By now one gets the sense that sexual behavior is rather important. Proverbs 7 issues a third warning to avoid sexual immorality (see Proverbs 5 and 6). Sin needs only an opportunity and it seizes every moment and lurks in every corner.

Opportunity to sin involves time and location (Prov 7:8-9). Those with “no sense” avoid neither and inevitably stumble into error. Years ago when traveling to Hawaii on business a few other Christian men and I gathered outside our hotel on the beach one early morning for a time of prayer. One guy asked for prayer that he not “look” or lust after other women while on the beach. I responded “Don’t go to the beach.” In Jesus’s words, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away” (Mt 5:29). We must not be in harm’s way and give sin opportunity. Even if it means not going to the beach in Hawaii! Avoiding every occasion where we may succumb to sin is the way of wisdom.

Though the woman in this proverb is married and clearly intentional about her adultery (Prov 7:10-21), it is the young man who is held accountable, as the parent makes clear in issuing the warning to the child (Prov 7:25). The point: Regardless of the lure of attraction, everyone is held accountable for their sexual behavior and everyone can avoid the sin of sexual immorality. Otherwise, this warning is unreasonable. To coin a Kantian phrase with a twist “Ought not implies can not.” If you ought not do something, then clearly you can avoid the behavior.

This warning of Proverbs 7 leaves no doubt: Avoid all opportunity to engage in sexually immoral behavior and the probability of committing this sin is zero. Conversely, put yourself in harm’s way and the likelihood of committing the act is greater than zero. Know your limitations and avoid sin at all costs.


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