Pathways Through Proverbs
November 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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Solomon touches on a very interesting topic in this passage: is it wrong to steal in order to feed yourself or your family? This ethical question has been debated down through the centuries, yet I believe Solomon has answered it for us here.
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Verse 30 states that if a man steals for the sole reason that he is hungry or unable to feed his family, then he will not be despised by those who find out about it. People understand hunger, and they understand not having anywhere else to turn for help, so they will be sympathetic to the circumstances that drove this man to make his decision. He will be viewed completely differently than the man who steals simply because he wants more things. That man will be despised, because he did not need to steal, and simply chose to in order to satisfy his lusts.
However, even though the community may understand the first man's motives, and be sympathetic to his situation, that does not mean that he has not broken the law. According to verse 31, if the man gets caught, he still is obligated to make restitution, and must give back far more than he took in the first place. In fact, even if restitution costs him everything, he still must pay it, because he has violated God's law and stolen the property of someone else.
No matter what the circumstances may be, it is always a sin to be a thief. Even though people may understand, it does not justify that behavior. The Lord will provide what we need when we need it so that we will not have to break his commandments in order to survive.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery