The Sin of Lust

Third, know the results of sexual sin. Financial ruin often results: “Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house” (5.8-10); “A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth” (29:3).

Public ruin is inevitable: all will see your sin: “I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly'” (5:14). Her husband will seek revenge without mercy (6:30-35). And we will repent when it is too late: “At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, ‘How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors” (5:11-13).

In fact, we may die: one lured into sexual sin is “like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. . . . Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death” (7:22-23, 26-27).

Fourth, refuse sexual temptation when it first appears: “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” (6:25); “Keep to a path far from her; do not go near her door” (5:8); do not even go in the direction of her house (7:6-9). It will never be as easy to refuse this sin as when it first attacks.

Fifth, stay in love with your spouse. Choose him or her: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers” (5:15-17).

Rejoice in the one you married: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?” (5:18-20). And meet your spouse’s needs: “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress” (30:21-23).

Sixth, fear the punishment of God: “A man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his ways. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly” (5:21-23).

Last, stay close to your Father. God will give you the strength to refuse this sin every time it attacks. Start the day in prayer and Scripture. Worship your Lord with your faith family. Spend the day in the presence of God. And he will give you the victory.

Richard Dobbins is founder of “Emerge Ministries,” working with pastors who have fallen into sexual sin. He states that every single one of these pastors has one thing in common. In the days, weeks, and months leading up to their moral failure, not one of them had maintained a consistent time of daily devotions.

God is ready to give you the victory over this persistent and deadly sin. Turn to him today.