Proverbs 5

Proverbs 5 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence

We’re never told the ages of Solomon’s sons in these wisdom passages, but this chapter is clearly a sort of sex-education talk given by a father to his sons. However, it doesn’t focus so much on the ‘how-to’ but rather on the ‘whereas’ and ‘therefore.’ Whereas the words of the forbidden woman will only lead to death; therefore, listen to my words. Whereas the flesh of the adulteress will sap your strength and consume your soul; therefore, look only to the love of a wife that can delight your heart and satisfy your longings. Whereas the fool wanders aimlessly into peril; therefore, ponder your path and consider that your ways are always before the eyes of the Lord.

This exhortation toward sexual purity is a direct application of the general principles found in the latter part of the previous chapter in terms of guarding one’s heart, lips, eyes and feet from evil. It was supposedly Socrates who uttered the famous dictum “the unexamined life is not worth living,” but here Solomon asserts and assures his sons that the unpondered path actually can exterminate the living, if not always physically, certainly spiritually. Therefore, Solomon says, pay attention to the words of your father and of your teachers, and guard that knowledge with your lips so that you don’t fall prey to the smooth speech of the adulteress and be enticed by her words seemingly dripping with honey. For wisdom teaches one to consider the outcome of words, ideas and actions and where these things might lead. So pay attention to your feet in how and where you are walking so that you do not slip and fall or else wander far from the good path that the Lord has given you.

The forbidden woman never ponders the path of her own feet, so why would one ever listen to her counsel. Even she does not consider that her words and actions lead straight down to the gates of hell. Therefore, keep your eyes straight ahead as you walk in the counsel of the Lord and do not swerve to the left or the right believing the lie of the shortcut that the devil and his subjects are pitching to you.

God has laid out the proper path for the young man in search of intimacy and happiness and has given it his full blessing and vouchsafed its goodness and righteousness. The covenant of marriage is not merely a means of multiplying a godly seed on earth but also a gift of God’s love to each spouse to assure them of his divine love and to give them a foretaste of heaven. The physical act itself is like a sacrament in that it confirms the covenant love between husband and wife in a way that words alone could not suffice. And just as food and drink were designed by God to bring comfort and satisfaction to the body and spirit of a man, so too was the conjugal act itself, which here Solomon describes as a fountain of refreshment.

In the proper context, love and intimacy is life-giving, but in the wrong setting and with the wrong partner it brings only loneliness, misery and death. It is either a gracious act of worship toward God in rejoicing in the wife of one’s youth, or it is a rebellious act of idolatry in lifting up one’s soul to that which cannot satisfy, to that which is foreign, vain and evil. As we learn later on in Ephesians 5:31-32, not only the marriage, but the physical act of union itself, is designed to point us to the covenant love between Christ and his church. Therefore, when pursued in the proper manner in the bonds of marriage, conjugal relations serve to confirm one’s faith and strengthen one’s resolve to live for the Lord, but when carried out apart from the safeguard of this covenant it only leads to doubt and death.