Proverbs – Life Skills
If we are ever confused about what God wants and what His purpose is for our lives, we will find clarity in this proverb of wisdom. We see clearly what behaviors God hates in His created. We find out that living brainlessly, haphazard lives leads to falling for anything evil that comes along.
The first section deals with overspending and over borrowing that leads to self imprisonment. “Get out of that mess” we are advised. God will help us find a way out!
The next section reminds us to plan your work and work your plan so your family is cared for in the “winters” of life. One of our purposes in life is to find work that sustains us, grows and matures us and satisfies our longing to contribute to our world.
Greed, however, leads to cheating, lying, stealing and manipulating to take from others in order to line your own pockets with ill-gotten gains. “Get rich quick” schemes usually is not and leads to more debt. Yeah, this is not God’s way.
The wisdom writes tells us plainly the behaviors God hates. When we think about it, we don’t like this in ourselves or others either. When we look closely, these behaviors are the opposite of God’s character, displayed in Jesus, of trust, unconditional love, serving others first, peace, joy, mercy, honesty, with compassionate eyes of grace for all.
God is good, perfect and right and will not come close to those who are opposite His character. He loves all, even the sinner, but He draws close to those who believe and live skillfully (wisdom) with willing, sincere hearts, continuously growing and maturing in His characteristics. (See also Galatians 5 for the list of God’s character, the “fruits” of His Holy Spirit.)
Finally, run from evil. Evil’s intent is to destroy all relationships. If he succeeds, he has you in his clutches. Succumbing to evil’s temptations leads to death…opposite of abundant living, growing, loving and being loved, trust, faith, hope and the abiding Presence of God.
Proverbs 6, The Message
Like a Deer from the Hunter
1-5 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
You’re in that man’s clutches!
Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
fly like a bird from the trapper!
A Lesson from the Ant
6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent houseguest!
Always Cooking Up Something Nasty
12-15 Riffraff and rascals
talk out of both sides of their mouths.
They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
they cross their fingers behind their backs.
Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
always stirring up trouble.
Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.
Seven Things God Hates
16-19 Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.
Warning on Adultery
20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.
24-35 They’ll protect you from wanton women,
from the seductive talk of some temptress.
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread,
but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
Hunger is no excuse
for a thief to steal;
When he’s caught he has to pay it back,
even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
Adultery is a brainless act,
Expect a bloody nose, a black eye,
and a reputation ruined for good.
For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband;
wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
Nothing you say or pay will make it all right;
neither bribes nor reason will satisfy.
ALL THIS TO SAY…Get out of the covers of darkness!
“For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.”
Follow the Light.
We all need help to run from the temptations of this life. WE HAVE HELP! Jesus left earth with His parting gift of His Holy Spirit who comes to live in us when we believe in Him. His Holy Spirit will confront us, warn us and guide us away from all that is bad for us. Believe Jesus. Listen to Him. Stay close to Him.
In Jesus Name, Amen.