16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
Sex is far more than an appetite, it is the means by which husband and wife become “one flesh.” There are of course many cautions in scripture about the misuse of sex, this chapter being one of them, but we are also encouraged to delight in sex within the unity of marriage. Temptation urges us to be promiscuous with our bodies and selfish with our wealth, against which wisdom’s advice could have no greater contrast.
“Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.” Lust masks itself as generosity, but it is only concerned with gratification. “One flesh” suggests physical unity, as one thread in the tapestry of real intimacy. And this is what marriage offers; as it unifies emotionally, legally, financially, in purpose and in joy. To separate the thread of sex is to unravel the intimacy for which we were made, as promiscuity only leads to more loneliness.