6 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
have given your pledge for a stranger,
if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
caught in the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, and save yourself,
for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.
Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech,
winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
Warnings Against Adultery
My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
Proverbs 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In chapter 6 Solomon pens 4 verses stating there are 6 things God hates, and 7 that are detestable to Him. Although they aren’t the only sins we should avoid, they address the main issue we all wrestle with: our heart. For out of our heart comes the motives many times which we act upon.
Haughty eyes address the pride of which we look upon or down on others. When we begin to think of ourselves more highly than we should, we will look down upon people. Sadly, this happens within the church and among Believers. Too often we can look at another Believer in their struggle and draw conclusions or jump in condemnation they should know better or be able to get a grip. We fail to remember that it’s been the Holy Spirit’s own wrestling match with us that has brought grace into our lives in the struggle. Superiority among one another in any form is wrong.
The lying tongue is our intent on deception through what we say. It’s interesting to consider this is not just something we do to ‘get out of trouble’ but flattery of another to build them up when we don’t believe it fits here as well. Murder is the third Solomon addresses followed by the heart that is deceptive in making wicked plans. Those whose feet are so quick to jump and run into evil show no resistance to sin, is the fifth.
Being a false witness who pours out lies deals with the tongue and hearkens back to the second thing God hates. This is followed by a person who stirs dissension among his brothers. We were all created to live in unity but unfortunately, some who are so determined to do their own thing, hold fast to their own pride, manipulate to get their way will stir strife among other Believers. They bring strife among Believers stealing peace within the Body of Christ and is a hindrance to His Spirit moving.
In Christ, we are new creations but this doesn’t mean we don’t wrestle with issues that are birthed in our hearts. Solomon’s warnings speak to set the guard rail against the deception our heart can lead where destruction and disunity will follow.
Proverbs 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
We live during a very strange time in Western culture. It is not uncommon for a family to have a big screen TV in their living room but no food on the table. It is not unusual to be homeless while watching Netflix on your phone or device. Priorities are lopsided and common sense has been abandoned. Incredibly, we could describe many in our society as both busy and lazy. Maybe we are busy being lazy?
Satisfaction comes when we do what we ought to do. Taking care of our responsibilities and prioritizing those responsibilities in light of God’s Word brings purpose. Proverbs 6 encourages us to take our cues from one of God’s smaller creations – the ant.
“Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. 7 They have no leader, chief, or ruler, 8 but they store up their food during the summer, getting ready for winter.”Proverbs 6:6-8 GNB
The harvester ant would have been familiar to the readers of Solomon’s time. It is found everywhere in Israel. Their primary diet is seeds, so these colonies work tirelessly to acquire and store them in their granary. This assures that the colony will have access to a food source year-round. According to research, the stored seeds have a shelf life of 1-2 years!
Consider the fact that these creatures are working together for the benefit of the colony, not for themselves. Their work is not selfish. It is directed at sustaining their entire family with nourishment. God provides the food, but it must be harvested and stored. There is a “wrong time” and “right time” to harvest and store food, and the ants waste no time getting to work when the conditions are optimal. In fact, sometimes when the midday sun is too hot, the ants cannot work and so they rely on what has been previously harvested.
But there is something else to consider in all this. These harvester ants are also known as agricultural ants. The foraging of seeds naturally creates plant life. Some seeds are carried to areas they would never be able to reach without the ant’s help. In this way, these workers become seed dispersal agents. Though they are working to take care of their colony and store up food for their survival, God is also using their hard work to produce new life!
Are the ants aware of the new vegetation that has sprung up deep into the savannah because of their hard work? Probably not. But the fact remains that many plant species depend on the diligence of the ants to disperse their seeds. Scientists have found that these plants have adapted their seed releases to maximize the effort and timing of the harvester ant.
So what does all this mean?
The harvester ant is an example of God’s worker who diligently tends to the spiritual fields of this life. Using the wisdom from Proverbs 6, a harvester-ant-mentality would continue to chip away at the work that God has given us. Taking care of our family is the obvious one, but this example also brings to mind foresight, diligence, and determination. God expects His children to do what they ought to do. Just like God is the initiator of the seeds with the ants, He brings us in contact with people and situations that require our greatest effort.
The other factor to consider in all this is the seed dispersal of your life. Often, we have no idea of the new life that God is forming through the daily tasks of His children. However, the seed dispersal does not take place on its own.
God uses ordinary creatures going about their day with maximal effort to bring forth new Kingdom life!
God did not create us to be entertained, but to have purpose. Proverbs 6 reminds us that even when we just think we are doing something we’ve done 1000 times before, He will use our diligence, foresight, and perseverance to bring glory to Himself!