Proverbs 7:7, 8
And I saw among the naive, I discerned among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing through the street near her corner; and he takes the way to her house.
Sin is like a cup of coffee. You haven’t always been attracted to it, but the longer you entertain it, the stronger it becomes. One year ago I hated the stuff, its alluring smells, the promise of a quick pick-me-up, the overwhelming popularity resulting in immense peer pressure; I was able to resist it all. Growing up it was easy; we didn’t even own a coffee maker. When relatives visited for holiday’s they had to bring a box of the instant stuff or their own traveling percolators. I even made it successfully through the college scene where late night trips to Denny’s and the campus cafe served it like it was the source of life. Now, however, as I type these words I can still taste the lingering remains of an empty mug that sits in front of me. I drink it black with two sugars.
The book of Proverbs warns us that sin, much like my coffee, doesn’t overtake you in one uncontrollable blow. It’s a slow and meticulous process, gaining a little ground each day. The writer describes a young man naive in his actions, which eventually leads him to the bed of an adulteress woman. The young man’s mistake was no more than simply passing through the street “near her corner” (Proverbs 7:8). By doing so he left himself wide open for the temptress to approach him and eventually lead him back to her house like “an ox that goes to the slaughter” (Proverbs 7:22). With her enticing words she is able to convince him that all is okay. Not even the knowledge of a husband will now alter his actions. Her many persuasions and flattering lips lead to an unimaginable and irresistible compromise (Proverbs 7:21). When the smoke has cleared it feels as if “an arrow has pierced through his liver.” He longs to escape like “a bird in a snare,” but for him, it is too late (Proverbs 7:23).
I never intended to be a coffee drinker when I started taking such a great pleasure in its aroma. My first cup was forty percent milk, forty percent sugar, and twenty percent coffee. I hated it. By the time I owned my own coffee maker I was using instant creamer and one scoop of coffee per mug. Now I use three scoops and have discarded the cream altogether. I wonder how long it will be until I give up the sugar as well.
As the writer of Proverbs, I ask you to pay attention to my words (7:24). It is so important that we turn away from our temptations at the first scent of their presence. While coffee will only lead to a late night and many trips to the bathroom, our sin is no game. It causes a hindrance between our spirits and the Spirit of God. It draws us near and sucks the life away from us. As verse 26 says, “For many are the victims [it] has cast down, and numerous are all [its] slain.” James 4:7 promises that if we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. More importantly though, verse 8 proclaims, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” How true this is! The closer we walk to God, the further we will find ourselves from the “street near her corner.”
Are you walking dangerously close to an unwanted sin? I challenge you to call on the Lord and to draw close to Him before you become enticed by sin’s persuasions.