The proverbs prior to today’s devotional in Proverbs 5 served as a warning concerning the tragic consequences of immoral choices (Proverbs 5:3-13). Solomon warned his son that the beguiling ways of an adulteress invariably lead a man down a path of destruction…destroying reputation (5:9), robbing him of his wealth (5:10), and devastating his health (5:11). Five proverbs follow those dire warnings that extol the moral virtue and reward of marriage between a man and his wife (Proverbs 5:15-19).
Proverbs 5:15 – “Drink [consume] waters out of thine own cistern [pit; well; fountain], and running waters [stream; flowing water] out of [in the midst of; through] thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains [springs] be dispersed [scattered; break asunder] abroad [highways; fields], and rivers [streams] of waters in the streets. 17 Let them [streams of waters] be only thine own, and not strangers’ [adulterer] with thee. 18 Let thy fountain [stream; i.e. refereeing to a wife’s womb for childbearing] be blessed: and rejoice [be glad; joyful; merry] with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving [affectionate] hind [doe] and pleasant [gracious; kind; precious] roe [female mountain goat]; let her breasts satisfy thee [have one’s fill; satisfy one’s appetite for love and affection] at all times [continually]; and be thou ravished [enraptured; be intoxicated] always [continually; perpetual] with her love [and affection].”
Solomon draws upon the necessity and beauty of a well and stream of running water to paint a portrait of God’s blessed design of marriage between a man and his wife. The cistern or well is symbolic of a man’s home; while the fountain and stream of running waters represent the purity of love between a husband and wife and the blessed sanctity of the institution of marriage.
Although foreign to our day of urban and suburban lifestyles, the ancients protected their water rights, streams and wells with their lives. Indeed, the ownership and use of a well was a cherished necessity.
Solomon draws upon the pictures of a well, cistern and stream of running water to impress upon his son the extraordinary value a husband should place upon his marriage and the love and affection of his wife.
The “fountains” mentioned in verses 16 and 18 are most likely a reference to children born of the affectionate union of a man and his wife. The children born of this union are assuredly that of her husband and the wife rejoices in her husband’s dedicated love and affection. The reward of a lifetime of fidelity is an enduring, perpetual bond of love and affection that stands the test of time and temptation.
I close with a timely warning to some man or woman indulging their lusts in secret, foolishly believing no harm will come of their immoral behavior:
Hebrews 13:4 – “Marriage is honourable in all [precious; dear; of incomparable value], and the bed undefiled [pure; unsoiled]: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge [society might commend immoral behavior, but God promises He will be the final Judge].”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith