Proverbs 5:1-7

In Proverbs 5:1-7 Solomon tackles a very sensitive and delicate subject – that of adultery.  Certainly it had a different view back in his day, but God’s opinion of it has not changed, even if our modern society no longer deems it as that much of a deal.  Solomon knew that his instruction would do most good when it was given attention and an active listening ear. Teachers must do what they can to gain and hold the attention of their learners. “My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge”.  It is one thing to begin to follow wisdom, but the real challenge comes in staying that course.

Solomon is clear as to the reason why it was important for the son to hold on to discretion and knowledge – those things would be tested by the enticements of an immoral woman. “For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword”. The first steps towards immoral interactions are almost always made by what is said or communicated. This speaks to the great need for men and women to guard their speech and communication with the opposite sex.  Solomon wanted us in the last chapter to guard our hearts – which is the foundation from where words come.

Choosing immorality is definitely the path to destruction.  “Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it”. The path of the immoral woman leads to death. She promises to add life but ends up taking it away. If the sexual immorality is desired out of a perceived impulse of love; then maturity and stability would say, ‘If I really loved this person I would not act against their interest and my own. I will reject immorality because I do in fact love them and will express my love only in ways that honors God’.  Immorality happens because of selfish motives and actions.

Solomon warns his kids to avoid immorality. “And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth”.  We can sense the serious nature of Solomon’s appeal. He likely remembers how adultery brought disaster to his father, King David.  And we also know that Solomon himself fell to this allure as well.  The desire for pleasure and adventure must not be the main driver in our life. Whatever good we may think would come from sexual sin, it is not good and will not bring good. It is, in fact, the path to death and separation from God.  The world may have lowered the standard or even removed any restrictions around marriage and sex, but that’s not God’s plan!

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