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Wisdom's Warning

Updated: Mar 18


Blog title card; topic is the content of Proverbs 5
Wisdom's Warning

If you don’t already read the Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month, I would encourage you to do it. We all need more wisdom, and Proverbs 4:7 says that “wisdom is the principal thing.” Another reason to read Proverbs is that it reminds us of the presence of common worldly temptations. Throughout the first nine chapters of the book, Solomon reminds his son that wisdom provides protection from influences and people that will ruin his life if he gives in. Proverbs 5 is the first in a series of warnings found in chapters 5-7. For this reason, I’ve entitled Proverbs 5 “Wisdom’s Warnings Part 1.”


Consider seven aspects of Proverbs 5. First, notice how verses 1-2 restate the original purpose of Proverbs. In chapter 1, Solomon states that the book is all about wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. In verses 1-2 those three essential virtues are mentioned once again.


Second, consider the value of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Verse 3 makes clear that they guard against the allure of potential pleasure. Solomon knows that “the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.” She is an enticing pleasure to a young man. This “strange woman” has already been mentioned by Solomon in 2:16. There, she is described as one of the villains that wisdom will keep you from. The word “strange” communicates that which is profane and foreign to righteousness. Her particular brand of wickedness is that she creates opportunities for men to commit adultery or fornication.


However, sin always brings consequences. Third, verses 4-5 explain how this sinful, perverse kind of pleasure inflicts pain and punishment on those who are deceived by it. At the end, the men who yield to the strange woman’s temptation experience bitterness, the deadly sharpness of a sword, and death. God’s lesson for us is that not everything that’s pleasurable is positive. The temporary pleasure of sin leads to bitter pain and everlasting punishment.


Fourth, verse 6 calls the reader to “ponder.” The consequences of sin are things we should think through carefully. Through Solomon, God’s message is this: before you get involved with some seductress—whether physically or through pornography—think about what you’re doing. Ponder the deadly nonsense of this kind of temptation.


The promises of the strange woman are truly nonsense. “Her ways are moveable,” says verse 6. In other words, there’s no future with her. She doesn’t love the men she entices. She will move from one man to the next without loyalty or commitment. So then, “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house” (verse 8). This is a warning!


Fifth, anyone who fails to ponder and heed this warning will pay the price. Indulging with the strange woman has a high cost. Solomon explains the things a man stands to lose: honor and years (verse 9); wealth and the rewards of labor (verse 10); emotional heartache (verse 11); physical health (verse 11); spiritual and mental clarity (verses 12-14). Pornography, fornication, or extramarital affairs all carry an extremely high cost.


However, God has a good and blessed alternative: marital fidelity. Sixth, wisdom tells a man to value that which is precious and not indulge in that which is profane. Verses 15-20 explain how a man should “drink water from his own cistern.” Solomon is drawing a comparison here to illustrate the value of a faithful marriage. Water is precious and valuable, just as the wife of a man’s youth is precious and valuable. Wisdom’s message to the reader to find satisfaction in his wife, and to be ravished always with her love (verse 19).


The last and seventh aspect of this proverb is the punch of the chapter. The emphasis of Proverbs 5 is explained in verses 21-23: The Lord knows. He knows our secrets. He knows our sins. Verse 21 says that “the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord.” Nothing is hid from Him, and He ponders all things with perfect knowledge. When the wicked is taken “with his own iniquities” and “holden with the cords of his sins” (verse 22), the consequences are foreseen and approved by God who knows all things. God is just, and He will judge.


This is the warning of Proverbs 5. Be sure to read the chapter yourself, to look for the lessons of wisdom’s warnings, and to ponder its truth.

 

The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at strengthforlife461@gmail.com.


Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.

 

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