Proverbs 6:25-26

Proverbs 6:25-26 "Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life."
Buffalo NY Baptist Church
This passage may be addressed to a young man with a very specific danger but all of us regardless of gender or age, should pay close attention to the lesson that this wise father was attempting to teach his son.  Throughout the Book of Proverbs and especially early in the book, Solomon was dealing with a young man’s greatest temptation, which is also a young man’s greatest danger – evil women.  Because men are highly sexual by Divine Design, they can be incredibly susceptible to sexual temptations.  Evil women who want power, attention, influence, wealth or position will use sex to their advantage.  An evil woman knows how weak men are when confronted with beauty and more specifically, with sexual beauty.  An evil woman knows that most men are influenced by beauty and captivated by the attention a beautiful woman gives them.    

Sadly, sex has been weaponized by evildoers for all of human history.  Sexuality has been used to captivate, control, manipulate and even punish men.  Evildoers have used sex to steal and to amass fortunes.  They have used sex to steal secrets and gain influence.  From Delilah to David, the Bible proves how weak men become when confronted with sexual beauty.  Hollywood has given us plot after plot where seductive women distract powerful men with their beauty in order to extract secrets, weapons, money or some other coveted matter.
 
Evil women and adulteresses hunt good marriages because they find joy in destroying what they haven’t had.  They pursue men with their beauty because they find it invigorating to have such power over men.  Evil women and adulteresses often seduce men simply because they long to be wanted and it’s easy to feel wanted by a man when he is confronted with sexuality and beauty.  Our society is oozing with evil women who dress and post in a way that easily earns them the eyes of men.  
   
No stranger to the weakness of a man, Solomon wanted to help his son avoid falling prey to an evil woman seeking to take his power or his wealth or his marriage.  In helping his son with this challenge, Solomon didn’t address choice of friends, occupation or travel because a young man can’t always avoid evil women.  Evil women will “hunt” men.  A man can’t always avoid them.  A man can’t always pick his co-workers.  A man can’t always pick his neighbors.  In helping his son with this challenge, Solomon didn’t address his son’s choice of words or actions around women either.  Instead, he addressed the most important aspect of avoiding the danger that comes with evil women – he addressed the HEART of the matter.  If Rehoboam had any chance of resisting fornication and adultery, he was going to have to control his THOUGHTS. 

The key to sexual purity is not found in the body – it is found in the heart.  Most of us mistakenly think that if we don’t physically commit sin, then we’re “OK.”  We mistakenly believe that as long as we don’t ACT on our THOUGHTS, then we’re “OK.”

“I thought it but I didn’t say it!”  
“I thought it but I didn’t do it!” 


The Bible teaches us what Solomon was attempting to teach his son – the real battlefield for morality is deep in our chest, not out in the world.  If we can think it, we can do it.  If we can think it, we can say it.  If we can think it, we can act on it.  In Rehoboam’s case, an evil woman will show her beauty to a man in order to get him THINKING.  She knows that a man will rarely resist the opportunity to have what he’s already THOUGHT about.  “LUST NOT after her beauty IN THINE HEART.”  Fornication is not a temptation to the person who hasn’t already thought about it.  Adultery is not a temptation to the person who hasn’t already thought about it.  Lust, or desire, always precedes temptation – otherwise, it is no temptation.  I’m not tempted to snort, smoke or inject cocaine because I don’t THINK about cocaine.  On the contrary, if I were to THINK about cocaine and injecting, I might be tempted to EXPERIENCE it.  Simply put, the way to resist temptation is to avoid it altogether by controlling our thoughts. The way to keep our lives pure is by keeping our hearts pure.  The way to avoid DOING wrong is by avoiding THINKING wrong.  The more we think about doing something we shouldn’t do, the more likely we’ll be tempted to do what we shouldn’t do.  The more we think about doing something we shouldn’t do, the more likely we will do what we shouldn’t do.

The idea that “I thought it but didn’t do it” should not be seen as a major moral victory.  In fact, if we even thought it, we’re not “ok.”  If we thought it, it is likely that we will eventually do it or say it.  In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus said, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”  James taught in the New Testament what Solomon was teaching here in the Old Testament.  James 1:14-16, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Moral failure doesn’t begin with temptation – it begins with a desire in the heart.  Moral failure doesn’t start with a touch, it starts with a THOUGHT.  Committing sin is not the focus of the holy saint – IMAGINING SIN is the focus of such a saint.  When it comes to avoiding the evil in our world, it’s not what comes at us that we should be worried about – it’s what comes out of us that we should be concerned with.   

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