Pathways Through Proverbs
December 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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The proper use of finances is one of the recurring themes of the book of Proverbs. One area which Solomon deals with on several occasions is the idea of being a surety. Since the topic comes up regularly in the book of Proverbs, it must be something that believers struggle with, so we need to pay attention to the teaching.
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Solomon warns that it is very foolish to guarantee that you will pay for something that someone else has bought on credit. It doesn't matter if you are good friends with the individual or if he is a stranger. To risk your own financial standing and well-being on the word of an acquaintance who is trying to purchase something that he clearly can not afford is not a wise thing to do. It appears from this passage that Solomon expects the friend to not meet his obligations and to saddle his son with the debt. Look at the terms that he uses: "snared" and "taken". The co-signer has been taken captured by the friend, and now the friend no longer has the obligation to make the payments, for he knows that someone else will shoulder the responsibility.
What should a man do if he has signed on to such a deal? He should make haste to get out of it. He should humbly admit to the borrower that he was wrong, and do everything in his power to be released from his obligation. He needs to try to escape like a deer escapes from a hunter, for his financial life is at stake.
Be wise in your fiscal dealings, even with friends. Once you are caught in the trap, it doesn't really matter who set it.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery