Reading Proverbs can get kind of scary. The second half of Proverbs 6 is a great example for grown men. Most of us, even many raised in a Christian home, had some morally sketchy years in our late teens or early twenties and further. A great example is v29.
27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
After reading this you may expect a meteorite to fall on your head. Let's be careful to read Proverbs as a book of wisdom and not a book of witchcraft. A whole lot of it is good old common sense. Remember that this particular section is fatherly guidance to his son. This is the second of three parental appeals concerning adultery. The repetition screams “listen!”
A great device in wisdom literature is hyperbole. It is exaggeration to make a point. Jesus was a master of this kind of language. Another device is stark contrast… black and white statements. The point of it all is that adultery (and really all sexual sin) is like messing with fire. It was no different in the Old Testament times than in our New Testament times. If you go down this road you will most likely get burned because this road is really dangerous. Most would agree that when we get sexual urges involved, our ability to think sanely goes out the window. There are stern warnings in the NT that agree with this Proverb.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
In other words there are consequences to our actions. If you rob a bank, you might get caught. If you get caught, you will have to pay the price whether you feel really bad about it or not. Though, at the same time, sexual sin seems to have a special significance. See 1 Cor 6:18 and context.
Having a morally depraved past does not mean you should expect to be cursed the rest of your years. And, we should not expect that God either hates us or at best, tolerates us. In fact, I think this is one of the enemy’s greatest tools to keep us down. He convinces us that forgiveness does not apply to us. That our past is too bad to make any use of us from here on out.
But consider these truths:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Forgiveness has always been offered to the people of God, even in the times before Jesus. (See Gen 8:20-22; Lev 1:9; Job 1:5; Is 1:18-20) The question is, have you received forgiveness for your past? Have you recognized past illicit behavior as sinful? Have you asked God to forgive you? Have you done what you could to make things right?
If so, then receive forgiveness from God and don’t let the enemy steal any more glory, honor, and good hard Kingdom work in Jesus name. Receive forgiveness and shut your ears to the enemy.
A shepherd and his journey