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To The Slaughter

Proverbs 7:7-8, 21-23

I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.

In Proverbs 7, Solomon tells the story of a young man who strayed too close to the home of an immoral woman who was ready, willing, and able to lead him astray while her husband was out of town. She pulled out all the stops and he was led “like an ox to the slaughter.” Of course, this particular story is focused on sexual temptation and sin, but there is a much broader application available.

Most of us know which streets in our lives tend to lead us towards trouble. We are aware of our sin nature in those particular areas and recognize when and where those temptations lie…yet like the foolish young man in the story, we choose to “stroll down the path by her house.” Isn’t it amazing how foolish we can be? Or perhaps it’s something far worse than foolishness. Maybe we just don’t care that much.

God is holy and in absolute opposition to sin of any kind. He hates sin…and in several places in scripture, it sure seems like He hates sinners, too. But that isn’t the only emotion of His that we need to consider. God also loves us deeply and wants what’s best for us. He knows all too well the danger that lies down the wrong street…in the wrong house…with the wrong person. Our sin can make us foolish and reckless and always comes with consequences – none of which God wants for any of us. Additionally, Jesus equated our obedience to our love for Him (Jn. 14:15), which also includes our submission to Him as Lord.

Hopefully, we don’t need to learn every lesson by sticking our fingers into the socket. We know the streets…we know the houses…and we know the people that beckon us to sin. God’s love is not in question, but ours is. Let’s all commit to seeking to love Him better today by avoiding the streets in our lives where trouble is waiting to seduce us.