Life is a constant struggle between Wisdom and Temptation. Find out what's at stake.
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Proverbs 5 (ESV)
1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the
lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is
bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Sheol;
6 she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give
your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say,
“How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your
springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be
for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son,
with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man’s ways
are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.
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Proverbs 5 Summary
As the wise father instructs his young son in wisdom, we've already seen that wisdom is personified throughout the book of Proverbs as a woman. But Lady Wisdom is not the only woman the son will encounter in life, and in chapter 5, the wise father teaches his son about Wisdom's nemesis, a seductive temptress.
Although she sounds so good - her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil, she's a trap that leads to certain death (v3-6).
In v7-14, the father warns of how much the Temptress can take away: honor, years of life, a lifetime of wages. Those who fall into this trap often are only left with the regrets of spurning the discipline that was offered when they were young.
Although the father uses the analogy of marriage and adultery to demonstrate the relationship between wisdom and temptation, the instruction in v15-20 to drink from one's own well and to rejoice in the wife of your youth apply to every situation in life. Find contentment in what you've been given, for the tenth commandment (do not covet) is often the gateway to the first nine.
Finally the father reminds his son that God sees every step we take, and that folly will only lead to estrangement and death
Notice how the father switches from addressing his son (singular) to his sons (plural) in v7. This switch helps confirm what is fairly obvious: that the instruction given in these opening chapters to Proverbs are not just for the sons of Solomon, but for all of God's children.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our wise Father, whose eyes are always upon us (v21)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask for contentment with what God has given to you: in your relationships, career, and belongings so that you do not succumb to temptation.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: