Proverbs 7:1-10 says, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
There are two main things a pastor does to help people. He helps those who, because of sin, have made a mess of their lives; and, by the grace of God, he helps them to put their lives back together so that they can serve God. He also warns those who have not yet made those mistakes so that hopefully they will not need to have their lives put back together. I have not been at this as long as other pastors, but I do know that having to deal with the consequences of sin can be heartbreaking and difficult. I will gladly help anybody who wants to put his life back together for God. There is no greater joy than participating in the restoration of a Christian and seeing what God does in his life; however, it is better when we do not have to restore because there never was a falling away.
What can keep us from the situation where sin takes its toll on our lives and in our homes?
Every husband and father must realize that if sin gets him, it is going to affect his entire home. Every mother and wife must realize if sin wins and Satan gets her, her home will also be ruined. Even teenagers and young people need to realize that if they allow sin to take a hold, it will destroy their homes as well. Proverbs 7 should serve as a warning to every Christian. We must take heed to the many truths applicable to all of us in this post.
Let us look at Proverbs 7:21, With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. If we know anything about Proverbs 7, we know the gist of this chapter and the warnings found here in reference to the Proverbs 7 woman. We see the end result in verse 21. Solomon looks out and sees this young man and, even without reading the entire chapter, we can see in verse 21 that he yielded to her temptation. He gave up everything good just to sin. The result of yielding to sin is devastating, unpleasant, and ultimately destructive. What happened as a result of his yielding to sin is catastrophic! As I have grown up in church and been in the ministry for many years, I have lived long enough to see the results of sin, and they are catastrophic. Each of us must realize that we can protect our homes by protecting ourselves. If every husband, wife, mom, dad, child, and even single adult will protect themselves, they are also protecting their homes and those whom they love.
In Proverbs 7, we find a young man methodically destroyed by an evil woman. We see the results of that destruction in the last few verses of the chapter. We must remember that there are some with impure and evil intentions in this world. Not even every person who claims to be a Christian has good intentions. It is quite safe to say that most of this world has bad and impure intentions. We can so easily get out of the good habit of coming to church, being around and singing together with good people, reading out of the Word of God with other believers, going soulwinning together, and having uplifting fellowship because we forget about the evil world out there! We need to be reminded that the devil will use those in the world with bad intentions to derail us off the track of serving God and into the abyss of sin.
In looking at the first part of Proverbs 7, we notice this young man was not looking for destruction; but he did not properly protect himself from destruction. We must work at protecting ourselves and realize that we are just flesh. The Bible says our hearts are desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) Some may think, “Well, I’ll be okay because I have a good heart,” when according to Scripture, no one does! Why is it good to go to church every time the church doors are open? We are protecting ourselves. The more we hear the Word of God, the more those walls and parameters of protection will tower around us. This young man did not go out looking for destruction, but he did not properly protect himself from the potential for destruction.
If we are looking for trouble and destruction, we will certainly find it.
If we want to find it, we can go out into this world where it is waiting with open arms. However, if we are not looking for destruction, it will still find us. Satan is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. The key word there is seeking. Satan is not just waiting for us but hunting us! He is looking for whom he can destroy. Satan wants to ruin our homes and our children. He desires there to be tears and sorrow, and he craves to see our destruction. He has a goal to see us finished and unusable by God. Let us be warned: if we look for destruction, we will find it; but even if we are not looking for destruction, it will find us!
The point is that we must protect ourselves by avoiding the pitfalls that this young man did not avoid. Young people who want to find sin will find it; but for those young people who are not looking for it, sin will go looking for them. What are we to do?
We are to avoid the pitfalls.
We must have standards and separation because that is protection. Some people will label us by saying, “You think you are better than everybody else because you have all these rules!” No, we are just like everybody else, but we want to protect ourselves from the destruction of sin! Some think we are cruel for having standards of Biblical living for our young people. We have these guidelines because we know sin will find them. Some may ask why we have so many “rules.” Some people throughout the years have left church and godly fellowship because they did not like the “rules” and “regulations” that were put on the young people. The point of these rules is that sin will certainly find us, so we want to avoid the pitfalls that this young man failed to escape.
In the Bible, we have the perfect formula for staying right with God and away from sin.
However, it is up to us to implement the warnings and instructions given to us by God. Our families, homes, churches and even our own lives depend on our responsibility to heed the clear and concise warnings given to us in Proverbs 7 and to put into practice the principles of protection found there.
Pastor Neal, through his preaching and his counseling, displays the compassionate heart of a pastor, follows the true leading of the Holy Spirit, and expresses a fervent desire to see lost souls come to know Christ. It is his ultimate desire to see the greater Jacksonville area reached for the cause of Christ and for revival to come to Northeast Florida.