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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!
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Read Proverbs 6
Warnings Against Folly
6 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—
and give your neighbor no rest!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
12 A troublemaker and a villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13 who winks maliciously with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers,
14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Warning Against Adultery
20 My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.
Since the Proverbs are mostly a collected grouping of wise sayings rather than one cohesive narrative, it can be difficult (at times) to isolate the theme of a chapter down to one idea. In chapter six. Solomon continues to instruct his son about the danger of indebtedness, laziness, and adultery. There is one specific grouping of verses that we will focus on today: verses 16-19.
The passage starts with a common Hebrew poetic method of stating things that God hates–the things that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a wicked-scheming heart, feet that rush to evil, a false witness, and…a person who stirs up conflict in the community. At first glance, it seems like one of those things is not like the others. Murder, lying under oath, and a wicked heart and feet that run to evil all make sense on that list. But, someone who simply is a pot-stirrer? Sure, nobody loves that person, but does God really have the same level of hatred for that as he does for murder?
It surely seems to be the case if we look throughout the rest of the Bible. Throughout scripture, we see that God really cares about unity. He is often seeking to unify, not to divide. Think about the following passages:
- The two have become one (Ephesians 5:31).
- There is neither Greek nor Jew…for you are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
- Jesus’s prayer in John 17 is that we would be one as he and his Father are one (John 17:21).
So there is something essential in the heart of God that abhors it when we delight in division. A level of abhorrence that rivals his feelings about the worst depravity of man.
And as we examine ourselves and our own habits, we see how easily we have slid into a world where sowing division is as simple as pushing a button, posting a meme, or liking an Instagram post. It is true that friendship with the world is enmity towards God (James 4:4) but we have so easily forgotten that God sent his son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17).
As we ponder the heart of God for the lost, evil, and dying masses, we know for certain that tribalism, animosity, and disdain are not what God would have us sow into the current cultural climate. Let us respond to the admonishment by putting down the phone, choosing not to add to the caustic conversation and instead to seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14).
- As you read through Proverbs 6 the first time, which verse(s) stuck out to you the most? Why?
- Why does unity matter to God so much? Can you think of any other passages that speak to God’s desire for His people to be unified?
- What can you do to bring unity into each situation you step into today?
In his Enduring Word commentary, Pastor David Guzik says the following about this passage of scripture:
“Most of these sins are connected to something we do, in or through our body. The eyes have a proud look, the tongue lies, and so on. We are again reminded of what Paul wrote in Romans about presenting the parts of our body (our members) to God for the work of righteousness, not sin (Romans 6:13).
This collection of seven sins is also focused on how we treat others. We must honor God and worship Him in spirit and in truth, yet God is also concerned about how we treat others. Each of these are serious sins against others.”
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6 thoughts on “Proverbs 6”
A deep conviction and sadness came over me today as I read this chapter and commentary. How often do I casually treat the things that God detests? Where have I grown calloused and accustomed to the cultural norms that creep into my life through various ways (media) that God hates? Where have I laid aside godly standards and slipped into evil with my choices? Presently disunity is knocking at my door everywhere I turn, in my family, friends, and the workplace. I’m challenged to take a stand and be a bridge builder applying & interjecting the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF CONTROL) which all employ godly wisdom. No more going with the flow but intentionally standing in the gap to turn the tide, and never celebrating what Christ died for. Will you join me on this journey?
The verses of Proverbs 6:16-19 have been impactful to me for many reasons. Thanks to the Versify app, I have been able to practice it and commit it to memory. Check that app out if you are looking for help in memorizing verses. Based on Proverbs 5:21, your time is likely better spent on that app than others.
What strikes me as interesting about these verses is that it lists six things God hates and then says seven that he detests. I have never been able to figure out which are the six and which are the seven.
What is most impactful is the list starts with haughty eyes. We don’t use that word much today but it can be characterized as thinking we are better than we are. That is a sin I am guilty of and can be rampant in the church.
God is putting haughty eyes in the same classification as lying, bearing false witness, and murder. Wow!!!
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God and these verses are a great reminder of how important that is to consider as we engage the lost.
“And a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
As a business owner, I am often witness to the acts performed by other business owners in my trade.
Over time, I have formulated opinions about some of these acts and then applied motive to their performance. And then I talk about the performance and marry it to the motive.
I however, could be mistaken in my assessment.
Recently, it has been on my heart, I should avoid these types of thoughts and statements, as they do not represent myself or my God in the light He desires.
These words I speak create an air that is darkness and void of light.
I commit to being far more aware of my thoughts and words, as I move through 2023 and the remainder of my time here on Earth.
I recognize the impact these thought statements have on my heart and I can see how they impact the Kingdom when spoken.
I thank God for how he is moving in me, in this way, and look forward to every opportunity I have to shine light into a situation versus blocking out His radiance.
In my mind, I drew a heart. From that heart, I drew lines to the names of each of these sins. Then from each sin, I drew another line, and mentally noted actual sins that I have committed with each one (or wanted to). I may actually do this on paper as a reminder…or as a letter of prayer for repentance…it’s quite humbling.
Great commentaries and thoughts this week!
We are to pursue God. He has given us what He hates and what He loves. If we look to His word we can find answers to all questions. As I was reading different commentaries I was pointed to the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-9 which is the opposite of these hates of God’s. 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”–the opposite of “haughty eyes”.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”–“hands that shed innocent blood” do not mourn, but rejoice over pain.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth”–a “lying tongue” hurts others for its own gain.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”–“feet that run rapidly to evil” are hungry for sin.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”–a “false witness who utters lies” commits injustice.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”–“a heart that devises evil plans” lacks all purity.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”–the exact opposite of “one who spreads strife among brothers.”
God is amazing in His word. He will always give us answers but searching for them is our job. We pursue and follow God by accepting His son , the only truly righteous one. And we seek to live uprightly, in a way that pleases Him. We pursue righteousness, due to our gratefulness to Him for the life we have in Jesus.
God thank You for giving me the answers to all my questions. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your son Jesus Christ and His loving You so much that He made my way to You!!!! Thank You for doing right things and making right choices every minute of every day in Jesus name amen
Oh Amy, what beautiful, powerful insight! The Beatitudes have long been a favorite passage, and I would have missed that connection altogether. Thank you for taking the time to share. Woo hoo!