Week 6 – Proverbs 6
Today we are diving into Proverbs 6. It is quite a long chapter. So start!
- My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
- you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.
- So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go – to the point of exhaustion – and give your neighbor no rest!
- Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
- Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
- Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
- It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
- yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
- How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
- A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
- and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
- A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
- who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,
- who plots evil with deceit in his heart – he always stirs up conflict.
- Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
- There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
- haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
- a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
- a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
- My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
- Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
- When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
- For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,
- keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
- Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
- For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
- Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
- Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
- So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
- People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
- Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
- But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
- Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.
- For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
- He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.
Section 1 – Do not Sign as Security (verse 1 – 5)
Even though we are only at chapter 6, I am sure you will agree with me that the author of the Book of Proverbs is sharing a lot of advice regarding “grownup things”. In the previous chapter we looked at staying away from bad women and staying loyal to your wife. In this section we read about signing security for someone. It is clear that the author is setting his son up for adulthood. Or at least that is what I take from it.
What stands out for me in this section is verse 5. “Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” The author wants his son to be free; not trapped. So you can apply this to more than just signing security for someone.
Teach your kids to live free, and what it means to be free.
Section 2 – Work hard. Don’t be Lazy (verse 6 – 15)
I am a big Springbok rugby supporter. And the coach of the 2019 World Cup winning Springsbok side, Rassie Erasmus, said something in a team talk to his squad that I think was profound. He said that he himself was a Springbok at a time, and he quickly fell in the trap of entitlement. He thought that he should be picked for the team every week. He is entitled to it. Until the day he was dropped for someone else who worked much harder to become a Springbok. Suddenly, he lost his place in the team and was upset about it. As a coach, Rassie warned his players not to fell into the same trap of entitlement as he did when he was a player. Later that year, his team won the Rugby World Cup.
Why am I sharing this story?
Because we live in a world where entitlement is becoming a big problem. People don’t want to work for something, they just want it for free. Free education. Free healthcare. Free everything. They feel that they are entitled to it. Now I don’t know where you stand politically on these subjects of free healthcare, education, etc. And I am not here to debate it. But what I do want to share is the importance of not sitting back and expect everything to fall into your lap.
Teach your kids to work hard for what they want. You appreciate something a lot more when you have worked for it, than when you have received it for free.
Section 3 – 7 Things God hates (verse 16 – 19)
In this section we read 7 things that God hates. Let me summarise them quickly:
- haughty eyes
- a lying tongue
- hands that shed innocent blood,
- a heart that devises wicked schemes
- feet that are quick to rush into evil,
- a false witness who pours out lies
- a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Section 4 – Listen to your Parents’ Advice (verse 20 – 23)
As you know by now, the common theme thus far is that we as parents should teach our kids wisdom. In this section it speaks on why kids should listen to their parents’ advice. Verse 22 sums it up quite nicely.
“When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.”
It is almost as if we can’t go without the advice of our parents. As if we will be lost without it. And he confirms that in verse 23;
“For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,”
Section 5 – Adultery (verse 24 – 35)
A friend of mine is a pastor at a church in Durban, South Africa. And he said something once that really changed the way I read the Bible.
He said that in the times of the Bible, paper and ink wasn’t as freely available as it is today. They couldn’t go to a stationary store and buy 100’s of sheets of paper, or a box of notebooks to write in. They didn’t have a computer or Microsoft Word to type and undo anything. Paper was of more value to them. Just imagine Paul writing his letters while in jail. He didn’t have an endless supply of paper. So when they were writing something, they really had to write what was considered by them as important. And when they repeat something, then you know it must have been very important and crucial for the reader to know.
With that in mind, simply look back at the first 6 chapters we have been studying now. There are a lot of topics that the author keeps talking about. So clearly he sees it as very important. Something he wants his son (or children) to understand and grasp.
Verses 24 to 35 for me is almost a repeat of what we read have read in the previous chapter. Feel free to go read section 1 and 2 of of that chapter again. In this section the author talks about adultery, and he warns in verse 32 that a man that commits adultery will destroy himself. I think this section is pretty obvious, and there is no need for me to go into depth on this topic. But I would like you to go to the previous chapter, and go read section 1 and 2 again.