Proverbs 5:21-23 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
It is interesting to read Solomon’s heartfelt pleas to his son(s) throughout this chapter in the light of what we know about his own life from 1 Kings 11!
His main concern, which is generalised here in these concluding verses, is the devastating effect of giving in to sexual temptation. In verses 11-14 he had warned: “At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, ‘How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.’”
Sadly, there have been many Christian leaders who have been involved in moral failure and who could readily identify with what Solomon says! Perhaps that ‘wise’ King’s most helpful note for all of us as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ is the reminder that “a man’s ways are in FULL VIEW of the LORD, and he examines ALL his paths.”
The Apostle Paul gives us a similar helpful warning about accountability: “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).
As the Author of Hebrews says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? … … No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5-7, 11). So let us be determined NOT to be among those who “die for lack of discipline, led astray by [our] OWN GREAT FOLLY” – tough as that discipline might be!