CSBC Sunday School: Proverbs Series
Lesson #5: Proverbs 5:3-11; 15-18
July 5, 2020
Resources: Phillips; Braddy; MacArthur; McCrary, B. Jennings, Explore the Bible
HOOK: (Why should we listen to this lesson?)
Central Theme: FOLLOW GOD’S DESIGN!
Objective Statement: EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD FOLLOW GOD’S DESIGN BY OBSERVING HIS WISDOM REGARDING SEXUAL PURITY!
Points: OBSERVATION #1 – SEE THE REALITY! OBSERVATION #2 – THINK LONG TERM! OBSERVATION #3 – ENJOY GOD’S PROVISION!
- FOCUS ATTENTION: CAN YOU SUGGEST SOME AREAS WHERE GOD’S PATTERN FOR THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE RUNS COUNTER TO THE CULTURAL NORMS OF OUR WORLD? There are a number of our beliefs that do align with our society because of the past influence of Judeo-Christian heritage. We desire to apply God’s Wisdom to our worldview, but our culture does not follow that mandate. In a fallen world, there will be areas where we, as Christians, are called to a different standard from what is embraced by our secular culture. On some issues and in some areas we are called upon to stand in contrast to the World’s opinion. Areas such as Right to Life; Submission to Authority; Upholding Rule by Law; Differing in our view of sexual purity, which stands in stark contrast to the world’s belief system; etc. In today’s lesson, we want to consider God’s direction related to how the believer should respond to immorality and how that might run countercultural to the view of modern mankind.
- CONTENT: In our passages today Solomon begins a section that focuses on God’s Wisdom regarding appropriate sexual behavior. In Chapters 5-7, he deals with carnal issues but other topics are also covered. In all these areas we are supposed to trust God’s wisdom and apply His principles to the circumstances of our life. Solomon is going to urge his son to heed his warnings about sexual immorality. His focus will address a wide range of sexual sins but adultery is one of his main concentrations. God is the inventor of sex and He established a design and a proper context for complying with His will in these matters. For those people who ignore or violate God’s pattern for sexual behavior, there are regrets, guilty consciences, and miserable outcomes. Solomon encouraged his son to devote himself to his wife exclusively, and enjoy the fulfillment of sexual intimacy that God intended ( 5:1-23). It is to this portion of Scripture that we will now focus our attention.
- Let’s Explore the Bible in Proverbs 5:3-11; 15-18.
BOOK: (What does the Bible say?)
OBSERVATION #1 – SEE THE REALITY! (Prov. 5:3-6)
- In 5:2, Solomon urged his son to use his lips to carefully guard and communicate godly instruction and knowledge. That way he would be speaking wisdom to future generations. But in contrast, Solomon takes a very dramatic departure from his line of reasoning and begins to instruct his son about the “lips of a strange woman” (vs. 3). WHY DID SOLOMON USE THE ANALOGY OF “HONEYCOMB” AND “OIL”? In Israel, the people would have understood the meaning because nothing was sweeter than “an honeycomb” and with olive “oil” nothing was smoother than oil as it poured slowly and smoothly out of its container. So a temptress’ lips and mouth were very inviting but those were tools in her web of immorality. Her flattery would make her quite difficult for a young man to resist. Her initial overtures would be most beguiling but “her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword” (vs. 4). “Wormwood” was a shrub that had a bitter flavor. Solomon also described her as a “two-edged sword” that would be sharp enough to slash a person from either direction of the blow. The adulteress’ flattering words would build up the ego of an unsuspecting young man but eventually would cut him to shreds. But that wasn’t the worst result. The path of the promiscuous woman would lead a gullible fool to “death” and their end would be a road that leads to “hell” (vs. 5). In our last lesson, we saw Solomon telling his son to be very circumspect about every step he took away from the pathway of righteousness (Prov. 4:11-27). Here he warns his son not to take the first step on the foolish path of sexual immorality. In fact, this perverse woman doesn’t want her victims to have a chance to “ponder the path of life” (vs. 6), so she leads them down a wandering path that she has wickedly chosen for herself. It has been said, “Misery loves company” and this sad woman doesn’t really love the companion she seduces. She just wants to lure him along her sinful way and not let him figure out this road will lead to destruction.
OBSERVATION #2 – THINK LONG TERM! (vs. 7-11)
- After Solomon had warned his “children” about the immoral woman, he urges them to pay close attention to “the words of my mouth” ( 7). In other words, he wanted them to listen carefully to what he was about to say. Whatever you do, don’t “depart” from the instructions you are about to receive. Solomon’s directives to his sons and daughters are still vital for Christians of today. Godly wisdom in this area is always valuable and essential. When we ignore God’s discretion and discernment, we take the first foolish step toward misery and regret. “The best way to keep from giving in to temptation would be to avoid even the slightest possibility of coming in contact with it” (Dwayne McCrary). That sounds like Solomon’s encouragement too. Repeatedly, Solomon has instructed his sons in a similar way to vs. 8. WHAT IS HE SAYING IN THAT VERSE? Well, he warns them not to even come close to the temptation they will find near “her house.” Avoid that place! Go the other way and stay far away from her temptress ways. Solomon says, “come not nigh the door” of such a woman’s house. The best way to keep from giving in to the temptation of this sort would be to avoid even the slightest possibility of coming in contact with it.
- In 9-11, Solomon deals with the outcome of those who refuse to heed his warnings. His predictions are dire and his prophesied consequences are harsh. For the person who gives in to sexual immorality, their character is assassinated. They lose “honor” and respect and dignity (vs. 9). The results of this folly will result in years of cruelty. The type of woman described in these verses seems to identify her as an adulteress, a mistress, or a prostitute. Apparently, money is lost to this seducer as Solomon warns, “Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth” (vs. 10). It almost describes someone who becomes in bondage to the “house of a stranger” (vs. 10b). Perhaps blackmail is a part of the consequence of this illicit sin. Then the scene shifts from finances to a deathbed. Time has passed since lust made a young man reject God’s Wisdom and follow after sensual pursuits. Now, “thou mourn at the last” (vs. 11), as sin has taken its prophesied toll upon a person’s life. Solomon will later remind all of us, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). This is born out as Solomon speaks to the issue of sin’s final results as, “thy flesh and thy body are consumed” (vs. 11b). Because of foolish choices, even physical pain and disease can be a result. Listen to the words of Solomon and heed his advice to avoid inevitable destruction.
OBSERVATION #3 – ENJOY GOD’S PROVISION! (vs. 15-18)
- With the skillful use of word pictures, Solomon affirmed the unique promise of sexual intimacy in marriage. Solomon chose to use the analogy of “waters” to illustrate the blessings of a consecrated marriage ( 15). In a dry and arid land, nothing was more valuable than water. Without it, life would cease to exist. So it was wise to figure out a way for a man to gather and collect every precious drop of rain and other water in his “own cistern” (vs. 15). Likewise, in the union of a marriage, both the husband and the wife are to find fulfillment and satisfaction in the “running waters out of thine own well” (vs. 15b). In other words, the husband and wife are to find completion in the fidelity within the marriage vows. It affirmed living in wisdom if a husband devoted himself to a sexual relationship with no one other than his “own” wife. The health and survival of the marriage relationship depend on being faithful to each other within the sanctity of the marriage bonds.
- Verses 16-18 continues Solomon’s analogy about water. The King raised an important question about sexual fidelity in marriage. Through this word picture of water, he asks, why would a husband want to become sexually involved with someone other than his wife? Or visa-versa? That’s what he’s referencing when he asks the question about “fountains” (16). He wondered why someone who had worked so hard to collect this precious water would then just pour it into “the streets” (vs. 16b)? It’s like he would be squandering his most priceless commodity and just throwing it out rather than protecting it. How foolish would that be? God made His commandment about adultery perfectly clear (Ex. 20:14). Adultery is a sin, and God prohibited it! Verse 17 answers the question raised in vs. 16. God intended the connection between a husband and his wife to be marked by fidelity to one another. Intimacy would grow within the confines of marriage. But to violate God’s pattern was like having the presence of “strangers” in the relationship. It was a devastating blow to the health and survival of a marriage bond. After vividly describing the path of adultery and the folly of that choice, Solomon directed God’s people to the appropriate way to live according to God’s design (vs 18). WHAT DOES VS. 18 TELL US? Allow for responses that reflect that the “fountain” here is one of blessing. It speaks to a constant source of endless joy for the married couple. It also brings to mind the blessings of having children. So, “rejoice with the wife of thy youth;” even if “youthfulness” has moved on!
LOOK: (Why is what it says important?)
- Objective Statement (Repeated): EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD FOLLOW GOD’S DESIGN BY OBSERVING HIS WISDOM REGARDING SEXUAL PURITY!
- We have seen today Solomon’s warnings about avoiding sexual sin. Here are some additional references on WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT SEXUAL SIN:
- Sexual sin begins in the mind ( 5:28).
- Sexual temptation is a powerful thing (1 Cor. 6:18).
- Sexual sin is destructive ( 6:32).
- Forgiveness for such sin is available (John 8:10-11; 1 Cor. 6:11).
- Our present culture tries to promote and glorify sexual sins. HOW DO WE SEE THAT? As Christians, we have an opportunity to display God’s Wisdom to the world by following His commands related to marriage (Read 1 Cor. 6:18-20). Parents, it is essential that we model God’s pattern of marriage to our children and grandchildren. Stay pure within your marriage and don’t consider the casual attitudes of the world towards immorality.
TOOK: (Why is it important to me? What should I do with it?)
Evaluation: This week pray for yourself and other friends that God will protect you from the “Evil One” in the area of temptation. Work hard to be intentional about showing love to your mate!
In preparation for our next Bible Study please read Proverbs 8:6-21.