“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech” Proverbs 5:3
Lips and Speech – Propriety prevents Solomon from being explicit. But anyone with half a Hebrew brain knows there is more to this observation than talking. This is especially true when we realize that our translation “speech” has been a little sanctified. The word is really “palate”, the part inside the mouth. Solomon uses the same imagery in another place where we see his double entendre more readily. In the greatest love song in the Bible, Solomon uses the words to describe the physical delights of sexual pleasure (Song 4:11). It doesn’t take much imagination for adults to get the picture. There are reasons why children in Jewish orthodox communities are banned from reading the Song of Solomon until they become adults.
What Solomon is circumspect in saying has been paraded in our culture without restraint. Of course, the sexual invitation was no less seductive in his day than it is now. Wherever men and women hunger for protection against inside fragmentation, they will be susceptible to substitute outside unity. The only difference today is that we no longer play word-games about the subject. Every culture opposed to God makes explicit and acceptable what God says is illegitimate and unacceptable. The battlefield has shifted from “secret” affairs to “in-your-face” indulgence. From “Desperate Housewives” to “Friends” the message is the same. Sex is what adults do on a date (as one popular mystery novelist writes).
Do you wonder how it is possible to raise children with a godly sense of sexuality in a world where sex is a game and lust is the fuel of corporate advertising? Solomon knew (regretfully) something about this. So did his father. No wonder Solomon’s warnings are so stern. He saw his own family fractured over “lips and palate”. He fell prey to the same enticements. Now he warns, “Her way is death”.
God’s plan for proper human sex education begins at home, not at school and certainly not in Vibe magazine or on MTV. It includes the full appreciation of the joy of “two-become-one” reality. Marriage is a theological announcement. Sex is spiritual. Anything less is insulting to the Creator. Solomon’s erotic imagery belongs in God’s creation. To pretend it doesn’t is to deny God’s glorious handiwork. God wants us to fully enjoy His artistry. But full enjoyment requires having the right perspective toward the canvas. If I’m going to appreciate all the colors and all the depth in the image, I will need to stand where the artist wants me to stand. If I want all that Solomon’s Song has to offer, I better pay attention to all that Solomon’s Proverbs admonish.