Proverbs 6: Wise Advice
August 6, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Ezra 8, Proverbs 6, Luke 14:25-35, 1 Timothy 4
This chapter is filled with wise advice. We cannot parse out every aspect of it in this devotion. I will pick out the core themes of the thoughts which are particularly central.
Verses 1-5 urge us to extract ourselves from a deal which leaves us stuck and vulnerable. Sometimes people shake hands on something, or commit themselves to something, and realize that they have fallen into a trap. What to do then? “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” (6:4-5). In other words, do something! Do something now about it!
Which brings us to verses 6-11, where we are urged to work hard! “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” One of the famous lines of the Book of Proverbs, and one of the most important. So many opportunities are lost, so much potential wasted, so much time spent in frivolity that will later be regretted—and therefore, look at the ant! How hard they work, how endlessly, how they work hard without being told to do so. Most breakthroughs and significant impact are only a small proportion due to native genius, and a massive amount due to sheer hard work, bone hard, sweat hard, work.
Verses 12-19 warn us against troublemakers and evil people. Sometimes we can be naïve as followers of God, and not realize that there are people who do not mean well but mean harm. The Bible is clear that we are all sinners, and the heart of man of all of us outside of Christ is desperately wicked. Sometimes we can become discouraged when such people seem to succeed; these verses remind us forcefully that God “hates” these evil deeds, and a person who gives himself to them without repentance will “suddenly be destroyed.”
Verses 20-35 warn us against adultery. Some of the language is brilliantly memorable: “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (6:27). Next time you are tempted to order a lap dance, let the picture of fire scalding in your lap come to your mind. Or this about the wronged husband of the woman who commits adultery: “He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is” (6:35). There is another person in the picture, and you cannot expect their actions to be anything other than devastating towards you: “Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away” (6:33).
Wise advice: listen to it, follow it, keep it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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