Monday, July 26, 2010

Proverbs 6:1-19

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,

2 you have been trapped by what you said, 

ensnared by the words of your mouth.

3 So do this, my son, to free yourself, 

since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: 

Go—to the point of exhaustion—

and give your neighbor no rest!

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.

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; 

consider its ways and be wise!

7 It has no commander, 

no overseer or ruler,

8 yet it stores its provisions in summer

 and gathers its food at harvest.

9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? 

When will you get up from your sleep?

10 A little sleep, a little slumber, 

a little folding of the hands to rest—

11 and poverty will come on you like a thief 

and scarcity like an armed man.

12 Troublemakers and villains, 

who go about with corrupt mouths,

13 who wink maliciously with their eyes, 

signal with their feet 

and motion with their fingers,

14 who plot evil with deceit in their hearts— 

they always stir up dissension.

15 Therefore disaster will overtake them in an instant; 

they will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

16 There are six things the LORD hates, 

seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes, 

a lying tongue, 

hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, 

feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies 

and a person who stirs up dissension in the community.

Questions to consider:
  • Compare 6:1-5 with Exodus 22:25-27. In what modern situations are similar personal commitments a problem for you?
  • Characterize the ant.
  • In what ways are the man who has become surety, the sluggard, and the wicked man foolish?
  • What things in you does the Lord hate? What can you do to get rid of today?

Possibilities for prayer:

Verses 16-19 are rather helpful in recognizing things that God doesn’t like. In fact, we get a pretty clear list of what those things are! It doesn’t really seem that any of the things in the list are surprising, but one item in the list of things that God detests does stand out to me: “a person who stirs up dissension in the community.” As a community, we should be striving to create a healthy one, without dissension. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every person agrees with every thing, but it does mean that we strive to create space for everyone to have a voice. We should be working to be the opposite of those who stir up dissension. Today, let’s ask God be creating hearts of peace-making within us, that we would be able to create peace our community instead of dissent.