Solomon was a straight shooter. I find that rather refreshing in our day of vague definitions and bold rationalizations. The words you just read are timeless and no less relevant today than when the ink was still wet. The battle against lustful temptations hasn’t declined in the millennia since the wise, fatherly king warned his own children. In fact, we could make the case that temptations are far more numerous today. The opportunity to take a moral tumble arises every time we turn on the television, sit down at a computer, or open a magazine. Make no mistake: we are at war against lust, and we battle for purity from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we turn out the light at night. The battleground is our mind, and the stakes could not be higher.
Let me remind you that these words and warnings appear in another of the “my son” sections. As a father, Solomon wanted to leave trustworthy counsel and strong warnings for his son to read and to heed. Perhaps the wise king wrote these words with an extra amount of passion since his own father, David, had suffered the consequences of yielding to lustful temptations many years earlier. Although David’s adultery happened before Solomon’s birth, no one can doubt that he was aware of the consequences that came in the wake of the king’s compromising. Solomon was reared in a context that never let him forget his father’s moral failure. Moreover, in his adult years, with hundreds of wives and numerous concubines, Solomon had lessons to share from his own moral lapses.
Solomon began with the standard of Holy Scripture:
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life. (6:23)
God’s perfect and Holy Word is always the place to find one’s standard of behavior. Not the media. Not other people’s opinions. Not books written by fellow strugglers. Not even our own conscience, which can be seared, calloused, or prejudiced. The “lamp” of God’s precepts, the “light” of His teaching—these are the things that provide us with unfailing direction. Furthermore, Scripture is the very best antidote to the poison of lustful temptations. I tell you that based on personal experience.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.