Summary: Many people are "directionall challenged". In other words, they have no goals in their lives and often end up in painful relationships and situations because they don’t plan to get anywhere in their lives.
OPEN: On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In that game a young man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for UCLA. Picking up the loose ball, and he ran 65 yards toward goal line. Unfortunately… he had gotten confused… it was the wrong goal line.
One of his teammates - Benny Lom - ran him down and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team. Several plays later the UCLA had to punt. Georgia Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety further demoralizing the UCLA team.
APPLY: From that day on, Roy Riegels was branded “Wrong way” Riegels
There are many people live their lives that way.
They go the wrong way, because they’ve lost sight of - or never had - a goal.
Andy Stanley once noted: “Many people are what you might call directionally challenged.”
They don’t know where they’re going
They haven’t a goal
They just wander thru life expecting that everything will turn out all right.
And that’s kind of the picture we get here in Proverbs.
Solomon is sitting on his porch watching a young man wandering down the street
Verses 7 & 8 say: “I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house.”
The picture we see is of a boy that is “walking along”.
The boy doesn’t seem to care about where he’s going. He has no specific direction, he’s just wandering along the road at twilight (it’s getting dark)
He seems to be just killing time
He’s out taking in the sights of the city because he’s got nothing better to do.
But he’s apparently in the wrong part of town, at the wrong time of day, and he meets up with the wrong kind of woman.
She comes out to meet him
She’s a good looking woman, and she’s interested in him.
She makes him feel good about himself.
And since this young man has nothing better to do with his time he goes home with her and spends time with an adulterous woman.
Proverbs 7:22-23 tells us
“All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose
till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”
In other words, he will live to seriously regret this decision. But how did he end up in such a dangerous arrangement? Well… because – as Solomon tells us – he “lacked judgment”
ILLUS: Some time back, a few of the Indiana Pacers got into trouble at a bar in Indianapolis. They were at the “8 Seconds Saloon” in downtown Indy at 2:15 in the morning, when a fight broke out. Some people said the Pacers were in the middle of it, the Pacers said they had nothing to do with it. But one commentator noted that nothing good can ever come of being out at a bar at that time in the morning.
If these guys had wanted to avoid getting into trouble… they should have been at home in bed.
But, like the foolish young man in Prov. 7, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong kind of people.
Proverbs 7 is a lesson Solomon is sharing with his sons. He’s telling them a story because he wants to drive home a special insight into life. But what lesson did Solomon have in mind?
Why did he tell about a foolish boy meandering down the street and being distracted by a harlot?
Well, he told this story because he wanted his sons to understand the value of “knowing where they was going”.
Solomon paints the picture of foolish boy being seduced by a loose woman. And the reason he is so easily swayed into her bedroom is because this fellow doesn’t seem to care where he’s at or who he’s with.
Them Solomon contrasts that with the story of some place they should want to be at and someone they should want to be with.
Look with me to Proverbs 8:1-6
“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud:
‘To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.’”
The foolish man meanders along in places he doesn’t belong, in places he shouldn’t be, because he has no specific direction he really wants to go and has no specific objective in life.