Proverbs 28-31, Psalm 8
I was sixteen years old when I started college. Though I was mature academically, one of the negatives of being this young and being surrounded and influenced by many who were much older was that I was not socially mature. I was on the college swim team and one my teammates was getting married. I was allowed to go to the bachelor party. They all decided it would be fun to get me drunk which was not difficult. Towards the end of the night they all went to the local house of prostitution in downtown Brooklyn. They though it would be funny to see me not only get drunk but lose my virginity to a prostitute that night. Both the groom and many of the other members of the swim team had already filed in to take their turn. They told me they would pay for me. I remember walking into the waiting room where scantily dressed women just sat there waiting to be chosen. Though young and drunk I still remember the sadness and hopelessness in their eyes. Much to the dissatisfaction of my teammates I did not go through with it and waited downstairs. I was not yet a Christian and wasn't standing on my high moral ground, it just didn't seem right and to be honest I was scared and above my head. That was then. Now it is at our fingertips. Yesterday, as I was putting together the messages that I send out through Calvary Connect on my computer an add popped up and just stayed there on the side of my screen. The picture was of a seductive woman with a seductive look for Ashley Madison. The ad simply said, "Life is short. Have an affair. Sign up free". Temptation and pornography are literally at our fingertips. Technology has changed drastically since I was sixteen, but not much else has in the world.
What the world portrays and what God reveals in His Word as what is desirous in a woman are polar opposites. In the world everything centers on appearance and lust. Though there is nothing wrong with being physically attractive this is not what God lifts up as the characteristics to search out. The section on the Proverbs 31 woman begins in 31:10-12, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life." It goes on to describe a woman who diligently cares for everything in her surroundings. We read in Proverbs 31:26-27, "She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:". Though these are not the qualities which are praised or emphasized in our world today, God's Word never changes. This does not mean that it is wrong for a woman to work, every household and every marriage decides what is necessary. Notice the strong statement against what we exalt now in 31:30, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."
There are so many casualties to our worldly views. Recently, one of my patients was crying as she told me about her husband who became obsessed with working out at the local gym only to begin having an affair with a woman at the gym also obsessed with working out. How many fall on business trips, as we read in Proverbs 31:4-5, "...It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted." Many jobs take us away from home but it is never wise for us to drink and forget or ignore God's ways. Everyone knows it is wrong to be in an extramarital relationship or be addicted to pornography. People can rationalize it as being what everyone does. Many can even hide it for periods of time, but as it says in Numbers 32:23, "...you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." The person who chooses to engage in this behavior is never at peace, as we read in Proverbs 28:1,13, "The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion...He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." We live in a society which feels there are no moral absolutes, but those of us in Christ need to abide continually in Him and follow His unwavering absolute standards. If we do so, we will enjoy peace and a clear conscience even through the trials.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: