OBJECTIVE/ STUDY: In Proverbs chapters 5,6,7, the Father is giving the son a robust set of warnings about a key human battle…moral purity. Specifically, the dangers of adultery (breaking marriage vows). The message really is a continuation from last week. The necessary instructions/warnings are geared to help the reader maintain a well-kept heart. The chapters are continually calling us to guard our hearts. Today we want to look at chapter 5 and see what it has to say to us about guarding our hearts.
DISCUSSION 1: Have the group read all of chapter five. They can read it together or silently individually. Please encourage them to jot down notes or highlight verses that speak to them. As they read, look for the ways and the tactics the enemy uses to lure a person off the good path. Pay attention to all the good things God has in store for the reader.
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen closely to my understanding
2 so that you may maintain discretion
and your lips safeguard knowledge.
3 Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey
and her words are smoother than oil,
4 in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood
and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps head straight for Sheol.
6 She doesn’t consider the path of life;
she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.
7 So now, sons, listen to me,
and don’t turn away from the words from my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her.
Don’t go near the door of her house.
9 Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others
and your years to someone cruel;
10 strangers will drain your resources,
and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 At the end of your life, you will lament
when your physical body has been consumed,
12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline,
and how my heart despised correction.
13 I didn’t obey my teachers
or listen closely to my instructors.
14 I am on the verge of complete ruin
before the entire community.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
water flowing from your own well.
16 Should your springs flow in the streets,
streams in the public squares?
17 They should be for you alone
and not for you to share with strangers.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving deer, a graceful doe—
let her breasts always satisfy you;
be lost in her love forever.
20 Why, my son, would you lose yourself
with a forbidden woman
or embrace a wayward woman?
21 For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes,
and he considers all his paths.
22 A wicked man’s iniquities will trap him;
he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin.
23 He will die because there is no discipline,
and be lost because of his great stupidity.
Q1: From what you have read, what is God against, and what is he for?
Q2: Remember that the enemy wants to get in our mind, the command post of wisdom for our lives. How might the quote from Martin Luther, “You can’t keep crows from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” help us to maintain a well-kept heart? How is it similar to Paul’s encouragement to “take every thought captive?”
Q3: CS Lewis, in his Book the Screwtape Letters, Wrote about the “Horror of the Same Old Thing.” In what ways is it used by the enemy to tear a believer down? Have you ever fallen prey to it? How do we defeat it, and maintain a well-kept heart?