Proverbs 5: Stay faithful and reject immorality.
The focus in chapter five changes a few times, but the overall theme remains, which is: stay faithful and reject immorality. In the last post we saw how going onto the immoral woman’s path was very dangerous, as it led down to hell. In the next few verses we will now look at the detailed collapse of many things in the man’s life, including his health and body because of this sinfulness.
“7 Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honour to others, and your years to the cruel one; 10 lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labours go to the house of a foreigner;”
Solomon repeats his ‘catch phrase’ here, to listen to his words. Repetition in the Bible usually means that a point is being stressed. In order for one to keep from this tempting woman, one must listen to good instruction. This obedience must also continue into adulthood as well, as sexual temptation follows you as you grow up.
Going on, we see one loses honour and years in going to her house. The man is giving up his standing with family and the community to be with her. If one was associated with a disreputable woman in Solomon’s day, any honour they had would have been lost in a minute. The mention of lost years could mean the wasted time and effort in pursuing such a relationship, but could also mean a real health problem from having this affair.
Loss of power and labour is presented here, too. When a man devotes himself to a woman other than his wife, he is betraying his wife and house of the power and care that it deserves, recklessly throwing it away for others to pillage.
“11 And you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, 12 and say: “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction! 13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 14 I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
There is great sorrow in this betrayal. Certainly for the wife, but also very much for the husband on the loss he has received. He hurt his wife, destroyed his body (vs. 11), and “was on the verge of total ruin”, all because he failed to love instruction. It is a warning against disregarding the instruction we receive from those who lead us.
In favour of full freedom and enjoyment he rejected what he treasured most, that including the voices of his teachers. Adultery is a tragedy, and one that wrecks many marriages. One that leaves a man standing helpless, in full view of all his family, friends, and neighbours; a ruined person.
Yet, there is hope. There can be forgiveness, and not just from his family. Not just from his wife. Even from his God. The man can repent, and most certainly should, but it is on his own head. It’s up to him. Just as it was to be faithful. Amen.
Pondering: Why is unfaithfulness so hurtful? Do you think our unfaithfulness to God hurts Him and us?
Note: Scripture taken from Biblestudytools.com