Proverbs 5

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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!

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Read Proverbs 5

Warning Against Adultery

My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from her,
    do not go near the door of her house,
lest you lose your honor to others
    and your dignity to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
    and your toil enrich the house of another.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
    or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble
    in the assembly of God’s people.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
    and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
    led astray by their own great folly.

Go Deeper

A theme throughout Scripture is that there is a way of foolishness and wickedness that leads to death and there is a way of righteousness and wisdom that leads to life. In this chapter, Solomon is going to show us both paths, as he pleads with his son to choose the path that brings about life.

In the first six verses we see that sexual immorality, specifically adultery, leads to death. Even though the temptation may seem to be sweeter than honey (which was the sweetest substance in Israel) and smoother than oil, it is actually as bitter as gall (the most bitter substance in Israel) and leads to death. He warns his son to keep far away from the adulteress woman (v. 8), and to “not go near the door of her house.” This is a principle repeated throughout the Scriptures. When we are faced with the enticement of evil and temptation of sin, walking in holiness isn’t merely telling yourself in your own strength to “not sin”, but instead making every effort by the grace and power of the Spirit to flee from sin. 

Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 2:22 to “flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Peter encourages us in 1 Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” We must not tip-toe around sin and try to get as close to the line as possible. We must run as far from our sin as we can, and instead chase after the way of righteousness and purity. Since our sinful desires are waging war against us, we must fight faithfully by fleeing!

Though sexual immorality leads to death, there is a way of righteousness and wisdom that brings about life. It is found in walking in God’s way and design. In this specific chapter, Solomon speaks of the joy that is found in walking in God’s design as it relates to sexual intimacy in the context of marriage. Intimacy one experiences in marriage ought to be reserved for one another alone in the safety and protection of the marriage covenant. There is joy, blessing, and satisfaction to be found in the love and physical intimacy of your spouse. This is the way God intended it. To walk in the righteousness and wisdom of purity leads to the good life God intends for us. This applies to other areas of our life too! No matter if you are single, or married, the eternal principle of walking in God’s design rather than pursuing our own sinful desires applies to us all. Sin ensnares us but walking in the wisdom of God’s best brings about freedom! 


  1. How are you facing temptation this week? How can you flee from them and not even “go near the door of her house,” as it relates to your own sin?
  2. Evaluate your “teachers” and “instructors.” Are there people in your life that you are fully known by and confessing sin to who you can gain wise counsel from? Or are you living in isolation, making decisions on your own, and not known by trusted believers? 
  3. If you fully believed verse 21, that “your ways are in full view of the Lord,” how would that change the way that you live?

Pray This


I thank you that your design leads to life. Help me crave your way over my own way. Might my appetite for sin consistently decrease as my appetite for you increases. I want to desire you more than I desire my own sin. Please show me that my sin is as bitter as gall, and leads to destruction and ruin. Show me the way that is everlasting and conform me into the righteous image of your Son. Thank you for the gift of your Spirit, and the way the Spirit helps me in my weakness. I cannot pursue righteousness outside of depending on your grace and strength. Thank you for being a God that is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and purify me of all unrighteousness. I love you and I trust you. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Proverbs 5”

  1. One of the most powerful tools in my life has been to acknowledge areas of weakness before God and a faithful praying friend, then pre-decide what my plan of action will be before I encounter temptation. This builds accountability that helps to ground me in the moment. As JP says, “we must pay attention to what we pay attention to.” The enemy seems to know our weak links and will entice us over and again to defeat us. He clearly wants to enslave us in our own folly. I’m thinking of Samson and all the traps he fell into. Today will be filled with countless opportunities to either sin or discreetly chose to walk in divine wisdom. When the evening comes we will either rejoice or need to repent.

  2. The wisdom and truth of Proverbs 5 is clear – and the truth from John Chapter 8 is also clear for those who repent and, “leave your life of sin” PRAISE GOD

    John Chapter 8
    but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
    But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

    At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
    “No one, sir,” she said.
    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

  3. With all temptations, I always thought, in the moment, I can walk away anytime. Some temptations I was able to but others not so easily. All of those times were a high cost to me and God. Sin is very expensive. BUT GOD has redeemed my life. I love the word wisdom but it is foreign to us. “Wisdom is the appropriate application of knowledge,” but that is what the world thinks but true wisdom, like God’s grace, is alien to us but true wisdom is, in fact, a divine gift that is granted by God whenever any believer asks. James 1:5 (ESV): If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Wisdom directs, protects and perfects our paths but only if we ask and follow the directions He gives. We are not to lean on our own understanding it is when we do this we become wise in our own eyes and we head for trouble. But we also have to remember it is FREEDOM OF WILL. You choose, He will direct you and is able to protect you but only if you follow HIs direction. He will not force you to do anything. Gal 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

    God thank You for helping me with Your wisdom, that I follow your direction and You guide my path. Thank You for freedom of will that I desire to follow You with all my heart in every way. Thank You for loving me so unconditionally that You gave me the freedom to be Your daughter. God I am so grateful thankful and blessed!!!!!! in Jesus name amen

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