Pathways Through Proverbs
August 6, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 6
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Following Scripture Verses
- My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
- Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
- Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
- Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
- Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
- Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
- Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
- Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
- How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
- Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
- So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
- A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
- He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
- Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
- Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
- These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
- A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
- An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
- A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
- My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
- Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
- When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
- For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
- To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
- Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
- For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
- Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
- Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
- So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
- Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
- But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
- But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
- A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
- For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
- He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
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Today Solomon asks a rhetorical question. The answer is so obvious that a response is not necessary. It is impossible for a man to put a fire on his lap without burning his clothing. Solomon uses this simple truth to illustrate a great spiritual truth: if you play with the fires of sin you are going to get burned.
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There are several aspects of this proverb that we should observe. First of all, note that the man is taking the fire. He is clearly taking an active roll, for the fire is not being thrust upon him. Sometimes a situation may occur over which an individual has no control. If we are walking down the street and an immodestly dressed member of the opposite sex crosses our path, there is nothing that we can do about it. I don't believe that God holds us responsible for seeing that. However, if we choose to gaze after the under-dressed person, now we are "taking the fire", and we are heading towards a problem. Be careful to guard your choices.
Second, I believe that the Lord had a specific reason for using the word "bosom" in this verse. When one thinks of the expression "take...in his bosom", the idea of the heart comes to mind. I believe that Solomon is advising his son to be careful not only about what he chooses to do, but also about what he chooses to think about and desire. Once a man has begun to lust after that which is forbidden, he starts bringing destruction upon himself. When he brings fire into the privacy of his heart, it is only a matter of time before his burning becomes public.
Just as it is a certainty that playing with fire will burn your clothes, it is equally a certainty that playing with sin will ruin your life.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery