Proverbs 7 – Beware the Harlot

Is this even relevant today? Yes, it is. What man or woman is not aware of the lures and traps of sexual sin? Are we lost in our own denial? 

proverbs1The Bible has many references to prostitution and sexual sin and specifies real prostitutes/harlots and highlights symbolic imagery of the hedonistic sexual sin of man and nations as disobedience to God.

The list is substantial:

  • “None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. (Deuteronomy 23:17)
  • “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. (Leviticus 19:29)
  • “Therefore, O prostitute [Israel], hear the word of the Lord…” (Ezekiel 16:35)
  • ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.'” (Leviticus 18:22-24)
  • By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. (Hebrews 11:31)
  • Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27)
  • Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! (1 Corinthians 6:15)

The Folly of Yielding to Sexual Sin
Is this even relevant today? Of course it is. What man or woman is not aware of the lures and traps of sexual sin? Anyone who refutes this is lost or blind in their own denial.

In Proverbs 7, Solomon continues the teaching of wisdom to his young sons with an emphasis here on the dangers of seduction by an adulterous woman:

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings 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 to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. (Proverbs 7:1-5)

While the teaching is to steer clear of a wayward woman, an example is observed of a young man being lured like an ox going to slaughter

At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.

Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said:

“Today I fulfilled my vows, and I have food from my fellowship offering at home. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home until the full moon.”

With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose until an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.

Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 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. (Proverbs 7:6-27

Is There Any Hope From Sexual Sin?
In the context of the theme of Wisdom in all the Proverbs so far, chapters 1-7, sexual sin, in this case succumbing to a prostitute, is called out in warning as foolish sin leading to death.

Therefore, is there no hope for sinners?

Yes, there IS hope. This is why Jesus was born and lived and died and resurrected. The perfect lamb served as a substitute death in our place before Holy God. This is God’s ultimate gift of love and restoration for His beloved creation.

We can be and are forgiven for sexual sin, as well as any and all other forms of disobedience to God:

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)

Without Christ we are all lost in our depravity and sin. Even those who have not sinned overtly. As Jesus says:

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

So beware and tread forward with Godly wisdom and a grateful heart, forgiven and saved in spite of ourselves.

Are you wise? 
With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. – Proverb 7:21

Categories: Abundant Living, Creation, Devotion, Discipleship, Evil, Faith, Family, Fathering, Forgiveness, Jesus, Manhood, Marketplace, Marriage, Parenting, Prayer, Purpose

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