Take another path
For reading & meditation - Proverbs 5
"Keep to a path far from her '" (v.8)
We look now at the seventh and final pillar of the seven pillars of wisdom - personal purity. This, too, is a major theme in Proverbs for throughout the book we come across statements that encourage us to be chaste, virtuous, self-disciplined and pure in our relationships, especially as they apply to the opposite sex. First, I want to deal with the subject of chastity, as Proverbs speaks particularly to this. We live in an age which scoffs at the biblical teaching which enjoins us to keep sexual intercourse until marriage. Some sections of the Church now accept "the new morality" which says that sexual relationships outside marriage are fine providing they are conducted in a loving and a non-manipulative relationship. I have no hesitation in condemning this, both as antibiblical and antirelationship. The passage before us today describes most clearly the destiny of sexual relationships outside marriage. They are seen as fundamentally destructive. The second half of the chapter is given over to a description of how fulfilling the sexual relationship can be within marriage. The emphasis of Proverbs at this point is to avoid putting yourself in a position where too great a strain is placed on the sex impulse. The words, "keep to a path from her," mean, "avoid an immoral woman as you would a plague." A man once went to the great preacher D. L. Moody with a tale of moral disaster and said, "Now, Mr. Moody, what would you have done if you had got into such a situation?" Moody replied, "Man, I would never have got into it." That's more than just common sense - that's wisdom!
Prayer: O God, help me to help myself. Show me how not to subject myself to conditions that make a fall almost inevitable. For I cannot ask You to help me out of situations unless I help myself not to get into them. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did Jesus teach about chastity?
2. What covenant did Job make?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Every Day Light 7/17