8/18 Proverbs 5:21-22

21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.

This chapter in the proverbs is about the allurement of an adulteress. She represents any type of addiction or any promise of satisfaction that is outside of the good boundaries God has set for us. God does not forbid things out of some greedy desire to withhold things from us. He forbids what is destructive to our soul. He forbids what is contrary to His good plan. Sin is usually the misuse of some good thing that God has given. Medicine can be good. Overdosing can be deadly. Sex is a gift from God for one couple to enjoy in the confines of marriage. Promiscuity destroys intimacy and the deep joy of relationship.

Our verses for today tell us that God is always aware of all that we do. There is a children's song with the lyrics, "Be careful little hands what you do. There's a Father up above looking down with tender love, so be careful little hands what you do." God is watching in love and love will discipline the child who runs toward danger after being warned not to do so. It is a healthy spiritual practice to realize God's presence in all that we do and say. We should always be asking ourselves if God is pleased with our actions.

The verse for today includes a warning that sin enslaves. Addictions always demand more. What satisfied the flesh the last time must be increased the next time. Eventually it leads to complete enslavement of the mind and body. Instead of living for our Creator, we end up living for greater pleasure while throwing restraint to the wind. The chapter is telling us to be satisfied with the good things God has given us within the boundaries He has set. That is the way of genuine joy and blessing.

Consider: Temptations are lies that promise fulfillment but end in ruin.