This devotional series examines a verse or two from each chapter of Proverbs each day of January 2017.
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him… As a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. ~Proverbs 7:21, 23
Again, Solomon takes to warning his son about adultery, and he does so in the way of a story. Starting with 7:6, he speaks of a young man who has no sense being confronted by a prostitute at the street corner. She grabs him, promises him many wonderful pleasures, and entices him to return to her home.
Solomon does not shy away from the power of desire, nor does he pull punches when he speaks about the result of sinful desire. He compares the foolish man to an ox going to slaughter, a stag pierced by an arrow, and a bird trapped in a net.
This is the way not just of adultery but all temptation and sin. Paul warned that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Hebrews tells us that sin indeed has its passing pleasures (Hebrews 11:25). When you take a look back at Genesis 3, the way the serpent deceived Eve was by convincing her that the forbidden fruit held a better promise than what God had made.
This is why John Piper has taught that we must seek to battle sin with superior pleasure. We must understand that sin, at least in the moment, is desirable to our eyes. If not, then we wouldn’t be so tempted toward it. Knowing this, we must come to see God and his ways as being even more desirable. That is the very thing that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God’s word trains our hearts to do.
Don’t be a bird caught in a snare. Instead, be one who looks for the better things that come from the hand of God.