Proverbs 5 / Read
Proverbs 5 provides a sobering warning against adultery as well as a picture of the beauty and benefits when sexual intimacy is restricted to a committed marriage. Two things are helpful for us to observe and reflect on related to this passage.
The first is that sex isn’t inherently bad or good, wrong or right, but rather its application makes it either something that destroys or something that blesses. This is true of so many things that God created and intended for people. We must remember that one of the consequences of mankind’s disobedience is that we are prone to believe what is false about God, life and people.
Jesus would one day make clear that the enemy of God is fundamentally a liar: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) This enemy constantly speaks lies in an effort to destroy the lives of as many people as possible.
Today’s reading highlights the lie that is so often believed that life is found in freely expressing our sexual desires. Yet Solomon (the author) makes clear that in the end this is a bitter and purposeless path that only leads to death. It is not difficult to see confirmation of this in the world around us, as adultery (including pornography and lust in its various forms) causes shame, compromises the ability to love, degrades people and destroys the family.
Our second observation is this: The decision to pursue purity in our minds, hearts and lifestyles is made before the moment of temptation. “When desire is fully activated, people don’t want advice - they want satisfaction.” Becoming a wise person, becoming one who has power over the lies of the enemy takes place in the quiet, intimate moments alone with the Lord. It takes place by hearing his Word, believing that his ways are right and lead to life, and inviting him to guide and empower our actions.
In what way(s) do the two observations we’ve made connect with you? Be specific and record your answers somewhere. Try to identify why they connect with you.
What would it look like for you to come into alignment with God’s Word in Proverbs 5? What do you have to start believing about the Lord or about people? What lie of the enemy to you need to stop believing?
How do you need God’s help to live out today’s reading? Remember that the power of Christ - the one who overcame every temptation - is in every believer by his Spirit. Do you believe you have that power? Are you willing to let him work on your behalf rather than trying to overcome sin on your own?