Category Archives: Temptation

Warning Signs

Proverbs 11:19
As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

Multiple Warnings

As a child, one of the things that I learned very quickly was that if my parents told me “To Do” or “Not To Do” something over and over again, I knew that it must be important, and I either better do it or not do it. In the same way as my parents, Solomon is giving us multiple warnings about which path we should choose – righteousness or evil. Here are just a few of the examples:

  • Proverbs 10:6 – “Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
  • Proverbs 12:2 – “A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn”
  • Proverbs 14:11 – “The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.”

The warnings are out there and we must heed them with all our heart!

It’s Our Choice

Even if we can clearly see the warning signs that are out there, it is still our choice to live a righteous life or to “pursue evil”. We can see in this verse that “he” made a choice to go after evil. The word “pursue” has several meanings:

  1. To follow in order to catch or attack
  2. Seek to attain or accomplish
  3. Continue or proceed along a path
  4. Engage in

In each one of these definitions there is one constant – there is a choice that must be made! We must make the choice daily to run in the opposite direction of sin and run into the arms of a loving and gracious God. We need to remember the words of James 1:15 that says, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” If we continue down the path toward evil, it will eventually lead us to death!

The warning signs are all around us, but it is still up to us to make the right choice as to which path our lives will lead. Will we take the path of righteousness or will we pursue evil? I hope each one of us can live out the words that Joshua said in Joshua 24:15,

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Lord, help us to pursue YOU with all our heart! No matter what may come our way, help us to choose YOU! Help us to stand firm on our Word and make you our refuge until that glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior!

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Expect Danger

 Proverbs 9:18

“But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

The Monsters are Out

Believe it or not, (as of this writing) October 31st is still over three months away, but Halloween merchandise is already on the shelves. Unbelievable.

Just yesterday my wife and girls and I dined at a local restaurant called Cracker Barrel. As soon as we walked in the door the first thing that caught my eye was a plate covered in eye balls. How disgusting! Now, for the next three months any time I go for breakfast, lunch, or supper, I can count on being welcomed by witches, monsters, spiders, black cats, and dismembered body parts. Well, at least I will know what to expect.

Knowing What to Expect

Speaking of knowing what to expect, have you ever watched a scary movie? Why is it that some people can go to a movie that clearly promises slimy creatures will leap off the 3-D screen into their lap, only to scream bloody murder when it happens? Didn’t they know it was going to happen?

And what about the typical victims in horror films? Have they never seen a monster movie? As movie-goers, we know what to expect, so why don’t the actors?  In every movie there is always someone who is stupid enough to ask for a cup of sugar from the shadowy neighbor in the dark, bat-infested mansion.

Here’s a suggestion: the next time you hear a strange noise in your house, don’t pick up a shoe and walk blindly into the dark saying, “Is anyone there?” Of course someone’s there! Would you expect the monster in the dark to respond by saying, “Yes, I am here…hiding in the corner on your left…waiting to attack you?”

When you hear a bump in the night, don’t assume it is Santa Claus coming early – expect danger!

Unaware of the Danger

But here’s this poor, naive traveler who, like a fool, is falling prey to temptation. What is he thinking? Doesn’t he know what lies waiting for him just inside the door? Evidently not.

Unlike a house that looks like it should be on the cover of Dracula’s Home and Mortuaries, Miss Folly’s crypt could pass for Cinderella’s castle, or at least Aunt Bea’s house on The Andy Griffith Show. In order to draw the naive traveler from the “right way,” the house of the temptress will usually appear completely innocent, much like a Venus Flytrap does to a fly.

But unaware of the danger; unaware that just inside are the remains of many men; unaware that some are languishing in torment just beneath the floor;  the traveler can think of nothing but the promise of pleasure. He doesn’t know what to expect, but he should. That’s why Solomon wrote this chapter.

A Prayer

Dear God, open our eyes to the wiles of the Devil! Help us warn the naive travelers down as they try to travel down the “right way.” Then protect us, Heavenly Spirit, from the veiled and alluring traps set before us. As we travel through the valley of the shadow of death, may your rod and staff keep us on the right path.


Sin, Sweet Sin

 Proverbs 9:16-17

“Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

In previous verses we have read about foolish young men who got into trouble simply because they wandered into the wrong part of town. In this case, however, what we are looking at is the baiting of a righteous man.

The Prey

In verse 15 we read that the foolish woman calls out to “passengers who go right on their way.” In other words, these are men who are “minding their own business” (NLT), or “going straight on their way” (ESV). They are the picture of travelers who have no intention of falling into sin, but are intent on following the “right way.”

Let there be no misunderstanding, those who want to stay on the right path of life are always going to be under attack. They are always going to be considered prey. Like a fisherman seeking a trophy catch, the foolish woman longs to mount the virtuous, the pure, the right-walking man on her wall.

I have personally seen and heard both men and women brag of their hellish plans. Men say, “If you really love me, you’ll give it up.” Women say, “I know he’s married, but I’ll make him give in.” Professors say, “This semester I will break your faith in God.”

The Problem

Sadly, so many that have been taught to live pure lives, who have tried to walk in the “right way,” have no idea what is out to get them. They assume that good and bad is obvious: good things are sweet; bad things are sour. They are unaware of poisons like automotive engine coolant, the sweet fluid that has killed many a wayward pet.

It is not to the stupid that the foolish woman calls, but to the naive. Because they have not been exposed to or stained by the evils of the world, the “simple” can be easily tempted. They are essentially “fresh meat” for the temptress.

Therefore, it is so important, when we “train up a child in the way that he should go,” that we speak truthfully about sin. Children need to know why sin is tempting. They need to know it can taste really sweet. They need to believe we’re not depriving them, but preparing them.

The Pan

The reason sexual/sensual sin is so dangerous is because it initially fulfills what it promises. There is a rush that comes from drinking stolen water. The thrill of eating bread in secret is hard to compare. Therefore, the temptress is not lying when she throws out the bait. What she is saying is true, so the one being tempted starts to think, “What’s so wrong with it?”

But just like a baited hook, there is a line attached to every sweet temptation. Once the hook is set, one rarely gets free, but ends up either in hot water, or the frying pan.

A Prayer

Lord, give us wisdom and discernment. Help us to avoid temptation, especially when the bait looks so sweet, so promising. Give us holy x-ray vision so that we may see the hidden hooks.


The Fool’s Antidote

Proverbs 8:6-7

“Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”

Fool’s Wisdom

Reading Proverbs 7 it would be easy to think that Solomon was obsessed with seduction and adultery. If there was an element of obsession it existed because Solomon knew that the unfaithfulness of men and women towards each other always had/has devastating results. While it would be wise to avoid such temptation, human beings have an incredible capacity for justifying acts of folly, even persuading themselves that they have made wise choices when they have not.

Wisdom SHOUTS

Solomon follows his warnings about such fool’s wisdom with a reminder at the start of Proverbs 8 that wisdom shouts out to humanity. If it is true that wisdom cries out from high places, from alongside the paths, and at the gates of the city (Proverbs 8:1-2) then it would be sensible to stop and listen (Proverbs 8:3-5). Too many of us live out our lives with no time to seek out the high places. The speed of life leaves no time for us to pause and discover that wisdom has a voice. Unfortunately this means that we are as foolish as the adulterer. Any justification for living life recklessly at speed is foolishness. We need to slow down and listen.

Excellent Things

If you want to learn about excellent rather than foolish things there is no need to sign up for a seminar. All you need is a Bible and a little time. The Bible is full of excellent things, especially wisdom for life. The Bible offers wisdom as an antidote to folly. Wisdom is not a hidden or a costly antidote. God speaks only truth. He cannot lie. God hates wicked things and foolishness so much that He took time to provide the Perfect Antidote. An Antidote rooted in love. God also paid the price meaning that the Antidote is free. What could be more excellent than that?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3: 16-17 NIV)


On the Way to Hell?

Proverbs 7:24-27

“Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

We have reached the four final verses in a chapter of Scripture that focuses on things we would rather not think about, talk about, or otherwise air in public. Some readers may sit back rich in the knowledge that these words of wisdom apply to other fools, not them. Surely part of wisdom is recognizing when folly has invaded our minds?

Mind Invasion

Mind invasion could be a good title for of work of science fiction. The science here is seduction, but there is nothing fictional about the dangers associated with seduction. Proverbs 7 clearly states that seduction is a real and present threat to all men and women. If we do not realize this, then it is possible that we have already been seduced, not by an immoral person, but by the folly that says; “This doesn’t apply to me, I’m not vulnerable to this type of threat.”

Assessing the Risk

The first step in guarding against the threat is to acknowledge vulnerability and consider where the risk is greatest. We have to examine what we are allowing to enter out minds, and how society corrupts our thoughts. Here’s a small checklist. You will probably be able to add to it:

  • What/who are you looking at?
  • What/who are you listening to?
  • What are you reading?
  • What are watching on television, or at the movies?
  • What DVDs are sitting on your shelf?
  • Are you vulnerable to advertising images on billboards?
  • Are you tempted to click on Internet links that will take you places you know you shouldn’t go.
  • Do you really think that spending regular lunch times alone with a co-worker of the opposite sex can remain innocent forever?
  • Do you honestly believe that leaving your marriage partner for another person will not cause untold pain and hurt to numerous people?

Feel free to add to the list by commenting below. But first read Proverbs 7 again in its entirety, but linger on the final verse:

Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.


Old Tactics Still Work

Proverbs 7:21-23 

“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.”
“The Devil Made Me Do It!”

Back in the 1960’s Flip Wilson made that saying famous. Whenever he was caught doing wrong, he would always try to shift the blame off of himself and onto the Devil. In reality, it was, as you can imagine, just an excuse. The Devil didn’t make him do anything.

However, if you were to hear it from most liars, cheats, thieves, adulterers, haters, gossipers, etc., the Devil is responsible for it all. If not the Devil, then there is always some extenuating circumstance, not personal choice, to blame. If not the Devil, somebody else is always responsible.

She Made Me Do It!”

In the book of Genesis we read of a man who blamed someone besides himself for his sin. Adam blamed his wife, Eve, for making him eat of the forbidden fruit. He said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Gen. 3:12). Did he not have a mind of his own? Did he not know any better?

It is true that Eve gave the fruit to Adam, but it was Adam’s choice to listen to her offer to sin. She didn’t make him sin; he did it of his own free will. But even though she didn’t make him do it, look who was working behind the scenes – Satan. He worked through Eve, the most beautiful woman in the world (the only woman in the world) to snare Adam. Her convincing words were motivated by the Enemy.

“With her much fair speech…”

The key to today’s passage can be found in those simple words, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.”

If one were to only look on the surface of this passage, one might come away with the notion that this poor young man would have been just fine, had he not been forced into sin. But it must be noted that the “forcing” came after the “yielding.”

Before this young man became an animal led to slaughter, a bird caught in cage, he was free to walk away. It was only when he “yielded” that he became a sacrifice on the altar of sin. But what caused him to yield? The beautiful, promising words of a woman influenced by the Serpent.

Nothing Changes

As David Welford mention previously, “The rocks are charted.” God has warned us of the dangers. He has warned us of the consequences. There is no excuse to be dashed upon the rocks, led to the slaughter, or caught in a snare. Yet, many will play with the Serpent’s lure, and yield.

Is it any wonder why the wisdom of Proverbs is still applicable in this day and age? It shouldn’t be. The same tactics employed in Garden of Eden are still being used today. Why? Because they still work.

A Prayer

Lord, David said, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Help us, help ME, to desire the sweetness of Word over all else. When presented with any other option, may we be repulsed by the bait, and never yield. 


Caught With Candy

Proverbs 7:18-20 

“Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.”

Candy Coated

Evil and wickedness is rarely blatantly presented. Most people are able to see a bad thing for what it is when there is no pretense or disguise.

That is the trap of temptation and sin. They look so good and, well, tempting! But there is the danger. It looks so sweet, but inside it is poison.

It was only during the Twentieth Century that the term “make love” came to mean “have sex.” However, we can see in this passage that, while the term itself may not have been used, this was certainly the cover for a very long time.

“No! We were not having sex! We were making love!”

“I was not stealing from you! I was temporarily borrowing … (without permission).”

The Tell

Temptation always justifies and excuses. Whether it be through the added temptation to “get away with it” or attempting to make it right, there is always that clue that it is not right.

“No one is watching! It will be fun!” (“My husband is gone on a long journey!”)

“We are doing a good thing! See, we called it ‘love’!”

“Everyone is doing it!”

Jesus is coming! Look busy!

Beyond the sneaking around and justifying, there is often the added justification of “we will never get caught!”

When are cheating couples usually caught, though? When the spouse or the friend or the children suddenly show up earlier than expected.

Sadly, this is how many people try to approach God, and, sadder still, this is how many Christians live, as well.

“I will believe in God at the end of my life! I have plenty of time!”

“I am forgiven! I will clean my act up just before I die or just before Christ returns!”

The End Result

Everyone is caught at some point or another.

Sometimes it is being guilt-ridden. Sometimes it is friends or family. Sometimes it is the police.

Every time, God knows.

Every time, there are consequences.

Fortunately, for those who are wise, God has forgiven us trough the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ … if only we believe. This does not guarantee escape from earthly consequences, but it does mean God has saved us from eternal consequences for these actions!

Gracious Lord, help us to see past the deceptions of temptation and sin. Give us the strength and wisdom to overcome. Thank You for the ultimate victory in Jesus Christ!