Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
How close should you get to death and hell? If you know a thing will kill you and take you to hell, should you play with it? Should you think about it? Should you tell yourself you can survive it? Death and hell are not survivable. They are the pain and ruin of men. Adultery is a certain way to death and hell, but the young fool of this proverb passed near an adulteress and then went to her house. He made a fatal choice (Pr 7:21-23).
Sexual temptations powerfully attract young men. Solomon committed several of the early chapters of Proverbs to this subject, as he sought to warn his son about the danger of the strange woman – whores and adulteresses. Some think this is too much emphasis on sexual sins, but they are barking against God’s infinite wisdom and the painful experience of most men in human history. The danger is everywhere, especially today.
Solomon told his son four times that adultery is the way to death and hell in these early chapters (Pr 2:18-19; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18). And when he summarized his observations about life later, he concluded the same thing (Eccl 7:26). Adultery ruins reputations, destroys the soul, binds a man in the cords of sexual addiction, corrupts family trees, introduces diseases to the healthy, causes jealous rage, damns the conscience, and takes you to hell.
Proverbs is primarily a book of short, inspired, and powerful observations about life from the mind of God through the pen of Solomon. However, in this chapter Solomon wrote an extended proverb – a parable (Pr 7:6-23). His parable described the seduction and ruin of a young man by a skilled adulteress. The fool never had a chance. She was ten times his superior in deception and seduction. He went down like an ox to the slaughter.
But it never would have happened – it never could have happened – if he had not passed through the street near her corner and went the way to her house. Sexual sins cannot happen, if you stay away from the source of temptation. Sexual temptation is too powerful to ever play with it. You must run from it, as Paul warned (I Cor 6:18; II Tim 2:22). You must avoid sexual temptation at all costs and not get near it (Pr 5:8; 7:25).
The Lord Jesus Christ said it was better to pluck out your right eye or cut off your right hand than to let sexual temptation take you down to hell (Matt 5:27-30). No matter how dear and precious a thing might be to you, like your right eye, you should get rid of it, if it tempts you to sin sexually. No matter how necessary and practical a thing might be, like your right hand, you should get rid of it, if it tempts you to sexual sin. This is no light matter. The consequences are fatal and eternal. Jesus Christ taught you divine wisdom.
Wise men will reject for themselves, and fathers will condemn for their sons: coed gyms of the spandex sort, opposite sex blogs or chat rooms, most Hollywood movies, coed swimming, most television programs, unchaperoned time with any woman, worldly parties, pornography of any sort, college fraternities, most cruises or resorts, bars or nightclubs of any kind, coed ski trips, casual phone, email, or texting contact with other women, jobs with temptresses, dinners out with other women, business trips without strict safeguards, casual relationships with married women, worldly music, lascivious novels, and any other possibility of temptation, many of which are now by electronic means. Others will think your rules extreme, but God and Solomon do not at all.
Sexual sins cannot occur, if you stay far away from seducing temptations to them. Paul taught in general that Christians should not even allow a provision or opportunity for the flesh to sin (Rom 13:14). If he taught this inspired rule in general for all sins, how much more should you apply it to matters of sexual temptation, which are the most seducing and damning in life? If a thing even leans in the direction of temptation, get away from it!
The lesson is simple. Stay far away from anything that tempts you to sexual sin. Never be a fool like Lot and pitch your tent toward Sodom (Gen 13:12). If you already live too close, move as soon as possible! It is not worth ruining your soul and family. Sexual sins can be avoided, if you cut off sources of temptation. Replace any voids in your life with spiritual exercises and enhancing your marriage (Pr 5:19-20; Ps 119:11; I Cor 7:1-5).