<< Previous | Index | Next >>"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" Surety, Sloth, Scoundrels, And Strumpets (6:1-7:27) INTRODUCTION 1. The first nine chapters of Proverbs contain discourses extolling wisdom... a. Praising it over folly b. Illustrating its value in life 2. Interspersed throughout are exhortations regarding wisdom... a. Warnings against foolish conduct b. Counsel on behavior that reflects wisdom [Such is the case in the text for our study (Pr 6:1-7:27), where we find warnings concerning "Surety, Sloth, Scoundrels, and Strumpets." Let's start with the warning...] I. REGARDING SURETY (6:1-5) A. THE WARNING... 1. Do not become surety for a friend 2. That is, do not make yourself liable for someone else's debt 3. If you do, get out of it as quickly as possible 4. If necessary, humble yourself and plead 5. The warning is repeated in Proverbs - Pr 11:15; 17:18 B. THE REASON... 1. It may seem like kindness to cosign a loan for a friend 2. But there are reasons it may not be (from the Believer's Bible Commentary) a. You might be helping him to buy something which it is not God's will for him to have b. You might be encouraging him to be a spendthrift or even a gambler c. If he defaults and you have to pay for something that is not your own, friendship will end and bitterness begin 3. Thus it may be better to simply give or loan the money personally - cf. Mt 5:42 [From being too eager to help, we now turn to being too eager to sleep as we consider a warning...] II. REGARDING SLOTH (6:6-11) A. THE WARNING... 1. For sluggards who prefer sleep to work 2. Learn wisdom from the lowly ant 3. Observe her diligence without need of overseer 4. How she provides in the summer and gathers in the harvest - cf. Pr 30:25 5. The emphasis is on being diligent in one's work B. THE REASON... 1. Laziness is the parent of poverty 2. As taught elsewhere in the Proverbs - Pr 10:4; 13:4; 20:4 3. You only steal from yourself when you are lazy 4. Thus diligence in all that we do is the proper course - cf. Ecc 9:10; Ro 12:15 [From personal conduct in ourselves to that seen in others, we next find a warning...] III. REGARDING SCOUNDRELS (6:12-19) A. THE WARNING... 1. The tactics of the wicked described (especially a con man) a. Walks with a perverse mouth (crooked speech) b. Winks with his eyes, shuffles his feet, points with his fingers (winking and giving signals to deceive others, CEV) c. Perversity in his heart, devises evil continually (plotting mischief) d. Sows discord 2. Somatic therapy truly perverted! a. Using the body in ways to deceive others b. Whereas earlier we read of better ways to use the body - cf. Pr 4:20-27 3. Upon such a person calamity and destruction will come quickly B. THE REASON... 1. The Lord hates such behavior 2. It is an abomination to Him: a. A proud look (arrogance) b. A lying tongue (dishonesty) c. Hands that shed innocent blood (murder) d. A heart that devises wicked plans (contemplating evil) e. Feet that are swift running to evil (quick to do evil) f. A false witness who speaks lies (lying in giving public testimony) g. One who sows discord among brethren (note well: this is ranked among lying and murder!) 3. Conduct that destroys relationships with others is just as abominable as that which destroys our relationship with God Himself! [Finally, resuming a thread first started in 2:16-19 and expounded further in 5:1-23, we find a warning that starts in verse 20 and continues throughout the seventh chapter...] IV. REGARDING STRUMPETS (6:20-7:27) A. THE WARNING... 1. Listen to your parents when they warn you 2. They can keep you from the immoral woman 3. Who seduces with flattery tongue and allures with her eyes 4. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart 5. An illustration of one caught up in this folly - cf. Pr 7:1-27 B. THE REASON... 1. She will reduce you to a crust of bread, and prey on your life 2. She is too hot to handle safely, you will only burn yourself 3. People may have a little tolerance for one who steals out of hunger 4. But no one has respect for a man who steals another's wife 5. The husband in particular will never be appeased CONCLUSION 1. Thus the wisdom found in Proverbs is seen to be very practical a. Guiding one in their own behavior b. Guarding one against the behavior of others 2. Warning us against such things as... a. Surety that ensnares b. Sloth that impoverishes c. Scoundrels that mislead and sow discord d. Strumpets that entice and destroy through the lust of the flesh Will we heed the words of wisdom? In our next study we will find Sophia (wisdom) once again pleading for us to heed her cries...<< Previous | Index | Next >>
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