Proverbs – Wisdom That Works – Part 8
Passion and Provision – Proverbs 5:1-23
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – Aug. 1st, 2021
- This morning we are taking on another whole chapter of Proverbs. So please open up your Bible to chapter five. The entire book so far has been calling us to listen to wisdom, providing for us reasons why we should do so, and urging us to take the pathways that are wise, good, and life-giving.
- In our chapter this morning, God provides His wisdom in handling our physical desires in a way that is blessed, good and satisfying versus following these desires down a path that will end in heartache, pain, and despair.
- God outlines two paths you can follow. One is the pathway of the pursuit of sexual fulfillment outside of the covenant of marriage, and the other is the pathway of sexual fulfillment inside the covenant of marriage. This indeed is an important topic where we need the wisdom and guidance of God because there are so many loud voices that call to us, wanting us to listen to their “wisdom” on physical desire and sexuality. God calls to us as well and asks us to listen and learn from Him and choose the pathway that is right and good and blessed, versus all other paths that again do not turn out well for us. This is an important topic and, for some of us, an urgent topic, and one we need to hear from God for ourselves, for others, and our society.
- We will see this topic addressed again at the end of chapter six and in chapter seven. So let us choose to listen to the wisdom that works and choose to listen and live. The Father encourages us and pleads with us to listen to what He has to say and then gives us what we are to look for, watch out for, and what to embrace. So, the first piece of advice given to us is to choose to see what is true.
Choose to see what is true
Proverbs 5:1-6 NIV
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end, she is bitter poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6 She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
- Again, the repeated call is to “pay attention” to wisdom and to “turn your ear” to words of insight. We have been told this over and over because we at times can become easily distracted and are prone to forget or become lax and lazy in doing what we know is right. We are called to “maintain” discretion and “preserve” knowledge – this wisdom is something we have been taught and something we know to be true, but after time we can drift off the path and into trouble, so these things require us to remember and maintain over all the seasons of our lives.
- (v. 3) What is seen and heard is smooth and seductive. It looks good and sounds good, and there is an attraction to it. If it did not have an appeal, then there would not be a problem. In our modern-day, this is called a “thirst trap,” a picture, post, or person that is meant to draw you in, praying on your “thirst.” These things have always been with us because it is in us.
- The wisdom of God wants us to look beyond the attractive packaging and to see these things as they truly are. They are indeed a trap. (v. 4) In the end, what first is like honey, and is smoother than oil, turns out to be a bitter poison and a sharp double-edged sword. These types of enticements will make you sick, slow you down, sap your strength and steal your energy. They cut both ways and will end up cutting you as well.
- This pathway is the pathway to death. It is a direct route to the grave. Following in this way will not get you what is advertised. It is a way of death. Wisdom says look to see what is true, look beyond the packaging (Ill. of my bad car purchase).
- People who are the “thirst traps” are not thinking about what they are doing and where this all leads. (v. 5) They are “living in the moment” and drawing as much attention to themselves as they can. Their lives wander aimlessly, going from one thing to another and one person to another and not thinking about where they are going or even being aware of what is happening. (By the way, the way to get out from doing this is to have an “aim” or “goal” for your life – to think things through and give thought to your direction – if you are the one doing this, think through this, and if you know someone who is doing this, help to guide them with these things).
- The first piece of advice is to choose to see what is true, and then to choose the path of discipline.
Choose the path of discipline
Proverbs 5:7-14 NIV
Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you lose your honor to others and your years to one who is cruel, 10 lest strangers feast on your strength and your toil enrich the house of another. 11 At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are consumed. 12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart despised correction! 13 I would not obey my teachers or listen closely to my instructors. 14 I have come to the verge of complete ruin before the entire community.”
- This is a further explanation of what will happen to you if you follow the pathway of the “thirst traps” and embrace those outside the convent of marriage. So, the call again is to listen and follow what He has to stay. In doing so life will turn out so much better for you, and it will keep you from heartbreak, pain, and evil.
- The advice is to “keep to a path” far from temptation for them. Don’t come even close to following them into their house. If you do so, this is where it will lead – you will lose your honor to others – that is, you will not be honored, and you will lose out on receiving honor in your life, which could show itself in many areas – work, social and family. It will take years of your life from you, and the person you give them to will be “cruel” – they only want to “feast on your strength” – use you for what they can get from you, and take your money “enrich the house of another” (v. 10) – (Ill. of my dad, neighbor, only fans, etc.)
- At the end of your life, you will “groan” when your flesh and body have been consumed. (v.11) They don’t love you; they love what they can get from you. All they want is what they can get from you. You are a product to be consumed, and when you have been used up, they will throw you out and look for someone else. Don’t treat your body and the body of others as a commodity. Bodies are not commodities to be consumed. Your end state will not be the desired state. Your strength, your honor, your dignity, your money, your time, your energy, your body, your life. If you take what does not belong to you, you wind up losing what does.
- See the truth in what is being “offered” to you, and choose the path of discipline, choose to trust the wisdom and provision of God. God gives of legitimate means for physical connection and satisfaction, choose to enjoy what is your alone.
Choose to enjoy what is yours alone
Proverbs 5:15-20 NIV
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be captivated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
- God tells us what not to do (prohibitions) and tells us what to do (provisions). Remember, the guy who wrote Proverbs also wrote the Song of Solomon – where he uses similar language and imagery describing physical intimacy.
Song 4:12-16 ESV
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed. 13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard,14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices—15 a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.
16 Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow.
- This is some spicy stuff indeed! God understands that we have physical desires, and he provides for these desires. He just wants them to be fulfilled in a way that brings life, joy, and satisfaction. God has provided for this within the covenant of marriage, where there is exclusivity and safety in this spring – not to be shared with anyone and everyone, not to be driven over, polluted, and given to all. Water in the right place is wonderful, but in the wrong place is like poison and can do significant damage (Ill. of bacteria in water and water in a house)
- God prays a blessing on our physical relationships, may our “fountain” be blessed (v. 18) may we “rejoice” in the wife of our youth (this is not in our young wife, but in the one, we said “yes” to when we were young), may we be physically satisfied in each other that we would be captivated and not consumed, where we are to be cherished, and not used, where we can freely give ourselves to the other and be blessed in it and by it.
- Here is how the Lord concludes this chapter:
Proverbs 5:21-23 NIV
For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin. 23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great stupidity.
- The Lord knows what He is talking about. He has examined everything. If people choose not to follow the good and right path, they will be trapped and entangled by the ropes of their own sin. They will have to pay the consequences of their own behavior. God wants to spare us these damaging things and instructs us to be self-disciplined and wise. If we do not, we will suffer for it. Listen to the wisdom that works. Listen to wisdom and live!
- Prayer for the message and also for the communion time.