The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is just click-bait and sensationalism. Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Today we focus on Proverbs 5.
Let’s journey through Proverbs!
Not What It Looks Like
Get Wisdom at Any Cost
My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you lose your honor to others
and your dignity to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble
in the assembly of God’s people.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly
The phrase “this isn’t what it looks like” has been used as an excuse as long as any of us have been alive. Usually the person saying this has been caught doing something that is EXACTLY what it looks like.
Proverbs 5 addresses a situation where a young man is drawn to a woman for specific, ahem, purposes. Of course, this is just an example. This kind of thing happens in the reverse (woman drawn to a man) all the time. This isn’t a gender thing; it’s a human thing.
The human drive for physical intimacy is really a desire to satisfy things that we don’t feel are getting satisfied.
Oh, did I mention that the man in this proverb is likely married already?
The reason this is a great place for wisdom to step in is because wisdom helps us make the healthy, holy, and hopeful decision in situations of temptation and distraction.
Because it isn’t what it looks like.
Proverbs 5 says, “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.” (Proverbs 5:3-4)
In other words, “Here’s what you think it’s going to be: someone who satisfies that need that the person you’re with won’t satisfy. You think it’s something that will take away that empty feeling you have inside. It isn’t what it looks like, though.”
It seems like the romantic affair is the more popular route, but in the words of the Proverbs, the popular route isn’t healthy.
Wisdom helps us here by pointing to the end result – you’re going to chase this thing, and it may look really nice and beautiful, but in the end it’s going to blow up in your face.
Instead, Proverbs teaches us to build up the good and honorable parts of our lives (Proverbs 5:9-10), listen to the direction of God and people we trust (Proverbs 5:12-14), and take care of the people and privileges God has given us (Proverbs 5:15-20). These are the ways that lead to life and hope.
They may seem boring, but they aren’t what they look like, either.