Proverbs 6

The first section of wisdom in this chapter (v.1-5) deals with the issue of financial integrity. It is unwise to make financial commitments that cannot be kept, such as co-signing a loan for a friend or family member which you know you can’t cover should they be unable to pay. The point here is not to discourage generosity, but to encourage good stewardship. God wants us to help our friends and to give to the poor, but not by making risky commitments and foolish deals.

The next section promotes the wisdom of hard work and diligence by presenting two negative examples. The first is the “sluggard” (v.6-11), the lazy person found lying in the bed to avoid working. Instead of being diligent — like the industrious ant — the lazy person ends up with nothing, unnecessarily impoverished (and dumber than a bug!).

The second negative example is the “wicked man” (v.12-15) who cheats and schemes to avoid hard work and honest gain. This kind of person ends up “broken” (and broke). The section about God’s hatred (v.16-19) is a strongly-worded warning against the kind of activities in which this sort of person engages. It would be difficult to find stronger words in Scripture to express God’s displeasure than “hate” and “abomination”.

The final section of this chapter is a warning against adultery. Nothing can destroy a marriage and wreck a home as quickly and as painfully as adultery. There is a reason this sin made God’s “Top Ten” (Exodus 20:14). It burns away precious things like trust, integrity, and respect — third-degree relational burns that leave ugly scars (v.27-28). Adultery “destroys” and “wounds” and “dishonors” and “disgraces” (v.32-33). Because of this stern warning, married couples should do everything they can to protect marriage, including setting boundaries, establishing accountability, and keeping Christ at the very center of their relationship.

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