In our study of Proverbs, we get a lot of practical advice. Remember, this is both a message from father to son and the inspired Word of God. When we read any book of the Bible, we need to see what’s there for us—which is, frankly, all of it. What is God saying to us? How can we learn from this passage? How can I put what I’ve learned into practice? All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In Proverbs 6, there are two distinct sections. One (verses 1-19) is a collection of various items of good, practical advice. The other is a warning about fornication and adultery (verses 20-35). So, let’s see what we learn.
The first five verses are about promising to pay exhorbitant interest rates on a loan. Some say that it permits cosigning for relatives but not others, and there are all kinds of interpretations. Some even believe that this first verse means that one cannot biblically take out a loan of any kind. Most commentators disagree. The consensus seems to be that signing a note demanding high interest rates is not wise. The Bible says to get out of it as soon as you can: Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler (verses 3-5). For us, it probably would apply to credit card debt and taking on other kinds of foolish debts where the interest could ruin us financially. The Bible is so practical!
Verses 6-11 express a powerful teaching against laziness. Part of this section goes like this: How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man (9-11). In the New Testament the Apostle Paul instructs, For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread (2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12). This isn’t about someone who cannot work for some reason; it’s about people who choose not to work out of laziness. In the Thessalonians passage, it goes on to say that those with too much time on their hands stuck their noses into other people’s business and made trouble in the churches. It also admonished against working too hard. I love how the Bible urges balance in every part of our lives. Basically this Proverb along with 2 Thessalonians 3 teach not to be lazy, but also not a workaholic.
Verses 12-15 describe a wicked person. He has a perverse mouth (verse 12). Isn’t it interesting that the first thing we learn about this person is the way he speaks? Jesus said, O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34). As Christian women, our speech should be like the Virtuous Woman, who openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
The wicked person winks with his eyes, speaks with his feet, and teaches with his fingers. I read two commentaries that said that these actions of body language might be signals to his evil cohorts. I’m not sure. My experience is that wicked people seem to be friendly on the outside. They might wink and do the right things outwardly, yet they are rotten inside, because of a wicked heart. Whether signals or false appearances, Frowardness (Perversity) is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. His reward isn’t pretty: Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy (Proverbs 6:14-15). Do you know anyone like this? It’s sad, indeed. This is someone who doesn’t respect others. He’s all about his own agenda—which is to disturb and sow discord, maybe even commit crimes. When a woman is wicked, she may have some of the characteristics of the next section.
We could call verses 16-19 “The Abomination List.” These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
- a proud look
- a lying tongue
- hands that shed innocent blood,
- an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
- feet that be swift in running to mischief
- a false witness that speaketh lies
- he that soweth discord among brethren
In the Bible, God calls other things abominations, as well, but this list is the longest and contains the majority of them.
Which one is mentioned twice? Lying. Isn’t that food for thought?
This Proverb is long, and I’m going to divide it into two posts for its two parts.
I am always in awe of the practicality of the Bible. In this section, it has taught us about loans, laziness, and the characteristics of a wicked person. We also have a list of abominations, which includes: pride, lying (twice!), murder, scheming, willingness to commit crimes, and sowing discord among believers. I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of two of them. How about you?
I think this list helps us with God’s perspective. Can we gloss over sins? I don’t think so—especially when the Lord puts them in the category of abominations. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
Since we’re all guilty, we can be so very thankful for God’s provision of salvation through Christ: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Have you asked Jesus to save you? For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).