Proverbs 6:1-5 A Fool and His Money

Originally, I had intended to tackle Proverbs 6:1-19 in one fell swoop, but sometimes the direction we are called to follow is poles apart from the path we have laid out for ourselves. So, today’s post is reserved for a fool and his money, and how putting our reputation on the line for someone else’s debt is not a very wise move.

When I was 19, my dad did this very thing for me. I had gotten it into my mind that I would like to take a trip to the Holy Land, and since I had just quit college, and had only been employed for a few short months, I didn’t have the money.  Dad cosigned on a loan for me, and while I did understand that there was no way I could ever face him again, if I didn’t pay it back, I don’t think I was fully aware of the risk he took for me. It was HIS honor on the line, not mine.  I’m glad my dad didn’t take Solomon’s advice, and that I didn’t leave him holding the bag. I have been witness to many an instance where others were not as careful about how they have treated another’s reputation as I was with my dad’s.  Sometimes the things we do in the name of love, in the name of friendship, of business, or of just plain neighborliness, don’t work out exactly as we imagine they might, bringing us to loss and disgrace.

Once again, as I’m finding with most of the Proverbs, the subject applies to more than simply guaranteeing someone else’s loan. It also applies to vouching for another’s integrity, which, I guess, is really what we do when we “cosign” for someone else.

We take a chance, when we put our faith in anyone other than God, and hitching our star to someone else is risky business at best. While I’m certain that God wants us to help each other as much as we can, it’s not a very wise move to vouch for another man’s debts.  It’s a trap, entangling us into compromising positions, ensnaring us by our words, deceiving us into heart ache, and unless we are prepared to walk into all sorts of troubles, and live by the consequences, it’s a practice best avoided.



Note: At last, after a several days of fever-induced delirium, a few more of wild coughing and headache, I’ve finally gotten to post about Proverbs 6 – YAY!!!

Proverbs 5: A Prayer for Faithfulness

Heavenly Father, source of wisdom and love, fill my heart with your devotion, guide my steps in your ways, and keep my mind focused on your will. Help me to recognize the seductress in all her forms, so that I may steadfastly turn my back on her ways. Show me how to keep my sacred promises, honoring my relationships with love and understanding, showing others the faithfulness that you show to all .



Proverbs 5:15-23 Dance with The One Who Brought You

After warning us off the path of the seductress, Solomon goes on to talk of faithfulness, of the wisdom of dancing with the one who brought you.  Sometimes we can convince ourselves that things are better and the water is sweeter in someone else’s yard, but usually, if we go ahead and climb that fence, it doesn’t take long the realize what’s what.  That beautiful field of green with luscious fountains is in reality only painted asphalt with flowing streams of vinegar.  Wise council advises us that not only should we be wary of the enticements of temptress, but we can also find the happiness we seek right in our own back yard with those to whom we have pledged our faithfulness.  Solomon instructs us to “drink from our own well” and to be “intoxicated” with the love of our wife/husband, to delight in their affection. This is the path to contentment, this is the way of the wise, and all esle is but foolish thought.

Here again the subject matter can be interpreted on many levels. At the surface it’s about marriage, about honoring your commitment to your spouse, but on another level, it’s also about life’s commitments, about keeping all the promises you make.  Christ made many allegorical statements about our relationship to God as that of the bride to the bridegroom, and in that light, Proverbs 5 becomes a guide for not only our personal relationships to each other, but also our relationship to God.



Proverbs 5:1-14 Beware The Seductress

Most commentaries associate this section of Proverbs 5 with the most common and widely held definition of adultery, which is specifically sexual sin, but the Latin root word adulterare (a-dul-ter-air) simply means to adulterate or to corrupt something. In ancient times, it was applied to sex outside the marriage bed between any man (married or not) and a married or betrothed woman, thus “corrupting” the issue (baby) from said woman. In other words, since they didn’t have paternity testing, and since fatherhood had legal and moral ramifications, they had a less cavalier attitude about the “Baby-daddy!”

Here again, Solomon uses the image of a woman to illustrate his point, and it’s interesting to me that he can so masterfully enliven the personification of the seductress. He describes her as having lips that drip with honey and a voice as smooth as oil, evoking the portrait of a beautiful woman who entices with sweet words and smooth promises of ecstasies untold.  It’s a powerful, provocative image, one that is meant to convey how dangerous seduction can be, because while she appears to be smooth and polished as sweet as honey, she is, in reality, bitter and distasteful, as dangerous as a double-edged sword, and highly unstable, enticing us down a wayward path that leads to death and destruction.

While I understand the strong legal and moral associations linking adultery to sex, adultery is so much more than just sex.   In fact, idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as spiritual adultery in many places in the Old Testament (Jer. 3:6, 8-9; Ezek. 16:31-32; Hos. 1:2; Isa. 1:21), and we can be seduced into all sorts of corruption. We can be enticed into compromising relationships, into nefarious activities, into revering anything and everything but God. Corruption abounds in this world in many forms, and it’s through listening to the voice of God through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and steadfastly striving to live the life He would have us live that we may avoid following  in the wayward footsteps of the seductress; a road that leads to bitterness, regret, loss of respect and ruin.