Rev. Peter Ill, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Proverbs 6:20-35.
Solomon proclaims the importance of the wisdom given in God’s Word by making use of the imagery found in Deuteronomy 6. God’s Word is given by parents to children to guard and guide them in every aspect of life. The wise king instructs his son with this Word particularly in this text as a guard against adultery. Though adultery may appear to offer goodness, it is actually evil. The temptation is to see adultery as victimless, a sin without any real price. The reality is that adultery, whether it starts with prostitution or pornography, only grows and grows into death. Upon further reflection, adultery is completely senseless, especially when viewed in light of the goodness of God’s gift of marriage. In speaking of the temptation toward adultery several times, Solomon lays the groundwork for his later reflection concerning the temptation toward folly. As God’s Word exposes our sin against His commandments, we are constantly turned to Christ’s forgiving love.
“Wisdom and Instruction” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Proverbs. Although Proverbs is perhaps best known for its short sayings full of practical advice, the one true God has so much more in this book of wisdom. True wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Christians walk His way of righteousness rather than the way of wickedness because we trust that all good gifts come to us through His Son Jesus Christ, who is His wisdom made flesh for our salvation.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Warnings Against Adultery
20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they[a] will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,[b]
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.[c]
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,[d]
but a married woman[e] hunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
32 He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
- Proverbs 6:22 Hebrew it; three times in this verse
- Proverbs 6:24 Revocalization (compare Septuagint) yields from the wife of a neighbor
- Proverbs 6:24 Hebrew the foreign woman
- Proverbs 6:26 Or (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) for a prostitute leaves a man with nothing but a loaf of bread
- Proverbs 6:26 Hebrew a man’s wife
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.