“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.” — Proverbs 2:16-19
The second evil that God’s wisdom will save you from is the forbidden (literally, “strange”) woman. The primary focus of these verses is to warn the young man against entering into a sexual relationship with another man’s wife or with a woman who is not his own wife. Specifically, the father is warning his son to be on guard against the type of woman who would draw him into a forbidden sexual union.
Living in a culture that celebrates sexuality as the ultimate expression of the self, you need to be reminded that God created sex to be enjoyed within the limits of marriage between a man and a woman. Sex is good, but the expression of sexuality is not what defines who a person is. Sex is sacred, not something to be engaged in to fulfill the lusts of the individual. Sexuality is not the place to find your identity. Your identity should be found in Christ and in obeying his word.
Even though the father is focusing on adultery here, it is right and appropriate to understand his warning as applying to both men and women and to all varieties of sexual immorality (including pornography). Guarding your heart against sexual immorality is one of the primary functions of the wisdom of God in the lives of his children. You cannot underestimate the danger sexual immorality poses to your soul, especially adultery.
Do not be deceived by the seductive, smooth words of the forbidden woman! It seems these smooth seductive words can be found in every corner of our society now. There is no true life to be found in illicit sexual relationships…NONE! Watch out for unfaithful people who desire to make you an unfaithful person, as well (Proverbs 23:28). These verses tell us that those who give themselves over to an adulterous relationship, or to any forbidden sexual relationship, are on a path to death, and the warning is that, eventually, you will not be able to come back from this. Sexual immorality is one of the most destructive forces in the world: it can destroy marriages, children, churches, and societies, not to mention your own soul.
Yet, we know Jesus died for adulterers! Praise God! In the Old Testament, God spoke of his people as an unfaithful wife (read the book of Hosea if you need an example of this). But listen to what God says through Hosea to his unfaithful people: “I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD” (Hosea 2:19-20). It is God’s faithfulness, God’s promises, and God’s mercy that opens the door to life through Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and was raised for your justification.
No matter how many sexual sins you have committed, you can find mercy, salvation, and new life in Jesus Christ. But, you must repent of your sins, and, by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, learn obedience to your Father in heaven. Today is the day to get off the path to death and get on the path to life in Jesus Christ! If you are already in Christ, listen to God’s wisdom in this area: his desire, as your loving Father, is for you to live in freedom from sexual sin!
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