-There is so much wisdom in this chapter that we might label “Parental Counsel.” The first thing Solomon speaks on is this idea of becoming surety for your neighbor or giving a pledge to a stranger. This is not meant to take away from our generosity, but it does speak to the fact that we must not over extend ourselves in making promises that we can’t substantiate. The king says that the best way out of a situation like this, which we have gotten ourselves into, is to go to that individual, or individuals, and humble our self before them. In his words, “Importune (rahab- urge severely) your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand and like a bird from the hand of the fowler (Proverbs 6:1-5).”
-Next, Solomon asks the sluggard (`atsel- lazy, slothful, sluggish) to go the ant and observe her ways in order to be wise. They need no chief, officer, or ruler to tell them what to do. They prepare their food in the summer and gather provision in the harvest so that they will have what they need to survive. Solomon begs the question of the complacent, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard?” Then he gives the result of laziness, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man (Proverbs 6:6-11).”
-After this, the king goes on to teach on proper edict in speech. “A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks (meaning lives life) with a perverse mouth.” He also denounces the winking of the eyes, the signaling with the feet, and the pointing with the fingers with perversity in the heart, which continually devises evil and spreads strife. People like this will have calamity come upon them suddenly. Instantly they will be broken and there will be no healing for them (Proverbs 6:12-15).
-Solomon now lists six and then seven things that the LORD hates and are an abomination to Him: 1) Haughty (prideful) eyes, 2) A lying tongue, 3) Hands that shed innocent blood, 4) A heart that devises wicked plans, 5) Feet that run rapidly to evil, 6) A false witness who utters lies, and 7) One who spreads strife among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).
-The king tells his son once again to observe the commandment of his father, and then he adds a new biblical element worth considering. He tells his son to never forsake the teaching of his mother (Exodus 20:12). These things should be continually on the heart and tied around the neck for posterity. When he walks about, these principles will guide him. When he sleeps, they will watch over him. When he arises, they will speak to him in powerful ways. “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is a light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life to keep from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” Solomon tells his son not to desire her physical beauty in his heart. She is bad news. He warns not to let her capture him with her eyelids (nice looking eyes), because he says he will then be reduced to a meaningless loaf of bread on account of a harlot. “An adulteress hunts for the precious life.” He rhetorically asks, “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” He compares these follies with one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife. The one who touches her will not go unpunished. Next, he breaks for just a moment to discuss the topic of stealing and says, “Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; but when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; he must give all the substance of his house.” Then, in a relational concept to this theme of adultery, he goes back to make his point, “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it.” Solomon warns his son that wounds and disgrace will be found by the man practicing such thievery, and his reproach will NOT be blotted out (probably referring to society’s perception). The last thing the king mentions in this chapter is on the issue of jealousy, claiming that it enrages a man leading him not to spare in the day of vengeance. The spirit of envy will consume a person where they will not accept any ransom, nor will they be satisfied with getting many gifts (Proverbs 6:20-35).
-*Application* This plethora of wisdom from a father to his boy gives us much to contemplate and act upon. These are practical matters that are easy to discern, but sometimes more difficult to carry out in the minutia of life. Holding to our devotion of righteousness in the midst of temptation is a sacred thing. Solomon, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, outlines many noble traits that we should process, ponder, and live out. Today from this lesson, we should learn to cling to responsibility, hard-work, clean and productive speech, humility, truthfulness, peace, honor, unity with God and his people, faithfulness, sexual purity, and contentment.
Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 6:6, 12, 16-19, 32