John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 5) “Control your body”

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 5

I have written about this issue of controlling your body over and over in the past. Gene Simmons is the perfect example of a person that has tried to seek pleasure outside of marriage while trying to raise a family at the same time. It just doesn’t work and Gene had to give up his girlfriends in order to save his marriage. (Tyson Ritter of the All-American Rejects has also discovered that womanizing is not the way to go.) Landry Jones the star quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners did it right by dating his girlfriend in a Christian setting and they were married a couple of years later. Saving themselves for marriage.

Gene Simmons pictured above with his wife.

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John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Fifth, control your body. Any witting father who has any sense at all realizes that young men are going to develop passions that can lead them in to tragedy upon tragedy unless they learn how to control their body, their bodily desires. And as you get in to this section, this is THE dominant theme throughout these first few chapters of Proverbs. Go to chapter 2 for a moment, verse 16, this is repeated and we don’t have time to go in to all of it but I’ll give you a little sense of what the writer says…2:16, he’s talking about wisdom and wisdom alone, that is the wisdom of God, spiritual wisdom that a father is supposed to teach his son, is able to deliver you from the strange woman. Well what does the word strange mean? Foreign. Why do you have to worry about a foreign woman? Because she’s away from home. Well what does that mean? Well she’s away from her husband, she’s away from her family, she’s away from her friends, she’s away from accountability and so being…she’s the out‑of‑town woman, if you will. And it’s real easy for her to act any way she wants because the constraints are off. You beware of that roaming woman who is away from the point of her responsibility. Beware of the adulteress who flatters with her words, that leaves the companion of her youth…that’s her husband…and forgets the covenant of her God…that’s her marriage vow. Beware of her because her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead. Why? Because adultery by biblical prescription required the death penalty. She’ll bring you to death.

Some think that this is a reference also to a venereal disease or even to the divine intervention of God in an act of punishment. But I think the primary issue here is way back to Deuteronomy chapter 22 where God says people who commit adultery are to be executed. Passion is as strong as it is, however, as evidenced by the fact that men who would know they would have perhaps to lose their life would still follow their passion. At the moment in time lust for sex outweighs the desire to live. Stay away, teach your son sexual self‑control, Father, so he doesn’t destroy his life, destroy his family.

Chapter 5 follows it up. Verse 1, “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding that you may observe discretion, that your lips may reserve knowledge.” Here’s a very important lesson for the son, “The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech, her kisses are sweet and she’s going to sweet talk you but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two‑edged sword, her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol, she doesn’t ponder the path of life, her ways are unstable, she doesn’t know it. And now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth, keep your way far from her and don’t go near the door of her house and don’t give your vigor to others.” That is, don’t procreate through others. Don’t give your years to the cruel one and let strangers be filled with your strength and your hard earned goods go the house of an alien. Don’t have to support the children of some woman that isn’t even in your home. Don’t give away your seed to someone else. Don’t create children through someone else. Don’t give your strength to another family and have to spend the rest of your life paying some kind of alimony or whatever. In the end your flesh and body are consumed. You’ll say, “How I have hated instruction and my heart spurned reproof and I haven’t listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructor.” Some day you’re going to say I wish I would have done what my dad told me. Teach your son sexual purity.

Chapter 6 takes it further, verse 20 and all the way down to the end, pick it up in verse 24, “Wisdom is given to you to keep you from the evil woman, the smooth tongue of the adulteress, don’t desire her beauty in your heart, don’t let her catch you with her eyelids, for on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread.” She’ll turn you into nothing quick. An adulteress hunts for the precious life. There you are, this precious life, she just wants to hunt you. Can you take fire in your bosom and your clothes not be burned? Can you walk on hot coals and your feet not be scorched? So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife, whoever touches her will not go unpunished. It’s going to cost you and it’s going to cost you dearly. Verse 32, “Anyone who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense. He who would destroy himself does it.” Why do people do that? “Wounds and disgrace he will find. And his reproach will not be blotted out.” Let me tell you, an adulterer has a reproach not blotted out. You know, that’s a good thing to keep in mind when you remember that it says in 1 Timothy 3 that one who is an elder must be above reproach. And if an elder or a pastor falls in to sexual sin and adultery, this text says that approach will not be blotted out. And once you bear that reproach and that stigma, it appears to be a permanent one, a permanent disqualification. That’s a heavy price to pay.

Chapter 7, the whole chapter is devoted to a fascinating scenario. We can pick it up in verse 6, here’s the victim, this hair‑brained, feather‑headed, naive guy wanders in to temptation. He’s in the part of town he shouldn’t be in. She’s at the window of the house looking out through the lattice. I saw among the naive, I discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense…just the kind she likes. Who was passing through the street near her corner and he takes the way to her house. He knows what he’s doing, he’s down in a part of the city he has no business being in, he’s roaming around in his stupidity, not knowing what he’s going to get in to. That’s the victim.

The hunt starts in verse 10. There he is in the twilight in the evening in the middle of the night and she comes, verse 10, she comes to meet him dressed as a harlot, cunning of heart, boisterous, rebellious, her feet do not remain at home, she is now in the streets, now in the squares and lurks by every corner. That’s the hunt. The tactics…look at how she goes after this guy. Verse 13, this is what’s known as the direct approach, she seizes him and kisses him. Whoa! I remember walking through Iponema(?) one time in Brazil and having a harlot grab me and a harlot pull on my coat and literally…I kept walking and she kept yanking on my coat insisting that I go with her. That was the direct approach. And I kept whacking at her hand to get off my coat. Nothing new, they’ve done it that way before, I guess. Verse 14, she gives him this business…I was due to offer peace offerings, today I paid my vows. In other words, help me celebrate, this is a big religious day for me so will you come and help me with my religious celebration? And then comes flattery in verse 15, “O therefore I have come out to meet you to seek your presence earnestly and I…you’re just the guy I was looking for.” Sure. Just the one I sought.

Then the sensual seduction, “I spread my couch with coverings, with colored linen of Egypt, sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon, come let us drink our fill of love until morning, let us delight ourselves with caresses.” This is sensual seduction. And then she gives him the safety pitch, verse 19, “The man is not at home, he’s on a long journey, he’s taken a bag of money with him, at full moon he’ll come home.” In other words, he’s got so much money because he’s got so much business to do and he’s going to be there a while, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

And after all of those attempts she finally tries to kill him with words, verse 21, “With her many persuasions she entices him with her flattering lips she seduces him.” She talks him to death, just talk, talk, talk, keep the seduction going. Then comes the kill. Suddenly he follows her…stupid feather‑brained naive guy…as an ox to slaughter and one in chains to the discipline of a fool until an arrow pierces through his liver as a bird hastens to the snare, so he doesn’t know that it will cost him his life. The end of verse 27 says he goes into the chambers of death.

Teach your son that. Teach your son sexual purity. Teach your son to control his body. Chapter 9 verses 13 to 18 go further through that scenario…a woman of folly who wants to lead you to the grave. Sure stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant but it will kill you…it will kill you. Teach your son, keep mentally away. Don’t go to certain places in town. Don’t get caught in certain comprising situations. Keep your hands to yourself. Stay away from women like that. Guard your feet. Guard your eyes. Guard your ears. Teach your son that. Control his body for purity and he’ll be a delight to you and blessed by God.

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ONE FINAL QUESTION: WHAT DO THESE VERSES MEAN?

PROVERBS 5:1-6

1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense;
what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.

3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
about who she is or where she’s going.

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