Proverbs Chapter 5
Although this chapter has one overall theme, it has two sections leading off with “my son(s).” Therefore, in this chapter, we have our 11th and 12th lessons to the son(s). The 11th is found in vs. 1-6 and the 12th in vs. 7-23.
The overall theme of this chapter is “avoid the adulterer”, which is given in the form of an adulterous woman who entices a foolish or naïve man, but the opposite relationship is also in view. This theme was first given to us in Chapter 2:16-19; and is found here in Prov 5:3-14, 20-23.
Rounding out the chapter we have in vs. 1-2 another admonishment to heed Bible Doctrine, and vs .15-19 an encouragement for the young man to be satisfied with his own wife.
Of the main theme, “avoid the adulterer”, it is reiterated and expanded upon in chapters 6:20-29, 32-35; 7:6-27; and 9:1-6, 13-18.
By way of summary, thus far the father’s programmatic lectures have admonished the son with motivating reasons to receive the parental teaching, (i.e. take in, store and apply Bible Doctrine in the right lobe, heart, of your soul), Chapter 2:1-11; to safeguard the son against wicked men in vs. 12-15; and to avoid the adulterous woman, vs. 16-19. His lectures in Chapters 3-4 elaborated on those three reasoned admonitions, and his lectures in Chapters 5-6 will elaborate further on the warnings against wicked men and women to safeguard the generations from pursuing easy sex and money.
In addition to the main theme, this chapter advocates staying away from another man’s unchaste woman, vs. 8; as well as devotion and intimacy with your own wife, vs. 15; where the theme of accepting the father’s teaching punctuates the whole.
Note also the explicit commands of vs. 1, 7, compared to the foolish son’s belated regret that he had rejected the teaching, vs. 12-13; and the concluding summary that a sinner dies for lack of instruction and for his stubborn insolence against wisdom, vs. 23. This sub-theme is necessary because the father is trying to counter the honeyed speech of the loose woman.
The whole lesson is bound together by logical particles and keywords. An initial logical KI, “for, because”, in vs. 3 binds together the two parts of the introduction, vs. 3, 6, and a terminal KI, binds the conclusion, vs. 21-23, to the whole lesson.
In addition, “now then”, ATTAH (or “so now”) in vs. 7 binds the main body, vs. 8-14, to the introduction. And the final, “for why” LAMMAH, (or “now why”) vs. 20, brings the main body to its logical conclusion.
In addition, several keywords and phonological wordplay also bind together the lecture’s parts and give it focus.
SAPHAH, שָׂפָה, translated “lips,” in vs. 2, 3.
CHEK, חֵךְ, (palate), translated “her mouth”, vs. 3, compared with CHEQ, חֵיק, for “bosom”, vs. 20.
ZUR or ZAR, זוּר, (stranger) translated “adulteress”, in both vs. 3, 20.
ACHARIYTH, אַחֲרִית, translated “end” vs. 4, and “later end” vs. 11.
BEN, בֵּן, translated “my son(s),” in vs. 7, 20.
SHAGAH, שָׁגָה, (go astray) translated “be exhilarated or ravished,” in vs. 19, 20, and “go astray,” in vs. 23.
And finally, even though we have a literal warning to stay away from the adulteress and all of her wiles, we should also keep in mind the application of false doctrines from a false preacher. As Jesus Christ is our right man and we are betrothed to Him, Satan, as an adulteress, will try to persuade us to get in bed with his cosmic system and leave our right man behind.
As we see the examples of the adulteress woman, we can easily overlay the wiles of Satan via his false doctrines and false teachers.
Chapter 5 Outline
This robust man-to-man warning against adultery is the father’s main topic beginning in Chapter 5 with the 11th and 12th lectures and is followed up in the 14th and 15th of Chapters 6 and 7, and is then concluded in the summary lecture of Chapter 9.
This lecture, as has been typical thus far in the Proverbs, consists of an introduction vs. 1-6; the lesson vs. 7-20; and the conclusion vs. 21-23.
It is further broken down to include the following topics:
- The typical introductory address and call for attentiveness in learning God’s Word, 5:1-2.
- The motivating reasons for heeding Bible Doctrine in vs .3-6.
- The consequences of adultery in vs. 7-14.
- The exhortation for faithfulness in marriage, vs. 15-20.
- The ever-present warning of Prov 1-9 that to choose folly is to choose death, vs. 21-23.
Proverbs 5:1-2, Exhortation to be Occupied with Wisdom: Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prov 5:1, “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline (stretch out) your ear to my understanding.”
That is BEN QASHAB CHOKMAH, NATAH OZEN TEBUNAH.
“Give attention”, QASHAB and “incline”, NATAH are both in the Hiphil Imperative once again, which repeats the command to learn Bible Doctrine.
This passage closely parallels those in earlier lectures, Prov 2:2; 4:20, that call for the student of God’s Word to receive Bible Doctrine both through the eye gate and the ear gate. As you know, this is accomplished for the believer through the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, coupled with your objectivity and positive volition to give the Word of God a hearing.
We are commanded to receive Wisdom, the mental aspect of knowledge and Understanding, the application side of that knowledge.
Prov 5:2, “That you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge.”
SHAMAR MEZIMMAH, WA SAPHAH NATZAR DAATH.
Here we have our two familiar words for guarding and protecting or keeping, (SHAMAR “keep” – NATZAR “watch”).
Once again we are exhorted to “keep on guarding and protecting” the Bible Doctrine we have in our souls, with the Qal Infinitive and Qal Imperfect respectfully, so that we avoid the evils and destructive behaviors of life.
God’s Word combats the temptations of your Old Sin Nature and those from Satan’s Cosmic System. Therefore, it protects you from the lustful desires of sexual immorality.
Here we also see application in regard to what you say, that is, have discretion regarding your words. You see the wise do not speak rashly but consider the consequences. They speak judiciously, not impulsively.
We are about to see that the adulteress is very flattering with her lips. Here the student is exhorted to keep it straight, have discretion, Cf. Prov 1:4; 2:11; 3:21, and not get caught up in any form of flattery like others do.
Principles: Those that flatter others are easily overcome and enticed to sin by people who flatter them. Conversely, those that guard their speech and speak righteously will not be overcome by those who entice through flattery. If you do not flatter others, you will not be overcome by the sin of those who flatter you.
Mal 2:7, “For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.”
And as you know, in the Church Age, we are all believer priests, 2 Peter 2:5, 9.
Prov 5:3-6, Motivating Reasons for Heeding Bible Doctrine.
Prov 5:3, “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech.”
Here we have our contrast, and the beginning of the main theme.
“Adulteress” is the Particle that functions like a noun ZAR. It means “stranger” and refers to anyone who is not your wife, whether they are married or not.
Adultery is condemned repeatedly in the Covenant (e.g., Ex 20:14; Lev 20:10), as well as in Prov 2, 5, 6, 7 & 9.
“Drip honey” NATAPH NOPHETH, נֹפֶתנָטַף.
NATAPH is in the Qal Imperfect that means, “they keep on dripping.” This word can also be translated, “prophesy, preach, or discourse.” So it can mean a speech or preaching, and is used of a false prophet in Micah 2:6, 11. Therefore, we see that the way of the adulteress is to preach to others the same evil she is practicing, hoping to trap them in the sticky substance of her sin, that is, get them to commit adultery along with her.
In a spiritual sense, the words of the LORD are compared with the sweetness of honey in the mouth, Psa 119:103.
Psa 119:103-104, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.”
So we have the comparison between taking in the Word of the Lord that leads to righteousness and life, versus receiving the flattering words of the adulteress that leads to sin and death.
The lips which distil the honey of enticement stand opposite to the lips which distil knowledge; the object of the admonition is to furnish a protection against the honey-lips.” (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 6: Proverbs.)
Likewise, we understand the analogy figuratively of Satan’s Cosmic System that is full of false doctrine that tries to lead people away from their true right man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Smoother” is the Adjective CHALAQ that means, “flattering or smooth.” So we see what type of preaching she is doing, she is flattering her potential victims, that is, “buttering them up.”
“Speech” is the Noun CHEK that literally means, “mouth, palate, taste, or gums.” We noted the poetic use of this word above, and understand it to be the things that the adulteress speaks. Cf. Prov 26:28; Psa 5:9.
Prov 6:24, “To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth (flattering) tongue of the adulteress.”
Prov 7:21, “With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him.”
Prov 26:28, “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”
Psa 5:9, “There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.”
Psa 12:1-3, “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. 2They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things.”
Regarding false prophecy and doctrine the Lord said in Ezek 12:24, “For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.”
In the same vain Paul stated in Rom 16:17-18, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.”
In Thessalonica, Paul comparing the truth that they taught with that of false teachers said in 1 Thes 2:5, “For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness—”
Regarding all ungodly people Jude stated in Jude1:16, “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”
We continue in our 4th major point of this chapter which includes, Prov 5:3-6, “The motivating reasons for heeding Bible Doctrine.”
Having completed vs. 3 and the related “Doctrine of Flattery”, we move now to vs. 4-6.
Prov 5:4-6, “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. 6She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.”
As we have been noting in this book, the description of the adulterous woman is typology for how Satan tries to deceive us by making sin appear attractive. Yet, with discernment from God’s Word resident in your soul, you will not be deceived!
Prov 5:4, “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.”
“End” is the noun ACHARITH that means, “the furthest part or end.” So we can say, “when all is said and done.”
Even though the temptress appears to be beautiful and loving, something that would taste oh so good, when all is said and done, it is just the opposite.
“Bitter” is the Adjective MAR, מַר, although it refers to a type of taste, it is used to denote the opposite of something. The opposite of the sweet honey lips of the adulterous is the bitter and rotten lips of sin, evil, and human good. She appears to be one thing, but in reality she is something else, the complete opposite. And in the end, you will discover her true nature.
As our Lord said to the Pharisees in Mat 23:27-28, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
These verses contrast the appearance and reality, the beginning and the consequences of adulterous relationships, or any relationship we get involved in that deals with sin, human good, and evil.
Honey’s proverbial sweetness, Prov 24:13 is an image of the sweetness of love, Song of Solomon 4:11, yet when combined with flattery, Prov 7:21, leads the naive to think that this is true love. So we are warned not to be blind to the corruption below the surface, and recognize the bitter consequence of tasting forbidden sweets.
The naïve does not know that this honey is really gall, and that these flattering words will turn deadly. Just as the spiritually immature believer cannot discern the truth from the lie of the false doctrine and false teacher, it sounds good, but in the end it will lead to a ruined spiritual life.
“Wormwood” is the Noun LAANAH, לַעֲנָה, indicating wormwood or bitterness, as we have a synonymous word. It is used eight times in the O.T.
Wormwood is a species of plant that is related to our Western sage bush. Its leaves and tops provide a bitter tasting oil used for flavoring certain liquors, (the APSINTHE of France is distilled from a species of this plant), and it is even used as a tea by Bedouins. The herb is also used medicinally to treat worms, hence its name “wormwood.”
The name by which the Greeks designated it is APSINTHION that means “undrinkable.” And truly, that is what the adulteress is. She is not someone you can take home to mom and dad and play house with. That is what false doctrine and sin should be to the believer. It is something that truly is disgusting to you and you cannot take it in.
Interestingly, another species of it that is cultivated in cottage gardens on account of its fragrance which has the name “southernwood” or “old man.” So we see that “wormwood” is related to the Old Man, which is the term for your Old Sin Nature in, Rom 6:6; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9 in the KJV.
Eph 4:22, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old man / self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”
Wormwood comes from an unused root which is supposed to mean, “curse” or that which is regarded as poisonous, and therefore comes to mean “accursed.” It is always used in a figurative, metaphorical sense.
Not only does it describe the character of an adulteress as bitter (of wormwood) in our verse, but it is also used of:
- A rebellious or bitter root spirit in persons, Deut 29:18, that appropriately results in judgments of bitterness (of wormwood), i.e., the judgments of God, Jer 9:15; 23:15; Lam 3:15, 19.
- To describe the opposite of justice and righteousness which should be sweet experiences, Amos 5:7; 6:12; therefore, it is an emblem of calamity and injustice.
In the symbolical language of the Apocalypse, Rev 8:10-11, a star is represented as falling on the waters of the earth, causing a third part of the water to turn to wormwood.
Rev 8:11, “The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”
This reminds us of the tainted water of the Israelites as they began their journey in the wilderness for 40 years, Ex 15:22-25, yet our Lord had compassion on them.
Ex 15:22-25, “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.”
In James 3:5-12 we see the dangers of the tongue described as bitter. James 3:11, “Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?”
Next we see the second aspect of the adulterous woman, she is “sharp as a two-edged sword.”
“Two Edge” is the Hebrew Noun PEH, פֶּה, that literally means, “mouth.” PEH metaphorically stands for the grave and in some contexts is described as a hole, characterized by a mouth, Gen 4:11; Isa 5:14.
Isa 5:14, “Therefore Sheol, (the grave), has enlarged its throat (herself), and opened her mouth beyond measure.”
So even though this word literally means mouth, it is also used to describe a sword with the analogy that the sword is the tongue and the edges are its mouth. Coupled with what comes next we have double emphasis of the destruction that accompanies the adulterous woman.
“Sword”, is the noun CHEREV, חֶרֶב, the noun is used as a simile, as tongues in Psa 57:4; and our verse, and mouths in Isa 49:2, are said to be like sharp swords.
A slanderous tongue is described by the word, “sword” as David writes in Psa 57:4, “My soul is among lions… whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.”
In other passages, the sword is described as a monster that devours its prey, Deut 32:42; 2 Sam 2:26, and that is what the adulterous woman does to the naïve man.
So putting it together, the tongue of the adulterous woman leads to death. Whereas, the Word of God leads to discernment and life, Heb 4:12.
Now we turn to the second analogy of destruction of the adulteress woman and those who associate with her.
Prov 5:5, “Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol.”
“Feet go down” tells us that the adulterous woman’s life style is the pathway to death. Her path is already heading in that direction and if you get on board with her, your path will be headed in the same direction.
But what does death mean here?
“Death” is the noun MAWARTH, מָוֶת, and literally means “death.”
For the Israelites, death was both acceptable and unacceptable. If one lived a long and blessed life, such as Abraham and David, then death was not an evil, but a last stage in a full life, Gen 25:8; 1 Chr 29:28.
But a short life meant Divine disapproval. The potential threat of dying prematurely was influential in the O.T. thought. It was a symbol of Divine disapproval.
Those who praise God have life, but the wicked are metaphorically already among the dead, Isa 38:18f.
Isa 38:18, “For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. 19It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.”
Inability to praise God was also an essential understanding of death in the OT, Psa 6:5, “For in death there is no remembrance of You: in the grave who shall give You thanks?” Cf. Psa 30:9; Isa 38:11.
So death in the OT is commonly a figure of separation from God, it is the opposite of life, Deut 30:15, 19, and the punishment of untimely death is distinguished from the death common to, “all humans”, Num 16:29f.
Figuratively, “death” expresses the idea of ruin and destruction, especially when contrasted with the desirable notions of life, prosperity, and happiness, Prov 11:19; 12:28; cf. Ex 10:17.
So the Adulterous woman is said to have “her feet go down to death.” As you know, the feet are what take you from place to place, and the place this woman is headed is a place where there is no relation with God.
To live in sin and Satan’s Cosmic System means to live without a relationship with God. No filling of the Holy Spirit, no walking in the light of Christ, etc.
But as you know, physical death does not separate the believer from God, John 10:28-30; Rom 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from Divine love.
Yet, the believer who lives consistently inside of Satan’s Cosmic System dies under maximum discipline of the sin unto death, 1 Cor 11:30; 1 John 5:16; Rev 3:16.
Death as a Reminder:
- Death is a reminder that time is short compared to eternity, James 4:14. We have a short time here on earth to grow spiritually, to glorify God, and reach capacity for life, blessing and God’s perfect happiness. And we never know when it is going to occur.
- Death is a reminder of the futility of cosmic glory and wealth, fame and profit, Mark 8:36, 37.
- Death is a reminder to be prepared for eternity, Heb 9:27.
- Death is a reminder of the certainty of judgment for the unbeliever, John 3:18, 36.
So the point here is, the end of adultery is misery and death, because to participate in it is to put oneself on the same path as the adulterous woman, cf. Psa 1:1 and, e.g., Prov 2:18ff; 7:27.
Next we have, “her steps take hold of Sheol.”
Once again we have a double emphasis. Just as in vs. 4 the adulteress is “bitter and wormword” or “bitter as the bitterest”, so now in vs. 5 she leads to “death and Sheol” or “death of the dead.”
The noun SHEOL, שְׁאוֹל, (KJV – Hell), is transliterated directly into English. It means, “The world of the dead, Sheol, the grave, death, the depths, etc.” The word describes the underworld but usually in the sense of the grave and is most often translated as grave.
SHEOL, also called HADES in the Greek, is a place located below the earth’s surface. All OT people would descend to Sheol when they died, Gen 37:35; Job 7:9; Ezek 31:15, 17; 32:27.
However, the flattering conspirators Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were sent to Sheol while they were still alive, Num 16:33; cf. Ps. 55:15.
Sheol, just as the “two-edged sword” in vs. 4, is also personified as a large mouth in which to swallow its inhabitants, Isa 5:14; Prov 1:12.
The Wisdom Literature affirms that God delivers those from Sheol who fear Him (believe in Him), cf. Psa 86:13.
The path of the wise person steers him away from Sheol, Prov 15:24, while discipline also prevents a rebellious child from suffering such a miserable fate, Prov 23:14.
Sheol had two compartments, 1) the Place of Torments, and 2) Paradise a.k.a., Abraham’s Bosom, Luke 16:19-31.
Upon the Resurrection of our Lord, he led the believers in Paradise to heaven, Eph 4:8, where they now reside, along with all believers who have died since.
Today, Sheol / Hades has only one compartment where all unbelievers of all time will reside until the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of our Lord, Rev. 20:13. Then those whose names are not recorded in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire, known as the Second Death, in order to suffer eternal torment with Satan and his minions, Rev 20:14f.
Placing the two key terms, “death” and “Sheol”, in the center of the verse, focuses on the outcome of those who get involved with the adulterous woman. Their parallel use shows that they both refer to death, which in this case is the result of God’s judgment upon the one who enters into the path of unrighteousness.
Prov 5:6, “She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.”
In this case, the adulterous woman is nearly a tragic figure, ignorant of her own character and the consequences of her actions.
“Ponder” is the verb PALAS, פָּלַס, in the Piel Imperfect 3ms. It is a verb meaning, “to prepare to weigh out, to make level, or to ponder.” It is the idea that the adulteress does not consider the conduct and mode of operation for her life and clearly does not see the path she is on and where she is headed. She does not weigh the outcome of her sins nor the impact her lifestyle is having on her life. In contrast, vs. 21 states that a man’s life is under God’s scrutiny; He “examines all his paths.”
The Piel is for the intensive active and the Imperfect is for ongoing action. Therefore, she absolutely and continually does not think about the impact of her actions upon her life. That is the case of the unbeliever and that is the case of the reversionistic believer too.
As you know, Solomon instructs his son in the path of wisdom which leads to righteousness, Prov 4:26, which is God our Father’s desire for us, His children.
“Her ways are unstable” is MAGAL NUA. NUA is a verb that means, “to shake, to tremble, to wander, or to stagger.” So this comes to mean “her tracks have roamed.” And she doesn’t even now it!
As a participle, NUA can be translated “vagabond” or “wanderer.” We would call that a hobo or gypsy.
So the message is, “pay attention so that you learn discretion, because the strange woman is deceitful; you may be tempted to consider her ways because you do not yet realize just how dangerous her paths are.”
Prov 5:7-14, The Consequences of Engaging the Adulteress.
Having completed the introduction to the main topic of Chapter 5 in vs. 1-6, we move now to the heart of the subject, the consequences of entering into adultery, which also has the spiritual connotation of the consequences of being deceived by Satan and His Cosmic System, including false teaching. As noted previously, the warning of this chapter, and in 6:20-35 and 7:1-27, should not be limited to a husband’s infidelity, since either spouse who commits adultery violates the covenantal union of that marriage, even though the comments below reflect a feminine orientation.
The literal perspective in this section is about retaining the family’s economic and social strength accumulated over generations. The singular imperative in vs. 8 suggests that each successive son, not a group, is in view. One weak link in the chain can ruin the family’s future.
Likewise, from a spiritual perspective, if we give over to the temptations of Satan and his Cosmic System, it could lead to our personal spiritual ruin and the spiritual bankruptcy of our successive generations.
So the purpose of this passage is noted in Prov 2:16, “To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words.”
Proverbs 5:7-14, “Now then, my 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 vigor to others, and your years to the cruel one; 10Lest strangers be filled with your strength, and your hard-earned goods go to the house of an alien; 11And you groan at your latter ends, when your flesh and your body are consumed; 12And you say, ‘How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! 13And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructors! 14I was almost in utter ruin in the midst of the assembly and congregation’.”
Verse 7 begins the 12th lesson from the father to his son, where this time the audience is broadened to “my sons” in the plural of BEN, which is BENIYM.
This section begins, as do they all, with the Father exhorting his son(s) to put on the best defense possible against these things, which is to put on Bible Doctrine in the heart (right lobe) of your soul. This is equivalent to Eph 6:10ff, “picking up and putting on the full armor of God.”
The father states, “listen to me”, which is LE plus the verb SHAMA, שָׁמַע, in the Hebrew. Once again, we see the importance of receiving Bible Doctrine through the ear gate by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception.
Next we have, “and do not depart from the words of my mouth.” The Hebrew Noun for mouth here is PEH פֶּה which literally means “mouth.” Notice the play on words in this poem compared to vs. 4 & 5. In vs. 4, we saw that the words of the adulterous woman, (satanic deceiver), are as “sharp as a two-edge sword”, where PEH was used to describe the two-edge CHEREV – sword.
Here it means to continue perseverance in the Word of God, “do not depart from it”, which is also a striking contrast to the straying tracks of the unbounded wandering adulterous woman of vs. 6.
Then in vs. 5, we saw that SHEOL is described as a large mouth waiting to engulf its arriving inhabitants.
Isa 5:14, “Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat, and opened her mouth beyond measure.”
So in contrast to the deceptions of the deceiver and the eventual habitat of those deceived in vs. 7, the father is reminding his sons to receive his words, Bible Doctrine, as the best defense against falling prey to the deceiver’s words and their subsequent results.
Prov 5:8, “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.
In vs. 8a, “Keep your way far from her”, we have the Imperative for “keep”, RACHAQ, רָחַק, and DEREK, דֶּרֶךְ, for “way”, which tell us to make sure our way or path in life is far from hers. Keep our distance from her at all times, just as we are to keep our distance from the false teacher too.
In vs. 8b we have, “And do not go near the door of her house.”
“Do not go near” is the Hebrew negative AL plus QARAB, קָרַב, pronounced (karav), meaning, “to approach or to draw near,” and is used of moving near something or causing someone or something to come near someone or something. The great majority of the uses are for physical nearness or relational closeness.
The general idea is seen in Psa 119:150 of evil people being near the psalmist, and our verse exhorts young men not to go near the door of the adulteress.
Psa 119:150, “Those who follow after wickedness draw near; they are far from Your law, (Bible Doctrine).”
“The door of her house”, is PETHACH, פֶּתַח, that means, “opening, entrance, or door”, plus BAYITH, בַּיִת, that means, “house or household.” This is the point of entry where there appears to be no exit. It connotes to come into the most near and intimate proximity of the object, and we are warned not to enter into that type of intimate relationship with her.
Therefore, in this verse, we are warned to not enter into a relationship or even go near the household / dwelling place of the adulterous deceiver. When speaking of false teachers of false doctrines, we are to steer clear of them and do not go near them.
It is interesting how PETHACH and BAYITH are used in scripture. For example, PETHACH appears 12 times with the basic meaning of “opening or entrance,” in relation to a tent (e.g., Gen 18:1); 20 times in relation to a house (e.g., Gen 19:11); 28 times in relation to a gate (e.g., Judges 9:35); and 41 times in relation to the Tent of Meeting (e.g., Ex 29:4). So we see that it is used most often in regard to the “Tent of Meeting” with Lord. It means entrance into that place of fellowship with God.
So PETHACH is found 92 times in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Ezekiel. Normally, in these four Books, the noun refers to the entrance to the place of worship, that is, either the entrance to the Tabernacle/Tent, Num 3:25 or else to the gate of the courtyard, Num 3:26. It is used for our entrance into fellowship with God.
BAYITH also is used in construct with God to mean, “house of God or temple.” This use occurs often. The tent of worship was also figuratively referred to as a “house of God or temple,” e.g., Judges 18:31.
So we have a contrast before us. We can either enter the house of the adulteress, Satan and His cosmic System, or we can enter the house of the Lord which is not speaking about our salvation but our fellowship with Him. And this all has to do with “drawing near to God” rather than drawing near to Satan and His Cosmic System.
In regard to “drawing near to God”, as you know. we are no longer under the LAW of Israel. But it does give us much typology for living the Unique Spiritual Life, the ZOE Life of the Church Age believer. So it is interesting to note that QARAB was used more often in the book of Leviticus than any other Old Testament book and gives us the idea of how to approach the LORD in worship and for fellowship in His presence, in view of his awesome holiness, Lev 1-16. Only the priests God had chosen could approach the place He had chosen to allow his presence to be experienced, that is, at the Tabernacle, Ex 29:1-4; Num 18:22. They and the Levites were brought “near” before the LORD for ordination. Then, they were to continue to keep themselves ceremonially clean so that they could continue to come near the holy God and offer sacrifices, Lev 21:6; 22:3.
And as you know, every Church Age believer is a Royal Priest before God, 1 Peter 2:9, and we too need to keep ourselves ceremonial clean in order to come “near” to God, have fellowship with Him, which is synonymous to being Filled with the Holy Spirit.
By way of typological comparison, “The principle of clean and unclean is a part of holiness. That means avoiding what is declared by God to be unclean, which means it is opposed to his holiness because it is associated with evil, acts of sin or death. When Nadab and Abihu approached the LORD to offer incense in worship in an unauthorized way, He struck them dead, Lev 16:1. To come near to and to enjoy the presence of the holy God requires holiness.” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Pe-Resh.)
As the Law taught Israel, they had both Positional cleanliness, (i.e., sanctification, holiness, righteousness) and Experiential cleanliness, (i.e., sanctification, holiness, righteousness.)
The same goes for the Church Age believer too, yet we do not need to commit sacrifices in faith, we only need to apply faith in God’s Word which includes 1 John 1:9, the confession of our sins, for ceremonial washing and cleansing.
Those who teach otherwise do not understand the right relationship with their Holy God. Remember, the priests of Israel had Positional Sanctification, just as we do in the Church Age, yet they still could be ceremonially unclean if they broke the law, which means committed sin. Compare 1 Cor 15:56b, “The power of sin is the law.”
The Law told them what sin was. If they committed sin, they would not lose their salvation, but would lose relationship / fellowship with God, and could not serve Him. To regain fellowship and service to God, they needed to wash themselves ceremonially through sacrifices on the Brazen Altar and wash at the Brazen Laver, as well as confess their sins to God. For the Believer Priest of the Church Age, all we need to do is HOMOLEGO, “confess” our sins, because the sacrifice was made complete (TETELESTAI – It is finished) at the Cross of Jesus Christ, yet we still need to go to the Brazen Laver, in confession of our sins to be “cleansed”, experientially, for fellowship and service.
Then in vs. 9, we begin the consequences of getting involved with the adulterous deceiver, identified as “others”, “the cruel one”, “strangers” and “alien / foreigner.” In vs.9, we have the first and second of the four consequences, and in vs. 10 we have the third and fourth.
Prov 5:9, “Or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one.”
The First Consequence, “you will give your vigor to others.”
“Vigor” is the Hebrew noun HOD, הוֹד, that means, “majesty, splendor, vigor vitality, honor, glory, etc.” This is the first of four consecutive consequences in the next two verses of entering into an adulterous relationship, and has to do with your reputation and your relationship with God. When you get involved with the deceiving adulteress, it is going to negatively affect you in many ways including your reputation, what others think of you. More importantly, it is going to hamper your relationship / Fellowship with God.
Once again we have an interesting contrast as this word is most often used in association with YHWH, the great majesty and glory of God. And instead of having a relationship with God, you instead choose to have a relationship with Satan and His Cosmic System, which not only robs you of glory, but also robs glory from God. Instead of you glorifying Him as a believer-priest, you have fallen into Satan’s trap and are in essence raising up his way of doing things above God’s way.
The “others” here are those of Satan’s Cosmic System; you receive all of your glory rather than it going to God.
In addition, when we do not walk consistently in the Plan of God for our lives, God is not able to bless us in time or eternity and we are robbing ourselves of eternal rewards and blessings, 1 Cor 3:10-15.
So the First Consequence is, having a poor reputation with man and not having fellowship with God due to sin upon your soul, which results in loss of rewards in the eternal state.
The Second Consequence is found in the phrase, “give your years to the cruel one.”
The “cruel one” is the Hebrew Adjective AKZARIY, אַכְזָרִי, that literally means, “cruel.” It may refer to the adulteress’ husband. It is also strikingly similar to a synonymous term in the New Testament, “Evil one”, which is the Greek Adjective PONEROS, that is used substantively as a euphemism for Satan, Eph 6:16; 1 John 2:12-13, etc.
Therefore, the Second Consequence is, rather than giving your years to God in glory, you are giving them to Satan and His Cosmic System, which means a life of dissipation, a wasteful life, Eph 5:18.
So combined, instead of the wealth staying within the lineage of the wise, through one generational failure, it passes over into the household of an outsider. Likewise, with one false teacher in the chain of generations of teachers, truth will be lost for generations to come.
Then in vs. 10 we have the Third and Fourth Consequences, “And strangers will be filled with your strength and your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien.”
Whereas, “Vigor” and “Years” in vs. 9 refer to external manifestations of wealth and prosperity, “strength” and “labor” in vs. 10 refer to the inner capacity to produce wealth and prosperity.
We begin with the Third Consequence, “Strangers will be filled with your strength.”
“Strangers” is the Noun ZAR from the verb ZUR that means, “to be a foreigner, stranger, or adulterer / adulteress.” So the adulteress is in view as the one being filled or satisfied.
“Filled” is the Qal Imperfect of SABA, שָׂבֵע, that means, “to be satisfied, be fulfilled, be sated, (to satisfy a need or desire completely, sometimes in a way that makes you feel as though you have had too much)” It is verb used frequently to describe the condition of satiety or lack thereof in regard to food and drink.
So here the woman is getting what she wants out of the relationship, just as Satan is getting what he wants when the believer goes back to the Cosmic System or gets involved in false doctrine.
As scripture tells us The LORD (YHWH) is the ultimate source of our physical satiety, Psa 104:28, and therefore we should not be looking in other places to be satisfied.
Psa 104:28, “You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.”
Jer 31:14, “I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the LORD.” This tells us when we have the truth of God’s Word resident in our souls we will win many people to the Gospel of Christ.
So what is the adulteress being filled with? “Strength”, which is the Noun KOACH כֹּחַ, that means, “strength, power, (ability).” It is usually used in the sense of “vitality or strength.” For example, a son born to a father is his strength or vigor, Gen 49:3, and it indicates all the benefits and gains a person has accumulated.
It most often refers to physical strength. And as we know, strength wanes through the years, and is a distinguishing feature of young males, Prov 20:29. Conversely, the dead are those without any strength, Job 3:17.
In an agricultural society, one’s wealth is tied inextricably to one’s produce and one’s children, (both as labor force and as a social security net in old age, as the expense of the upkeep of the elderly is spread more bearably among a number of offspring).
As Hosea 7:9 says, “Strangers devour his strength, yet he does not know it; gray hairs also are sprinkled on him, yet he does not know it.”
So literally the adulteress will have the child she so strongly desires from the one she is tempting away. Likewise, spiritually, the false teacher will fill his pews and coffers that he so strongly desires, and the deceived will be gladly helping him to do so via Cosmic Evangelism.
So the Third Consequence is you will help satisfy the lustful desires of the adulteress / false teacher, rather than producing Divine Good Production for the Lord.
Then we have the Fourth Consequence, “your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien.”
“Hard-earned goods” is the noun ETSEB, עֶצֶב, pronounce (etzev), which means, “pain, hurt, sorrow, toil, labor, hardship.”
It is used only six times in the Old Testament. In Gen 3:16, it is uniquely used of the “pain” of childbirth decreed by God upon the woman for her part in the fall of the human race. So even though it is speaking of the wealth you accumulated from working hard all your life, it also alludes to your offspring as a result of being with the adulteress.
“Alien” is the Hebrew Noun NOKRI, נָכְרִי, that means, “foreign, or strange” and is synonymous with ZAR above. It means “strange” in a variety of degrees and applications including, a foreigner, non-relative, adulterer / adulteress, etc.” NOKRI is used for the adulteress in Prov 5:20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27.
Prov 6:24, “To keep you from the evil (RA) woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress (NOKRI).”
“An adulterous relationship can destroy one’s well-being and threaten financial ruin, especially if the relationship is ongoing (as these verses may imply), or discovered by the woman’s husband (6:34f). Often a partner in adultery must be supported, and even if not, gifts are part of every close personal relationship. The youth, whose naiveté may well include ignorance about the costs of supporting and running a household, may not realize this implication, especially when blinded by emotion, but its eventual price could be enormous. A more sinister possibility is blackmail, especially if the adulterer has gained a certain degree of social standing (cf. 22:6), but this probably refers to a situation in which the adulterer(s) attempt to placate a husband’s jealousy by gifts or bribes, which will, however, inflame jealousy rather than subdue it (6:34f).” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary – Proverbs-Song of Songs.)
Although sexual immorality today may not lead to slavery as it could have within the Law, it still leads to alimony, child support, broken homes, hurt, jealousy, lonely people, various venereal diseases, etc., and therefore has many negative consequences that we can easily avoid.
In addition, NOKRI is also used for “apostasy”, described as a “strange vine” in Jer 2:21, “Yet I planted you a choice vine, a completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?” Compare to the True Vine of John 15.
So once again, we see our parallel between the literal and spiritual application.
Therefore, the Fourth Consequence is if you operate inside of Satan’s Cosmic System, the fruits of your labor or offspring will go to another, those outside of the Plan of God.
The consequences of getting involved with the adulterous deceiver includes:
- Because of your relationship with “others”, you will have a poor reputation with man and not have fellowship with God, due to sin upon your soul, which results in loss of rewards in the eternal state.
- Giving your years to “the cruel one”, Satan and his Cosmic System rather than God, wasteful life, Eph 5:18.
- Helping satisfy the lustful desires of “strangers”, adulteress / false teacher, rather than producing Divine Good Production for the Lord.
- If you operate inside of Satan’s Cosmic System, the fruits of your labor or offspring will go to the “alien / foreigner”, those not walking in the Plan of God.
And as we will see in vs. 11-14, an important point in all of these poems is that companions, and the choices that they encourage by their words and example, tend to affect the course of one another’s lives, which is also a theme throughout Proverbs (cf. 1:8-19). Those who are motivated by rebellion and wickedness inevitably lead their associates into the same paths, paths that end in death. This is true whether the course is violence (1:8-19), anger (20:24f) or adultery. Adultery may be a sin to which naive young men are especially prone, but it is only one of many sinful activities that reveal the fatal flaw (folly) that leads to destruction.
Having reviewed the consequences of getting involved with the adulterous woman, false doctrine, or Satan’s cosmic system in vs. 9-10, we now see in vs. 11-14, the regrets of getting involved with the same
Prov 5:11, “And you groan at your final end, when your flesh and your body are consumed.”
The word “groan” is the Qal Perfect Verb NAHAM, נָהַם, that means, “to roar, to groan, or to growl.”
The Perfect tells of a completed past action. So we are introduced to the retrospective viewpoint of one’s life having gotten involved with the adulterous woman, false doctrine, or Satan’s cosmic system.
In scripture NAHAM is used to express:
- The deep guttural, piercing growl of a lion, especially as it grasps its prey, Prov 28:15; Isa 5:29-30
- The groan of persons forced into captivity in exile, Ezek 24:23.
And here in our verse, it is used for the despairing groan of a person who is destroyed by immoral behavior or false doctrine.
So we have in view the regret one has when looking back on his life rather than having joy as Paul did when he said in 2 Tim 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
So NAHAM denotes a cry of anguish from extreme destitution and exhaustion that may lead to self-recrimination of spiritual bankruptcy that represents a situation when regret and remorse comes too late, cf. Heb 12:17.
Heb 12:17, “For you know that even afterwards, when he (Esau) desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.” Compare with Judas’ remorse in Mat 27:3.
Remember that an emotional outburst or plea to God means absolutely nothing if you are not going to change your way of thinking. The same goes for the confession of your sins. You can confess all you want, but if you do not change your way of thinking, it does you no good, cf. Heb 6:4-8.
When it states, “at your final end”, this is compared to the end result of the adulteress’ actions, as we noted in vs. 4, as having utter bitterness and the feeling of death, (sharp two-edged sword). It is emphasizing the end point when you realize you have been walking in sin and now are looking back with regret.
“When your flesh and your body are consumed” is literally, “When your flesh and body are coming to an end”, with the Qal Infinitive of KALAH, כָּלָה, for “to cease or finish.” It has the primary notion of “completion” of some process, and does not necessarily mean here, the end of your life, but more, at some point when you look back on your life and see how bad it was and what you have missed out on. So it is pointing to a point of repentance, when you look back upon your sinful or wasteful life style with regret.
It connotes that the body is wasting away, exhausted, used up, and has come to the point of failure. This alludes to the three stages of Divine discipline as noted in 1 Cor 11:28-31.
Here the body is not failing because of excessive sexual indulgence, cf. vv. 18-19, but as a result of the hard labor that goes along with the adulterous type of relationship with all of its consequences.
Next we will see that the groaning of the adulterer is contained in the following three verses. The first two, vs. 12-13, describe his attitude toward instruction, and the third shows the results, vs. 14.
Prov 5:12, “And you say, “How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!”
Now that he has worn himself out meeting his lover’s demands, he comes to his senses and recognizes that he did not heed his father’s warnings and instead rejected his teachings, which has had a detrimental effect on his soul.
“Instruction” is the noun MUSAR, מוּסָר, which we have seen previously for “discipline, reproof, and instruction.” Here it is “instruction” in the school of wisdom, characterized by reverence or fear of the Lord.
“Reproof” is the noun TOKACHATH, תּוֹכַחַת, which is used in both a legal sense for one who presents an argument, and for instruction in the process of teaching.
In the Book of Proverbs, reproof is a good thing, and the person who ignores it will personally live to regret it, lead others astray, be classed among the stupid, and eventually die, Prov 10:17; 12:1; 15:10. Personified as a woman, “Wisdom” chides those who have rejected her rebukes, Prov 1:23, 25, 30.
Here we see that even though the son might have heard the doctrine taught, he did not mix it with faith and believe it, thereby rejecting it from entering the right lobe of his soul, his heart. Instead, his heart was filled with sin and cosmic viewpoint which lead his heart to hate and reject additional Bible doctrine when it tried to enter his soul.
So the regret here is that he did not listen to the teaching or disciplinary warnings of his father and other instructors. He did not listen to God’s Word or God’s Divine providence of discipline and instead just kept going along with cosmic viewpoint and Satan’s way of doing things, rather than God’s way.
Prov 5:13, “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructors!”
Vs. 13 continues the regret similar to vs. 12, in that he did not take in God’s Word through the ear gate by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP).
“I have not listened” is SHAMA, שָׁמַע, which we compare to vs. 1 & 7, as the father is exhorting his son to learn these lessons as he speaks to him, yet in vs. 13, the son did not heed his father’s exhortations.
“Teachers” is an interesting noun, MOREH, מוֹרֶה, and means, “early rain.”
Joel 2:23 speaks of the early rain that falls in the autumn at the sowing time and promotes the germination and growth of the seed. The picture that Joel is presenting is one of restoration of blessing to his land, cf. Lev 26:3.
In fact, in Joel 2:24, the results of the rain are described, “the floors shall be full,” and “the vats shall overflow.”
That is a great picture of our souls when we receive the teaching of Bible Doctrine on a consistent basis.
“Nor inclined” is the negative LO plus the Hiphil (causative active), Perfect of NATAH that means, “to stretch out or turn towards.” It means he did not make an effort to receive what his teachers were teaching him.
He thought it of no importance at the time, but now, after seeing his ruin, he regrets that he did not learn it when he had the chance. Instead of merely not listening to God’s Word, he deliberately rejected its teaching, as noted in vs. 12, and this he regrets.
Prov 5:14, “I was almost in utter ruin in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
Here we see the last of the regrets.
“Ruin” is the Adjective RA that means “bad or evil”, the opposite of good.
Remember that the reason for the father’s instruction is seen again in Prov 6:24, “To keep you from the evil (RA) woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.”
Yet the son did not heed the warnings of his father, (God’s Word), and is now in the middle of the evil state that the adulterous woman is in, just as those who follow the false teacher will be steeped in the false doctrines he is teaching, or the believer who gets involved in the sins that his cosmic friends are committing. You have become just like your partner, false teacher, or friends.
“In the midst” is the noun TAWEK, תָּוֶךְ, that means, “in the middle, midst, or center.”
The word can also stand for the center part of a piece of vine wood which has been burned at both ends, Ezek 15:4, which reminds us of John 15:6
Ezek 15:4, “If it has been put into the fire for fuel, and the fire has consumed both of its ends and its middle part has been charred, is it then useful for anything?”
John 15:6, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
“The assembly and congregation” in Solomon’s time meant, the people of Israel gathered for worship. So it means, the group of positive believers who meet regularly to learn God’s Word, the local church for us today.
So we see that the one who is walking in sin on a consistent basis will be seen as one living an unrighteous lifestyle by the local assembly, who may even witness his discipline from God. Even though he thought he was “pulling the wool over their eyes”, his folly was clearly seen by all causing him to have further regret for his actions once he realized they saw him for what he was.
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 6: Proverbs states, “He found himself in all wickedness, living and moving therein in the midst of the congregation, and thereby giving offence to it, for he took part in the external worship and in the practices of the congregation, branding himself thereby as a hypocrite.”
Summary of the Four Regrets:
The regrets this adulterating believer will have include:
- vs. 11, Groaning due to the Divine discipline he is under regretting the actions of a wasted life thus far.
- vs. 12, Regretting that he did not take the time to learn God’s Word as it was being taught by his teacher.
- vs. 13, Regretting that his heart rejected the truth of God’s Word and instead was filled with sin and cosmic viewpoint.
- vs. 14, Regretting the shame and embarrassment of being a hypocrite in the eyes of God’s people.
Summary of Vs. 7-14:
In vs. 7-8, we once again have an exhortation from the father to take in, (“listen”), and apply, (“do not depart” and “keep far from” and “do not go near”), wisdom, (“God’s Word”). Here is the importance of taking in God’s Word when it is available because it is the best defense against being deceived by the adulterous woman, Satan’s Cosmic System, including the false teacher, and making bad decisions that have consequences and cause regret.
In vs. 9-10, we are given four consequences of engaging the adulterous deceiver which are accompanied with four objects that will receive what God has intended for us, our families, and Himself legitimately, which all would have brought glory to God. But instead these things will go to the illegitimate four objects.
To begin the four illegitimate “objects” are given to us. Two in vs. 9 and two in vs. 10 including:
Vs. 9a, “Others” – Those living inside of Satan’s Cosmic System.
Vs. 9b, “Cruel One” – Satan himself.
Vs. 10a, “Strangers” – Illegitimate Offspring.
Vs. 10b, “Alien” – The Adulteress, herself.
Notice the pattern in each verse. The offspring come first and then the parent. In vs. 9, we first see “others” who are begotten of the “Cruel One.” And in vs. 10 we have “strangers” who are begotten of the “Alien”.
In vs. 9, we see Satan’s offspring are those living inside his “cosmic system”, which is his worldly way of doing things that includes immorality with its lust pattern of licentiousness or legalism with its lust pattern of approbation.
Likewise, vs. 10 shows us the illegitimate offspring of the adulterous relationship receiving what God intended for the legitimate family. In regard to false religion, it is legalism with its lust pattern of approbation, or antinomianism with its lust pattern of licentiousness. Therefore, the false teachers of false doctrines have illegitimate children called his or her, (as unfortunately we have female pastors in our churches today, cf. 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:6), congregation who adopt the same evil ways of their parent the “alien” pastor.
Both groups seem to include all unbelievers plus believers in reversionism, but the first group may lean more towards unbelievers, “others and the Cruel One”, while the second group of vs. 10, the “illegitimate family”, may lean more towards reversionistic believers, “strangers and an alien”, but that is just my opinion, whereas both groups most likely cover both unbelievers and reversionist believers.
Next we have “The Four Consequences” of vs. 9-10.
- Because you gave your glory, “vigor” to “others”, you will have a poor reputation with man, and no fellowship with God resulting in loss of rewards in the eternal state.
- You gave your “years” to “the cruel one”,e., Satan and his Cosmic System, rather than God, “A wasteful life,” Eph 5:18.
- Rather than producing Divine Good for the Lord, “your strength”, you will satisfy the lustful desires of the adulteress by giving her offspring, “strangers”.
- If you operate inside of Satan’s Cosmic System, the fruits of your labor or offspring will go to the adulteress, “alien”, those not walking in the Plan of God including the false teacher.
Once again notice the pattern we have, it begins by giving our best not to God but to others. This is followed by Satan stealing the precious few years of your life here on earth away from you and God. Followed by your good works going towards Satan’s cosmic system rather than it being Divine Good Production, compare 1 Cor 3:10-15. It culminates in the “alien” receiving everything while you are left with nothing, which includes minimal glory for God, (only because you are saved), and no rewards in the eternal state.
That is why 1 Cor 15:40-41, tell us, “There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42So also is the resurrection of the dead.”
Next we saw “The Four Regrets” of the believer in vs. 11-14, once he wakes up from his reversionism and looks back on all the time he wasted.
- vs. 11, His groaning is due to the Divine discipline he is under, regretting the actions of a wasted life thus far. The “later end” is not necessarily the end of his life. It is the end of his reversionistic lifestyle. “flesh and body consumed” is not death but speaking of the Divine discipline he has been under.
- vs. 12, Regretting that he did not take the time to learn God’s Word as it was being taught by his teacher. “Hated instruction” reflects negative volition when first taught the Word of God. Then we have his “heart spurned reproof” speaking of the garbage stored in the heart of his soul that rejected doctrine when it was taught.
- vs. 13, Regretting that the fact that he did not make the effort necessary to learn and apply God’s Word when it was being taught to him. And as noted in vs. 12, that his heart rejected the truth of God’s Word and instead was filled with sin and cosmic viewpoint.
- vs. 14, Regretting the shame and embarrassment of being a hypocrite in the eyes of God and his local assembly. “I was almost in utter ruin” is better translated, “I was operating in evil.” Here we see that he attended church being “in the midst of the assembly and congregation”, but was not taking in the Word as it was being taught. He was doing all the churchy church things, but it had no reality in his life, and instead he continued to operate in sin on a consistent basis. Therefore, he operated as a hypocrite.
Prov 5:15-20, The Exhortation for Faithfulness in Marriage, Finding Pleasure in Your Own Wife.
Now we turn to vs. 15-20 which is the father’s desire and prayer for his son. They are commonsense applications of the doctrine he is teaching that will bring true happiness to his son.
In images reminiscent of his greatest song in Song of Solomon, Solomon exhorts his son and all young men to find their joy and delight in their own wives, not in another woman’s arms, just as the Church, the body of Christ, should find its delights in our Lord rather than in sin and Satan’s Cosmic System.
Eccl 9:7-9, “Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. 8Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. 9Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
In Verse 15, we have “Drink water from your own cistern and fresh (running) water from your own well.”
“Cistern” and “well”, BOR, בּוֹר, and Ba’ER, בְּאֵר, (be-ayr’) respectfully, are referring to your legitimate wife to whom you are married. The former catches the rain, the latter wells out from within.
Drinking from one’s own cistern and well is a command or exhortation from the father to his son for fidelity within marriage and speaks of domestic bliss, as in Isa 36:16. The images of water, cistern, well, and fountain in these verses refer to the wife’s sexual relationship with her husband, it is pictured as enjoying one’s cistern or fountain in vs. 18, cf. Song of Sol 4:12, 15.
The contrast we see in these passages is between being intoxicated with (or staggering because of) her breasts and her love, vs. 19, versus being intoxicated with the love of another woman, vs. 20, a “stranger” to their marriage covenant. Just as we are to be intoxicated with God’s love for us, as found in His Word, versus falling in love with sin, human good, and evil of Satan’s Cosmic System.
“Drinking water” is used because you drink water to quench your thirst. Being thirsty is analogous for sexual desire and drinking is a figure of the sexual satisfaction of conjugal love, of which Paul says, 1 Cor 7:9, “it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” So “water”, as in Song of Sol 5:1, stands for quenching one’s sexual thirst.
Satisfying the sexual drive is likened to taking in solid food in Prov 30:20 and water and food in Prov 9:17 in the adulterous relationship. So we know that sexual desire can be satisfied with your right woman or with your wrong women.
Yet God exhorts the rewards of chastity and encourages moral purity, as a cistern… well… springs… streams, and fountain all control water, keeping it from being dissipated in the streets, as contrasted in vs. 16-17.
Prov 5:16-17, “Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the street? 17Let them be yours alone, and not for strangers with you.”
Sexual desires should be controlled and channeled in one’s marriage, not wasted as described in Prov 5:7-14. As a person would not get water from his neighbor’s faucet because he has his own, 2 Kings 18:31, so a man should have his physical needs met by his own wife, not someone else’s.
As 1 Cor 7:4-5 tells us, the husband’s and wife’s body is not their own, but the others.
1 Cor. 7:4-6, “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6But this I say by way of concession, not of command.”
In ancient times, a well of water was a very valuable possession, and a cistern is one of the most valuable possessions belonging to every well-furnished house. So the figures of the well and cistern are here surpassed by that of the fountain, but all refer to the seeking and finding satisfaction with your wife, and that, as the expressive possessive suffixes of “youth”, NaURIYM, נְעוּרִים, that is, נְעוּרֶךָ, denotes, with his legitimate wife.
Compared to the adulterous woman in Prov 23:27, “For a harlot is a deep pit and an adulterous woman is a narrow well”, where in vs. 16 the “abroad”, CHUTS, חוּץ, (streets), and the “streets”, RECHOB רְחֹב, (plaza) are the harlot’s beat, cf. Prov 7:12, “She is now in the streets, now in the squares, and lurks by every corner.”
Prov 5:18-20, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all time; be exhilarated always with her love. 20For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress, and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?”
As noted previously, this is a prayer of the father for his son as “let” in vs. 18 stands for a prayer that his son’s thirst may be quench, and that the son’s well may be a constant source of sweet water. So the father prays that his son will have a wife who can quench that thirst quantitatively, at all times, and qualitatively, in the most satisfying way.
“At all times” and “Always” means, whenever the son is thirsty, the quality of the wife’s lovemaking is totally satisfying and its quantity unending. Likewise, the father admonishes that inhibitions be left behind in the marriage bed, and emphasizes that the blessed wife’s lovemaking should always be available to drench and intoxicate the thirsty husband.
The explicit rhetorical question balances the implicit question of vs. 16, both asserting that the intimacy of sexual union belongs only within marriage. It encompasses not only the blessings of marriage and the delight of the marital relationship, but the dreadful consequences of infidelity, Prov 5:9-14, and anticipates the closing statement of this poem, Prov 5:21ff.
Therefore, as we have seen, adultery has immediate personal consequences, as well as covenantal implications that will not be apparent to the naïve, and love making within the marriage unit has tremendous blessings to both the husband and wife.
And Peter in 1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
We now turn to the seventh and final section of Chapter 5.
Prov 5:21-23, The Six Ever-Present Warnings Against Choosing Folly.
Prov 5:21-23, “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he watches all his paths. 22His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. 23He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.”
The conclusion of this poem reveals that the negative consequences of adultery are not merely personal or temporal, but that to commit adultery brings one under the judgment of God, a warning that is missing from the other two poems that warn against adultery, Prov 6:20-35; 7:1-27.
The troubles described in Prov 5:9-14 are thus one aspect of God’s judgment against the adulterer, which are a part of the Laws of Volitional Responsibility. So this lesson concludes with a sober prediction about the fatal consequences of sinning against God and spurning the father’s instruction (God’s Word).
It concludes with an interesting play on the Hebrew verb SHAGAH, שָׁגָה, in vs. 23 translated, “go astray”, which literally means, “to go astray, stray, err, to swerve: (meander, reel, roll, be intoxicated).” It is primarily used to express the idea of straying or wandering in sin.
It is used here regarding the believer who is in reversionism, “in the greatest of his folly”, who, as a result may even suffer the third stage of Divine Discipline, the Sin Unto Death.
What is interesting is that this is the same word used in vs. 19 for “exhilarated” (NASB), or “ravished” (KJV), regarding love making with your right woman, and it is used in vs. 20 for having sexual relationship with the adulteress, “for why should you my son be exhilarated with an adulteress.”
We have noted that the husband is to “be exhilarated always” with the love of his right woman, and go astray, wander, and meander all over her while making love to her so that he is completely satisfied and quenches his sexual thirst. If he does, then he is much more likely to not be tempted to go astray in sin and evil with the adulterous woman that leads to a lifestyle of misery and further sin, “in the greatness of his folly he will go astray”, vs. 23.
Reflecting on the warning against adultery and the frank invitation to the erotic delights of married love, Raymond C. Van Leeuwen insightfully comments: “The opposition of adultery to married love concretely shows that sin and folly cross created boundaries, while the play of eros within marriage illustrates freedom within form.” (Van Leeuwen, The New Interpreter’s Bible – Proverbs)
As we have been noting, this literal analogy speaks volumes of our spiritual walk with Christ who is our true right man. Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” says this well:
“Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside,
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Gazing on the Crucified.”
But when we take our eyes off of Jesus, we start to put them on self and Satan’s cosmic system, which will have consequences within our marriage and outside. But when we “keep them fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”, we will have a better married life, with better sexual relations with our right woman, and be protected from the adulterous and Satan’s Cosmic System.
Now in vs. 21, we have the first two of the Six Warnings. Prov 5:21, “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths.”
In this verse, we have both DEREK for “ways” and MAGAL for “paths.” The two verbs used throughout Proverbs regarding our daily walk in life.
“Eyes” or AYIN is an anthropomorphism that ascribes a physical characteristic of man to God so that we can better understand Him. Essentially, this is describing the Justice and Omniscience (all knowing) of God who has always known and will always know our every step in life. Even though God has known our every step, He is also presently and actively engaged in what you are doing. All of your life is directly viewed by God, which includes the bedroom!
“And He watches all his paths.”
“Watches” is the Hebrew Verb PALAS, פָּלַס, that means, “to prepare, to weigh, make level, or balance.” So “watches” is in the sense of watching the scales on a balance to see if they are level or not. That is the idea we saw in Prov 4:26, exhorting us to “make level” or “watch the path of our feet.”
Likewise, in Prov 5:6, the idea of PALAS, translated “ponder”, is that the adulteress does not consider, weigh out, the path her life is on; she does not weigh the outcome of her sins nor the impact her lifestyle is having on her life and others.
Now back in vs. 21, it states that a man’s life is under God’s “watch”, that is His scrutiny, as He “examines all of our paths.” This warning is based on God’s evaluation of one’s ways, the various verbs used (e.g., “watches,” “ponders,” “examines”), all representing the idea that God “weighs” one’s path as in a balance.
So by repeating the verb from Prov 5:6a, where it describes what the “strange woman” fails to do, reinforces the idea, first seen in Prov 5:11, that the fates of both the adulterer and adulteress are headed for difficulty, under God’s punitive action, under both the Law of Volitional Responsibility, Gal 6:7-8, and Divine Discipline as noted in 1 Cor 11:28-32.
Gal 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
1 Cor 11:28-32, “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”
Then in Prov 5:22, we have the third and fourth warnings, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.”
“Iniquities” is the Hebrew noun AWON, עָוֹן, which means, “iniquity, guilt, sin, or punishment for iniquity.” It is derived from AWAH that means, “to bend, to twist, or to distort.” The noun always carries the idea of moral twisting. The etymology of the word serves as a vivid reminder that sin is often a twisting of something that was intended as good. As in our verse, sexual relations between the husband and wife were designed by God for both procreation and recreation, as we see in Genesis 3:16: 4:1; cf. Prov 5:15-19.
So “iniquities” sometimes denotes actions that would normally be considered good, but fall under the category of iniquity because of a wrong bent in motivation or an attitude of self will as in Adultery or Fornication. And in the extreme, “iniquity” can denote actions that are seen as the worst perversions, because they are a twisted caricature of something good.
“Wicked” is RASHA, רָשָׁע, which means, “wicked, evildoer, etc.” It is typically used as the opposite of being righteous. Here it is speaking to the adulterous son, if he goes down that path.
“Capture” is LAKAD, לָכַד, that means, “to capture, take, or seize”, in the Qal Imperfect. Therefore, the sins of the “wicked” individual will continually capture or seize the one committing the sins. In other words, they will be walking out of fellowship being overrun in their soul with sin and the sin nature. As a result, the sins that they commit will have consequences and cause regrets in their life, not to mention the Divine Discipline of the Lord.
So we could say, “The evildoer’s transgressions capture him.”
Then we have “and he will be held with the cords of his sin.” Here is the double emphasis of the impact of sin.
“Cords” is CHEVEL, חֶבֶל, and means, “rope or cord” but is also used for a region or company. So we see the whole sphere of the sins you are living in that capture and hold you.
“Held” is the verb TAMAK, תָּמַךְ, that means, “to take hold of or to grasp.” It is in the Niphal, (passive form), Imperfect which means, the adulterer keeps on being held by their own “sin”, CHATTATH, חַטָּאת.
The wicked is not only trapped by his sin, he is trapped by it because he chose to leave the path of wisdom. And the point is; an apparently insignificant step off the path often leads to catastrophe.
Finally, in vs. 23 we have the fifth and sixth warning, “He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.”
The first half of the verse is literally, “he will die without discipline” where “discipline” is noun MUSAR that means, “chastisement, discipline, warning, or instruction.” Here and throughout scripture, we see the double meaning of the word in that instruction means you are disciplined or trained in God’s Word, as well as it meaning the discipline (punishment) of God. So we understand that if we do not have the instruction of God’s Word applied in our lives, we may receive His punitive discipline, because a lack of wisdom in your soul typically means you are operating under sin.
And in this verse we see the possible outcome of this choice is death, as Solomon warns throughout the prologue, e.g., Prov 1:18f; 2:18f, 22; 8:36; 9:18, which is also the third stage of Divine Discipline, 1 Cor 11:30; 1 John 5:16.
The problem here is not that his son was untaught but that he rejected the instruction that he was offered. This is the real warning to the student, who must pay attention to the teaching that he is being offered, Prov 5:1, so that he can avoid the same snare.
Then in the second half, “in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.” Here we see that sin begets sin. As one does not operate in the wisdom of God and instead deals foolishly regarding life, it leads to further wandering and meandering outside of the Plan of God.
The structure of the verse both emphasizes the wages of sin and closes the poem. This warning is contrasted with the positive injunctions in Prov 4:25ff, which contain many of the same words.
So what we have in these final passages is both God’s Divine Discipline and The Law of Volition Responsibility.
The Law of Volition Responsibility
- Under the Law of Volition Responsibility, we cause our own misery and suffering, Gal 6:7.
Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
This is the most common and the first cause for human suffering in general, and is also a specific cause for believers. Our emphasis here is on believers only. Under the Law of Divine Punitive Action, God many times allows the Law of Volitional Responsibility to dictate our discipline. As we have seen, the son in Prov 5:9-14 is projected to have tremendous consequences and regret for his negative volition towards Bible Doctrine and his actions.
- Every human being must take the responsibility for his own decisions and his own actions in life. You must understand that you can never blame others for your misery, your unhappiness, and your suffering. You take full responsibility yourself, based on your own wrong decisions related to your associations, your activities, your motives, and your functions in life.
- Human volition is the source of personal sins, human good, and evil. In God’s plan for your life, sin, human good, and evil are all absolutely rejected. But it is inevitable that throughout all of our lives as Christians, we will sin, perform human good, and fail in evil.
- At salvation all sins were judged at the Cross. Yet all our sins have natural consequences in life, for which the individual who commits them must take full responsibility. We must always link consequences with bad decisions, rather than blaming someone else. A short trip to unhappiness is to always blame others for your problems, not seeing them as a result of your bad decisions.
Gal 6:8 states the Law of Volition Responsibility; “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
- Volition and decision making is the source of both sins of ignorance and sins of cognizance. Therefore, each person must be held responsible for his own decisions, whether or not he understands their category or their consequences.
- The consequences are generally classified as self-imposed misery, self- induced misery, and self -indulged misery, as we saw in Prov 5:9-14, cf. Prov 28:8.
Prov 22:8, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, (Law of Volitional Responsibility), and the rod of His punishment, (Divine discipline) will surely come to him.” Here we see the combination of the Law of Volitional Responsibility, (with its self-imposed, induced, and indulged misery), and Divine Discipline, just as in Prov 5:21-23.
“Self-imposed” means, voluntarily assumed or endured.
“Self-induced” means, willfully acquired or brought on.
“Self-indulged” means, yielding to the desires and whims of oneself, especially to an excessive degree.
Hos 8:7, “They who sow to the wind shall also reap the whirlwind.”
Col 3:25, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of that wrong which he has done, and there is no partiality, (from God).” (Brackets mine)
- The Law of Volitional Responsibility applies to four categories of your life: thinking, motivation, decision making, and action.
Self-imposed misery is suffering caused by bad thinking and wrong motivation. It is caused by ignorance of Bible doctrine and resultant self-deception. Bad or negative thinking or motivation includes all wrong mental attitudes, all forms of arrogance, and everything by which you react to life in your thinking. So by wrong thinking and wrong motivation, we enter into self-imposed misery before we make any decisions that cause self-induced misery.
Prov 11:22, “As a golden ring in a pig’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”
A woman can get so carried away with her beauty that she makes a lot of bad decisions in her mental attitude, and so brings on to herself self-imposed misery. We see the same for the man prone to anger in Prov 19:19.
Prov 19:19, “A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.”
Negative or wrong decisions result then in self-induced misery. This is classified in two ways:
1) Deliberate wrong actions which bring self-induced misery
2) Impulsive wrong actions which is self-gratification or self-indulged misery.
There are at least seven categories of wrong decisions which produce self-induced misery under the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
- Wrong decisions based on sin.
- Wrong decisions based on human good.
- Wrong decisions resulting in evil.
- Wrong decisions based on erroneous emotions. This is one of the worst reasons to make a decision. For emotions cannot think, cannot rationalize, have no common sense.
- Wrong decisions based on bad judgment. This is a very common cause, and is due to lack of common sense, total disorientation to life, and not knowing your limitations.
- Wrong decisions based on lust.
- Wrong decisions based on false teaching.
Since deliberate wrong actions originate from wrong motives and wrong decisions, these cause self-induced misery, whereas impulsive actions are spontaneous and impetuous. Hence, they circumvent motives and decisions and generally fall back to thinking related to lust and self-gratification and are related to a locked in system of arrogance.
Prov 13:20, “He who walks with the wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will receive sin/evil (suffer harm / misery).”
We make good and bad decisions with regard to the people with whom we associate. If you associate with the wrong crowd, you are making a decision that will cause you a tremendous amount of unhappiness!
Prov 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit (arrogance) before stumbling (a fall).”
“Destruction” and “stumbling” here refer to both self-imposed and self-induced misery under the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
Yet for the positive believer, when we have God’s Word in the right lobe (heart) of our soul, as a result of being Occupied with Christ, we will not bring upon ourselves the self-induced misery that is common in the world, because we will be making good decisions on a consistent basis. Therefore, the result is inner peace and happiness (+H)
Prov 19:23, “The fear of (Occupation with) the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”
Phil 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
- Under the Law of Volition Responsibility, the believer inflicts on himself suffering, sometimes unbearable, from the following categories.
- Personal sins.
- Function of human good.
- Function of evil.
- Function of moral or immoral degeneracy.
- “Grieving the Spirit.”
- “Quenching the Spirit.”
- Lack of common sense and bad judgment.
- Subjective arrogance: the overestimation of your own abilities or failing to see yourself in the light of reality.
Both believer and unbeliever function under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, not only from sin, but also from the violation of the Laws of Divine Establishment, which are the operational laws for the entire human race within the framework of a national entity. There is intense suffering from violating: the sacredness of life, property, and privacy in criminal acts; marriage; the family unit; your nation; etc.
- Many wrong decisions come from arrogance, self-centeredness, selfishness, self-righteousness, and the practice of making thousands of wrong decisions. To protect us from this, God has provided various forms of authority that begin with Himself and the Bible, and includes: parents, pastor teachers, coaches, bosses, policemen, government officials, and all other forms of authority. That is why we have added, “Authority Orientation” to the list of Problem Solving Devices.
As 1 Cor 11:30 tells us “some are weak and sick, and a number sleep.” That means, that many wrong decisions result in fatigue, mental illnesses and psychotic, neurotic, and sociopathic behavior on the part of believers.
- Man manufactures many of his own problems and resultant suffering. God manufactures solutions and blessings in the midst of suffering.
- As we have already seen, the book of Proverbs is a composition of good and bad thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions in life. Proverbs teaches the believer how to live without learning the hard way, i.e., from mistakes and suffering through self-imposed, self-induced, and self-indulged misery. Most wrong decisions reflect indifference or negative volition toward Bible doctrine, as mentioned in many verses in Prov 1 and 8.
Prov 22:8, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble (Law of Volition Responsibility), and the rod of His punishment will surely come (Divine Discipline).” This illustrates both self-induced misery and Divine discipline, as a result of bad decisions due to indifference or ignorance of God’s Word. For more on Divine discipline see, Deut 8:5; 2 Sam 7:14; Psa 119:75; Prov 3:12; 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14; Heb 12:6-10; Rev 3:19.
Prov 2 taught us that good decisions always result from metabolized doctrine resident within your soul, called CHOKMAH or wisdom, (the equivalent of the Greek word EPIGNOSIS).
Compare also: Prov 12:13; 15:17, 33; 17:1, 13, 20; 19:8, 15-16, 23, 25; 20:19, 22; 21:9, 19, 21; 22:8; 23:9, 27 28, 29 30; 24:17 18; 25:16; 29:1.
- The Standard Operating Procedure for Dealing with Problems.
There are three items in the procedure of dealing with problems.
- Recognize your problem of post-salvation sinning, Job 15:14; Prov 20:9; Rom 3:19ff; James 3:2, 1 John 1:7-8, 10.
Job 15:14, “What is man, that he should be pure, or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Prov 20:9, “Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?”
Rom 3:20, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
James 3:2, “For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.”
1 John 1:7-8, 10, “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us…. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
- Utilize the solution: The Rebound Technique, 1 John 1:9, Luke 15:18; Lev 5:5; 16:21; 26:40; Numb 5:7; Psa 32:5; 38:18.
Lev 5:5, “So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.”
Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”, and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.”
In Luke 15:18 the prodigal son says, “I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.”
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Rebound is then supported by the other Problem Solving Devices: (Filling of the Holy Spirit, the Faith-Rest Drill, Grace Orientation, Doctrinal Orientation, Authority Orientation, A Personal Sense of Destiny, Personal Love for God the Father, Impersonal Love for all Mankind, Sharing the Happiness of God, and Occupation with Christ).
- Emphasize the priority: God emphasis over people emphasis, Rom 12:2-3; Heb 12:1-4.
Rom 12:2-3, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
Heb 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Remember, it is your volition that decided to let people, temptations, your sin nature, sin, human good, evil, etc., to be a problem in your life or not. If you keep your emphasis and focus on God, those things will not be a problem to you.
The Christian way of life or Plan of God is designed for you to master the subject by listening; listening to God’s Word as it is taught, and when it is in your soul. One subject that you must master is the Problem Solving Devices, which are the defense system of your soul. The only thing you need to bring is your very own positive volition.