God’s Glorious Design – Proverbs 5:16

Proverbs 5:16 "Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets."

In Proverbs 5, Solomon warns his son of the seductiveness and destructiveness of sexual sin and encourages his son to lawfully satisfy his sexual desires within the bounds of marriage alone. This is God’s glorious design. Solomon gives ten consequences for unlawfully fulfilling sexual desires outside of marriage in Proverbs 5:9-14, 22-23. The 10 consequences are

  1. You will throw away your honor/dignity (5:9)
  1. Your years will be given over to the cruel (5:9).
  1. Strangers will be filled with your wealth (5:10)
  2. Your painstaking work will be for a stranger because you will not enjoy its benefits (5:10)
  3. You will mourn in the end. The Hebrew here for "mourn" means "to roar, to groan, to growl" (5:11).
  4. Your flesh and body will be consumed with disease (5:11).
  5. You getting your own way (iniquity) will take you down (5:22)
  6. You will be bound in bondage by this sin (5:22).
  7. You will die without instruction (5:23).
  8. You will go astray (5:23).

This is really serious. Do not toy with sin. Sin is deceiving. Sin will always take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Now let’s get back to the verse and look at God’s glorious design for marriage. What does it mean to have one’s fountains dispersed abroad? This is a symbol of sexual pleasure. A husband and wife should enjoy each other. This is good and actually commanded by God. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled:" Sex is good in marriage like fire in a fireplace, but sex outside of marriage, is like fire outside the fireplace that destroys the home. Sex outside marriage does not follow God’s glorious design; therefore, as we already saw, it is self-inflicted destruction.

Then the natural progression occurs of fountains growing into rivers. What are the rivers of waters to which Solomon refers? They are the children from the husband and wife enjoying each other. When you consider Solomon’s command to his son, he is really reiterating God’s blessing in which He commands to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:27, 9:1).

Next, Solomon says that these rivers of waters will be in the streets. These children from those following God’s glorious design of a Godly marriage are then a source of benefit in the cities in which they live. These are children trained up in the ways of the Lord (Prov. 22:6). Perhaps Solomon had Psalm 127:4-5 in mind when he wrote this. Psalm 127:4-5 says, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." The speaking with the enemy in the gate means subduing the enemies in the gate. Wow!

God blesses those who follow His ways. The Apostle John no doubt, summarizes the joy of parents that have those rivers of waters in the streets, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

We have seen the curse of sexual sin and the blessing of His glorious design, a Godly marriage. Be a person that loves and obeys the Lord and leaves a Godly legacy!

Psalm 112:1-2 says, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed."

Are you patiently waiting on God’s timing? Have you purposed to follow God’s glorious design of sex only within the bounds of marriage? What kind of legacy are you building now?


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