Archive for the ‘Proverbs 06’ Category

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 6:8 Yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

Saving money is smart! Saving money is right! Ants do it by the wisdom God gave them. Do you? You are doomed to eventual financial pain and trouble, if you do not save a portion of all income. If you spend all you make, or spend more than you make, as most Americans today, you will soon be in financial difficulty, pain, shame, stress, and trouble.

Saving improves standards of living for individuals and nations. Fools spend all income to fulfill their lusts today. They will even spend beyond their income by credit to buy things they cannot afford. But this results in paying interest on debt rather than receiving interest or dividends for savings, and it denies the nation capital for legitimate expansion.

Savings is not an option. It is not a suggestion. It is not a good idea that you can ignore or neglect. It is a command of God made directly, as in this proverb, and indirectly, as in proverbs pertaining to protection against potential trouble. If you do everything else right in your business or job, but neglect savings, God will expose and punish your sinful folly.

Ants stay underground during the whole winter season, and they consume the food they stored up during the prosperity of summer and harvest. Without any rulers, guides, or overseers, ants know to be conscious of the future and to prepare for it (Pr 6:7). Saving is not something you should be forced to do; you should want to do it for its great benefits.

This little creature has great wisdom, and God expects you to learn from it (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25). The first lesson is hard work, which sluggards can learn by watching the constant activity of ants. They do not talk about sports at the water fountain! The second lesson is being a self-starter; they do not need drill sergeants to get them going or remind them of other projects to work on. And this proverb is the third lesson; they save for the future.

If a man is a diligent self-starter, the ant’s first two lessons, he will make considerable income during his lifetime, even if he is uneducated and/or underemployed. But how much he makes is not the best measure; it is rather what he keeps! For what you keep shows better character, protects against the future, and allows investment opportunities.

Fools live check to check. Wise men save some of all income, at least ten percent, and put it aside, to be used only for a dire emergency or great investment. They consider the future, not just spending whatever comes to hand (Pr 21:20). They cut expenses as much as they need to in order to save some income. They fear the cost of high living (Pr 21:17).

The younger you are and the better your income, the more you should save. Youth is not for playing; it is for working and saving, for difficult days are coming. You can play later. If business or income is booming, you should save much more than ten percent, for leaner times are ahead and so are investment opportunities to leverage your savings.

You can lose your assets, business income, or job, no matter how secure you might think you are. This sinful world is always changing, and Solomon warned elsewhere that assets and income can and will decline (Pr 23:5; 27:23-24). One purpose for savings is to be prudent and provide for this future possibility to protect yourself (Pr 22:3; 27:12).

Wise men also know savings provides the capital to buy income-producing assets that can leverage your ability and effort to get ahead farther and faster. Consider the benefit of owning an ox for a manual farmer (Pr 14:4), but he will never have an ox without disciplined savings to purchase one. Then he can save faster to buy another one!

This last view sometimes calls saving your seed corn. As farmers know well, they must have seed to plant the next year, just the same you need savings for your next difficulty or opportunity. If you consume all your income, you have nothing to help you the next year, so you get poorer each year, though you may not be able to feel it or see it immediately.

The first five rules of Bible economics are obey God, pay God first, pay yourself second, work hard, and work smart. These basic rules are guaranteed to work, for God inspired them, and Solomon confirmed them. The ant does four of them, so you can be better than ants! It obeys God, saves much, works hard, and is very smart (Pr 30:25). Consider it!

While saving for your financial future, you must also lay up treasures in heaven for your spiritual future (I Tim 6:17-19). Jesus taught this wisdom by the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-9). God is righteous, so He will perfectly remember investments of godliness (Heb 6:10; Matt 25:31-46). Are you making your calling and election sure (II Pet 1:10-11)?

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 6:1-5 My son, if you have put security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, 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! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

 These verses are not a plea against generosity, but against overextending one’s financial resources and acting in irresponsible ways that could lead to poverty. It is important to maintain a balance between generosity and good stewardship. God wants us to help our friends and the needy, but he does not promise to cover the costs of every unwise commitment we make. We should also act responsibly so that our families do not suffer.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the Ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, Yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

Are you a self-starter? Do you have enough sense of responsibility to know what you ought to do and to do it? Solomon continued to condemn sluggards here by comparing them to ants (Pr 6:6-8). These little people do not need a meeting every morning to be told what to do and how to do it. They simply go to work and get things done, now!

The ants provide an excellent lesson in diligence, frugality, and savings. Instead of a Harvard MBA, you need to study an ant farm. They work hard all summer to provide for their needs during the fall, winter, and spring (Pr 6:8; 30:25). They work hard, consume little, and save much. All three of which are great virtues. See the comments on 6:6.

And they do it without direction. The ants do not have a boss or manager to remind them of diligence, frugality, and saving. They do these things instinctively by God’s wise creation. It is a shame most men cannot copy the virtues of these little people. Solomon warned his son about human sluggards that do not work during harvest (Pr 10:5; 20:4).

Many men must be forced to work, reminded to work, told how to work, reproved for jobs poorly done, reminded how to do the job right, and constantly followed to keep them working (Pr 6:9-11; 20:13). They are losers. They are a pain and problem. They will take a day off for a cold or headache. If the boss is away, they will play. These are sluggards.

Other men spend everything they make, much of it on pleasure (Pr 21:17,20; 23:21). They will spend next month’s labor by using credit cards for entertainment and toys today. Others like them will invest their money in foolish schemes that rob them and their family (Pr 28:19). It has never occurred to them there is no necessity to spend all income.

These two kinds of men – the sluggard and the waster – are brothers. They both come from the family of financial ruin (Pr 18:9). They could learn much from the ant, but they are too proud to consider such insignificant creatures, though King Solomon did! They are so arrogant and so addicted to sleep that no reasons will move them (Pr 26:16).

Parents, you are responsible to teach your children hard work, wise foresight, spending discipline, and constant saving. These four simple traits will do more for their future financial and personal success than any other natural investment you can make in them. Do not settle for helping them with their Spanish homework – which they will never use and only distracts their minds from profitable learning. Teach them about the ant!

The cure for sluggards and spendthrifts is simple and obvious. Starve them. They will quickly learn both virtues – diligence and saving. This is the wisdom of God, and humanistic shortcuts like public education, welfare, jobs programs, and charity will not work as well (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:6-14). Christian charity extends only to acts of God, not consequences of sloth or waste, only to necessary things, not toys or entertainment.

The locusts are also praised in Proverbs 30:27 for not having a king, but the virtue there is social cooperation and team effort, for the locusts all go forth by bands, or swarms. But the ant is singled out twice for its great diligence and frugality, with a wise eye to the future (Pr 6:8; 30:25). Learn this simple lesson and avoid the financial trouble of others.

Paul warned that every man shall bear his own burden (Gal 6:5). You cannot blame your parents, teachers, or pastor for failure, either financially or spiritually. This is especially true if you had good parents and were taught in a Christian church. The more advantages you have had, the more you will be punished by the just God (Luke 12:47-48).

Dear reader, what should you be doing today that you are not? Do you need someone to tell you, again? Do you need to be punished by authority or circumstances to do it? Consider the ant, and do what you ought to be doing. You will be blessed in the deed naturally and spiritually. You should be especially eager to get at your spiritual duties.

Jesus Christ was the ultimate self-starter. He was focused on obeying His Father from the beginning, which He showed even at age twelve in the temple. And He did this in spite of His mother and Joseph not understanding or helping Him toward His goal (Luke 2:49; John 4:34). Hear Him speak of His burden to serve His Father: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 6:22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you: when you awake, they will speak to you.

Wisdom is a most valuable guide, protector, and friend, both day and night! Reader, have you bound it on your heart and tied it about your neck (Pr 6:21)? Have you remembered and obeyed the good advice and rules you received from your parents (Pr 6:20)?

As you proceed through life, wisdom will direct your choices. As you sleep in bed, it will comfort your soul, keep your thoughts right, and protect you from evil spirits. When you begin each day, wisdom will be your friend and counselor in facing the day’s events.

The singular pronoun “it” refers to the law of God as taught by godly parents (Pr 6:20-21). If parents train and teach their children correctly, the father’s commandment and the mother’s law, though plural nouns from two different parties, is one body of wisdom and truth – the law of God. It is the nurture and admonition of the Lord – the singular doctrine of God (Deut 12:32; Josh 1:7-9; Eph 6:4)! Parents, unite today on God’s word!

Can wisdom lead you through life? Yes! Wisdom is the power of right judgment – the ability to analyze a situation and know what to do. Life has many choices and decisions, many of which have serious consequences and are presented deceitfully by the world. You cannot even trust your own heart (Jer 17:9). When you are about to turn out of the way, wisdom will say, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Is 30:21). Wisdom will guide you in making these decisions that destroy many (Pr 4:5-9; 8:1-21; 22:3; Eccl 10:10)!

Can wisdom keep you, when you sleep at night? Yes! Wisdom will deliver you from fear and guilt to sleep peacefully (Pr 3:24; Ps 41:1-4). Wisdom can teach you in the night (Job 33:14-18; Ps 63:6). Wisdom will keep you from earning God’s chastening or fainting under it (Pr 3:11-12; Ps 32:1-5). Wisdom will protect you from the fears that plague others (Ps 34:7; Is 26:3-4). Wisdom will keep you from overworking and worrying about things that God will do for you (Ps 127:1-2; Phil 4:6-7). Lay hold of wisdom today!

Can wisdom talk with you, when you awake? Yes! Wisdom is the knowledge of God and His will for your life. When you awake to the challenges, opportunities, and fears of a day, you will have a gentle companion to reassure you and direct you. Instead of being intimidated and overwhelmed, you can be courageous and excited. Instead of being hopeless as others, you can rejoice in the future! Wisdom will give you confidence and strength to live joyfully and victoriously (Pr 14:26; 21:22; 28:1; Ps 104:34; Rom 15:13).

Get wisdom! Where? It is freely offered in the fear of the Lord and the Bible (Pr 9:10; Ps 19:7). Parents, teach it to your children. Children, learn it from your parents. Parents and children, love the preaching of it (Jer 3:15; Mal 2:7; Acts 10:33; Col 1:28; I Thess 5:20). Join an old-fashioned church following the apostles in doctrine and practice, there you will hear and learn the wisdom of God from His word by His ministers (Jer 3:15; 6:16).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 6:27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

Casual sex will burn you! There is no protection against it. Marriage makes sexual pleasure honorable, but God will judge adulterers and fornicators (Heb 13:4). But before God judges you, those that know you and your own soul will punish you as well.

You know the answer to this proverb’s question. It is an emphatic, No! A man cannot take fire close to his body and keep his clothes safe. Fire that close will not only singe his clothes, it will burn them badly. And it is just as true that a man playing around sexually with another man’s wife will burn his life. There is nothing casual about sexual sin.

Solomon warned his son about the danger of the strange woman – a whorish woman or adulteress (Pr 6:23-35). He wanted his son to know that adultery would bring severe consequences, much the same as embracing fire will certainly burn a man’s clothes. The sin of adultery will burn your life as surely as fire in your bosom will burn your clothing.

How does adultery burn a man? The main point in the warning here is the adulterer’s reputation – he will not be innocent, because this sin cannot easily be forgiven or overlooked (Pr 6:29). Men do not despise a thief, if he steals due to hunger – his crime is understandable, even though he will be punished (Pr 6:30-31). But men do not understand or accept an outsider stealing personal intimacy with their wives (Pr 6:32-35).

The proverb asks a simple question: you know the obvious answer. A rhetorical question is a powerful tool of persuasive reasoning. You have no doubt as you visualize a man embracing fire in his bosom – his clothes will surely be burned! The image is to be transferred to adultery – the man holding another man’s wife will be burned just as surely! He will suffer severe and sure consequences for violating another man’s marriage.

You know the answer to the proverb, and you know its application. But many lie about this obvious lesson! Hollywood sells movies by appealing to sexual lusts and fantasies, so they never show the consequences of adultery; instead they work it into most every movie they produce. They want you to believe that fire will not burn your clothes. They are greedy liars directed by the devil to satisfy sinful lusts to fill their covetous purses.

Some psychologists say an affair can enhance marriage. The music industry by lifestyle and lyrics suggest it as the only exciting love. Soap operas would not exist without it. Romance novels create lustful fantasies for it. Nightclubs make a place to get it started. Euphemisms like “having an affair,” “having a lover,” or “playing around” hide its consequences. They lie! Adultery will hurt you as surely as fire will burn clothes! Run!

The greatest liar about adultery is inside you – your sinful heart inherited from Adam. If you give it the least freedom, your heart will tell you that you can get away with adultery and that the pleasure is worth it. Do you know your heart is this wicked (Jer 17:9)? If you do, you are partially protected. If you do not, you need to learn it. Then you need to reject every man or input that suggests or teaches that adultery is safe. It is not safe (Heb 13:4).

If you have committed adultery, you already know this proverb is true, unless God has turned you over to a reprobate mind and shut down your conscience (Rom 1:18-32; Eph 4:17-19). If you know you are guilty, and if you know you have sinned, God can easily forgive you through the Lord Jesus Christ. Never forget that He came into this world for sinners, and forgiven prostitutes were some of His followers (I Tim 1:15; Matt 21:31).

If guilt is crushing you, remember repenting adulterers and adulteresses in the Bible. God forgave David and used him mightily after adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband. The Lord Jesus accepted harlots into His kingdom, chose the adulteress of Samaria for the gospel in that city, forgave the woman taken in adultery by the Pharisees, and appeared first to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection. How could He be merciful to a sin God hates? Because He took the sin of adultery on Himself on the cross of Calvary. It will never again burn those who are found in Him (Is 54:4-12; I Cor 6:9-11)!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.

God knows men. He knows their minds and emotions. He knows the jealous rage of men against an adulterer that steals their wives for love or sex. God inspired Solomon to teach men against committing adultery by warning them about a husband’s fury (Pr 6:27-35).

Marriage is an intimate and sacred relationship. Adultery is a horrible violation of it. Jealous rage and unmerciful vengeance are natural consequences of this heinous sin. Solomon soberly warned all men of this further trouble for touching another man’s wife.

He is at the end of a long warning to his son about adultery (Pr 6:20-35). He added a practical argument that the husband of the woman will be outraged by the offence. Not only does divine justice condemn the horrible sin, so do the fair laws of men and nature.

Marriage is a very personal, intimate, and possessive relationship. A violation of it causes enormous pain and loss. For this reason, the blessed God made capital punishment the judgment for this sin. Both the adulterer and adulteress were put to death (Lev 20:10).

Marital jealousy is not sin; it is part of love and possession. Marriage is based on love and possession. Love includes jealousy. Solomon said about his wife, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame” (Song 8:6).

Envy is horrible. It is worse than anger or wrath (Pr 27:4). A man does not want to share his wife’s body or heart. When another man takes either, the envy is outrageous. A thief may find mercy from men, but not the adulterer (Pr 6:30-33). To steal to satisfy hunger is understandable, but to touch another man’s wife is inexcusable. Young man, Flee! Now!

God’s laws for Israel provided for jealous husbands (Num 5:11-31). If a man was jealous about his wife, with or without evidence, he could take her to the priests for the test of jealousy. If she were guilty, the curse would cause her to rot immediately, starting at her genitals. If she were innocent, she would be cleared by divine revelation and conceive.

A woman’s jealousy toward her husband is not the same, so God did not have the same protection in Moses’ Law. Since he was not made for her, like she was for him (I Cor 11:9), a husband owes his sexual fidelity more to God than to her. God deals with husbands directly, as He did with David and Israel (II Sam 11:27; Mal 2:10-16).

The LORD, choosing Israel to be His wife, declared His name was Jealous, and He was a jealous God (Ex 34:14). The first commandment was for her to love God with all her heart, soul, and might (Deut 6:4-5). Any infatuation with other things caused His jealousy to burn, for He would not share her affections with another (Deut 32:16; Ps 78:58).

For Christians, Jesus Christ is the bridegroom, and He demands total affection (Luke 14:26). All other relationships must be sacrificed, if they conflict with your love for Him. He considers any friendship with the world as spiritual adultery against Him (Jas 4:4). Are you loving Him and living for Him as devotedly and carefully as you should be?