The Danger of Sexual Sins
1. Solomon has been warning his son about the danger of sexual immorality.
2. In vs. 24-26 he warned his son about the seductive methodology of the immoral woman… how she lures and entices.
3. Now he warns his son about the consequences of such behavior.
a. It Burns (vs. 27-29)
b. It Is Not Easily Forgiven (vs. 30-32)
c. It Leaves a Reproach That Won’t Go Away (vs. 33-35)
It Burns (vs. 27-29)
1. First of all, Solomon likens this sin to fire.
2. Can a man take fire in his bosom and not get burned? Can a man go on hot coals and not be burned? Of course not!
a. Fire burns! A little spark can ignite a whole forest!
b. If the woods are dry, it only takes one little spark to ignite.
3. Think of the implications of the analogy here. There are two ingredients: the spark or fire and the clothes.
a. The spark or fire = contact with this woman… (this would include a touch, a hug, a stare, a wink of the eye, etc. – vs. 25)
b. The clothes or that which catches on fire = the man, his heart, his life…
• Clothes are dry and extremely flammable.
• The point is that a man is too… susceptible to burning.
• It doesn’t take much to start a fire. One little spark will cause the clothes to ignite…
• A man is like the dry, flammable clothes—easily burned!
• The point is that if he comes in close contact with a spark, he WILL get burned! That’s a law of nature.
4. Don’t play with fire!
a. At some point, every parent has to warn the child about something hot… something that can burn and do a lot of damage.
b. We warn our young children not to touch the stove… or the wood stove… or the electrical outlets. “Hot” is one of the first words we teach our young kids.
c. Not to do so would be negligence on our part. They NEED the warning.
d. It would be negligence because of the serious consequences of a burn… they could be scarred and disfigured for life—even killed! They could burn the whole house down.
e. Sexual immorality is far worse. This too can cause us to become scarred and disfigured for life… it can burn our whole household… our family down… ruin!
f. Light a match to dry, flammable clothing and there will be a fire. It is unavoidable. There are serious and unavoidable consequences to the sin of sexual immorality too.
g. Far worse than a scar on one’s face or hand is a scar on the soul.
h. Solomon is giving his son some good advice: Don’t play with fire. You WILL be burned! You are not the exception to the rule.
5. The illustrations given imply a man who is almost defying the laws of nature.
a. Have you ever seen someone walk on coals? They are defying this principle. (Ask one of those voodoo priests to stand on them for a few minutes!)
b. A man who takes fire in his bosom is also defying such laws.
c. The implication of such a man is, “This won’t hurt me. I can handle this. Maybe others would get burned, but not me.”
d. This is an attitude of pride… (Cf. I Cor. 10:12 – Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”)
e. Prov. 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
f. Prov. 28:14 – Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
• What does it mean to fear God? Should we be afraid of drawing near to God? No! We should fear sinning against Him or displeasing Him!
• That kind of fear stems from two things: an acknowledgement of who God is (infinitely holy)… and an awareness of who we are (fallen and so very capable of sinning at any moment!)
• An exalted view of God and a humble and lowly view of self results in fear. This kind of godly fear will keep us AWAY from any spark that might ignite us—for we recognize how easily we could be ignited.
g. The man who is painfully aware of how vulnerable he is in this area will not play with fire. Or even a spark!
6. The wise man stays away from fire… and sparks.
a. Anything that might ignite impurity in our mind or heart ought to be avoided.
b. Be careful in your use of the Internet. This invention has made pornography easily accessible—just the click of the mouse! And it has been the ruin of many a man… (I have had to console women who are heartbroken because their husbands spend time viewing pornography)
c. Be careful about going to the beach! It is no secret that modesty is not in vogue at the beach.
d. Be careful about what you watch on TV… or videos.
e. The pilgrims didn’t have to worry about any of these things… not like we do. That demands all the more vigilance on our part.
f. However the Puritans were not exempt from this sin—some did wear the scarlet letter. But even though they didn’t have the high tech contraptions and media to deal with… human nature was the same!
› Flirting with an adulterous or an immoral woman is playing with fire.
› Touching ignites the flesh. That is not a debatable point. Once those juices get flowing, they are virtually impossible to stop. That’s the natural law. You know this law. You know it to be true… scientific even!
• If you want to be pure… if you want to avoid sparks flying… and being burned… then don’t touch!
• That’s what the text is implying here.
• Don’t touch your neighbor’s wife… and for unmarried people—avoid whatever will ignite you.
• Remember I Cor. 10:12!
g. If something ignites you like a spark—don’t play with fire. (I Thess. 5:22)
• Don’t think of it as innocent or harmless.
• Don’t think that it won’t lead to something worse… that’s how sparks work. (warm, to hot, to smoke, to a tiny flame, to a bigger and bigger flame—that eventually is difficult to put out.)
• Stay away! That is the way of safety.
• Even some in the world are recognizing now the value of abstinence for the unmarried.
• But abstinence in young people doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it… the Bible says that we should abstain from any appearance of evil… of any compromising situation that might lead to evil…
• Young people might ridicule the idea of “abstinence even from touching”—but it is probably the only way to maintain any kind of abstinence.
• Once you touch—and get the juices flowing… you may not be able to stop. Once the sparks fly—you will burn! That’s exactly what Solomon is saying here.
h. Rom. 13:14 – “Make no provision for the flesh.”
• Whatever stirs up the flesh—get rid of it… avoid it… turn the other way.
• This might mean making some lifestyle changes… some personal sacrifices… but it is far better to sacrifice than to burn!
7. Wise parents will be careful with their children.
a. If you KNOW that your son is like dry, flammable material that only takes one small spark to ignite… don’t allow him in situations where sparks might fly!
b. It is foolish to allow teens to have the opposite sex over the house without supervision. Don’t be so foolish as to say, “But my kids wouldn’t do anything. I trust them.”
c. You shouldn’t trust them. In fact, Solomon is warning his son not to trust himself! That’s the point. We can’t trust in human nature…
d. The natural law says that if you put a spark next to dry clothes, it WILL ignite! Don’t ever trust that your clothes won’t burn!
e. With young people today, it is not only that their clothes are dry. It is more like they are soaked in gasoline!
f. There’s only one way to prevent a fire from starting—Keep the sparks away from the clothes! Don’t walk on hot coals. Don’t play with fire. You will get burned.
g. When Joseph found himself near a spark, he ran as fast as he could.
h. Would you play with matches if your clothes were soaked in gasoline? Would you even go near a fire? It is folly to think that our clothes won’t burn… this won’t happen to me… or this won’t happen to my kid! I already gave him a talk about that.
8. Fire burns—and is extremely painful. It leaves scars.
a. Solomon warns his young son about the sin of sexual impurity. He doesn’t want his son to have to suffer through the awful consequences of the sin—it’s like getting burned. It hurts for a long time after the fire goes out.
b. Think of some of the consequences of this sin in the life of a young person today…
• Single mother—or father—no hope of going to college—
• confined to a low paying job the rest of their life—often means poverty
• a constant reminder of their sin staring them in the face every day—
• there are many long lasting and far reaching consequences to this sin.
9. Going into your neighbor’s wife (vs. 29)
a. Now Solomon states that the sin of adultery is like a fire that ignites.
b. The man who commits such a sin is not “innocent.” (be clear, be pure, be free, be innocent; exempt from punishment)
c. There are consequences to the sin of adultery… they are as sure as a scientific law… like the law of gravity… or fire.
d. You can defy the law if you will, but you will lose in the end.
e. The consequences of adultery are unavoidable. Play with fire and you will be burned.
f. Job 31:9-12 – Job also states that this sin is a fire that destroys.
g. The warnings are many and lengthy. Take heed. God knows human nature. This is repeated for a purpose.