Proverbs 5:16

Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.


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A happy and influential family is a great blessing and goal. It cannot happen by adultery or fornication. Whores cannot help a man build a family tree – they destroy it instead. This corrupt generation rejects family glory and value, but God exalted the family, and so did the noble and accomplished generations of the past. Here is another reason to avoid and despise adultery, casual sex, fornication, same-sex marriages, and other sexual sins.

Fornication and adultery are powerful lusts. A remedy for these temptations is to consider the wonderful blessing of lawful children. The strange woman is a dangerous enemy. Young men must be taught early the glory of a godly family from honorable pleasure with their fruitful wife. The wise Preacher Solomon taught a further lesson against sexual sin. Let every man consider his inspired advice well; let every woman also learn wisdom.

The fifth chapter of Proverbs deals with the strange woman – which is any other woman than your wife. Solomon warned his son against the great temptation she creates (Pr 5:1-3,6-8,20). He described the horrible consequences of sinning with her (Pr 5:4-5,9-14,21-23). Here is the perfect father warning his son about life’s great trap. For the bitterness of wormwood and sharpness of a two-edged sword are very painful metaphors (Pr 5:4).

He raised several practical arguments against sexual sin. He told plainly of the bitter pain, death, and hell it brings (Pr 5:4-5). He warned it will destroy his reputation (Pr 5:9) and devour his living (Pr 5:10). He warned about the pain of a violated conscience (Pr 5:11-14). He commanded loyalty to his lawful wife (Pr 5:15) and fascination with her body and lovemaking (Pr 5:19-20). He warned of God’s judgment for sexual sins (Pr 5:21) and the addicting nature of sexual liberties (Pr 5:22-23). Here is excellent, practical wisdom!

Sexual enjoyment of a wife is one of God’s greatest gifts to man. It is honorable in the sight of God (Heb 13:4); it is to be used frequently and wisely to the complete pleasure of husband and wife (I Cor 7:1-5); and it is a great remedy against wandering lusts (Pr 5:19-20). It is described as drinking waters out of your own cistern and well (Pr 5:15), for men should satisfy their sexual thirst from their own wives only.

But this proverb contains even another argument against the strange woman. A wise man will consider the blessing and glory of a legitimate family, where his influence and pleasure is realized through his children marrying and having more children of their own. These are the fountains and rivers, which a man should desire and enjoy. By lawful offspring, a man can disperse influence and glory abroad in the streets of his city.

Children resulting from sexual sins are not like this. Men are ashamed to admit bastards are theirs. Bastards are a perpetual reminder of shame. Jephthah is a good example (Judges 11:1-2). Even God the Father spoke of them disrespectfully (Heb 12:5-8). While a man may love a child born out of wedlock, the trouble and difficulties are great. The example of Isaac and Ishmael prove this clearly, even though Abram did “marry” Hagar.

Solomon pursued this practical argument against the strange woman for three verses (Pr 5:16-18). A man should delight in the natural use of his wife; he should desire and enjoy her conception, pregnancy, and childbirth; he should rejoice with his wife being a mother of children. Here is something the strange woman cannot offer – the creation of a legitimate and godly family for the glory of God and the pleasure of two noble parents.

The fountains of a man are his children, who are able to have more children of their own, bearing his name and character. Jacob, or Israel, was a fountain – he had twelve sons (Deut 33:28)! And Judah was one of his rivers of waters – for he grew into a mighty nation (Is 48:1). The nation of Israel was the fountain from Israel, or Jacob (Ps 68:26). Balaam also used creative metaphors from water for Israel’s great increase (Num 24:7).

A man’s particular fountain is his singular wife, which is stated rather clearly in the context. Read, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (Pr 5:18). And this woman is able to bear him the additional fountains of this proverb, the children who in turn can increase his influence in the city and the whole earth A blessed situation is to have boy and girls playing in the streets, all from your loins (Zech 8:5).

Children, and several of them, are God’s blessing. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 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” (Ps 127:3-5). The wisdom of how many varies by circumstances, but God allowed many as a general rule.

A fertile wife, like a gushing fountain and fruitful vine, is God’s blessing. “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel” (Ps 128:3-6).

But the world hates God and His perfect plan, so they reject the family to promote sexual sins. They euphemistically call adultery a love affair, sodomy gay, fornication casual sex, and two men in bed a same-sex marriage. The educational and entertainment industries lead this revolt against God’s plan for families and instead glorify base couplings that are below those of animals, which instinctively know mating is for producing offspring.

The rule of wisdom in this proverb is helpful in selecting a spouse. A woman desiring to be a mother will likely find a matching prince; a woman belittling motherhood will get a player. Since she does not want to give her husband children, then she should not be surprised when he is unfaithful, since a family is one of God’s remedies against adultery.

Young men should be taught the glory of a pregnant wife and a nursing mother. Conception should be praised, pregnancy enjoyed, childbirth celebrated, nursing exalted, and children esteemed highly. The present generation is perverse, for pregnancy is generally avoided; it is thought a burden and judgment when it does occur. God forbid such folly! Let the righteous raise the birthrate and increase their numbers in the world.

If a man took this great blessing seriously, he would have no desire or time for a strange woman, who cannot build with him a noble family tree with approval by God and men. The whore must avoid conception or birth to hide her sin, and illegitimate children are a perpetual problem rather than a productive pleasure. Whoredom does not bring increase (Hos 4:10). Let every young man hate the folly that would steal his increase and glory.

God the Father arranged for the Lord Jesus Christ to marry His bride, the church. He has predestinated a godly seed through the union (Rom 8:29). These adopted children are His fountain, His numerous progeny (Heb 2:13). They are for signs and wonders in Israel, to the glory of His grace (Is 8:18). He saw His seed and prolonged His days (Is 53:10). Praise Him, ye children! Give glory to God through Jesus Christ for being in His family!

It is by the careful cultivation of relationships in the family of God that further increase occurs, by His blessing (Col 2:19; Eph 4:15-16). The children of God, the citizens of Zion, the bride of Christ, should have an influence in the world for the glory of their Husband and Father (Mal 2:15; Matt 5:13-16). Blessed God, help your children fulfill their great privilege as your offspring to disperse your knowledge throughout the earth.