Summary: Dealing with temptation
"Playing with Fire"
Proverbs 6:27 "Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?"
I. The Risky Behavior -- v. 28
a. Behavior that clearly violates Biblical principle- "It is never right to do wrong."
Always be aware that all of our behavior is in full view of the Lord!
Proverbs 5:21 "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings."
b. Behavior that feeds into fleshly weaknesses- "if you have a weakness it doesn't make sense to feed that weakness." Stay away from tempting situations!
Proverbs 5:8 "Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:"
ILLUSTRATION: An old American Indian tale recounts the story of a chief who was telling a gathering of young braves about the struggle within. "It is like two dogs fighting inside of us," the chief told them. "There is one good dog who wants to do the right and the other dog wants to do the wrong. Sometimes the good dog seems stronger and is winning the fight. But sometimes the bad dog is stronger and wrong is winning the fight." "Who is going to win in the end?" a young brave asks. The chief answered "The one you feed."
c. Behavior that pushes the boundaries- "living on the edge"
II. The Reproach -- v. 33
a. It is conspicuous- "is a wound, and even when it heals it leaves a scar"
b. It is calamitous- "it has devastating and disastrous effects." "Dishonor shall he get..."
c. It is continuous- "shall not be wiped away"
III. The Remedy -- v. 20
a. The exhortation- "...keep the Father's commandments,"
Illustration: There was once a little boy who excitedly told his mom that he had just measured himself and he was six feet tall. Mom as a little skeptical of course so she asked him to measure himself again while she watched. She discovered the problem when the boy took out not a 12-inch, but a 6 inch ruler. He had calculated well: he was six ruler heights tall-he just had the wrong ruler, the wrong standard."
b. The explanation- "For the commandment is a lamp; the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life..." v. 23
ILLUSTRATION: There was a teenage boy and his grandfather who went fishing one day. While fishing, the old man starts talking about how times have changed. The young fellow picks up on this and starts talking about problems and sexually transmitted diseases going around. The teen says, "Grandpa, they didn't have a whole lot of problems with all these diseases when you were young did they?" Grandpa replies, "Nope." The teen says, "Well, what did you guys use for safe sex?" Grandpa replies, "a wedding ring."
c. The end result- "To keep thee from the evil woman..."
How can we keep ourselves from temptation in today's culture that is saturated with images and influences that Satan can use to snare us? First;
1. There is a way that must be avoided. Proverbs 7:8-10
"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."
Don't place yourself in a place or in a position to be tempted. Simply put: Stay out of dangerous places!
2. There are things we must be alert to. Proverbs 7:11-22
From our text we learn that there are certain stimuli that are used to entice us:
1. Her attire (Vv. 16, 17);
ILLUSTRATION: When a husband and wife were shopping at a mall, a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. His eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, his wife asked, "Was it worth the trouble you are in?"
It would be foolish not to acknowledge that we live in a culture where styles of clothing are used to stimulate others and that we have seen a deliberate attempt to sexualize clothing even in younger children.
2. Her argument (v. 21);
Proverbs 5:3,4 "For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword."
Proverbs 6:24b "from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman."
Proverbs 7:21 "With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him."
3. Her appeal (V. 22).
She even perfumed her bed to make it more appealing. Usually the event of adultery takes a period of time and yet in just a moment of time, one can lose everything that is of value. Beware of her fleshly beauty and the many ways that she will attempt to communicate her fleshly beauty unto you.