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fishing lure May 26 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 5, 6, 7

Beware of Lures

When we think of lures we think of fishing. Lures are sometimes colorful and are of different sizes, shapes and textures, and they are chosen to attract certain types of fish. While lures may be helpful for the angler, they can be harmful or even deadly for the fish.

Seduction is like a lure. When we think of seduction we often think of sex. Depending on where we live, we may or may not see prostitutes on the streets, but we are exposed to the seduction of sex in movies, magazines, and on the Internet. Wayward wives and husbands often seduce the unwary. In making the case for wisdom in Proverbs 1-9, King Solomon, the teacher, warns his sons or students about the allure of sex. Sex is good in the context of marriage, but like a lure has hooks in it, illicit sex can destroy us and our families. We must train our sons and daughters not to be caught up in the avenues that lead to sexual sin, and we must model faithfulness. Sex, as we know, is not the only seduction in life. Advertisements for fast or stylish automobiles, expensive clothing, prestige and wealth are also alluring. Not being satisfied with the good things our LORD has given us can draw us away from the life of wisdom and blessing and lead to our ruin. How did Solomon train his sons to deal with seduction?

Solomon taught his sons to recognize the dangers of enticement: beauty, a smooth talking sales pitch, too good to be true promises, and unbeatable opportunities (6:24-25; 7:10-21). The advice he gives his sons is to keep a path far from her door (5:8), to fully enjoy what the LORD has already given (5:15), and to remember that what they are doing will not be in secret, “for a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths” (5:23, NIV). He further instructs them to keep in mind that the path of seduction is the path to destruction, deep regret, and possibly even death (5:9-14, 22-23; 7:22-27). Likewise, the Apostle Paul instructs us to

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price [the price of Christ’s blood on the cross shed for us]. Therefore honor God with your body, (1Corinthians 6:18-20, NIV)

Undesirable consequences occur when a person gives into sexual seduction. A sexual affair or even a flirtation can elicit the ire of an offended spouse. The anger could be so fierce that it could lead to revenge and even death. An affair often leads to guilt, and it is not easily forgiven, even if it was a “mistake” (i.e., a one night stand in a moment of weakness). Anger, vicious words, and suspicion will likely reign in the home, making life miserable for both husband and wife. The home becomes fractured, and divorce often follows. Children and parents are separated from each other through divorce. Children blame themselves and may grow up less secure with a lower self esteem, and are more likely to repeat the behavior of their parents. Children of divorced homes are less likely to receive the proper discipline and training that produce responsible adults. Unfaithfulness also has a high financial cost. There are significant financial payments for lawyers and court fees. Assets are often divided. Everything a person has worked so hard for in order to build a family legacy often comes crashing down upon him/her. People who get divorced often suffer depression and other psychological issues. The only person who usually wins with a divorce is the lawyer. We need to think about the consequences wayward actions could have before sexual seductions appear - these hooks are damaging and destructive.

Instead of being captivated by what we cannot have, why not enjoy what God has given us? For those of you who are married, do you remember when you were in love with your mate? You appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed the gift of your mate that God had given you. Somewhere along the line you probably started taking that gift for granted and began complaining, instead of enjoying it. If we have taken the gift of our marriage for granted, we need to change our focus, give attention to our spouse, and start having fun again enjoying God’s gift (Proverbs 5:15-21).

The same principles for sexual seductions can apply to those who are caught by the allure of power, prestige, wealth, and material possessions. Those who are tempted by material possessions should learn to wait on the Lord, work for the needed items (6:1-11), and be satisfied with what the LORD has given. As we should flee from immorality, the Apostle Paul also instructs us to flee from idolatry [anything that is more important than God] (1Corinthians 10:14). Hasty decisions and get rich quick schemes are usually regrettable and can be quite costly. Those who are tempted by power, prestige, or wealth should be careful not to give into deception and greed. We need to be faithful in what we do, and the LORD will bring us honor. Remember that what we do is in “full view of the LORD, and he examines our paths,” (5:23).

The path of wisdom leads to life. The path of seduction leads to destruction. Which will we follow? Let’s enjoy what God has given us. Let’s not cast a longing eye to things God has not given us.

Lessons to live by:

•  Sex is good in the context of marriage, but illicit sex can destroy us and our families.

•  Not being satisfied with the good things our LORD has given us can draw us away from the life of wisdom and blessing and lead to our ruin. Do you know God? He offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life and blessings (more...)

•  Learn to recognize the dangers of enticement: beauty, a smooth talking sales pitch, too good to be true promises, and unbeatable opportunities.

•  We need to think about the consequences wayward actions could have before sexual seductions appear.

•  Enjoy what God has given you.

Today's Bible memory verse:

Matthew 6:21: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NIV).

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