Proverbs 6

This chapter of Proverbs continues the wise sayings Solomon addresses to his son. In chapter 5 he addresses adultery and marriage. In this chapter he addresses financial matters, work ethics, characteristics and conduct the Lord despises, and sexual immorality. A common theme of these lessons is to avoid the natural consequences of foolish choices. The next chapter describes the adulteress's ways and the pitfalls involved in committing adultery with her.
Solomon continues to impart wise sayings to his "son," which might also mean his student or students.

The first of the wise lessons in this chapter relates to wisely caring for one's existing wealth. Solomon especially urges his son to avoid financial entanglements by not entering into a surety agreement. In rough terms, this means being extremely cautious about cosigning a loan. If he does cosign, and realizes he's gotten into a risky situation, he should try to get out of the deal even if doing so causes humiliation. While this does not prohibit all forms of debt or lending, this Scripture strongly advises being careful not to waste what has been earned (Proverbs 6:1–5).

Just as cosigning for an untrustworthy person might cause poverty, laziness is another way a person can become destitute. Solomon tells his son to consider the ant. Without supervision, it works hard to meet its needs both present and future. Unless a person works, poverty will overtake him as surely as a robber or an armed man overtakes his victim. Here, again, the general principles are seen in common sense. Wasted opportunities cannot be "made up" when times get hard (Proverbs 6:6–11).

The Bible points out that a wise person refuses to stir up strife. As with all proverbs, this is meant as general wisdom. In most circumstances, those who aggravate trouble are those most likely to suffer from it. Beyond that, God has particular distaste for certain sins associated with troublemakers. A "worthless person" is described as one who uses corrupt, deceptive speech and deceptive signals to sow discord. The list of God-hated attitudes includes arrogance, deceit, violence against the innocent, an evil heart, and lies. Summarizing these sins is the idea of someone who creates controversy or hatred among others (Proverbs 6:12–19).

Solomon counsels his son to abide by his parents' teaching. These lessons from experience will guide him and keep him from danger. As with other statements, this is a question of risk versus reward. Those who make good choices are not absolutely guaranteed a good outcome—evil and chance can still happen. Yet it's clearly true that those who follow wise paths are less likely to run into trouble than those who act stupidly (Proverbs 6:20–23).

One application of godly wisdom, both literal and symbolic, is safety from "the adulteress." While men are generally more susceptible to seduction than women, the general idea applies to everyone. Solomon warns his son to avoid falling prey to smooth talk, alluring beauty, and enticing glances. Solomon compares an illicit relationship to that of carrying fire next to the chest and to walking on hot coals. Both actions cause pain. An adulterer, Solomon says, is senseless and self-destructive. Society might have sympathy for a starving man who steals bread—but not for a man who violates his neighbor's wife. Adulterers risk suffering from revenge and shame (Proverbs 6:24–35).

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