Feb8MonFebruary 8, 2021
What an amazing God we serve - full of mercy, grace and truth!
Proverbs 5 is one of many we will see, whose focus is on guarding marriages and the marriage bed (see Hebrews 13:4). It approaches the topic from a male perspective, but we need to read it as a warning to all of us. Marital infidelity is epidemic, and is a temptation for male and female alike. Remember, this is Solomon, whose father was David, who sinned with a married woman - Bathsheba (2Samuel 11). This is the same Solomon who had 700 wives, and 300 concubines (1Kings 11:3). Solomon may have learned a thing or two along the way. Is this topic relevant for today? Absolutely! Even more so in our sex-crazed culture. At least once a week, there is another scandal in the news, where a prominent "celebrity" Christian minister has fallen from grace. Most recently, the pastor of Hillsong New York was outed for marital infidelity multiple times over. Sadly, the revered apologist, recently deceased, Ravi Zacharias, was exposed as having had many sexual encounters, while married to his wife of 48 years. Can we blame the luring of the "adulterous women"? I don't think so. It takes two to tango! We are all susceptible to the temptations of the enemy! How could so many Christian leaders, who are supposed to know the Lord, fall victim to such behavior? The answer lies in Proverbs 5 (using NIV):
A. 1-6: Which voice are you listening to: The voice of God = wisdom, insight, discretion, knowledge; or the voice of Seduction= sweet, smooth, sharp, deadly, and crooked. One voice leads to death, God's voice always leads to abundant life!
B. 7-14: Which path are you following: Do not turn from the path of God and stay away from that door that leads to sin. In other words, keep a guard over your mind and heart, and don't crack the door open for the enemy to squeeze in! Remember, change is gradual as one is lured away into sin. Here are some signs to watch for:
1. Your health and wealth will be affected by your choices (verses 9 & 10). It starts out in secret with spying and lying. Anxiety, fear of getting caught; leading a double life. All of it empties your wallet and affects your emotional and mental wellness; it changes your character - the price of infidelity is high
2. You will watch your life turn into ruin, (v.11).There will be regret, and agony of soul. Your lips will be filled with "if only I had" listened to my instructors (v.12-13). Utter ruin and remorse await the one who falls victim to infidelity.
C. 15-19: Find satisfaction in the spouse you have been given: "The grass is always greener on the other side" - but that's not your grass! Stop looking at the other side! Learn to love the one you're with. Praise God for your spouse. I see my wife as a gift from God! She is the one God chose for me! I desire no other since she is the "water" that satisfies my thirst (v.15-17). Rejoice in the spouse you have! Be captivated (intoxicated) by their love!(v.19) Choose not to look elsewhere. Remember the words of Jesus: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28) Tell your spouse you love them - treat them as a special "one and only" gift from God to you! By the way - it's Valentines day this Sunday! Ask God to give you His love for your spouse. One thing we have learned along the way - don't ask God to change your spouse; Ask God to change you! Then you will change how you view your spouse. It is possible for God to heal and restore marriages that are on the brink of ending! He's done it before; He can do it again.
D. 20-23: Adultery is Foolish: The age old question, "why?". That is what will haunt the one who chooses adultery. Why did I throw my life away? Why did I risk everything for a moment of passion?(v.20). Even though I tried to hide it, God saw it all. We can't hide anything from God (v.21). Our sinful choices lead to destruction and death (v.22-23). Notice the repetition of "captivated/intoxicated" in verses 19 & 20. We are either captivated by our spouse or the adulterer. Again, the message is clear: one path leads to life, the other leads to death; and the Lord "examines" all of our paths (21).
Maybe you are thinking, "this is not a problem for me since I do not have a spouse". If you are not married, it is still possible to commit "spiritual" adultery by having another "love" in your life, other than Jesus. Idolatry is spiritual adultery (see James 4:4-5). For believers who love the world, and the things of the world more than God, they are committing spiritual adultery. We need to set our affection on our first love, even Jesus.
This is an important topic to God. The marriage relationship is often likened to the relationship between God and His people. God is displayed as a faithful Husband to His Bride. He often chastises Israel for being an unfaithful wife (Ezekiel 16; Jeremiah 2:23-3:5; Book of Hosea).
The conclusion of the matter is quite simple: Love God; love your spouse. If that is hard, ask God to give you His love for your spouse. Do not love the world. Proverbs has many passages like this one (see Proverbs 6:20-35; Proverbs 7).
(Supplemental reading: Ephesians 5:25-33; Malachi 2:10-16)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4 NIV)
May God bless your marriage! May He give you a deep love for your spouse! May you be satisfied with the spouse He chose for you!
Have a great week!