And you say, "How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! Proverbs 5:12
Pride goes before a fall . . . into sexual sin. This entire chapter is a father's advice and counsel to his son. The issue which is being discussed is that of sexual immorality - with an emphasis on the adulterous and immoral woman. Toward the end of his instruction Solomon tells his sons that there will come a day when their aduiltery will be brought to light by God. When that day happens, we are told that the one who followed after these sins will not be truly repentant. Instead he will speak of how he hated all that teaching about adultery being sin. He ignored all that garbage that the Bible had to say about morals. He will say it even as his life is in shambled about him - due to his sexual immorality.
The two words used in this verse are instructive to us about what our attitude becomes toward God's call for holy living. The first word is "sane" which means to hate. The word means to loathe, dislike, and even despise another, their actions or their words. Here the sexually immoral man hates the instruction of the Bible on sex. He also "spurns" reproof. The word for "spurn" is the Hebrew word "na'as" which means to revile, reject, and scorn. This word has the idea that the one doing this is very unhappy and angry as they do this. Thus when reproof comes their way - they can spew angry and unhappy words as they hate what they are hearing. I've had the unfortunate responsiblity to confront people about sexual immorality - and have faced the vitriol that comes toward those who dare to speak against the spirit of this age, which fully embraces a full and free expression of sexuality without any limits.
A quick look at the Biblical record of people who were given over to sexual immorality shows that they were very rebellious to the message of God's Word. Whether that was an appeal to the Law of God - or the appeal of one of God's prophets, they hated when they were rebuked. Just like this passage says, they spurned God's reproof and would not listen to the teachers God sent them. Sexual sin blinds us to the truth - and the further we go into it - the worse that blindness becomes. All that is visible is the desire for more that knaws at those who reject the morality God calls us to follow.
God warns us in Romans chapter 1 that ignoring His commands concerning sexuality, (Which are simply this - sex is only acceptable in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman - all other sexual activity - heterosexual immorality, monosexuality, or homosexuality are sin) ignoring them is sin. When we reject this - God gives us over to our sin - first in more bondage to fornication heterosexually - and eventually to homosexuality, as a sign that we are further being given over to our sin. What is a little frightening is that by the end of Romans - we have a society that has rejected pretty much all that God commands - and heartily approve of others who live as they do - rejecting God's way. There is a steady move away from God, away from listening to Him and His Word, and away from any kind of teachable mindset.
A wise man sees far enough into a sexually immoral lifestyle to know that it will hurt him in many ways. We've seen from prior verses that health and relationships are destroyed by it. Now we see that one's relationship to truth is greatly harmed by it - as well as their relationship with the God Who gave His Word to us. Some think they can tinker with immorality without consequence to their relationship with God. After reading and looking at today's proverb - the wise man knows better, and instead submits himself to God's Word. The stakes are just too high to ignore what God says here.
She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Proverbs 5:6
Here is another in a list of warnings given to the man who would think of committing adultery. It is part of the description of the adulteress. Before I go into this particular verse I do want to make a comment or two for the ladies. This passage does describe for us the woman who either leaves her husband to have sex with another man - or a single woman who enters into relationships with married men and thus is committing adultery with him. I do not in any way want you ladies to think that any man is receiving a pass here. This passage is dealing with this issue from the perspective of a warning to sons. Fascinating that this warning comes most likely from David to Solomon - two guys who learned much from the wrong side of this issue. David's warnings to his son Solomon were for the most part unheeded in the end - and Solomon's sin was the undoing of Israel. So you can see that the cost of mistakes in this area are great. Fortunately for us - the grace of God and His forgiveness are greater. Nevertheless - a whole host of problems come when a young man is foolish enough to be ensnared by the adulteress. Oh, and ladies . . . the greatest snare for him is not the woman herself - but his own lusts that wage war in his soul. His greatest battle is with godly self-control, obedience to the Scriptures, and not living out of his flesh as a source. But, with all this said, it is a wise father who speaks to his son about these issues - even if it is from hard lessons learned.
The adulteress, like anyone who is willingly cooperating with sin, is not watching for eternal things. The passage states in the Hebrew that she is not watching the path of life. The actual Hebrew word here is "palas" and it means to ponder or to calculate the weight of something. One of the ways this word is used is to weigh out a path and see what it will bring to us in the end. The adulteress is not thinking about eternity - about the judgment of God at the end of life when according to the Bible, all men and women will have to give an account of their choices and actions. The word "ponder" here does not mean just a casual thought - but to stop and think seriously about something. She is not thinking about where her actions are taking her. This is kind of a "duh" statement considering we just read a verse earlier that her feet are swiftly moving towards death and her very steps (indicating a direction taken) are taking hold of the place of the dead. Think about this for a moment. Does anyone who is entering into sexual immorality seriously stop and think about the diseases they are opening up to in their lives? Does anyone entering into adultery seriously stop and consider the havoc coming in their marriage - in their family - in their children's lives? There is not a lot of pondering going on here. Honestly, what IS going on is actions based on lust and desire. Sexual immorality usually involves shutting the "ponderer" down and living by the impulses of our flesh instead. It involves shutting down our brain and our spirit - and thinking with our loins instead.
The adulteress also is unstable. The word for unstable here means to stagger and walk crooked. It has the idea of someone who is swaying in and out of a path. Rather than ponder and consider the path of life - she is wandering and staggering off the road. Jeremiah 14:10 uses this same imagery to indicate that there are those who love their wandering. God told Jeremiah, "Thus says the LORD to this people, 'Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account."' This is the same sentiment we sing about in the hymn, "Come Thou Fount" when we say, "prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the Lord I love."
This speaks of a "willful" wandering. The adulteress though, is wandering not toward sin with the assurance of God's gracious discipline. She is willfully wandering toward a yawning abyss without seeing its gaping jaws. Her ways are unstable - wandering - staggering toward destruction - but she does not know it. So althought she promises so much through her offer of pleasure, albeit illicit. She does not know even herself where it is eventually leading. For the man foolish enough to be attracted to her wiles and follow her into sin - he simply is walking hand in hand with her to that yawning abyss with its gaping jaws - so step in and be devoured.
Pretty scary description here isn't it? That's the point that David is trying to drive home to young Solomon his son. Remember, David wound up killing Uriah as well as several other soldiers by proxy - had his daughter raped by one of her half brothers - had that son killed by another son (who used his proxy methods to accomplish the deed) - had 10 of his concubines raped in public by his son on a rooftop in front of the entire nation - and had that son die in an effort to usurp the kingdom along with all the soldiers who fell in that battle as well. Kinda cost David far more than he thought to have that one night of hidden passion? Maybe David was wanting Solomon to ponder more than he did - to avoid a similar fate? Maybe whether from success or failure in our moral lives we should do the same with our sons and daughters as well?
My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; Proverbs 5:1
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." This was the way Shakespeare began the speech of Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. It was a cry for people to listen and to pay close attention because something very important was going to be said. Proverbs has its own soliloquies as well - but they come from the mouths of mothers and fathers to their sons and daughters. This is how the father begins his speech to his son - by calling him to listen and to pay close attention to what he is going to say.
Give attention, pay heed, pay attention, listen is what the father is saying to his son. But he is not calling him to attention to just anything - he is calling his attention to the wisdom that the father shares with him. Wisdom is the familiar word "chokmah" in the Hebrew meaning which means not just seeing or knowing things from God's perspective - but having a skill and experience in using this wisdom to make moral and practical decisions. We are not to turn the education and en-wisening of our children over to others. That is what western culture has done too often. We turn our kids over to the school - even to their Sunday school teachers and youth leaders. Let them teach our children wisdom - that's what they're for right? WRONG! They are there to only add to and embellish the core teachings that should have come from us. When we do not do our jobs as parents - believe me - no one else can make up for it.
The father calls his son to bend his ear close when he speaks and when he instructs. "Incline your ear" is like Shakespeares, "Lend me your ears," comment. It is saying to the son that he needs to stretch out his ears - bend them toward what the father is saying. He is to extend and lean his ears to what is being said - but even more to that - to understand his father's words and see how they apply to all of life! We talk about how the younger generation is leaving the church. They are leaving because they see very little relevance to their lives from what is being taught. They see the Bible as stories told to them when they were little - as an antiquated book that no longer applies to today's world. Why? Because they did not hear from dad - nor see in dad a daily pursuit of the truth - as well as a daily understanding of how that truth applies to making decisions in the everyday life that he leads. Of course they are going to think it is of little value. Oh, but when a father teaches his children these things - calls them to listen and bend their ear close as he instructs them. When dad reveals to them a life lived from the perspective of God and of Scripture - that - dear brothers and sisters is a life that will call a son to follow. That child will value what he has heard and SEEN in his father. He will listen because he has SEEN how important this book - the Bible - is to how his father lives. That, my brothers is how we recapture this generation. We do so by living according to God's wisdom - then calling our sons to listen as we recount time after time when that wisdom guided us through the minefields of life. What is the particular "minefield" that the father is so intent on teaching to his son? It is the minefield of sexual immorality. He is talking to his son about women - actually about a certain kind of woman - the immoral one. He is also sharing much wisdom with his son about the battle that will ensue when he deals with women like this. He does not hide such things from his son - he teaches them honestly and very straight forwardly. This is not something that is relegated to the sex ed teacher - it is something the father teaches his son. I'm about to say some things that will probably offend some - while at the same time making others shout for joy that someone is saying them out loud. Sex education was meant to be taught at home and in the church. Never was this meant to be a topic brought up without very clear moral underpinnings. If you look at the first 9 chapters of Proverbs you will see that this issue was raised BY THE FATHER to the son several times. God intended for a godly father to teach his son about sex - and about the pitfalls of being a fallen male in this world. The Bible is not squeamish on the matter of sexuality. It faces it head on - sharing general teaching, instruction, warnings, as well as cautionary historical examples of sexuality running wild and causing great destruction. I've long held that if the whole Bible was ever to be put on film - it would carry at least an R rating. The perils of heterosexual sin, homosexuality, and perversion are not hidden from us. They are displayed in such a way that we see their destructive power and desire to avoid them. Dad, are you teaching your son these things? Have you sat down and taught him about his sexuality - with a proper moral foundation underneath so that his sexuality does not run rampant and destroy relationships and possibly even his health and welfare? Because the church has not stepped out in front on such issues - and because fathers have not taught their sons and instructed them in how to wisely deal with their sexuality - the world has taken over. The result is sexuality taught without biblical morality. How's that working for us so far? Have we brought about a safer, wiser, more responsible sexuality among our children and youth? It has been a disaster because teaching sexuality without morality has led to a sex-crazed society that has cheapened sex and made it accessible and acceptable in every situation. Dads . . . YOU are responsible for how your son and daughter views sexuality. If you do not teach them the truth - they most likely will not know it. The television and movies will not tell them about such things within a biblical context. Magazines and books won't do it either. They will promote the perversions of sex passed on by our society and those who view sex as an anything goes activity - just so long as you use protection. Fathers! Nothing will protect your child from the dangers of unbiblical sex. There is not a condom or a safety device made that protects the heart and the spirit from the devastation and destructive power of sin. May God grant us a revival among fathers - that we will call our children to listen - and we will talk to them frankly and honestly about their sexuality. May we also give them a godly, biblical framework in which to enjoy their sexuality as God intended. If we do not talk to them and teach them - I can promise you others will who have no intention of offering them the greatest protection we can have in sex - the wisdom of God.
Like a trampled spring and a polluted well Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. Proverbs 25:26
A spring or well holds such promise. When we come to one or hear of one there is the hope of clear fresh water. We can drink and be refreshed. Yet to come to one and find it trampled to where it is dirty and filled with mud and pollutants is such a disheartening thing. This is true in the realm of water - but how much more so when applied to the lives of godly men.
This trampled spring or polluted well is actually a godly, righteous man who surrenders and gives way before the wicked. Giving way has the idea of wavering, wobbling and shaking before one falls. The fall is imminent and that is what all the movement indicates is coming. The Hebrew also indicates it can be a foot slipping or a fire flaming out.
This picture in the Hebrew is applied to a righteous man who faces the true test of his righteousness. THE test is when he stands before the wicked. He chooses to face such a test by walking in righteousness, and that might cost him dearly. The test may be as little as the disagreement of others - and it may be as large as facing martyrdom for his stand. Regardless the situation, this righteous man chooses instead to give way - to wobble and totter in his views. He changes his mind - or acts contrary to it. His pollution and trampling come as a result of not standing firm in his convictions. He does not hold to the Word in such situations - but gives way before the world instead.
There are so many men and women in history who have given way before the wicked. They have chosen the way of peace - at least peace on this earth. There will be no peace for them in the end when they stand before God. But they do not want to rock the boat. The conclusion of such matters is that a life that could have been so refreshing to others is trampled and polluted. Now all it does it disappoint those who needed a refreshing drink. What they could have offered is ruined - because they chose to waver in their faith before the wicked.
There is another way that we give way before the wicked. It is not as public as the outright denial of Christ contained in a renunciation. Yet this kind of "giving way" happens in a secret tribunal - the one that comes up in our hearts when wickedness comes and asks for our obedience. There are secret forays into sin - and secret moments when we give way before the wicked. Such things are not public displays - but they nevertheless muddy he waters of our heart. It might be a little while lie we chose to indulge in - or a look that begins innocently, but ends in an adulterous heart. It might be a way we've cheated or cut corners at work to not give our best for God's glory and the testimony of His name. Whatever it is, it tramples our well - and muddies the waters of our heart so that we cannot give as clear a drink of clean, life-giving water to others from the well of our hearts - that should be flowing outward with the rivers of living water of the Holy Spirit.
There is hope for those who have thus fallen in the New Testament. Peter gave way before the wicked - and that could have been the final message of his life. Fortunately for him Christ came and offered grace and forgiveness. He called Peter to repentance - and then back to usefulness. In no way do I want to lessen the truth of this passage - that righteous men need to stand in righteous views when the wicked come wanting them to compromise. Godly men need to remain godly when the ungodly want them to "tone it down" and lower their standards (which most often means to lower the standards of Scripture). We do need to stand firm and hold to the Word rather than the world. But, when we do fall, it is good to know that when we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive them. Nevertheless, we need to be wise and stand firm when confronted by the wicked. To do otherwise may mean allowing a well or spring that could offer many a fresh drink of the water of the Word, nothing more than the muddy, polluted waters of sinful compromise with the world. There are plenty of places where you can be served a drink of that kind of swill. May God help us to be men and women who stand firm on the gospel - which grants us power to stand - and also gives us grace to get up even if we've made the mistake of giving way before sin in our lives. May we be wise and choose righteousness and holiness so that the waters of our heart not be muddied with the pollution of sin and compromise.
He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray. Proverbs 5:23
Moral and sexual sanity has as its ultimate goal that we experience the fullness of God's life - and that we stay on a path that will bless and keep us safe. The father reminds his son of these things as he closes his teaching time with him.
The sexually and morally insane will not listen to instruction. They will walk into things that will eventually kill them because they will not listen to those who seek to teach them God's way in life. I know that some roll their eyes when I reiterate this, but to be sexually promiscuous in our day is to roll the dice as to your health in the future. Our world is unfortunately a cesspool of sexually transmitted diseases. The one sure way to be safe in regard to these infections is to abstain from sexual activity before marriage, and then be sexually pure and faithful in marriage. Anything other than these two choices will place us in aposition of danger when it comes to getting a sexually transmitted disease. Not listening to this kind of advice and teaching will put us as risk of dying because we lack instruction, or rebel against it. One of the very real problems that we have in this area is the fact that a large number of parents do not take the time to instruct their children with God's Word in these areas. But to leave such instruction to the public - or private schools is an abdication of our biblical responsibility as fathers! Dad, are you really willing to leave the moral instruction of your children in the hands of the world system - that is steadily opposing the morals and principles of Scripture? It is our responsibility to teach our children the truth and the way of God - and that includes their sexuality and how they interact with the opposite sex.
The second thing the father has to say to his son is that there will also be some who will go astray from the teaching and instruction of the Lord because they are fools. We read that some will go astray due to the "greatness" of their folly. It is not that they are in danger of being fools - it is that they are grand fools! In the West some speak of the Playboy lifestle drawing reference to empire of immorality that has thrived under the leadership of Hugh Hefner and his family. This man and his daughter lead a company of fools into all kinds of immorality, disease, and destruction because of how they urge men and women to abandon moral sanity and live for their unbridled sexual desires. The idea here is to cause someone to go astray, to err, to wander, to make a mistake - and to do so under the deception of arguments that are contrary to the Law of God. That is what the father desires to deliver his son from with all this teaching. He is presenting the truth to his son about his - and other's sexuality. He wants him to know that this is a gift from God - but that this gift is to be preserved and guarded until he can give it to his wife for a lifetime. Anything other than this is a lie - it is THE lie - and it will draw his son away - deceiving him and bringing him into an errant lifestyle, an errant sexuality, and a way of walking that will eventually bind him hand and foot and keep him from following the Lord with all his heart.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is why we need to instruct our sons and daughters with the truth - with the Word of God. Because to do anything less - is to leave our children completely unprotected and liable to an attack from the enemy that will devastate them, their marriages, and many generations that will unfortunately follow in their footsteps - just like ours has since the 1960's when free love was advocated. Unfortunately for us we are learning the hard way that their "free love" was anything but free. It has cost us for 4-5 generations - paying the same price we were warned it would make us pay by a father who tried to instruct his son thousands of years ago. May we see these things - may we heed these things - and may God give us grace to teach our current generation the way of moral and sexual sanity. May we return to the Word - to the Lord - and to a life lived not forour unbridled lusts - but for His glory and an honorable sexuality.
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. Proverbs 5:21
As was said yesterday, this is the main reason why the father is taking the time to counsel his son on the issues of moral and sexual sanity. Our ways are before the eyes of the Lord - or said another way - GOD SEES ALL THINGS.
This has to do with the very nature of God. God is Spirit - and therefore can be all places at all times. This truth has to do with God's omnipresence and omniscience. God's omnipresence means that God is everywhere. There is not a place in the entire universe where God is not present. In Psalm 139
David wrote of this when he said,
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. (Psalm 139:7-10
The idea of God's omnipresence is communicated when David tells Solomon that the eyes of Jehovah are on the ways of men. God watches our paths. David knew this because he thought no one was looking when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. God was looking - and he watched David's path into sexual sin. The day came when God sent one of His prophets, Nathan, to David to confront him openly about what David thought he had done secretly.
The other doctrine that we see here is that of God's omniscience. God knows all things. He knows when we sin - and he knows when two people have agreed to get together and commit adultery. There is nothing that we can hide from Him - because He is God! His power and His might are unparalleled - but so is His presence and knowledge. There is NO limit to either of these things. Therefore, it is wise for us to remember this about Him - and act accordingly. This means understanding and knowing His Word, which reveals to us His heart on moral and sexual matters.
Here is a verse that should help to guide us when it comes to the matter of moral and sexual sanity. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the need for each one of them to possess their own vessel in Ssanctification and honor. Here the vessel is themselves - and especially their sexuality. Here is what Paul said,
For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of
the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is,
that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and
that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the
avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 1 Thessalonians 4:2-6
God desires to sanctify us - and part of that sanctification is helping us to maintain moral and sexual sanity! We are to carry ourselves and our sexuality in "sanctification and honor" rather than in "lustful passion." When Paul later says that we should not "transgress and defraud his brother in the matter," what he is speaking of is adultery. The brother we transgress and defraud is the one whose wife with whom we've had adultery. Paul then gives us a promise in regard to this - that God will be the avenger in this matter.
God sees and knows all - and as a result we should be wise and fear Him by turning from sin - especially sexual sin. This is not just a warning from a parent who is a little overprotective of his or her child. It is God, knowing our frame and our weakness - and warning us about how sexual sin can take us captive and destroy our lives. But I believe at the root of this admonition is not just a negative warning - but a positive one as well. If we know that our ways are before Jehovah - and that He is watching our paths - we can turn to Him in time of temptation. We can cry out to Him for deliverance and for strength to stand. We can know, as Scripture tells us, that no temptation that has overcome us is not common to man - but God will provide with it a way of escape so that we may endure. He is there - and when faced with serious sexual temptation we need to turn to Him, listen to Him, and in the process shut out the voice of the devil. He truly is there - not waiting to smack us upside the head - but waiting to meet us and strengthen us so that we may stand - and having done everything - to remain standing!