I hope that your day has been good. I am praying for God to speak to you as we continue reading His word.
Chapter 6 deals with four enemies that can destroy a person financially, physically, morally and spiritually: unwise financial commitments (6:1–5)., laziness, (6:6–11), moral failures (6:12–15) & (6:16–19) and lust (vv. 20-35).
Unwise financial commitments (6:1–5)
This passage says that it is not wise to cosign a note “put up security for another” or, if a person has already made that mistake, they should get out of the arrangement as quickly as possible.
To co-sign or “put up security” (6:1) means to take responsibility for another person’s loan; so if the borrower defaults, the cosigner has to pay the obligation. The idea is that no one should get into legal agreements and indebtedness in which circumstances are out of your control. This is certainly the case when co-signing for another.
The ants are models of diligence in that they work tirelessly and they prepare for the winter in spite of having no administration to lay out economic plans. Laziness leads to inescapable poverty and ruin. “Like a bandit” and an “armed man,” laziness will steals time and resources until there is nothing left.
Moral failures: scoundrel & villain (6:12–15) & 7 deadly sins (6:16–19)
Take note of two more people: the scoundrel and villain (6:12–15) the “scoundrel” is someone who works to undermine social and personal relationships for his own benefit. In particular he attempts to corrupt an organization’s ability to run smoothly (government, company or church). The “villain” joins in the chaos caused by the scoundrel (they often run together) to steal something: resources, power or recognition they have not earned.
7 Deadly sins: The medieval church had its list of “seven deadly sins” (pride, anger, envy, impurity, gluttony, slothfulness, and avarice). Here, Proverbs provides us with a list that may be considered the Israelite version of the seven deadly sins. This teaching is arranged for easy memorization. The first five things the Lord hates are body parts set in a sequence that moves generally from the head to the feet (eyes, tongue, hands, heart, feet), and the last two are specific types of persons (the false witness and the troublemaker).
In each of the first five members of the list, some body part is associated with a particular type of sin. More specifically, the body parts that act out certain sins (e.g., hands that shed blood) represent the distorted personalities behind such actions. it is that the verse uses such strong language in v. 16, saying that God “hates” or “detests” these things. The person whose eyes, hands, or feet carry out such deeds has a twisted soul and grossly corrupts the image of God that should be recognizable in every human.
“Haughty eyes” are eyes that are lifted up in arrogance. The position of the eyes describes the attitude of the heart. The arrogant spirit may vaunt itself against any and all people, but fundamentally this reflects haughtiness before God and refusal to reckon with one’s finitude and creatureliness.
A “lying tongue” is a person who has no regard for truth. To lie is to distort reality for one’s own purposes and bespeaks a refusal to submit to norms of right and wrong; by lying, one seeks to rearrange not just individual facts but one’s just place in the world and so avoid having to live by the normal rules of life.
The phrase “hands that shed innocent blood” describes the violent personality and as such is one who would be prone to murder if circumstances were conducive. A lack of control over anger is implied, as is a profound lack of regard for the value of human life. This is the personality that will beat or even kill another person out of anger over a presumed insult.
The “heart that devises wicked schemes” might be in modern terms a sociopathic personality. Such a person has no regard for anything but that which might work to his or her advantage. Rules and values are used when it is beneficial to do so, but they are disregarded when they are inconvenient. Such a one is always looking for an edge over everyone else.
“Feet that rush to do evil” bespeak a terrible enthusiasm for opportunities to do wrong. Such an individual regards the occasion to sin, when it appears, as a stroke of good luck and a terrific chance to get away with breaking a rule and perhaps get something for nothing. But the benefit that may come is secondary; like the vandal who destroys property that he cannot steal, the real object is the simple joy of wrongdoing.
The “false witness” seeks to subvert justice in the courts, while the “one who stirs up dissension,” like the “scoundrel” in the previous section, attempts to break apart the bonds that hold a society together. These two figures are fundamentally antisocial in that they break bonds of friendship, promote the decay of public justice, and ultimately bring a community into chaos.
Lust (vv. 20-35).
More good stuff of the dangers of sexual sin! Those caught in lust lose…
…their way (vv. 20-24) In ancient as in modern societies, both father and mother fear for the sexual future of their child. Their deepest desire is that the child have a fulfilling and joyful married life. Against them stands the lure of illicit sex. Even better than a parent’s advice the Word of God in the mind and heart is like a guide who leads us on the safe path and protects us from attacks. It’s also like a friend who talks to us and counsels us along the way (Prov. 6:22). If we listen to God’s voice in His Word, we won’t fall for the enemy’s flattery (Prov. 6:24).
…their wealth (vv. 25-26) To be “brought to a piece of bread” means to be degraded to the lowest level of poverty If the adultery results in scandal, a lawsuit, and a divorce, the price will not be cheap; in this day of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, the adulterer is taking chances with his health and his life.
…their enjoyment (vv. 27-31) Fire is a good thing if it’s confined and controlled. It can keep us warm, cook our food, drive our turbines, and manufacture our electricity. Sex is a good gift from God, but like fire, if it gets out of control, it becomes destructive. What begins as a “warm” experience soon becomes a burning experience, like holding a torch in your lap or walking on burning coals.
“But sex is a normal desire, given to us by God,” some people argue. “Therefore, we have every right to use it, even if we’re not married. It’s like eating: If you’re hungry, God gave you food to eat; if you’re lonely, God gave you sex to enjoy.” Certainly hunger is a strong force in human life, and the only way to satisfy hunger is to eat, but if you steal the bread that you eat, you’re breaking the law. You’ll end up paying more for that bread than if you’d gone out and bought a loaf at the bakery. As you sit in jail or stand in court, the enjoyment you had from that bread will soon be forgotten.
…their sense (v. 32) Even today bank presidents, CEOs, pastors, professor and people who are considered intelligent or successful get drawn into an affair only to find that it was poor judgment.
…their peace (vv. 33-35) The angry husband will use every means possible to avenge himself. The adulterer loses his reputation in the community. In today’s society, if a person has enough money and “clout,” he or she might be able to survive an adulterous scandal, but life is still never quite the same. Whether in this life or the next, ours sins are exposed. Its best to avoid sexual sin.
I’m glad we’re reading God’s word together.
Until tomorrow, Darrell