Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 5:7
"Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth"
Solomon is practically screaming through the page: DO NOT FOLLOW YOUR IMPULSES TO LUST! It will seem like the right thing to do, but it isn't.
This is the Hebrew word shama which means hear. This is really important, is what Solomon is saying. Just like when Christ says, “Truly, Truly...” the word shama is the same word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 in the great shama: “Hear O Israel the Lord your God is One! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
This is the Hebrew word sur which means to turn aside. The idea is that you will feel an incredible pull to be taken off the straight and narrow. This will be a major struggle, but you just can't listen and turn aside to follow the impulses of lust.
Solomon is screaming verbally because he knows that your body is screaming at you to give in. When we are young - and even when we are old - it is very easy to listen to what our physical body is telling us. EAT... SIT... LUST... NAP... DRINK MORE... VENT YOUR FRUSTRATION... If we always act on what our body tells us, we will often not be moving in a spiritual direction. Your body can and will betray you. Now I know that our bodies can give us some healthy impulses, like eat healthy food and get the right amount of rest. The impulses that Solomon is warning us about are those impulses that arise out of our physical bodies and our selfishness. I am talking about the impulses that come from your body to move to excess; to move to indulgence of what we know is not healthy. When you are young especially, it is very tempting to just go with what “feels” right. But that road will lead to separation from deep love and relationships.
This is why Solomon always calls it death. Death is always separation. Solomon is trying to get us to understand that there are “shortcuts” to intimacy and “cheaty” ways to what seems like love, but those workarounds never really work long term. They are like building a rocket ship with duct tape and bailing wire. The road to indulgence always leads to loneliness and despair. It is not the highway to blessing and joy that it promises. It does not matter whether the indulgence is drugs, alcohol, greed, fame, sex, or whatever; it will lead to the death of love and relationships in your life.
Solomon screams that all of us will be offered or have available opportunities to indulge. These will seem like they are the pathway to success and what you really want. They are not. Do not turn aside to these “shortcuts.” Stay on the righteous road and live a truly deep and loving life. It is so worth it.
Whenever temptation comes, there is always something positive or righteous to do instead of being sexually permissive or unfaithful. Do the positive or righteous thing. It may be walking the dog or doing the dishes or writing a letter or a hundred other small but faithful things. It may seem mundane stacked up next to the "thrill" of illicit sexual pleasure but being righteous is worth it.
I have sat in my office with too many men and women who gave into the temptations of the exciting affair and came to realize too late how much they destroyed in those few moments of pleasure. In many cases they have destroyed trust that will never be rebuilt. In some cases they have destroyed the relationships with their children. In a number of cases they have picked up diseases. In many cases they have destroyed themselves financially and socially through divorce. I completely agree with Solomon - don’t go down this road.
Now I have to say that God is full of grace, and He offers hope and restoration to those who have unfortunately taken this mis-step. If that is you, then embrace the grace of Christ and turn away from indulgence and lust. But if you have not done it yet, back away and do not go down that path. It is a ride on a picket fence.