This week I saw a suggestion on Twitter that every man read Proverbs 5 and listen to its warnings. And as many times as I may have read this passage, it came off the page to me in a way it never has before. Lust is something that I have battled with to varying degrees and in varying ways throughout my life. I have not met many men (any actually) who do not struggle with it in some fashion. And honestly, the number of women who are entangled in this battle is equally as high. From pornography to romance novels, mental fantasy’s and physical affairs – both sexes are plagued with temptation to sexual immorality. And this passage is full of warnings for us to heed.
Sin desires you (Genesis 4:7). It desires to have you; to master you. And Proverbs 5 starkly warns that the evil that wishes to consume us, will come in the most attractive package possible. Regardless of the picture that the false-religious people try to paint, sin is inviting; it is desirable. It will come at you as pleasing as possible. In this passage, sexual temptation knocks at our door ‘as sweet as honey’. This means it would be good. We will crave it. it may even seem at the moment to be worth it to give in and taste. This is what is so dangerous for us. We may think right now that we can stand – that we would never yield to this tempter. Yet no one can say that. Any of us could falter (1 Cor 10:12); and not only could we yield to this sin, but we could even WANT to fall in order to receive that which is ‘sweet and smooth‘.
The inviting nature of sin is why it is so critical that we heed the warnings. What starts out sweet, ends as ‘bitter poison‘, loss of honor and groans of anguish. The divine word is giving us a chance to see the end result beforehand. It is a plea: consider all of those who look up to you; all of those who you have influence with. Spouses, remember the one who you pledged your loyalty to. Parents and Grandparents, consider your children. Leaders, consider those who look up to you in the faith. In one fleeting moment – it is all gone. Craving that which is sweet as honey – we become dishonorable and open to ‘public disgrace‘. And then we are left in that dreadful, dark place described in verse 13: with everything lost, from the depth of our souls we would cry out ‘Why didn’t I listen?’
For those who are married or will one day be married – the bible points us to the good and right fountain, verse 18 – to be satisfied in our spouse. Pray and ask that God would strengthen you, and mold your heart and mind to only be captivated by your wife or husband; or if you are single, pray to have the strength to be sustained until you can be captivated by your (future) spouse. And pray – everyone – above all to be satisfied and captivated by Christ! It was Thomas Chalmers who said ‘A new affection is more successful in replacing an old affection than simply trying to end it without supplanting it with something better’. Christ is the something that is better!
I urge you to read, meditate and pray through this passage. I urge you to be open with those people in your life who you can trust with your struggles. I urge you to let someone know the moment you feel yourself being pulled in by the allure of sin. AND DO IT NOW, because the day may come when you do not want to be stopped; a day when you do not want to be warned. Each year people lose their life at the beach, because the inviting pull of the ocean causes them to run right past the flags warning of a deadly undertow. Do not run pass the warning flags of Proverbs 5. Let it not be said of us by future generations that we ‘died because of lack of self control’. May the Father protect us by His grace!
I love you all
Grace and Peace
5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
Never stray from what I am about to say:
8 Stay away from her!
Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor
and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10 Strangers will consume your wealth,
and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11 In the end you will groan in anguish
when disease consumes your body.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
and now I must face public disgrace.”
15 Drink water from your own well—
share your love only with your wife.
16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
having sex with just anyone?
17 You should reserve it for yourselves.
Never share it with strangers.
18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts satisfy you always.
May you always be captivated by her love.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21 For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
examining every path he takes.
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23 He will die for lack of self-control;
he will be lost because of his great foolishness.