Recently, my daughter had a sports festival at her nursery school. One of the “sports” was running down to a place where she would “fish” for a gift. She lowered her little fishing pole, and a person there attached the gift to her hook.
And I thought catching goldfish was easy! My daughter didn’t really have to do anything at all to “catch” her prize.
But some people are as easy pickings for the devil. And Solomon gives an example here.
He talks of a young man who very swiftly got into trouble. Why?
Number one, he lacked judgment (7). He spent all his time among the “simple,” youths who were as lacking in moral direction as he was. He was someone who just lived for the moment, never thinking of the future consequences he would have to pay.
Second, he was probably idle, with nothing to do, wandering around at night when he probably shouldn’t have. And with no purpose of his own, he was swept into someone else’s plans, in this case, an adulterous woman. (8-9)
She comes out of her house and goes to him, boldly kissing him where anyone could see. And she says, “My husband isn’t home. He isn’t coming back until tomorrow night. I’ve seen you around, and I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve prepared everything in my house just for you. My food…and my bed.”
(Fellowship offerings, ironically, were sacrifices made as a sign of peace with God and thanksgiving toward him. Part of the ceremony associated with this, was taking part of the sacrifice home, and celebrating by eating it with their family. This woman was taking something meant for her husband and her to enjoy, with a heart of thanksgiving toward God, and was using it to seduce this young man).
And because he was not wise enough to discern her smooth talk for what it was, he went in to her house like an ox to the slaughter. And Solomon said that it would eventually cost him his life, perhaps because, as Solomon mentioned in chapter 6, when her husband found out, his revenge would be certain and swift. Even if he somehow escaped her husband’s judgment, he would certainly face God’s.
So Solomon warns his sons,
Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. (25-27)
How can we avoid this man’s fate?
First, seek the wisdom and discernment that comes from God. Make them your constant companions. As Solomon told his sons,
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman. (4)
Second, don’t let yourself be idle. Don’t wander around town or even around your own house without purpose. It only leads to trouble. Boredom has caused more than one person to fall into sin. You probably don’t have to look back far into your own life, to know the truth of that.
Finally, flee from sin. Sin may try to make itself look attractive, but when you have God’s word in your life, it’s easy to recognize. As soon as you see it, flee. Because the longer you linger around it, the more you’ll find yourself drawn to it.
Let us not be simple. Let us instead walk in wisdom, and in the fear of the Lord.