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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 5:20-23

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 Temptation: An Indicator of Our Spiritual Condition: Prov 5:20-23

20) And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
21) For the ways of man [are] before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
22) His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
23) He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.


Solomon now clearly reveals that we are held accountable for our actions in this life….


20) And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
Solomon continues from the previous verses (vss 18-19), using unfulfilled desires of physical intimacy as a representation of any unfulfilled desires that are the basis of temptation in our lives….
He asks very simple, yet important questions… Why would we attempt to fulfill our unmet desires in a fashion that goes against the will of God? Why would we look to strangers and those in opposition to the will and ways of God to find peace, contentment and lasting joy?

These questions are asked in the context of two very important issues:
#1 – the wonderful blessings that God has given to us. (vss 15-19).  When we consider all that He has done for us, how can we purposely, turn our back on His desires and depart from His will by attempting to find satisfaction through sinful means?
#2 – Based upon His knowledge of our actions and the deserved results of disobedience to His commands (vss 21-23).  How can we so easily leave His desires for our lives behind, when we see that sin results in harm to those who partake of it?  Also keep in mind, those who habitually submit to the temptations of the world are proving that they have never been made the “new man” in Christ and are yet in their sins (vss 22-23).

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”   (Ephesians 2:2-3)

21) For the ways of man [are] before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
The path that man chooses is never hidden from God.  Mankind is aware of every choice and the ultimate lifestyles that is formed by its choices.   Mankind must recognize that it is ever before Him.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known [me].  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted [with] all my ways.  For [there is] not a word in my tongue, [but], lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.”   (Psalms 139:1-4)

22) His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Those who choose to submit to temptation’s enticements, those who live immoral lifestyles, can only expect to be:
#1 – captured in the net of their immoralities
#2 –  bound and enslaved by their unlawful deeds

These are both pictures of enslavement, domination and chronic sinfulness.  When man willingly submits to temptations, this leads to a lifestyle of sin and habitual mistreatment of themselves, others around them and God Himself.   This is a mark of an unsaved individual who has never been made a new creature in Christ.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”   (Romans 6:12-14)

23) He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
For those who have chosen a lifestyle of sinfully fulfilling their desires they will all meet the same end:
#1 – They shall experience death.  Although already spiritually dead, they have yet to experience physical death and the following eternal death.   All of this will come upon them because they chose not to receive the message of God that reveals the way of escape for spiritual and eternal death.
#2 – They shall wander throughout their life, being led by their fleshly desires, never entering into the path of life that the Lord has freely offered to them.

All of this comes upon those who are consumed with finding fulfillment through the sinful pursuits that this world has to offer.

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”   (2 Peter 2:19-21)



How we handle the temptations that come before us, is a clear indicator of our spiritual condition.  For those who live a lifestyle of sinfully fulfilling their unmet desires are manifesting that they are unsaved and yet in the bonds of sin.
For those who have chosen to oppose temptation and seek fulfillment of their desires in a God honoring way, clear show to themselves, and others, that they have become new creatures in Christ and servants of Almighty God.
Based upon how we handle temptation, what is our spiritual condition?

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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  1. pj54 says:

    Hey Rob! I love your posts because they really make me re-evaluate myself. I like to think of myself as a faithful Child of God, but then, when I read your posts it makes me realize God’s work in progress. I tend to forget that “giving into temptation” instead of looking at it as “I have no will power, I should look at it as “I’m not showing enough faith in God to get me passed this temptation”. Thank you for the wake up call! I needed that. Prayer time, Here I come!
    God Bless,

  2. […] SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 5:20-23. […]

  3. Debbie says:

    Great look again at how we fill our desires .. .either ourselves giving into temptations, or allowing God to fulfill our desires. Thanks so much, Pastor Rob, and God bless you!

  4. I think “easy believism” has a lot to answer for. Too many people have been ‘told’ they are Christians because they ‘prayed a prayer’ or signed a piece of paper or ‘asked Jesus into their hearts’ without any real sense of sin and no repentance. They live powerless lives because there is no real change and they still go about their own way.

    Talk of sin is no longer popular in some Churches. I have Children’s Ministry VBS books which plainly say NOT to talk about sin and to only talk about the love of God. Surely an acknowledgement of our sinful condition is vital before we see our NEED of a Saviour!

    The blood-bought, adopted child of the living God, who enjoys rich communion with the triune God will be convicted when faced with temptations and will submit to God, resisting the devil and watch the devil flee, a defeated foe. When we fail to do so, and succumb to temptation, we become miserable and very soon seek forgiveness and restoration and our amazing God is always ready to restore us and cleanse us.

    What an incredibly amazing God!

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