Have you ever noticed that, like most months have 31 days, the Book of Proverbs has 31 chapters? Fascinating right? Well, it is at least interesting, and coincidentally beneficial to those who would like to read a portion of thought provoking scripture every day of the month. You might like to read the calendar coordinated chapter from Proverbs every day this month (I've included the whole chapter below!) and then see if my comments on a few of those verses line up with your own observations. My plan is to go through the year, writing my response to about one seventh of each chapter's verses every day, during each of the 7 months that have 31 days. Clear as mud? That's what I thought.
I hope you check in, and leave a comment. Especially if I say something really off base and need to be corrected, because, as we will learn this month on the 27th, Proverbs 27:5 says
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
Today's inspired verses, Proverbs 6:6-11, are in red
and my questionable comments are in blue.
Warnings Against Folly
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—[a]
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!
6)Perhaps one of the designed purposes in God's creation of the animals is the example they might portray for us in any number of particular character qualities. Not to suggest that animals are like man in the way they make choices. Unlike us, ants can not choose to be "sluggards". They are made industrious and so industrious they shall be; we may or may not benefit from observing how well that works out for them, depending on the choices we make in our spirits.
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
7) What group of men can function to accomplish any purpose, even the very survival of its community, without leadership and the required voluntary submission of the necessary workers? Even in our democratic republic where the political leaders are understood to be public servants, we struggle to work together for the common good. An ant colony may not have a visible commander of its efforts, but do follow God in the sense that He has given them instincts to adhere to. In man's fallen state, he rather automatically rebels against God, because he is overtaken by his sin nature. We each need a Savior who can deliver us before we ever have the hope of working together to any truly good end.
(Bonus Bible Reference)
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (If you can relate to the first half of this passage, I hope you come to know the second part!)
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
8) Even succeeding at the most basic levels of existence is seen as a major, and satisfactory, accomplishment.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
9) In January we saw that the early verses of Proverbs 6 were discouraging indebtedness by encouraging hard work and diligence. Here we might say that the concept of resisting too much rest (laziness) applies to our basic requirements of food and shelter as well. Reality decrees that rest is really a bonus, and must be preserved for those rare times when every need is met.
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.
11) YIPES! And so we are often counselled in these days to have so many months of regular income put aside for an emergency; to allocate such and such percentage for housing etc; to eliminate debt in the most efficient way possible; and certainly to live only within our means. Solomon says it all much more dramatically don't you think?
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.
Proverbs 6:3 Or Go and humble yourself,