January 6; Proverbs 6, Verses 1-5
Christians looking for a simple way to review the Bible regularly have long been convenienced by the fact that the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters, the same number as most of our months. Each chapter includes multiple bite-sized verses (uhm, proverbs) and can be read through simply in one sitting, one appropriately numbered chapter per day through the month. My simple mind balks at the idea of trying this pattern in any month with less than 31 days (It just does, all right?), but there are 7 months every year that are suitable for the effort.
My idea here is to share about 1/7 of the verses of each day's chapter on my blog throughout this year, every time a 31 day month pops up, along with a few comments from The Barking Owl. So in January, we will get through the first few verses of every chapter and then in March, the next group, so that by the time December comes around we can finally get to the last set of verses in each chapter and complete the book's reading. If you are smarter than I am, you will read the whole chapter related to each day, every 31 day month, and then you will have read the whole book 7 times this year! By then you are guaranteed to be wiser than The Barking Owl to be sure, though no one will ever match the wisdom of Solomon!
1 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.
It's all about debt! Solomon is telling even we debt-addicted Americans to avoid going into debt. Even the act of co-signing a debt for someone else is seriously discouraged here. If someone needs a co-signor, he may very well NEED the co-signor...to pay the debt when he defaults. Co-signing is the same as signing, but with the added 'benefit' that when you are paying the bill you will also be vehemently resenting your former friend or family member.
We must see the debt as something as literally dangerous as being caught in a lethal trap.
This reminds me of the short story from 2 Kings 6 about the guy who borrowed an ax:
They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”