Proverbs 5:22, 23
His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.
There are two fearful evils in which Impenitent sin is sure to end, two classes of penalty which the wrong doer must make up his mind to pay. He has to submit to -
I. AS INWARD TYRANNY OF THE MOST CRUEL CHARACTER. (Ver. 22.) We may never have seen the wild animal captured by the hunter, making violent efforts to escape its tolls, failing, desperately renewing the attempt with fierce and frantic struggles, until at length it yielded itself to its fate in sullen despair. But we have witnessed something far more romantic than that. We have watched some human soul caught in the meshes of vice (intemperance, it may be), or entangled in the bonds of sin (coveteousness, it may be), struggling to be free, failing in its endeavour, renewing the attempt with determined eagerness, and failing again, until at length it yields to the foe, vanquished, ruined, lost! "His own iniquities have taken the wicked himself, he is holden in the cords of his sins."
1. Sin hides its tyranny from view; its cords are so carried that they are not seen; nay, they are so wound around the soul that at first they are not felt, and the victim has no notion that he is being enslaved.
2. Gradually and stealthily it fastens its fetters on the soul; e.g. intemperance, impurity, untruthfulness, selfishness, worldliness.
3. It finally obtains a hold from which the soul cannot shake itself free; the man is "holden;" sin has him in its firm grip; he is a captive, a spiritual slave. Beside this terrible tyranny, the persistent wrong doer has to endure -
II. AFTER CONSEQUENCES YET MORE CALAMITOUS. (Ver. 23.) These are:
1. Death in the midst of folly. "He shall die without instruction," unenlightened by eternal truth, in the darkness of error and sin; he will die, "hoping nothing, believing nothing, and fearing nothing" - nothing which a man should die in the hope of, nothing which a man should live to believe and die in the faith of, nothing which a man should fear, living or dying. He shall die without peace to smooth his dying pillow, without hope to light up his closing eyes.
2. Exclusion from future blessedness through his folly. "In the greatness of his folly he shall go astray." While the simplest wisdom would have led him to seek and find entrance into the City of God, in the greatness of his folly he wanders off to the gates of the City of Sorrow.
1. If the path of folly has been entered upon and is now being trodden, return at once without delay. Further on, perchance a very little further on, it may be too late - the cords of sin may be too strong for the soul to snap. Arise at once, in the strength of the strong Deliverer, and regain the freedom which is being lost.
2. Enter in earliest days the path of spiritual freedom. Bear the blessed yoke of the Son of God, that every other yoke may be broken. Enrol in his ranks whoso "service is perfect freedom." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.