His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Solomon warned about sexual addiction 3000 years ago. Psychologists have only recently stumbled on it. Having warned his son about sexual sins and God’s punishment of them (Pr 5:1-21), Solomon added the sober warning of being bound by those sins for total destruction (Pr 5:22-23). Pleasures of sexual sins for a season may imprison you for life.
The context is plain and simple – sexual intimacy with anyone but your lawful spouse (Pr 5:1-21). The man of this proverb is a fool that rejected the warnings and proceeded to sin sexually with a woman. His sexual sins will take hold of his body and spirit, and he will be held in the chain-like shackles of them. They will capture and hold his very soul.
Sexual sins captivate a person’s soul more than others. Alcohol may lead to drunkenness and a chemical addiction, but fornication can lead to obsession with immoral thoughts and activity. Men who sin sexually are seldom recovered (Pr 2:18-19; 5:5-13; 6:26-35; 7:22-27; 9:17-18). Only God’s glorious grace can deliver a man from this bondage.
Sexual sins are also addictive in how they demand more and more stimulus to provide the original thrill. A voyeur seldom remains a voyeur. Few men are content with moderate pornography; they progressively seek more extreme and graphic images in order to feel the same level of sexual and sinful thrill of their first experiences with it.
Pornography itself is a case study in this progressive degeneration. What was called pornography 40-60 years ago is vastly different from pornography today. The difference is remarkable! Fools who began with female nudity in their teens must explore sodomy, bestiality, and pedophilia in their forties to get the same thrill. And instead of improving marital pleasure, as their hearts lie to them, it destroys marital ability and satisfaction.
Young man! Older man! This proverb is as true as gravity. If you play with fantasies, pornography, fornication, or sodomy, you will destroy yourself. Your own sins will capture and imprison your soul. You will be unable to free yourself. You will never again love God, your wife, or godly living without a miracle from heaven. And God has not promised you or any other fornicator such a gracious and undeserved deliverance.
Consider Samson. He had good parents, was a Nazarite for life, was fearless of other men, and judged Israel twenty years. Samson lusted after Philistine women for their looks (Judges 14:1-3; 16:1), until he was helpless with Delilah. In spite of obvious intentions to destroy him, she was his omnipotent master (Judges 16:4-21). Why did he not catch on? Was he insane? He was a slave to sexual obsession. He ended up blind and a suicide.
Consider Amnon. He had good parents, was the firstborn son of King David, had the true religion of Jehovah, and could have had any eligible woman in Israel. But he sexually fantasized about his sister Tamar until he was sick with obsession for her. His addiction to this fantasy led to cruelly raping her, consequently hating her, and justifiably being killed by her brother Absalom (II Sam 13:1-39). He was a bond slave to his fantasies.
Consider Solomon. He wrote Proverbs. He wrote this proverb. But women destroyed his life (I Kgs 11:4-13). How did it happen? He first married out of the Lord, against God’s command (Deut 7:1-6; I Kgs 3:1). He then became polygamous, also against God’s command (Deut 17:17; I Kings 11:1-3). His love of female variety became his sexual obsession, until he had 1000 women, exotic ones, which destroyed his life (Eccl 7:26-29).
Man! If you play with fantasies, pornography, fornication, or friendship with a woman not wholly the Lord’s, you are a flattering fool. You are a fool, because you have rejected God’s warnings. You are a flattering fool, because you have lied to yourself that you can get away with it. You will soon hate your precious sin, which will destroy you (Ps 36:2).
You are a fool to think you can escape your sin and its punishment by repenting later, for you are in perfect bondage to your lusts; you will neither be able nor willing to set yourself free. If you do escape sexual diseases, the rage of a jealous husband, or the sentence of the judge, you will be infallibly overtaken by the righteous judgment of God.
There is no greater bondage than a child of God who cannot repent and find joy and peace with his Lord. Do you hear it, sinner? You cannot repent! Why can you not repent? Because you have become a slave to your lusts, and your own heart is in the death throes of sinful thoughts and actions. Every time you allow a sinful thought or action in your life, you twist another sinful strand into the cords that will bind you in your sexual sins.
If you are playing with fantasies, pornography, or a sinful relationship, get away now. Flee youthful lusts, Paul would say (II Tim 2:22). Do not go near any place or thing that tempts you to sin sexually (Pr 4:15; 5:8; Ps 101:3; Rom 13:11). Pluck out your right eye or cut off your right hand rather than play with sexual sin, Jesus would say (Mat 5:28-30).
If you are addicted to a sexual sin, your case is not hopeless, but you will never free yourself by your means or strength. You must cut off the sin violently, totally, now! Repent with these words (Job 33:27-28). Beg God’s power in Jesus’ name to deliver you from sin, sex, and Satan. Humble yourself to a spouse, a parent, or a pastor with every condemning detail. Pursue God’s worship in public and private with your whole heart.
Nothing is too hard for the Lord Christ! You can read that harlots went into the kingdom of God before religious Pharisees (Matt 21:31). Paul told of many sexual sinners at Corinth, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor 6:11).