I laughed the first time I read that line from Proverbs 7:23. What a sense of humor God has! I had looked in the mirror before and suspected that He had quite a vivid imagination and an even greater humorous side, but this passage of Scripture confirmed it. Or so I thought.
Solomon wrote the proverbs that are contained in the biblical book of The Proverbs. The proverbs included are bits of wisdom and instruction that God has imparted to us through Solomon’s pen. “Til an arrow struck his liver . . .” (NKJV). There was something about Solomon’s choice of words that for days would not leave my mind. Why didn’t the arrow strike the heart, or his back, or whatever—anything but the liver? Curiosity asked, “Could this apply to me?”
To put the quote in its proper context, Solomon was nearing the end of a story that he was telling about a young man who had been enticed into an improper sexual liaison with a woman who, by today’s standards, would probably have been called a prostitute—and a married one at that! All looked good for the young man until he realized that his indiscretions would cost him his very life.
Solomon did not use a play on words when he said that an arrow struck the young man’s liver. The liver is that organ by which the blood is purified. The blood is the lifeline of the body and if it cannot be kept pure, death will be the result.
Sexual immorality, in all of its facets—adultery, pornography addiction, or any other form—is that arrow that pierces the liver. It is that virus that, if left untreated, will destroy our moral road map. When that happens, death is a certainty. The death may not be a physical death, or even noticeable at first, but it is sure to come. The death of marital relationships; the death of familial relationships between sons and fathers or brothers and sisters; the death of financial security; the death of employment; the death of physical freedom when that person’s activities cross that line into the criminal arena. Death is certain if the immorality is left untreated. But it is just as avoidable if the indiscretions are dealt with and stopped.
According to the story, the young man went after the woman like a calf to slaughter or like a bird into a snare. In other words, he went with her with no perception of the danger that lay ahead of him. Those of us who have struggled with pornography and sexual addictions know that our struggle is no different than that young man’s. We dive head first into the cesspool of pornography addiction—along with its subsequent outlandish sexual behavior—without a clue as to the depth of it, or of what it might take to climb out. It matters not whether we subscribe to biblical teaching or not. The effect is the same, and it is devastating.
Pornography is that woman calling from her window. Pornography addiction itself has been a contributing factor in untold numbers of sexual attacks against women, children (and yes, men!)—people of all ages and races. It has driven families into bankruptcy court. It has destroyed marriages. Wherever it goes, it leaves behind it a trail of victims—victims of unwanted sexual advances (whether criminal or not), and people whose minds have been twisted by it.
Solomon closed the story by saying that “. . . she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men.” Pornography does that. It preys on wounded people, sometimes inflicts the wound itself, and then eventually takes that person down. Even the strongest person among us is susceptible to its destructive force.
Don’t play with pornography. Don’t be fooled by it or by people who say it is harmless or that it is only natural to be interested in it. Even our natures can destroy us!