Today’s study will cover the first 5 verses of Chapter 6. These verses cover a different kind of “folly” than those we have studied before in this book. The definitions of the word “folly” from the online dictionary is as follows: 1. A lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight.: 2. a. An act or instance of foolishness:.b. A costly undertaking having an absurd or ruinous outcome.
Here are our verses for today:
Proverbs 6: 1 - 5 (NIV)
Warnings Against Folly 1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, 2 if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, 3 then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! 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.
The type of folly that is spoken of in these first 5 verses is about putting up collateral or “securities” for someone else, or doing or saying something that puts you in debt, in some way, to another. The Bible teaches us to help others in many ways, (Luke 6:35 says, But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest…) I think, in this verse, the key being not to expect something back. Be prepared to make it a gift…
In many verses, the Bible also warns people to be very careful about borrowing or lending money. Proverbs 22:7 says, The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
The first verse in Proverbs 6 doesn’t say not to lend, but tells us not to put up our things or livelihood, as collateral for someone else. The second part of this verse and the next one speak of making foolish promises, without thinking things through.
God takes vows or promises very seriously, which is why Jesus says in Matthew 5:37: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; or Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. James 5:12 goes on to say: But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
These verses tell us not to make promises, but to, in essence say, “I will try my best to help in this manner…” There is even a story about a man who made a foolish vow to God that if God would help him, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his place when he returned home. That first thing happened to be his only daughter… You can read the story in Judges 11:30-39.
Verses 3-5 tell us that if we mess up and do get ourselves in a problem of this type, then we should try our best to get out of it as soon as possible. These verses say that once we realize what we have done, we shouldn’t even go to bed (Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids) until we get things straightened out. We should do WHATEVER it takes (Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!) to get out from under, for if the “neighbor” forgives us our debt, then we are free of it.
By stressing all the points in these verses, Solomon hopes to make it very clear that we need to think before we speak or make promises. I think that in these problem times, these words can help us to make some hard but wise decisions.
Country Corgi Blog:
I am Little Dott, and am now in charge of this blog. Brother BG and I, with my corgi kids, Gimli, Mercy and Pippin share about our life here in Corgi Country. This is where the Corgis tell the Stories! Go to CafePress or Zazzle and search “Country Corgis” to find gifts, etc. featuring us and our parents...
Proverbs – A Bible Study and A Country Grammy’s Walk With God blogs:
Grammy has 6 kids and 16 grandkids. She worked for 18 years with severely handicapped children, but is retired now, and writes a blog to share God’s wisdom as written by the Bible in Proverbs, as well as a blog that shares the things that God is showing her. She draws in pastels and graphite, and has her own a storefront at: http://www.cafepress.com/GrammysCorgiCountry.
She and Papa have 5 acres in a VERY rural setting. The closest town is a couple of miles away and our nearest neighbor is about a quarter of a mile away on one side with no homes on the other three sides for MANY miles. We are surrounded by BLM land which makes it really nice and quiet. We get to listen to, and watch, many kinds of wild critters.