BEWARE of SEDUCTIONS outside God-ordained BOUNDARIES: "Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death." (Prov. 7:24-27)
After giving us a strong counsel to beware of adultery (Prov. 6:20-35), Solomon gives stern commands to treasure his instructions and make wisdom as close to us as a sister. When wisdom is our sister, we will not be seduced by the temptress (vv. 1–5; Ps. 119:11). Our feet will not go near her house. And if she should come after us, our hearts will see through all her enticements and will have no desire for her.
The theme of sexual purity is so important to Solomon that he spoke of it again, this time directly linking it to wisdom and folly. He urged the young man to give strict heed to the father’s teachings (7:1–3) and to embrace wisdom as a lover who can sustain him in the times of trouble that he will face (7:4). By embracing wisdom he was rejecting folly, personified here as a foreign woman (that is, a prostitute; 7:5; 5:3).
Solomon’s instruction is addressed to the heart (mind or will) of man because the basis decisions which control the flow of a man’s life are made here. Many thoughtless people (v. 7) will be ruined if they do not direct their hearts in the pursuit of wisdom (see 1:4, 22). The destiny of those who commit such a sin is death (v. 27), or else a missing out on the real joy of married love. The real intimacy and pleasure that God intended in the marital act is forfeited in the adulterous relationship!
Solomon’s prescription is to keep one’s thoughts (heart) from adultery, and to stay away from places where there is temptation. No matter what temptation is offered to us, we should look beyond the externals and see it as it really is. We are made in the image of God, but sin drags us down to the level of a beast (vv. 22–23) and eventually to the level of Satan himself (v. 27). Beware of seductions outside God-ordained boundaries!