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The series That Makes Good Sense teaches from the book of Proverbs on the essential nature of godly wisdom to live life well. The series reminds believers that wisdom is about choosing to live rightly, righteously, and timely so that God is honored in all areas of life.
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Proverbs Five, verse 15. “Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own whale. Should your finds be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets, let them be only your own and not for strangers with you. Let your find and be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving dear on a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you my son be enraptured by an immoral woman and be embraced in the arms of a seductress. For the wares of a man or before the eyes of the Lord? And he ponders all his paths, his own inequities and trap the wicked man and he is caught in the chords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction and in the greatness of his folly, he shall go astray.” Trusted God will attend the reading and the preaching of his word by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and in our homes.
A mother and daughter were watching a late night movie. It was one of those golden oldies, which dated back to the mother’s teenage years. The movie was a typical film of that era, which ended with the hero and his girl on the verge of a kiss, and as they moved together, the music came to a crescendo, the lights faded away and the movie ended without the audience even seeing the kiss. The mother asked her daughter, what do you think of the way movies used to be? I think she was caught off guard by the daughter’s reply. The reply came in these words, “Gee, Mum, your movies end where ours begin.” Few of us would dispute that sad reality, that sadder tragedy of the daughter’s observation. Without doubt, ours is a culture on the move, morally speaking and it might be as bold and as brash to say that it is headed in the wrong direction.
Folks, we are moving away from the truth that marriage is a one flesh relationship between one man and a one woman for life. We are moving away from the truth that sex is a secret act and a gift from God best enjoyed within biblical boundaries. We are moving away from the truth that immorality that is sex other than God intended, it is morally wrong, is bad for us, has physical, psychological, social, and spiritual consequences. We’re on the move in the wrong direction. We are moving away from the truth that public nakedness is demeaning, exploitive and dangerous. We’re moving away from the truth that sex is the culmination of the acts of leaving and cleaving between a husband and a wife. That sex and commitment go together. We are moving away from the truth that there is truth regarding moral behavior. Times have changed between that mother’s generation and her daughter’s generation.
Our society has done a complete somersault when it comes to sexual belief and sexual behavior. Now let me reinforce this in a very practical way. Let me show you the reality of what I’m talking about here. I’m going to go back to a past edition of the TV guide, which compared the situations of TV characters in the 90s to those in the 70s during what is commonly known as the Family Hour between eight o’clock and nine o’clock in the evening. Look at this comparison and see the shift, the seismic shift in our culture regarding moral [inaudible 00:04:12] and behavior and belief. Quote, this is a TV guide a couple years back.
In the 70s on the Brady Bunch, Greg feared telling his parents he racked the car. Now in the 90s, I’m mad about you. Paul’s sister fears telling her parents she’s a lesbian. In the 1970s, on Happy Day, sharing some Cokes meant sipping cola through straws from the same glass. Now in the 90s on Beverly Hills sharing some Coke means snorting an illegal substance through straws from the same mirror. In the 70s on Little House on the Prairie, Lori and Nellie both eager to satisfy their hunger for sweets and candy fought over the last cookie. Now in the 90s on Friends, Monica and Rachel both eager to satisfy their hunger for sex with their boyfriends, fight over the last condom. In the 70s on Beverly Hillbillies, the pill was Mrs. Dry steals leave nothing to chance [inaudible 00:05:15]. Ms. Hathaway. Now in the 90s in Rosanne, the pill is an older daughter [inaudible 00:05:21] leave nothing to chance method of birth control.
The times have changed and certainly not for the better. The moral [inaudible 00:05:32] has been breached. A flood of perversity and promiscuity is sweeping this generation threatening to submerge completely out of sight any notion of Christian marriage or normative decency standards for society as a whole. I think you know this, but I just wanted to remind you of the fact tonight, my beloved, that you and I as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ, as those who are perfecting holiness in the fear of God, we are living in an actuated society.
We’re going to turn tomorrow into the teeth of a society that wants to devour our purity and shred our testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a society in which sexual orientation is simply a choice. This is a society that increasingly views marriage as a cultural relic. This is a society that advocates that morality as a private affair. This is a society where pornography is now adult entertainment. This is a society where moral judgment is viewed as a form of persecution. Now, before I go back into the context of Proverbs Five, Six and Seven, that you and I might find moral fortitude for the fight concerning our purity, I just want to stop with you and I left these kind of thoughts for the evening service rather from the morning service will get a little bit more raw tonight. With the presence of children this morning, I tried as much as possible to guard my comments, but I want us to thank just for a few moments.
So you are understanding what’s going on around you like the tribe of Issachar You have an understanding of your times. Why the shift? Why did the mother’s movie end where it did and why does the daughter’s movie begin where it does? I think there’s a philosophical factor and I think there’s practical factors that counts for the seismic shift in terms of philosophical factors. This takes us into the arena of worldviews. That is how you frame your thinking. This is how you perceive things to be. What are the standards by which you’ll live? What are the morals by which you’ll act? There’s a theistic worldview that understands that God is above and beyond and within all that takes place and therefore he must be the reference point for all that we see and perceive and do and think. That’s a worldview. It’s a theistic one that affects how you behave sexually.
There’s a humanistic naturalistic worldview where there is no God. He’s been expunged and in that worldview there are no absolutes, there are no moral [inaudible 00:08:21] that are the measure for morality for all men. In that worldview, that ideology, that philosophy is the result of the hypothesis of evolution and the rise of the doctrine of relativism. Think about it. The end result of evolution is this, that there is no God man created God in his own image as a psychological crutch.
There is no God and therefore all things are permissible or the standards can be decided from generation to generation as the society see fits and gets comfortable with whatever is accepted. And so one thing’s accepted in one generation, another thing can be accepted in another generation. There is no God. Man is the measure of all things and the end result of that is if you think about it, then all things are permissible. Our society hasn’t thought long enough. If there’s nothing wrong with homosexual love, is there anything wrong with pedophilia? Is there anything wrong with polygamy? Tell me why that’s wrong and the other thing’s right. Who decides that? Once the dike breaks, all things are permissible?
Once there is no God and no moral absolutes, all behavior becomes normative or acceptable to some degree or another. In fact, it was interesting some years ago when I was reading GM’s Kennedy’s book, Lord of All, he mixed this interesting comment that Sir Julian Huxley, the grandson of Thomas Huxley, who popularized evolution during Darwin’s day said this quote, “I suppose the reason we all jumped at the origin of species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” You see what he’s saying? If you can get rid of God, then you can kind of live the way you want, sexually, morally. And sad to say in our society at large, the United States is no longer held together by a Judeo-Christian value system where there’s an agreed upon moral standards for all of society. And so this philosophical, ideological, theological change has created this tremendous seismic shift.
I think there’s not only philosophical factors. I think there are practical factors and there are many. I’ve just got three here that I think are at least playing into this issue of increasing promiscuity and immorality in our culture. Number one, the advent of birth control drugs which have lessened the risk for pregnancy. That’s not a judgment necessarily on birth control. I’m just talking about the consequences of its availability. Such drugs hold out the possibility that should you want to, you can sin without consequences, which appeals to man’s signature and depravity. I think two, the development of penicillin which offered a remedy to life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases that once kept people from strain and adultery, homosexuality, and fornication. With the advent of penicillin and drugs that curved the problem of sexually transmitted diseases, people saw a path to sexual freedom. And so when you put those two factors together, people began to see the possibility of sex without children and sex without painful complications.
And if you’re bent towards sexual immorality, those two advents are very significant. Finally, on this just practical side of things, I think the influence of television is huge. Through immoral images and suggestive dialogue, television has been a significant means of corroding our culture’s moral reason and moral resolve. Let’s not be naive, let’s not be silly [inaudible 00:12:30] tonight. These images that can be found 24 hours a day on our television, make impressions on the photographic plates of our minds and those plates develop into thoughts which are if unrestrained morph into actions. Channels like HBO and MTV are polluting this young generation. It’s naive not to believe that these images don’t sear the conscience, don’t stir up passions that should not be stirred up at this point. These factors are important. These philosophical shifts are having an impact. In fact, if you put these three factors together, you’ve got both the message and the means to sexual promiscuity.
That’s what makes Proverbs Five, Six and Seven live beyond the fact that it is the eternal word of God and that is living. I want to hear what Solomon says to his son about the issue of the birds and the bees. I want to listen to Solomon as he writes out of a concern for his son’s purity in a morally toxic environment because Solomon’s day was a day that was overrun by sexual enticement and moral entrapment. Now while things have changed, and I’ve already made that point, I would want you to think that the good old days were as good as you think they were because there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s not a temptation we are facing in this age that wasn’t faced in previous ages. There’s temptation common to all man.
The degree by which that temptation can be felt can differ, and I think it’s significant, just follow me for a few moments and then we’ll get back into our sermon, that Solomon’s culture was as challenging to his son as modern America is to our children. Look at a few things here quickly. The covenant of marriage in Solomon’s day was no longer sacred in the eyes of so many. Go back to chapter two verse 16. He speaks about the immoral woman. Remember we said this morning, that’s a Hebrew term for a strange woman, a foreigner. It’s a metaphor for a woman who’s living beyond the boundaries of God’s law. She’s within the borders of Israel, but she’s a moral stranger. She’s a moral foreigner and Solomon’s warning his son not to follow her or fall for her, and I want you to notice her recklessness when it comes to the covenant of marriage.
He says, “I’m speaking these things to deliver you from the immoral woman from the seductress who flats with her words, who foresees the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God.” Here’s a woman who stood in a marriage altar one day [inaudible 00:15:23] before God and her husband and the officiating ministry and now she’s into adultery. She’s mocking the sanctity of marriage and there were many women and there were many men just like her in the Israeli culture and Solomon puts his son on warning about this fact. The covenant of marriage was no longer sacred. Secondly, love was increasingly defined in terms of casual sex without commitments of any kind. Go to chapter seven, aye verses 16 to 18. We’ve got a scene here. It’s probably up a little bit of a parable that is a picture of what has happened in so many young men’s lives.
This idiot of a boy goes to the wrong side of the city. He’s lured by this crafty woman with her deceptive heart and her flattering speech. But I want you to notice her words. She says to this boy and remember he’s red blooded, he’s young, he’s impressionable, and she says, “I’ve spread my bed with tapestry, colored coverings of Egyptian linen. I have perfumed my bed with [inaudible 00:16:29] olives and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning.” Was it love? Absolutely not. This was lust, this was sin, this was transgression, this was iniquity, this was moral impurity. But she has redefined this. Much like our culture. We talk about homosexual love. We talked about the love between a man and a child. We are redefining our moral understanding of what love is and what sex is meant to be. We’re making the beautiful grotesque. We’re making the grotesque beautiful. That was Solomon’s day. It’s our day, isn’t it?
Another interesting thought that comes out of this passage is this father gives his son a commentary on the society in which he’s grown up and sex was being pedaled publicly and promoted widely. Want you to look at seven and 12, “At times this woman was outside at times in the open square and she was lurking at every corner.” You’d bump into sexual temptation wherever you went in this culture. That’s the culture Solomon’s son was growing up in. It was a moral minefield and no one was safe. That was the verse I was going to go to. Look at verse 26 of chapter seven. “This woman has cast down many wounded and all who were slain by her were strong men.” Wow. No one seemed to be safe from the allure and the entrapment of this woman. And so Solomon sits down to fortify his son and we said this morning, now we’re picking up where we laughed off that there are three things he says to his son, we looked at one of them this morning, there was a call to submission at the beginning of chapter five and in the beginning of chapter seven, this man calls his son to submit to his words, which are God’s words about sex and sexuality.
We saw that the greatest sex organ in your body is your mind. Sex begins in the mind, Jesus teaches us that in Matthew five. And where this temptation starts, that’s where we’ve got to stop it and we looked at fortifying our minds and hearts with the word of God and that was the call to submission, but I want to move on. There’s not only a call to submission, there was a call to separation. This is the second line of defense. Solomon wants his son to dodge the bullet of moral compromise and he wants him to do this or he at least wants to help him in this through encouraging him to put a distance between himself and sexually enticement. Look at chapter five and verse seven, “Therefore hear me now my children and do not depart from the words of my mouth.”
There’s the thought of submission to biblical teaching. Now we’re moving onto the call to separation, verse eight. “Remove your way from her and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others and your years to the cruel one, lest aliens be filled with your wealth and your labors go to the house of a foreigner and you mourn at last and your flesh and body be consumed.”
Same thought here in chapter seven verse seven, “And I saw among the simple I perceived among the youths a young man, the void of understanding, passing along the street near her corner, he took the path to her house.” And the point of that is, how stupid can you be? This young man was just walking into the line of fire. He seemed to be absolutely lacking in understanding towards the fact that he was walking towards a buzz saw, morally speaking. And so now Solomon awakes his son and says, “Look, if you’re going to keep yourself pure, if you’re going to enjoy what God wants you to enjoy, then you’ve got to feed your mind with the word of God, have reasons and arguments, theological reasons and arguments for why you’re going to stay pure and to help you in this just watch where your feet goes, build some hedges, erect some fences, beat a strategic retreat from the line of fire.”
You find yourself in a culture that is besieging you and therefore you need to watch the company you keep, the places you visit, the thoughts you entertain. In fact, you know what Solomon’s telling his son and the words of Paul on the rest of the New Testament, apostles be separated from the world. And I have defined many times for you what that means. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t interact with people, it doesn’t mean that he runs over the [inaudible 00:21:22] of the hill to some monastery for the rest of his life. It just means “Son, when you’re going to bite the city and you’re right there in the big bad world, have your head screwed on. Get your para scope up. Try and anticipate, well, that’s probably… I’ll not go there. I’ll watch that conversation. I’ll take care of my thoughts. In this context I need to put a distance between myself and her or I need to put a distance between myself and him.”
This is the call the separation. Now let’s just think about it for a few moments, make it more practical and widen our scope of thought beyond the context of these three chapters. Here’s an interesting thought. I want you to write this down and think about it. The Bible never tells us to fight sexual sin. It always tells us to flee it. In 1 Corinthians six verse 18, we’re told, “Flee sexual immorality.” Strong verb. Flee, run for the hills, put your Adidas on and make a hard run in the opposite direction. We read in 1 Timothy two verse 22 where Paul says to his young prodigy, Timothy, “Flee youthful lusts.” “Flee from the headstrong passions of youth.”
To put it more literally, and I think that’s a great word of advice to all of us, myself included, unless you’ve got engine coolant running through your veins, okay, and you’ve stopped being human and deny some kind of Android with no feelings like Mr. Spock. Unless you have got to a state of sinlessness where temptation is something you’re impervious to and I don’t believe any of us are any were with regards to any of those things. You and I need to be very careful. We need to beat a hasty retreat from contacts that could overwhelm us, could challenge us unnecessarily. Look, let me put the two thoughts together, the call to submission, the call to separation and I see both at work in the life of Joseph. I’m not going for times running away on me. If you go back to Genesis 39, you know the story Joseph’s in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife takes a liking to him.
I’d say Joseph’s probably a handsome, virile strong young man and she badgers him, it says, day by day to lie with her. Joseph fills his mind with the word of God and he begins to tackle this temptation to sexual impurity by arguing against why he should not sin. And so he has followed the call to submission. He’s got his reasons why he’s not going to lie with her. He says there, “Hey, I’m Potiphar’s servant, he has given me charge of all his house. I’m not going to abuse my authority and I’m not going to misuse my master’s trust. I’m not going to do that. And secondly, what you’re asking me to do is great wickedness in God’s eyes, so I’m not going to disappoint God and I’m not going to disappoint Potiphar to please you and I’m certainly not going to shame myself.” And here he is engaged mentally arguing against why he should not sin, but it’s interesting she keeps on him day by day to a point where she almost tries to embrace him and caress him.
At this point there’s a call to separation. We know that he takes his coat off, he leaves it in her hands and he beats a hasty retreat out the back door. Joseph shows us the need to separate ourselves not only mentally, but sometimes literally from the world. We’ve got to put a distance between ourselves and sexual temptation. Sometimes God’s way of escape… Remember with every temptation, God provides a way of escape. Don’t be telling me you had no option but to give into that sin. That’s baloney. Don’t you roll over and die when you face temptation? That’s not biblical. God does provide you aware of escape. The amazing thing is when it comes to sexual temptation, one of the ways is two legs and a hard run. That’s what we read here. Proverbs five verse five, verse eight, “Do not go where she is. Remove your way far from her.”
And this is a great word for our young people. Youth is naturally a time of exploration and experimentation and I think if you’re not careful as a young person, you can fall foul to this idea that you can kind of try and walk a fine line between what God would want you to do and what you shouldn’t do and you’ll get as close to not doing what God wouldn’t want you to do without doing it. That’s a dangerous path to take. The Bible tells you to put a big distance between you and sexual temptation. That’s the wrong question to ask me or any pastor. You know what’s acceptable in a dating relationship? Can you kiss? Can you hold hands? Can you hug? I think those are the wrong questions. The question is what do you need to do to be radically committed to your sexual purity?
Lord, [inaudible 00:26:41] sexual temptation is like sticking your head in a lion’s mouth and praying it doesn’t bite. When you’re dealing with a lion, just get out of there as fast as your feet will take you. To place yourself in the way of sin and then ask God to deliver you from the temptation is to tempt the Lord and to act foolishly. Didn’t Jesus teaches this when sit and told him, “Hey, do this and God will do this in reaction,” and Jesus said, “I’m not going to tempt the Lord. He told me not to do that. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to place myself in a silly position and ask God to deliver me from my foolishness. God will just leave me in my foolishness.”
Better not to turn the television on than to surf the channels and ask God to deliver you once you come to the wrong one. Better not to kiss and hold as boyfriend girlfriend than ask God to deliver you when your hormones start raging, and you’ve put your foot on a slippery slope that’s hard to climb back up from. This is what the word of God is encouraging us to do to make no provision for the flesh. Romans 13 verse 14.
We need to watch the company we keep. We need to look out for entangling work liaisons. And remember a young man in my church back in Ireland, a police officer coming to me privately, he was struggling. He says, “Pastor, I’m totally committed to my wife. I’m absolutely committed to doing the right thing to her and the children, but I’m in an awkward position at work where I’m working alongside this young police woman and I think she’s taking a shine to me. I’m not encouraging it, but she seems to be coming on to me. What do you think I should do?” Well, I said, “You’re over her, aren’t you?” Because this young guy was what we would call in Britain an inspector, probably the equivalent to a lieutenant in the police force. I said, “Here’s what you should do. Go back in tomorrow and move her to another station before the sun sets or you transfer yourself. One of the two.” That’s exactly what he did. He got her transferred.
He was putting a distance between himself. It was as practical and as real as that. We need to watch the company. We keep the liaisons we forge, we need to watch the entertainment choices we make. There’s nothing see about PG-13 movies. In fact, when I’ve gone out to make my own choices for my own family, it’s so difficult. You’d think a PG-13 would be okay for adults to watch and yet I get so bothered I never take them because if you read PG-13s, what does it say? Sexual innuendos, sexual language, sexual scenes. What’s very safe about that? Why we watch that kind of stuff and then ask God to deliver us from sexual immorality when we’re staining the walls of our mind with lewdness. The TV’s a great thing. We can travel across the world sitting in our own living room. We can have news beamed in 24 hours a day.
There’s so many great educational programs and sporting programs and history programs and nothing wrong with TV in and off itself, but you really got to be careful with that. And remember years ago when I was just the boy, the struggle my own father had in purchasing a television. He was actually against the idea, but he was frightened of losing his children because we were around at our aunts every day watching the cartoons and so he eventually gave him. But I remember a story that or he told me or I heard around that time as Christians were wrestling with the good and the bad that television would bring and the story goes at a man who belonged to the Plymouth Brethren went into one of the stores in Belfast to purchase himself a television and he made his choice of a particular size and a particular model.
In fact, the model was made by a company in Britain called Murphy. And he was a little hesitant, but he said, “Okay, let’s do this.” And his family were with him and so the guy went behind the counter to get him his television and it came out in a big box and he sat the box on the counter and he was about to ask the man for his money to seal the deal. When the Christian looked at the box and blazing across the box was this, “Murphy brings the world into your home.” And he said, “Take it back. I don’t want the world in my home.” Now that’s an over reaction. I tell the story to make a simple point, not that you and I should pull the plug on our television, but maybe in some cases for some ways that may be a good thing.
We’re probably not redeeming the time and maybe if we haven’t won this battle of purity that television’s a great problem to our holiness. But I am saying that that television can bring the world into your home and you and I need to put a distance between ourselves and a world that doesn’t love God, that blasts the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that portrays Christians as these kind of prudish repressed people sexually speaking, that makes the young people think that the funnest people are those that follow the ways of the world. Got to be careful. Got to be careful about the places we visit, the book stores, the video stores, maybe even the local gym. Is that not a place to find temptation with people of the opposite sex working out before you, trimming their bodies, displaying their bodies? Is that a good place for a Christian to be?
Those are things that you and I need to think through because Richard Baxter, the Puritan, says we need to lay siege to our sins and starve them out by keeping away the food and the fuel, which is their maintenance and light. I want to say more, but I’m not going to because of time, but that’s the call to separation. There’s a call to submission. There’s a call to separation. Finally, there’s a call to satisfaction, a call to satisfaction. Now here’s where we’re going in this thought. Remember this morning I said that when you’re teaching your children the whole issue of sex and sexuality, be bold, be biblical, be balanced. Solomon’s now balancing out his thinking here, he has warned his sons and his children about the dangers in the culture around them. He has told them to pen their ears back, open their hearts, let the word of God take control of their thoughts.
Their thoughts will take control of their actions and will allow them to stay pure in an impure world. He has called them to put a distance between themselves and the world. But now the balanced [inaudible 00:33:26] he has warned them about the cost of disobedience. Now he talks to them about the joys of obedience. You see, sometimes the greatest defense is a great offense, isn’t it? You can’t win the game just by playing good defense. At some point you got to go up the field and score oh, of course you’ve got to interrupt the opponent’s game, but that’s not the end of the game is it? That’s a means to an end. You stop him from scoring and the end is that you can go up the field and score and win the game, and that’s what Solomon’s doing here. He’s giving them good defense. Here’s what not to do, here’s how not to do it and here’s why you shouldn’t do it because if you [inaudible 00:34:09] in God’s time, in a god’s place, here’s what you can have.
This is a call to satisfaction. Look at verse 15. “Drink water from your own cistern running water from your own whale. Should the [inaudible 00:34:21] be dispersed the broad streams of water in the streets.” Absolutely, no. He says, “Let them be your own, not the strangers. Let the fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Let her breast satisfy you being raptured with her love.” This is offense now. There’s been prohibitions with regard to the immoral woman. Now Solomon encourages his son about enjoying good and godly sex and that’s part of the strategy. A good offense against sexual temptation is having a fulfilling intimate marriage with your spouse. If you want to avoid falling prey to the immoral man or the immoral woman, then get enraptured with your wife, get enraptured with your husband. That’s the point. In fact, look at verse 19 as a loving deer and a graceful doe that doesn’t really mean anything to us.
I’m not sure Jane would be excited if I told her she was a loving deer or a graceful doe, but it is language in their day that spoke of femininity and fineness and beauty. Speaking of this young man’s wife, he is told to let her breast satisfy him at all times and he was told to be enraptured with her love. The word enraptured, there actually can mean intoxicated. It is used elsewhere in the Old Testament of being intoxicated with alcohol. And Solomon is saying to his son, this is striking, isn’t it? I’m urging you not to drink the polluted stream of immoral sex so that you may enjoy the sweet water of a magnificent pure marriage.
He says, “Son, I’m not keeping sex from you when I give you all these prohibitions, I’m actually keeping sex for you. I want you to enjoy your wife. I don’t want you to enter upon a relationship where you compare yourselves to a string of partners in the past. I don’t want you psychologically to be attached to some sexual encounters in the past. I want you to come virgin in thought, virgin and body to each other and remain completely committed to each other and within the confines that I’m telling you, you’ll have the best sex on planet earth.” This is what he’s saying and he’s challenging us to remember that separation is always twofold. Sometimes as fundamentalists we emphasize the negative side of separation.
We’ve got to separate from the world and we tell our young people, “Don’t go there, don’t do this,” and you know what? That’s appropriate. There are certain things they shouldn’t do and there’s certain places they shouldn’t go, but what else are we telling them? You see the whole point of separation is you stay away from something so that you might enjoy something else and I would say to our young people, “Stay away from the world so that you can enjoy the Lord Jesus Christ because you can have the love of the world and the love of the Father at the same time. And if you’re going to enjoy God and encounter God, you’ve got not to do certain things, but the reason is not so that you live in these constricting limits, but that you may enjoy the freedom of obedience and joy in God,” and that’s what’s going on here.
Solomon is saying to his son, “Look, I’m telling you not to do this so that you may enjoy the other thing.” In this case, the young man is being asked to surrender a charred hamburger for a piece of porter house steak. The immoral woman is a charred hamburger. It’ll fill your appetite but not that good, not compared to a juicy 16 ounce porter house steak, smothered in barbecue sauce. That’s the wife of your youth. That’s what you can have if you are faithful to your wife and you’ve picked one woman and you stay with her the rest of your life.
Give me a few minutes and I’ll just go on a couple of directions with this because this is striking stuff. I’m going to be guarded in my language because if you get into the ideas behind these words, they’re very explicit. These are metaphors for sexual anticipation and I’ll just bring a couple of thoughts out quickly. He talks about the singularity of this relationship. He calls his son to enjoy. The singularity of the relationship. This husband and this wife come to each other and the relationship is virgin singular committed. It’s a relationship blind to anyone else. He uses the metaphor of water here to talk of love and sexual fulfillment.
Now, water in that culture was very precious and very refreshing, and so he takes this metaphor and he says, to know the love of a woman or to know the love of a man is like water. It’s precious, it’s refreshing and taking that image, he says to his son, “Here’s how you’re going to enjoy love. Here’s how you’re going to know fulfillment in this whole arena of sex and sexuality. Drink water from your own cistern. Drink running water from your own whale.” What’s your own cistern? What’s your own whale?
It’s your husband or your wife. Find yourself your own whale. Marry your own cistern and drink the running clear, refreshing water from that whale and that cistern alone and you’ll enjoy what God has for you. Our culture doesn’t believe this, but I believe it. The word of God teaches it. Sexual fulfillment is to be found in a monogamous lasting marriage. Amen. Commitment and exclusivity make for great love and a satisfying marriage. If you’ll say no to promiscuity and the other substitutes for marriage and say yes to what God is teaching us here, you will have no regrets. Solomon isn’t being prudish here. Solomon is saying, son, this is the way God has ordered it. In the context of a covenant marriage where you’re absolutely focused on each other, there’s a self-giving, there’s a love for one another that’s unspoiled and unpolluted. I’m telling you, when everything comes to the climax of the one flesh relationship, it’s mighty good.
It’s mighty good. He says this singularity of relationship. In fact, he goes on to use another image here. Look at verse 16, “Should your findings be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets.” This is a precious commodity. This is a refreshing commodity. He says, can you imagine this in our culture? Somebody who takes a bucket of crystal clear, refreshing water and just throws it down the street. What a waste and are you going to drink the water from the dirty street? I’ll put this as mildly as I can, but this is graphic. I could say it more graphically. He’s saying to son, “Are you going to spread your seed all over town? Don’t do that. You wouldn’t throw water all across town. That’s precious. It’s valuable. Don’t do it with your seed. You enjoy the fulfillment of those things within marriage with that wife of yours from your youth in the covenant you’ve made before God.”
It’s powerful stuff, isn’t it? And the analogy is like water between two banks. If water stays within the banks of a river, it runs deep, it refreshes the countryside all around it. If it breaks the bank, it becomes a swamp and kills the crops, and I say to our young people especially, don’t buy into this lie that it’s constricting and repressive to stay within the limits of biblical sexuality. That’s a lie from hell. It’s a delusion. If you’ll live within the limits of God’s word, you will have a satisfying marriage and you will be fulfilled in your personal relationship with your wife. Let me illustrate this and go to the last thought. Got this off a message by David Jeremiah on this very passage. He says that some years ago a TV show had a guest actor on it who was well known for his romantic roles on film.
Predictably, he was asked by the host of the show what makes a great lover and everybody expected him to give a standard playboy response, but to the surprise of both the host and the audience, which caused raised eyebrows all across viewing America, this macho man said quote in response to the question, what makes a great lover, “A great lover is someone who can satisfy one woman all of her life and who can be satisfied by one woman all of his life. A great lover is not someone who goes from woman to woman or man to man. Any dog can do that.” That’s a great quote. That’s what a great lover is. A great lover is satisfying one woman or one man all of your life and being satisfied by them. That’s what the book of Proverbs teaches here, which brings us finally to the sensuality of the relationship.
We preach so much about sexual sin that you’d think as the church, that it’s wrong to think about or talk about sex. We said this morning it needs to be talked about with dignity and decorum, but we should talk about it. God talks about it. It’s part of our physiology. Physiology, and so this father talks to his son about this. He says, “Since we’re talking about the birds and the bees, I’ve told you not what to do that will be unfulfilling. Now I’m telling you what to do and this will be fulfilling.” By the way, not again reminds us of something which I’ve said before, but I want to say again, if you’re going to fight the pleasure of sin, you’ve got to help our young people see that there’s a greater pleasure to fight it with. Samuel Storms in his book, Pleasure Forevermore, helped me to see this.
John Piper also kind of beats this drum and his material. It’s right to talk about prohibition. It’s right to say that you shall not commit adultery, and it’s right to teach our young people and our young men and women to keep themselves pure. It’s hard for them to stay pure in this kind of culture. How can we help them not only by saying you shouldn’t do it, but tell him, look, there is pleasure and sin, but it’s passing, it’s transitory and there are prices to pay that you don’t want on your tab, but let me talk to you about a greater pleasure worth waiting for and enjoying, and that’s what Solomon’s doing here. He talks to his son about holy and healthy sex. This man is writing a book about wisdom and wisdom begins with the fear of God, and I want you to see that you can talk in the context of the fear of God about these things.
There’s nothing unholy with talking about these things. I hope I have have sought to be as sensitive as I can, but I hope you’re not uncomfortable that we are addressing these issues tonight or this morning. This is the holy subject and he wants his son to have a holy perspective on things. In fact, let me tell you something quickly. Hebrews 13:4 says that “marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled.” You see the word on the file speaking of the bedroom, which is a euphemism for sexual activity in the bedroom between a husband and a wife. That’s the same word that you’ll find used for the sacrifice of spotless lambs on Mount Mariah on the day of atonement. It’s a liturgical term, it’s it speaks of worship. It speaks of holiness. What’s the implication of that? Marriage is honorable. God designed it. God determines what we ought to do concerning it, and the bed that which you get to enjoy physically within the covenant of marriage, that’s a holy thing.
In fact, [inaudible 00:46:10] will go as far to say this, that you and I can enjoy intimacy with each other, as husbands and wives in our bedroom as an act of worship to God. That’s a truth. That’s Hebrews 13:4. And Solomon wants his son to understand that sex is holy and if he will do what God tells him to do, he can worship God in the love he finds in another woman. And he wants him to have a healthy view of his sexual drive. He tells his son here to enter upon the conjugal rights of marriage between a husband and wife with excitement and passion. Let her breast satisfy you. Be enraptured with her love. He tells his son to get drunk on the sweet wine of his wife’s love. He wants his son to know that sex is not simply a reproductive function. It is a gift from God.
It adds spice to the marriage. It brings unity and intimacy between a husband and wife. It affords comfort and companionship. It is a [inaudible 00:47:19] against temptation and it is a joy and a pleasure and it’s part of marriage. It ought to be recreational and it ought to be regular, and this father wants his son to understand that. That sex was given to man by God for more reasons than procreation. I think sometimes Christians forget that If I was to ask the average evangelical tonight, why did God give us sex? I think they’d just say, because he told us to go into all the world and be fruitful and multiply. That’s one plank. There’s five or six reasons why God gives it, and one of them’s pleasure and joy and intimacy between a husband and wife and you and I, as I say in closing, ought to pursue that.
And if we pursue that, as God has described it and determined it, if we feed the grass in our own garden, our neighbors grass won’t look any greener. That’s what Solomon saying to his son. This myth of greener grass. You stay at home, you cultivate your own garden. You love your own wife. Let your wife love you. Give time to this. Be sensitive to each other. Experiment. Be patient, be humble. Enjoy each other with humility and humor and it’ll be a great [inaudible 00:48:27] against you looking elsewhere. If you satisfy each other you won’t look for satisfaction in anyone else. That’s basically what he’s arguing here. Charles Swindall was once in a hotel elevator when two attractive women entered the elevator with him and they made their intentions very clear. Charles Swindall was meant to go a few floors up, but he pressed the button for the next floor so he could get out of there as quickly as his feet would take him. The doors open.
He jumped out. Before the doors could close. He turned to the women and he said this, I love this, read it years ago, he said, “Sorry ladies, but no thanks. I get to enjoy the real thing at home.” Amen. What presence of mind. Here’s a man who’s already reasoned in his mind what he is going to say when he gets sin arguing with him. Here’s a man who put a distance between himself and temptation, but here’s a man who understood that he was satisfied by the love he and his wife experienced. Well, you’ve listened attentively. We’ve given much to think about. I pray that as this Lord’s day ends that we will hide God’s word in our heart so that this week in an actuated society that you and I may not sin against God. Remember the called of submission, the called of separation, the called the satisfaction.