November 5 2013 by Doug
Proverbs 5 is our focus for today. Again, let’s take the whole chapter and examine it. Why? Because Solomon didn’t write in verses only, though one could argue that Proverbs and Psalms are the main books where the verse divisions are actually meaningful.
This chapter is an extended warning against immorality. I think it is valid, in the context of the book, to see two things here:
1. The absolutely plain meaning: there is a standard of morality, and one should not violate it. That’s a big “duh!” However, we both do it anyway, and elect leaders, follow leaders, empower leaders that violate it every blasted day.
I’m not speaking of the “well, we’re all sinners, we all make mistakes” type of issues. I’m speaking of the “I have no regard for right and wrong” folks. And they are out there. In Congress, in Governor’s Mansions, in Capitols, and even worse: in pulpits, studies, and denominational offices.
First and foremost, we must strive to evict immorality from our lives. The text here speaks greatly of sexual immorality, and I think that is because most forms of self-centeredness eventually manifest into sexual behavior. There are other moral issues, and those matter as well.
Second, though, and not second as in “don’t do this until you’re done with first,” is that we must evict those who rule immorally or who exalt immorality from leadership in our lives. It can be as simple as preferring one show to another, or as complex as actively working against a political candidate. It can be as easy as reading different books or as hard as either changing church leadership or changing churches. It must be done, though. Even though it will be done by imperfect people in imperfect ways.
2. The not-so-plain meaning: if you read all of Proverbs, you see Wisdom and Folly both personified as women, and the sons being instructed are encouraged to pursue Wisdom.
When you take that idea and expand it, and I think you can, then you see the other warning here. Do not play at being committed to Wisdom and try to see Folly on the side. Be of one-mind: married to living in fear of YHWH and fully committed.
This is what I see in Proverbs 5. What do you see?