Warning against sloth & deception
1: My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2: Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3: Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4: Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5: Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6: Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8: Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9: How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. 12: A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13: He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14: Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15: Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16: These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18: An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19: A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Warning against adultery
20: My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22: When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23: For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25: Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26: For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 27: Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28: Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? 29: So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. 30: Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 31: But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. 32: But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33: A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34: For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35: He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
Warning against prostitution
1: My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2: Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3: Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 4: Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: 5: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. 6: For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, 7: And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 8: Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 9: In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: 10: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11: (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) 13: So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 14: I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. 15: Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. 16: I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. 17: I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18: Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 19: For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 20: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. 21: With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. 22: He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; 23: Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. 24: Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. 25: Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. 26: For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. 27: Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
Today we are reading Proverbs 6 & 7. Proverbs 6 begins with another call (the third) to Wisdom. The writer begins saying do not commit yourself in partnership to a friend, let alone a stranger. You will be taken captive by your own promises. He says, save yourself from the hand of your friend. Do not rest until you are free. Go and watch the ants – you who are lazy. Think about how they live and be wise. They have no guide or king, but they store up food for times of drought (In the middle east) but they gather it all in the spring harvest. And so he begins a long tirade against laziness. He speaks of the naughty man - what he means is the man whose value is nil or nought. He’s worthless. He is always up to no good. He makes arguments between friends. He will come quickly to a sticky end. Then he says the famous line there are six things that the Lord hates and seven which are an abomination. The first is a conceited look. A lying tongue. Hands that murder the innocent. A mind that thinks up wicked things. Feet that are quick to do mischief. A false witness and lastly the man who causes discord among brothers. The father pleads that his son will keep his commandments and the law he learnt from his mother. He says tie these laws to your breast and around you neck. They will guide you wherever you go and they will keep you safe while you sleep. The Laws of the LORD are a light and corrections are the path of life. Then he begins again for the third time to warn of the strange woman (The Gentile woman) He warns of her evil mind and her flattering words. He says do not lust for her beauty in your mind and don’t let her fluttering eyelids catch you. Because through a prostitute a man in brought to his last slice of bread. The adulteress will hunt him down to take the one precious thing he has - his life. Can a man shovel coals of fire into his chest and not get burnt? Will be clothes remain unburnt? Can a man walk over a coal fire and not burn his feet? In the same way a man who lies with his neighbours wife will not be innocent. Nobody thinks it is a small thing if a thief steals even when he is hungry. But when he is found out he will restore seven times back and loose all his goods. He who commits adultery is stupid and he takes his own life. He will get a serious wound and he will face long term dishonour and the rage of the woman’s husband will have no bounds, when he seeks revenge. He will not be satisfied with any compensation. In Chapter 7 we have another call to wisdom v1-4. And again it is a call quite out of place for a NT Christian because it is a call to legalistic obedience to the Law of Moses. Then from v5-23 he speaks again of the dangers of the gentile women. Some of what he says is a repetition of previous sentiments. He says I looked through my window and saw a simple young man and he went into her house. It was evening when he went in and it was a very dark night when he met a woman dressed as a prostitute. She walks the streets looking for men. She pretends to be ever so pious, and she tells him of her bed made ready. She says come let us sleep together till morning because the master of the house is away on a long journey. She persuades him and he follows her like an ox to the slaughter house and like a fool to the prison. But an arrow will kill him quickly and he does not know that he heads directly to his own death. So my sons listen to me – do not go after her because she has wounded many and she has killed strong men. Her house is the path to the grave.