[23 For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,]
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
It is not willpower that keeps the son from adultery, but wisdom. Knowing that nothing good will come of it, he keeps his distance from wayward women, avoiding their smooth talk altogether. The fool tries to get as close to sin as he can without crossing the line, but the wise distance themselves from temptation. This wisdom is part of the Lord’s prayer; “lead us not into temptation” is a much more prudent request than “please help me out of this mess.” The Lord wants to be our first resort, let us not make him our last.
“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.” The sooner temptation is recognized for what it is, the easier it is to escape. Are your thoughts drawn towards things that will lead you astray? Interrupt them, busy yourself with something else, do what you can to put them out of your mind. Sin will always cost you more than it’s worth, and if you are not careful it may cost you your life.