Don’t go on his ground
For reading & meditation – Proverbs 4:10-27
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” (v.25)
We continue looking at the issue of sexual experience and its need to be kept within marriage. Some temptations cannot be avoided; some, however, can. Anatole France has a story in which God and the devil are talking of a beautiful young girl. God asks: “How dare you tempt such a lovely creature as that?” The devil replies: “Well, she came on to my ground.” R. W. Everrood tells this story: A young man seeking his fortune was travelling across a desert when he came across an oasis at which a beautiful girl sat spinning on a loom. He asked for a drink and she said, “Certainly, providing you let me put these threads around you that I am spinning.” He agreed, thinking he could easily brush away the thin gossamer threads as one would brush away a spider’s web. After drinking the water, he fell asleep and awoke to find himself tied by thick, strong cords. And what was more, the beautiful young girl had changed into a disgusting and ugly hag. The best way to deal with temptation is not to go toward it. Paul’s advice to young Timothy was this: “Flee from all this” (1 Tim. 6:11). John Ruskin says: “No one can honestly ask to be delivered from temptation unless he has honestly and firmly determined to do the best he can to keep out of it.” My advice to every unmarried man and woman reading these lines – and married people, too – is this: Keep out of the devil’s territory. Don’t go on to his ground.
O God, make me alert to the dangers that beset my path and when I move toward them unsuspectingly, grant that all the warning bells may ring within my heart. I know You will do Your part; help me do mine. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What instructions did Paul give concerning God’s will?
2. What did Paul mean by “not even a hint”?