Explore God's Word Daily

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Bitter honey (Proverbs 5 v 1-14)

Solomon’s son has been warned to guard his heart. Chapter 5 begins with a “test case”: the temptation to commit adultery. Proverbs’ ancient wisdom is a timely word for our morally confused world.

The temptation of adultery
Read Proverbs 5:1

Solomon begins by warning his son again about the seductions of the forbidden woman (remember 2 v 16?). The picture
that he paints in these verses is of temptation to any kind of sexual pleasure outside of the boundaries of marriage.

• How does Solomon describe the words of the forbidden woman (v 3)?
• How does he describe her thoughts (v 6)?
• What path is she on (v 5)?
• If you follow her, what are the consequences (v 4)?

This is a portrait of sin at its core: it seems as sweet as honey, but the consequences are bitter! Folly entices us by deceiving us about its true nature. If it told the truth, we would never be tempted.

The folly of adultery
Read Proverbs 5:7

While the invitation of the forbidden woman seems a gateway to pleasure, the son is warned to keep far from her door (v 8). If he foolishly ignores his father’s words, he will live to regret his decision.

Read Proverbs 5:9

• What are the consequences of adultery:
    • v 9-10
    • v 11
    • v 14

• What do these things look like in your own culture?

In v 11-14, Solomon imagines his son looking back with dismay on his decision to listen to the adulteress.

• What emotions is the son feeling in v 11-14?

These verses are like a giant “Wet Paint” sign. You can either believe them and stay away, or you find out for yourself... the hard way.

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APPLY
• Do you need to use these words to warn yourself about your own conduct?
• Is there someone else, perhaps in your family or church, who needs you to point these verses out to them?
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PRAY
Thank God that He warns us against lifestyles that promise much but deliver only ruin.
Pray for those who are facing temptation in this area, and for those who have been ruined by it.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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