The Power Of A Temptation

The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
–Proverbs 5:3-4

Some people live by the mantra, “If it feels good, it can’t be so bad.” It sounds like a country-western song, doesn’t it? If it feels so good, how could it be so wrong?

When our daughters were younger, they would go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Before they left, we used to give them this warning: “Bring home all your candy and let us check it first, because there could be something wrong with it.” We had heard stories about candy that had been laced with arsenic and razor blades and that sort of thing, so we wanted to check the candy before our children ate it. We would give them that warning and then send them out, hoping they would obey our warning. Now, if the candy had been bitter, they would not have been tempted to eat it. It was only because the candy was sweet that they were tempted to partake of it. The power of a temptation lies in the pleasure of the temptation.

The reason Solomon so stridently warns against sexual immorality throughout the book of Proverbs was not that sex does not feel good; it was because sex feels great. He said in Proverbs 9:17, “Stolen water is sweet.” As somebody once said, “If stolen waters weren’t sweet, nobody would steal the waters.” Solomon understood that. Although sex outside of marriage is a sin against God and others, the truth is that sexual immorality is fun. It is stimulating. It is exhilarating . . . for a season. But Solomon pointed out in Proverbs 5:3-4, “The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” Solomon was saying, “That bait looks so appealing, but don’t forget–there is a hook in the middle of it that will cost you your life.”

Some people fall into sexual immorality because they think, “I can stop anytime I want.” The problem with sexual immorality, and any kind of sin, is that not only is it pleasurable, but it is also addictive. Sexual immorality is very addictive. But Satan does not want you to know that. Since the beginning of time, Satan has been dangling this lie in front of us that sin leads to freedom. Isn’t that the line he tried on Eve in the Garden of Eden–and it worked? He said, in essence, “Eve, the reason God does not want you to eat the fruit of this tree is that He does not want you to experience the exhilaration, the happiness that you deserve. If you disobey God in this area, then you can have the freedom you deserve.” But that was a lie. Sin never leads to freedom; it leads to slavery.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Graze In Your Own Pasture” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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