Shall we turn in our Bibles tonight to Proverbs, chapter 1. The first six verses are sort of a preface to the book, as authors many times write a preface to their work.
The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel (1:1);
When Solomon first came into the throne of his father David, the kingdom of Israel had come really to the zenith of its glory, of power. It was at that point one of the strongest kingdoms in the world. Blessed of God mightily. And when Solomon became king, God said unto Solomon, "Ask of Me what you will." And Solomon prayed unto the Lord and said, "Lord, I ask You that You would give me wisdom in governing over these Your people." And so the Lord said unto Solomon, "Inasmuch as you did not ask for fame or riches or honor, but you asked for wisdom, I will grant unto you that which you have asked, but I will also give to you that which you did not ask. I will give to you wealth and honor and glory." And so the Scripture said that God gave wisdom unto Solomon.
Unfortunately, in Solomon's later years, he did not really follow his own counsels and advice that he had given here to his son in the first eight chapters. It's sort of ascribed or defined, “To my son.” And he did not even follow his own advice. He did not follow after wisdom and we see the tragic results of it as is reflected in his writing of the book of Ecclesiastes, a man who had everything and yet had nothing. A man who had everything in life that anybody could possibly wish for, and yet cried out against the emptiness and frustration of life, because he did not continue in wisdom. We'll get to that a little bit more as we get down to verse 7.
But Solomon was a very prolific writer. He wrote several songs. He wrote 3,000 proverbs. He wrote books on biology, zoology, and many different fields. People came from all over the world to sit and to hear his wisdom, as he would expound on plants and animals and things of this nature. So these proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, the king of Israel. Now the purpose of a proverb is
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (1:2);
For the most part, they are put in such a way as they can fasten their selves upon your memory. In little words of contrast or in such a way picturesque or compared to, so that they really fix themselves in your mind. And the purpose of the proverb is to know wisdom, to receive instruction.
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. Now a wise man will hear, and will increase his learning; a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings (1:3-6).
So now he begins with the proverb with this first and foremost.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: [in contrast] but fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7).
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning." Now, the word beginning here in Greek, or in Hebrew rather, the Hebrew here means sort of the head or the sum total. In other words, the fear of the Lord, this is knowledge all wrapped up. It's the summation of knowledge, the fear of the Lord. We come to chapter 9 and he says again there, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge or the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). It sounds like he's saying the same thing but he's not.
In chapter 9, verse 10, the word beginning there is a different Hebrew word, which does mean more what our word beginning means, is the first steps of wisdom. So the fear of the Lord is the first step, but it is also the total.
Now, what is meant by the fear of the Lord? As you get into chapter 8, verse 13, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." That's what the fear of the Lord is all about, to hate evil. So this is really the beginning, the sum of real knowledge, is that of hating evil. It's the first steps towards wisdom, the hating of evil.
We live in a very tolerant age, and unfortunately, our tolerance level has become very high. We've become very tolerant of evil. What we are really lacking today is a real hatred of evil. We've been taught, you know, we're not to hate anything, and so hate has been put as one of those intolerant words and people who have hatred are put in a category, so we want to accept everybody. “Live and let live,” you know, and to develop a tolerance towards evil things. Evil is always seeking to be tolerated. It always is looking for you to compromise and to accept it. The real beginning and the sum of knowledge is really a hatred of evil because God hates evil.
If I am to fellowship with God, I must also hate evil. I cannot tolerate evil in my life if I'm to have true fellowship with God. So, the fear of the Lord is the summation of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son (1:8),
And he addresses this whole first part to, “My son.”
hear the instruction of thy father, forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not (1:8-10).
All of the invitations of evil that we are presented with week by week, but don't consent. If sinners entice thee, consent not.
If they say, Come with us (1:11),
And, of course, these guys are really real robbers and all.
let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privately for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down to the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast our lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way of them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood (1:11-16).
Now we have an interesting little proverb, and I don't know just why it's put right in this particular place. But he said,
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird (1:17).
Now if you're going to try and catch birds, if you set the net right out while they're watching you, it's in vain. They won't come into it. But then he goes right back to the wicked.
They lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privately for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which takes away the life of the owners thereof. Wisdom crieth without; she utters her voice in the streets: She cries in the chief place of the concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she utters her words, saying (1:18-21),
Now wisdom at this point, from verse 20, he gets into a discourse on wisdom, and he personifies wisdom. Makes it a…actually personifies, and some see in the personification either God or Jesus Christ, but there are certain dangers in this likening it to God or Jesus Christ, as you'll discover as we get further into the personification of wisdom. But here again, the personification of wisdom. As she cries in the streets, she says,
How long, ye simple ones, will you love your simplicity? and the scorners delight in scorning, and [how long will the] fools hate knowledge? Turn at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But you have set at nought all of my counsel, and you would not heed my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear comes as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come upon you. Then shall they call unto me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD (1:22-29):
So the Scriptures speak of the calamity that will ultimately call to those who reject wisdom, which is to hate evil. Ultimately, calamity will come. God declares that when the calamity comes, then there would be no one to help you.
They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of the fool shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil (1:30-33).
Continuing to address to his son.
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with you; So that you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek after her as silver, and you search for her as for a hidden treasure; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to him that walks uprightly. He keeps the paths of judgment, and preserves the way of his saints. Then shall you understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yes, every good path. When wisdom entered this into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul; Discretion will preserve you, understanding will keep you: And they will deliver you from the way of the evil man, and from the man that speaks froward things (2:1-12);
The word froward is a word that means perverse. The Hebrew word is perverse things.
Who leaves the paths of the uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoices to do evil, and delights in the perverseness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they pervert their own paths: To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flatters with her words; Who has forsaken the husband of her youth, and has forgotten the covenant that she made before God. For her house inclines unto death, her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the ways of good men, keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it (2:13-22).
So the instructions of a father to a son. I think that so many times as fathers we probably don't take enough time to just really sit down with our sons and talk to them about life and the issues of life. The importance of seeking after the knowledge of God and the wisdom of God. Seeking it diligently just like you would seek for prosperity from silver or anything else. Hidden treasures. For the treasures of the wisdom and the knowledge, the treasures that they bring to a man who possesses them.
And then the warning against the adulterous woman. How that wisdom will lead you from her, deliver you from her who flatters with her words. As most women know, men are real suckers for flattery. “Oh, you're so strong. Can you open this jar for me, you know? Oh, you're strong, you know.” And men are just…they eat it up.
Now, unfortunately, our wives are many times more honest with us. And they, so many times, are just blunt. “Sometimes I think you're so dumb. How can you do such stupid things?” And here the stranger comes along and with her flattery says, "Oh, you're so smart! My, where did you learn all of that? I've never met a man as clever as you," and the flattery. How many men have been trapped by that? And so the warning is against the adulterous woman who flatters with her lips. Be careful of that.
The Bible says that she has forsaken the covenant that she made before God, the marriage vows, the husband of her youth. She has left him. And now she is looking for a prey. She's looking for security. And she comes along with her flattering words and like poor Samson, through her flattering lips the strongest man can be brought down to a crust of bread.
And so here is just a father warning his son, “Be careful for these gals, son, who come along with their flatteries and all. Who can turn and twist your judgment because their path is the path of death. You go into their houses, you don't come out again. There's destruction in their ways.” And so the dad warning his son, and we need to be warned of the folly of forsaking the covenants that we have made in our own marriage vows in order to listen to the words of a flatterer. "None that go in unto her return again, neither do they take hold of the path of life."
Chapter 3 continues to
My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: For length of days, long life, peace, shall they add to thee (3:1-2).
Now these are the three. And we get now into some couplets here. He gives sort of a word, and then he tells you what the result of it will be. And to keep the commandment in your heart, it will grant to you the length of days, long life, peace will they add to thee. Now the next little statement:
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about your neck; write them on the table of your heart (3:3):
What? Mercy and truth.
So will you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man (3:4).
So you see the results of writing the laws of mercy and truth upon your heart.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him (3:5-6),
And the result will be:
he will direct your path (3:6).
How can I know the will of God? A question so often asked. Three steps. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Two: lean not to your own understanding. Three: in all your ways acknowledge Him. The result? He shall direct your path.
Now the next word of exhortation:
Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, depart from evil (3:7).
And the result:
It will be health to thy body, and marrow to thy bones (3:8).
You'll be healthy. "Fear the LORD, depart from evil."
The next exhortation:
Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all of your increase (3:9):
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (3:10)
That would be the winepresses.
shall burst out with new wine (3:10).
Now there is a basic law, and I'm not talking about the Ten Commandments or the law given by Moses, just a basic law of God as we speak of laws. We speak of laws of nature, or the law of magnetism, the law of gravity, the law of electricity, the various laws of nature. They're just there. We've studied them. We've been able to formulize them and understand them that they work. We don't always know why they work, but we know they work. We know that they are just basic laws of nature that they work. There's a cause and effect.
Now, in the same token there are basic spiritual laws that God has established that have a cause and effect kind of a thing just like any other law that is operating in our natural world around us. And there is a law of God concerning giving. And though we cannot understand exactly how it works, yet it does work. Now, I don't have to understand how electricity works to benefit from electricity. Even so, I don't have to understand how the laws of God work as far as giving to benefit from them.
Now here the law of God is stated, "Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the firstfruits of your increase." I believe that the firstfruits belong to God. The first thing that comes out of my salary or my wages were it ever, is earmarked for the Lord. If I've sold a piece of property, the increase, the firstfruits of it I give to God of the increase. Honoring God with your substance. Now this law is stated throughout the Bible many places and is illustrated in many places.
In Malachi, we read, "Will a man rob God? You say, ‘Well, wherein have we robbed God?’ And God said, ‘In your tithes and in your offerings. Now prove Me and see if I will not pour out unto you a blessing which you cannot contain’" (Malachi 3:8,10). God challenges you to test this law. Jesus said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; measured out, pressed down, running over, shall men give unto your bosom" (Luke 6:38). Paul the apostle said that if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly; but if we sow bountifully, we're going to reap bountifully (II Corinthians 9:6). "In whatever measure you mete, it's going to be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:2), the law of God.
I cannot tell you how it works. All I can do is affirm for you that it does work. God honors that law of giving. And so here is Solomon exhorting his son, "Honor the Lord with your substance and with the firstfruit of all of your increase." What will the result be? "Your barns will be filled with plenty. Your presses shall burst out with new wine."
The next exhortation is:
My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delights (3:11-12).
In Hebrews this passage or this proverb is quoted. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord." Now in Hebrews, he adds, "For He chastens every son that He receives and if a person isn't chastened of the Lord" (Hebrews 12:6). If you can get by with evil, then you better be very concerned. Because if you're a child of God, He's not going to let you get by with evil.
Now a lot of times if we venture into something that we know is wrong and we get caught, then we get real upset with God. “How come they can do it and they can get by with it? I do it and I get caught, you know. Not fair!” If you can do it and get by with it, then you're in a dangerous place. That's an indication you're not a true son of God. God only chastens his sons. So the chastening process of God in my life is always a very comforting process, because at least it proves that I'm His son. He's not going to let me get by with it. Thank You, Father. So, don't despise the chastening of the Lord; don't be weary with His correction. For whom the Lord loveth He corrects."
Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding: For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, the gain is better than gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all of the things that you can desire are not to be compared unto wisdom and understanding (3:13-15).
Oh, that we would really gain wisdom and understanding of God, of God's will, of life.
Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, all of her paths are peace (3:16-17).
Oh, the benefit of rich and the riches that come from wisdom and understanding.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her (3:18).
So all of these things that we count as important: pleasantness, peace, life, happiness. These things all come to the person who has gained wisdom and understanding. Now as he extols wisdom and tells of its effects and results.
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace unto thy neck. Then shall you walk in the way safely, and your foot shall not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid: yea, you will lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear [or sudden terror], that comes upon the wicked (3:19-25).
When the day of judgment and terror comes, you don't need to be afraid. You can have that confidence, I'm a child of God.
For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (3:26).
When the day of calamity comes upon the wicked, we do not need to fear.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it (3:27).
This is stated by the New Testament also, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, it is evil" (James 4:17). You have the capacity to do good and you fail to do it, that's just as much a sin as some overt act of sin. There are sins of failing to do the right thing, just as there are sins of doing the wrong thing. There are sins of omission, omitting to do that which is right or good.
Say not to your neighbor, Go, and come again to-morrow, and I will give it to you; when it's by your side (3:28).
In other words, don't forestall or put him off.
Devise not evil against your neighbor, seeing that he's dwelling securely by you. Strive not with a man without cause, if he hasn't done you any harm (3:29-30).
Don't go looking for a fight and just getting into trouble.
Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD: but God's secret is with the righteous. The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesses the dwelling place of the just. Surely he scorns the scorners: but he gives grace unto the lowly (3:31-34).
"Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift thee up" (James 4:10). "He that exalteth himself shall be abased; he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:12). All of these really come, they're the expression of the same truth. "Surely He scorneth the scorners, but He gives grace to the lowly."
The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools (3:35).
Continuing to his son.
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend that you might know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, don't forsake my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother (4:1-3).
So Solomon now is speaking of his father David and of his mother Bathsheba. "Tender and beloved in the sight of his mother."
Now he taught me (4:4)
Now this would be David, his father.
He taught me also, and said unto me, Let your heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Now get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all of thy getting get understanding (4:4-7).
Now you know, there are certain people who have a lot of knowledge but they're fools. They don't know how to use their knowledge. They don't have wisdom. If there is to be a choice made between wisdom and knowledge, it's better to choose wisdom. It's like the mother who told her child, “Honey, when you don't got an education, you got to use your brains.” And wisdom is really preferable to knowledge. For unless you have wisdom, knowledge can be dangerous. Knowledge can destroy. Wisdom is the principal thing, which is actually the correct application of knowledge. It's knowing what to do with what you know. Understanding.
So here is David talking to Solomon. “Now look, son, wisdom is the principal thing. So get wisdom. And with all of your getting get understanding.” Oh, to have an understanding heart. Oh, to have a heart that is filled with wisdom. Fear of the Lord, the beginning of wisdom, where it starts.
Exalt her, and she will promote you: she shall bring you to honor, when you do when you embrace her. She shall give to your head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory will she deliver to you. Hear, O my son (4:8-10),
It seems like Solomon picks it up here again.
receive my sayings; and the years of your life will be many. For I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths. When you go, your steps shall not be straitened; and when you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; [grip her] don't let her go: keep her; for she is your life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, do not go in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, run from it. For they sleep not, unless they have done some mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they've caused someone to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and they drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day (4:10-18).
So here is the contrast. The wicked who go in darkness and who cannot sleep until they've done their mischief and so forth, in contrast to the path of the just, which is as a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Beautiful.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (4:19-23).
Here, I think, is perhaps the key. Keeping our hearts with all diligence. Now the Bible speaks of the soul, the emotions of man, conscious level, but it speaks also of the heart of man, which is always considered one level deeper. "Out of the abundance of the heart," the Scriptures said, "the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34). "It is not which goes into a man's mouth that defiles a man but that which comes out" (Matthew 15:11). Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And out of the heart there issue you know all of these things. So the heart is considered as sort of the center of the volitional part of man, the will of man. There is a difference made in the Scripture with the believing in your mind and the believing in your heart. “That if thou shall confess with thy mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart" (Romans 10:9). What you believe in your heart affects the way you live, what you believe in your mind can pass by and have no effect upon the way you live. But when it's down deep within your heart, then there is the effect upon your life. We must keep our hearts with all diligence, because it is out of the heart that the issues of life spring forth.
Put away from you a froward mouth [a perverse mouth], perverse lips put far from thee. Let your eyes look straight ahead. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Don't turn to the right or to the left: but remove your foot from evil (4:24-27).
Now my son, attend unto my wisdom, bow your ear to my understanding: That you may regard discretion, and that your lips may keep knowledge (5:1-5:2).
And now he's going to warn his son again about the strange woman.
For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood (5:3-4),
Now, though her lips drop like a honeycomb, all the sweetness and sugar and all, yet the end is bitter. Bitter as wormwood. And though her mouth is smoother than oil, in the end it's like
a two-edged sword (5:4).
It'll cut you to pieces.
Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell (5:5).
Actually, he's talking here, of course, a prostitute, an adulterous woman, strange woman.
Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that you cannot know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, do not come near the door of her house: Lest you give your honor to others, and your years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the house of a stranger; And you mourn in the end, when your flesh and body are consumed (5:6-11),
When you have contracted some venereal disease.
And you say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof (5:12);
How can I do such a stupid thing? Why did I do that? And save yourself all the remorse of your own folly.
And you have not obeyed the voice of your teachers, nor inclined your ear to those that instructed! (5:13)
You cry out, “Why didn't I obey the voice of my teachers? Why didn't I listen to those that were instructing me?”
I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Now drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well (5:14-15).
In other words, enjoy the marital relationship with your own wife. Drink the waters of your own cistern, of your own well. Don't go looking for strange water.
Lest thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and the rivers of water in the streets (5:16).
Lest you just chase after anything that goes down the street. Keep yourself actually pure.
And with your own wife, and not with a stranger. Let your fountain of life be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Let her be as a loving hind, as a pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love (5:17-19).
The Bible speaks so much of the beauty of the love and the love relationship within marriage. God has ordained marriage. In the beginning when God made them male and female. He said, "For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father, and cleave to his wife: and they two shall become one flesh. Therefore, that which God has joined together, let no man put asunder" (Matthew 19:5-6). Now when God created us and He created our bodies, in a true understanding of the scriptural teaching, the real you is not your body. The real you is spirit that dwells in your body. But as my spirit is dwelling in my body, my body does have certain appetites, certain drives, certain needs. There are certain hormones and chemicals and all that work in my body. And these working through the glands, sends signals to my brain, and they keep my body in balance.
If I run around the church, I am burning up a lot of oxygen. And as the oxygen burns up, as the oxygen is being carried by the blood to the various cells of my body that they might burn, the muscles and so forth, that they might burn this oxygen. The byproduct of the burnt oxygen is carbon dioxide. And as this carbon dioxide begins to fill up in my bloodstream, as it gets to a certain level, it sends a message to my brain and it says, “There's too much carbon dioxide in the blood. You need to get rid of it and the cells are needing some fresh oxygen supply.” And my brain responds to these chemical messages that are coming to it as the body is monitoring its own chemical structures. And so the brain sends the message to the lungs to start pumping. It sends a message to the heart, “Get to working. Start really pumping it through.” And to the lungs, “Get to really pumping also.” And so I start to pant and my heartbeat increases. And thus, I am exhaling the carbon dioxide, the waste materials, and I'm inhaling the fresh oxygen to give fresh shots through my whole system. And this is known as the homeostasis; it keeps my body in balance.
Now if the moisture level gets low in my body, again, a message is sent to my brain, “You're needing more moisture.” And it sends a message to my throat. It gets dry. Man, I got to have a drink of water, you know. I've been out perspiring and my moisture level gets down to a dangerous level. And so the chemicals, they respond and I get thirsty.
Now God has built in these systems and they're marvelous. If He didn't build in these little systems, when you ran around and all, you just fall over and you could actually die. With all of that extra carbon dioxide in your blood and without the oxygen you need, you'd pass out soon. You wouldn't be able to run very far. You'd run so far, and then you'd just pass out. But God has put these balances and these drives there. The air drive, and the thirst drive, and then, of course, your cells need other types of energy supplies and so you get hungry. Now this is somewhere where the system has gone haywire, I am sure, but I am sure that I don't need to eat as much as I do. But yet I have to eat. That's all a part of the whole system to keep it going.
Now God wanted the earth to be populated by man. And so God created the reproduction organs in the body. And God created strong sexual drives, strong sexual urges. And He made the experience very exciting, very pleasurable in order that children might be born. Otherwise, the human species probably would have disappeared from the world years ago, as man would have found it more pleasurable to go fishing. So it is a God-created drive. The purpose is primarily the populating of the earth. And God has ordained that these drives be satisfied and be fulfilled within the bonds of a marriage covenant, where two persons of opposite sex make a covenant before God that they will love, honor, cherish one another until death separates them. Because God also knows that the children that are born of this relationship need to have the security, the stability of a strong, happy, loving home, lest society disintegrates.
So the whole thing has been planned of God. It's a part of God's process. In its place it is not evil. It’s absolutely beautiful and desirable. God has created it in order that it might become a deepest expression of the oneness that does exist between a husband and a wife, where the two become one flesh, joined together, one flesh. And even God has taken this beautiful experience and spiritualized it in likening it unto that relation that exists in the deepest love and the oneness between Christ and His church.
Now, move it out of the environment in which and for which God has created it, and that which was created to be beautiful and meaningful and glorious becomes sinful. Missing the mark. Twisting the use. And it becomes wrong. And it now is laden with feelings of guilt; it has all of its counter issues that come forth from it. It becomes counterproductive.
So God speaks and here, of course, Solomon speaks to his son and he is exhorting him about this beautiful gift that he has from God, fountains of life. Don't go spilling them on the street with just anybody. But enjoy the wife of your youth. "Be ravished always with her love."
And why will you, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? (5:20)
And now the clincher comes:
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all of his goings (5:21).
God is watching you. You don't do it in secret. It isn't something that is done in under a cover of darkness. "The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and God ponders all of his goings." Now why is he going there?
His own iniquities will take the wicked himself, and he will be held with the cords of his own sins. He will die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray (5:22-23).
Just good, clean advice given by the father to his son. It's just good, plain advice for all of us.
Shall we pray. Father, we pray that we might learn to prize wisdom. May we seek it as a treasure. May we, O God, hate evil. May we not tolerate or give a place for it in our lives. But may we flee in order that we might walk, Lord, in Your way, in the way of truth, of righteousness. And so help us, Lord, to give heed to the instructions, to Your laws, to Your commandments. In Jesus' name. Amen.