When we need clear guidance on the road, we often benefit from paying careful attention to the directions given to us by a GPS device. Much more beneficial to us, though, is the abundantly clear direction from the father speaking in Proverbs 5. Alistair Begg walks us through this wise advice on avoiding the snare of adultery, warning us of the consequences of infidelity. By heeding the Bible’s instructions on the joy of marital faithfulness, we can arrive at the ordained satisfaction of a godly, faithful union.
1My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3For the lips of a forbidden1 woman drip honey,
and her speech2 is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to3 Sheol;
6she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated4 always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?5
21For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders6 all his paths.
22The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.
Commenting on Proverbs, Old Testament scholar Derek Kidner writes that the book “performs the function of putting godliness into working clothes.” It calls to us in the streets about real-world matters, addressing the pressing issues of our daily lives. It is intensely practical, distinctly uncomfortable—and immensely profitable.
In this series of topical studies, Alistair Begg looks at the truths addressed by Proverbs’ wisdom, from its considerations of laziness, friendship, and jealousy to the use and abuse of words and language, the place of sex and fidelity in marriage, and the challenges of raising children. Is our own behavior marked by spiritual folly? Or are we pursuing a life of God-ordained, God-centered wisdom?
Warning Against Adultery
Teach Your Children Well, Part One
Teach Your Children Well, Part Two
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