By Pastor Scott
(7) Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. (8) Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, (9) Lest you give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one; (10) Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; (11) And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed - Proverbs 5:7-11 NKJV
Chapter 5, 6 and 7 of Proverbs deal predominantly with the dangers of temptation and sin. Based on this volume of content I believe these instructions on this subject deserve to be addressed. Verse 7 stresses “hear me now”, (Listen, Pay attention)
The subject of temptation is wide and broad in the scriptures. Nobody is immune to the enemies attempts to tempt us no matter how mature or wise we think we are. Satan even thought Jesus could be tempted and proceeded to try distract Jesus from His purpose.
We might think temptation only presents itself in the physical sense like we get from this Proverb. But the truth is, it takes many forms we might not even think about. We may be tempted to think and harbour angry thoughts, we can be tempted to spread gossip etc. 1 Timothy 6:9 says But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Jesus’ method of warfare against the temptation was very interesting, and I recently did a sermon on it, which you can listen to here if you want to. But for today lets just look at the simple instruction of verse 8 to guard against the downward spiral of consequences found in verses 9-11.
Verse 8 suggests we actively remove ourselves from any temptation.
Don’t sit on the edge of sin looking in.
The best defence is distance.
In some cases, it is necessary to flee tempting situations like Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tried to lure him in. Although he lost his coat, he maintained his purity and gained a crown!
In reality the cost of verse 8 can be quite big. Once I had to distance myself from all my friend base coming out of high school because I was so badly influenced by them. At the time it was a hard thing to do, but it was necessary, and I am so glad I did when I look back at what could have happened to me. I’m not suggesting this reaction is necessary in every situation, as we need to have people in our lives that we can set good examples for and witness to. But when a certain situation tempts you like I was tempted. You just need to flee!
Scriptures like 2 Timothy 2:22 encouraged me:
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
Finishing on this verse today, it reminds me we need to surround ourselves with likeminded believers. I want to encourage us in this for the time we find ourselves in. We need to stay in contact with each other and encourage each other. I would urge you to phone someone this week and see how they are going.