(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Proverbs paints for us a portrait of what sin is and what sin does. In fact, you probably don't get a clearer description of the seduction and the deception of sin than you get in Proverbs. And I think sometimes we read the Proverbs in a ‘surfacy’ way because we’re just looking for these little nuggets of wisdom that will make life easier for us, and we don't ask deeper questions and delve deeper into what the Proverbs is actually presenting to us.
One of the places where I think that's true is the warnings like in Proverbs 5 and 6, about the adulterous woman, the danger of sexual sin. I'm deeply persuaded that that volume of material and its descriptiveness about the danger of sexual sin is not just to warn us about sexual sin, but to give us a case study about the danger of sin, what sin does. And so, I want to unpack that for you.
If you look at these descriptions, the first thing you're confronted with is sin is actually pleasurable. The little phrase that “The lips of this woman drip honey,” there it is. They don't drip acid; they drip honey, and you're attracted by the temporary pleasures of sin. One of the seductive aspects of sin is it does offer you temporary pleasure.
Sin is seductive. The little phrase here says, “She has speech smoother than oil.” I mean, sin works you; it whispers in your ear. It says the things you want to hear.
Sin is a liar; sin never delivers what it promises! Did you hear what I said? Sin never delivers what it promises; it says that what you end up getting is “Bitter as wormwood” (Proverb 5:4).
Sin is destructive. You think what you're going to get will be fulfilling, and the little phrase here is, “Her feet go down to death,” (Proverbs 5:5) Now, that's scary! Follow this and it will lead you to death.
Sin is addictive, enslaving. The question is asked, “Why should you be so intoxicated?” There's a drunkenness, addictive, enslaving aspect to sin.
No sin is hidden from God's eyes. We’re warned that, “Our ways are always before the Lord.”
Sin ensnares and the description says, “You’re held fast by the cords of your own sin,” bound up.
Sin has terrible consequences. And I love these descriptions, I think it’s so helpful. Here's the question, “Can you carry a fire near your chest without your clothes being burned?” How descriptive is that? “You will get burned.”
And sin blinds. That's why it says, “Don't go this way.” The commandments of the Lord are a lamp, they open up the darkness so you can see with accuracy. You see, the problem is sin doesn't always look this dangerous to us. When you’re having a third piece of cake, an act of gluttony, all you are remembering is the beautiful chocolate taste. When you’re lusting after a woman at the mall, you're seeing beauty; you’re not seeing the danger of that, and that's why the warnings, the descriptive warnings in Proverbs, are such a grace because we get to see sin for what it actually is, and we’re warned to run! We need that warning!