May 22, 2020
The book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings in the Old Testament meant to instill wisdom in God’s people. As we read, it is important to remember that a proverb is a statement which is generally true in principle, not a universally true promise. Let’s dig into the Word together and allow the Lord to shape our hearts, our minds, and our lives in his wisdom over the next month!
In Proverbs chapter 5 Solomon continues to give instruction to his son, this time concerning marital fidelity. Solomon warns his son of the dangers of adultery and how it ultimately leads to ruin and death, while the wise path of delighting in one’s wife alone leads to life and joy.
There are many similarities between Solomon’s description of the “forbidden” or adulterous woman and the way the Scriptures describe sin in general. Sin can be alluring and appealing to us. Sin looks like it is going to deliver what we want. Sin gives us momentary pleasure or relief. Sin puts up a good front, but in the end it only leads to misery, brokenness, and death.
Sin is elsewhere described as spiritual adultery against God, so we shouldn’t be surprised that it can have similar results as marital adultery!
Sin makes promises to us that it can never, ever deliver on; God’s promises never fail! We must take great care to remain faithful to him in every way. When we don’t, the result is always misery and its end is death, but when we do the outcome for us is life and joy!
Warning Against Adultery
5 My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Sheol;
6 she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
- How can we, like Solomon, be faithful to warn our own children of the dangers and miseries of sexual sin?
- In what ways do we commit acts of spiritual adultery against God? How can we move to respond to His Word and walk in faithfulness to Him today?
Family Discussion Question:
- Why is it sometimes so difficult for us to avoid doing things that we know are not pleasing to God?