Sex, the word has a way of getting attention. That’s what today’s Proverb is all about. Chapter 5 has some very good insights on the dangers of sexual sin and highlights the fulfillment of sex within marriage.
God created sex not only for reproduction but also for enjoyment, and He didn’t put the “marriage wall” around sex to rob us of pleasure but to increase pleasure and protect it. In this chapter, Solomon explains the disappointments that come when people violate God’s loving laws of sexual purity.
Sexual Sin starts sweet, but ends in bitterness (vv. 1-6). We’ve met “adulteress” before (2:16;) and she’ll be mentioned again (5:20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 22:14; 23:27; 27:13). The beginning of this affair may be exciting and sweet, because the kisses and words from her lips drip like honey (7:13-20), but in the end, the “sweetness” turns to bitterness and the honey becomes poison (5:4).
The book of Proverbs emphasizes the importance of looking ahead to see where your actions will lead you (see 5:11; 14:12-14; 16:25; 19:20; 20:21; 23:17-18, 32; 24:14, 20; 25:8). The wise person checks on the destination before buying a ticket (4:26), but modern society thinks that people can violate God’s laws and escape the consequences. They’re sure that whatever has happened to others will never happen to them. Sad to say, their ignorance can never neutralize the tragic aftermath that comes when people break the laws of God. “Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” (Deut. 32:29)
Sexual Sin ends in heartbreak (5:7–14). Temptation always includes hopeful promises; otherwise, people would never take the devil’s bait. For a time, it seems like these promises have been fulfilled, and sinners bask in the sunshine of pleasant experiences and false assurances. This is what is called, “the myth of the greener grass.” People who commit sexual sins think their problems are solved (“She understands me so much better than my wife does!”) and that life will get better and better. But disobedience to God’s laws always brings sad consequences and sinners eventually pay dearly for their brief moments of pleasure.
When you read verses 9-14, you hear the words of a suffering sinner lamenting the high cost of disobeying God’s laws, because the most expensive thing in the world is sin. He discovers that the woman’s husband is a cruel man who demands that he pay for what he’s done, so the adulterer ends up giving his strength to others and toiling away to pay his debt. Instead of luxury, the sinner has misery; instead of riches, poverty; instead of success, ruin; and instead of a good reputation, the name of an adulterer. He looks back and wishes he had listened to his parents and his spiritual instructors, but his wishes can’t change his wretched situation. Yes, God in His grace will forgive his sins if he repents, but doesn’t erase all earthly consequences.
Sex with Marriage is Best (vv. 15-20). Solomon compares enjoying married love to drinking pure water from a fresh well, but committing sexual sin is like drinking polluted water from the gutter or sewer.
“Drink water from your own cistern” is a picture of faithfulness in marriage. It means to enjoy the spouse God has given you. In desert lands, water is precious, and a well is a family’s most important possession. In Old Testament times, it was considered a crime to steal water from someone else’s well, just as it was a crime to have intercourse with another man’s wife. In both cases, the offender is endangering the health and security of family
A man and woman pledged to each other in marriage can experience the growing satisfaction that comes with love, commitment, depth, and purity.
But there’s something else involved here. Solomon admonishes the husband to be “ravished” with his wife’s love (5:19-20); the word translated “ravished” also means “intoxicated” or “infatuated.” The adulterer watches the springs turn into a sewer, but the faithful husband sees the water become wine! I think it’s significant that Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast, as though He were giving us an object lesson concerning the growing delights of marriage (John 2:1-11).
When a husband and wife are faithful to the Lord and to each other, and when they obey Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 and Ephesians 5:22-33, neither of them will look for satisfaction anywhere else. If they love each other and seek to please each other and the Lord, their relationship will be one of deepening joy and satisfaction; they won’t look around for “the greener grass.”
Sexual Sin Leads to Death (5:20–23).
Freedom of choice is one of the privileges God has given us, but He instructs us and urges us to use that freedom wisely. The laws of God are guideposts to lead us on the path of life, and He watches the decisions we make and the roads we take. (15:3).
As long as we use our freedom wisely, we will mature in godly character, and God can trust us with more freedom. But if we abuse our freedom and deliberately disobey His Word, our freedom will gradually become bondage, the kind of bondage that can’t easily be broken. (5:22). Those words could have been used as an epitaph for Samson (Judg. 13-16).
It’s impossible to sin without being bound. One of the deceitful things about sin is that it promises freedom but only brings slavery. The cords of sin get stronger the more we sin, yet sin deceives us into thinking we’re free and can quit sinning whenever we please. As the invisible chains of habit are forged, we discover to our horror that we don’t have the strength to break them. Millions of people in our world today are in one kind of bondage or another and are seeking for deliverance, but the only One who can set them free is Jesus Christ. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, NKJV).
No wonder the father warns his children to stay away from the adulteress. “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house” (Prov. 5:8, NKJV). “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (7:27).
In contrast to much of what we read, see, and hear today, this passage urges couples to look to each other for lifelong satisfaction and companionship. Many temptations entice husbands and wives to desert each other for excitement and pleasures to be found elsewhere when marriage becomes dull. But God designed marriage and only within this covenant relationship can we find real love and fulfillment. Don’t let God’s best for you be wasted on the illusion of greener pastures somewhere else. Instead, rejoice with your spouse as you give yourselves to God and to each other.
Until tomorrow, Darrell