Choices are everywhere in life. We make thousands of them every day, many without even realizing it. Sometimes our choices are a result of ingrained behavior, sometimes they are conscious. Our choices determine our direction and ultimately the general success or failure of our lives. Proverbs 7 gives an example of someone who makes one of those life changing decisions.
In Proverbs 7:6 a narrative begins. It appears that Solomon looks out his window and sees a young man who lacks understanding. This “simple” man is found by a harlot and is persuaded by her to commit adultery. Solomon makes it very clear that this choice will bring the man complete misery and ultimately death.
The man in this story was simple. He did not have his wits about him, and he was destroyed. The harlot in this story was subtil, loud, and stubborn. Since this man was not guarding himself, he was destroyed very easily.
While this account is mainly about how a person should guard against adultery, I would like to point out some things it teaches about temptation. Notice in verse 12 that the scripture tells us, “Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.” This woman, this personification of temptation is outside. She is in the street. And she is at EVERY corner.
Think about this situation metaphorically.
First, temptation is in the street. Streets are means of travel. Everyone uses them. You use them. I use them. As we travel through this life, we will meet temptation, because temptation is in the street. We cannot avoid it. We must be prepared, unlike the man in the story who obviously wasn’t.
Second, temptation is at every corner. When you think of a corner, what do you think of? Let me give you a clue, think of a crossroad. When someone says the are at a crossroads in their life, what do they mean? They’re talking about a choice they have to make of course! A street corner is usually made when two roads meet. Think about that. Not only is temptation unavoidable (being in the street), it also presents itself at every choice you must make.
Every time you travel on this road (or street) of life, you will encounter temptation. You cannot avoid it. You must prepare yourself.
When the disciples were about to be tempted, Jesus told them, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41
The Bible warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8 Let me put this in common English, the devil wants to destroy you, so keep your wits about ya!
Remember, every time a choice for right presents itself, a choice for wrong presents itself also.
Temptation is at every corner.
“Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:27
Keep your wits about ya!