“Drink from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.”
~Proverbs 5:15 (NRSV).
On purity generally, this is realistically our biggest threat personally to the life of holiness—the fact that we are by nature impure, and then once we’re cleansed by the blood of Jesus, it’s the continuously intermittent dilution of our newfound purity that is acquired in his name by the New Covenant written in his blood.
Proverbs chapter 5 is one constant exhortation to ward against the “loose woman,” or appositely for females, the deceptively charismatic man. The “lips” of both “drip honey” but there’s a dichotomy to experience here—they’re as “bitterness as wormwood” (verses 3-4) as an outcome of interaction with them.
The Gender Inclusiveness of the ‘Sex Trade’
Although Proverbs 5 is placed in a rather gender exclusive way it’s not hard to include the issues in reverse, for whether men are the victims of trickery or the perpetrators means little—for one thing they’re innately driven as a generalisation... sex sells.
So, it is easy to see that if one gender is implicitly motivated by something (i.e. sex) that requires the other gender’s compliance to satisfy it we easily get into all sorts of warped realities around supply and demand—from both genders. Neither men nor woman can extricate themselves from this insidious tension. It’s just the way the world goes around and how we, by our natures, work.
The Deceit Behind the Loose Woman or Deceptively Charismatic Man
Anyone who acts deceptively for the ends of sex is generally playing a power game, and one bent on evil.
And this brings about more urgent warnings from the parent to the adolescent child. If they’re given to any sense of naivety there is the distinct chance they’ll fall for the trap, such is the flightiness and allure of the deceit. Even the shrewdest of people would need to be on high guard.
The ‘Waters’ of Love
The passage in verses 15-18 provides such rich imagery for the young man who’s obviously aware of the nature of his orgasm—the ejaculation. “Should [his] springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?” (Verse 16) It’s a rhetorical question; the allusion is for those seminal fluids not to be shared beyond appropriate borders. Any man doing this risks death.
His “fountain” (verse 18) is to be shared only with his wife. She alone should be privy to it; and hers to him only.
Lust is also in sight (verse 20) and we should know that God sees all (verse 21).
Death Awaits Those Going into Sexual Sin
Over the course of this and the next two chapters—and certainly is it also sprinkled throughout the whole book of Proverbs—there is a high hearing and coarse admonition for those who stray sexually.
This surely is up there with the worst of folly. And still there are those risking life and years of good investment in wisdom for a fling and a fleeting jettison of cares.
“They die for lack of discipline,
and because of their great folly they are lost.”
~Proverbs 5:23 (NRSV).
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.