Love or Lust
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.” (Proverbs 5:1-2)
The entire fifth chapter of Proverbs concerns the use or misuse of the highest function of our physical bodies. Under the sovereign control of Almighty God, a man and woman have been granted the ability, through their union, to make an eternal human being with the ability to accept or reject God, eternal life, and forgiveness. The contrast in this chapter is between the usage of this God-given function in lust or love, adultery or fidelity.
Verses 3 through 6 provide insight into the character of promiscuity, which includes deception (v. 3) and sorrow (v. 4). Psychologists have long recognized that many prostitutes ply their trade out of a hatred for men, purposefully and conscientiously destroying their companions (v. 5). The solution, of course, is to stay away. Don’t play with fire! Avoid any opportunities to be enticed (v. 8). The results, of course, of yielding to temptation would be that we would lose our youthful vigor (v. 9), our wealth (v. 10), our health (v. 11), our self-esteem (vv. 12-13), and even our lives are in danger (v. 14).
On the other hand, married love is a beautiful thing (vv. 15-20), providing health, companionship, joy, and satisfaction. “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (v. 18).
Remember, none of this is done in secret. “The ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings” (v. 21). We should stay away from any involvement in sin, for sin entraps us (v. 22), and we keep going back. Men die for lack of instruction, or lack of obedience to the instruction they have (v. 23). This leads to great folly, and, in the end, total shame and destruction. JDM