth words.

Once seduced, foolish victims awake to inescapable consequences. Her premeditated immorality leads to an increase of treacherous men ensnared by sexual immorality.

The take away is that sexual purity requires avoidance of temptation, and awareness of seduction.

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