Theme of the Week: Our Sexuality Matters to God
Bible Verse: “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” Proverbs 6:23-24 ESV
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 6:20-35, Psalm 16:11
How then does wisdom counsel us, when we men notice a beautiful woman who is not our wife?
Wisdom says, Don’t even go there in your thoughts: “Do not desire her beauty in your heart” (Proverbs 6:25). When a wise man sees a beautiful woman who is not his wife, here is how he thinks: “Yes, she is beautiful. So? Nothing to do with me. Beautiful and irrelevant. I am so out of here mentally!” And that wise man keeps going straight on ahead, for Christ, into a destiny of greatness. But a fool does not even have those categories.
The force of the argument here is real-life consequences. It is not primarily an ethical argument, a right-versus-wrong argument. It is a practical argument: “… the reproofs of discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). He tells us two things about the practical consequences of sexual folly.
First, the pain experienced is inevitable: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27). People who play with fire inevitably get burned. I have never heard anyone say to me, “Pastor, I committed adultery, and I’m so glad I did.” But I have heard people say, “If only I could relive that moment! If only I could go back and change what I did!” The pain is inevitable.
Second, the offense committed is unsatisfiable: “Jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge” (Proverbs 6:34). That is a realistic look at how an offended husband reacts when he finds out someone has had sex with his wife. If you are the offending man, do not expect forgiveness, expect revenge.
Sexual folly carries consequences. So we can praise God for being honest with us. And because every one of us is a sexual sinner at some level, here is how you can know right now where you stand with God:
The difference between an unconverted man and a converted man is not that one has sins and the other has none; but that the one takes part with his cherished sins against a dreaded God, and the other takes part with a reconciled God against his hated sins.1
God wants to be your ally against your sins. Will you let him? Bring your sins to him and lay them at the foot of the cross. He promises to forgive you and to renew your broken life.
1 William Arnot, Laws from Heaven for Life on Earth: Illustrations of the Book of Proverbs (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1884), p. 311.
Taken from Proverbs: Wisdom That Works by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., © 2012. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.
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