The first five verses of this chapter deal with the issue of putting up security for someone else. This would be today’s equivalent of co-signing a note for someone. Certainly, many of us have done this sort of thing for one of our children; and the verses are not saying that putting up security like that even for someone other than our children is sinful – or even morally wrong. But it is certainly unwise, and so much so, that the reader is urged to get out of it at once. In verse 2, being “snared in the words of your mouth” are the same as putting one’s signature on a promissory note.
Getting out of such an obligation these days is not so simple, but the point is – a wise person would not obligate himself in such a manner. Doing so places one – and maybe also one’s own family – in peril of great loss, at the mercy of someone who ultimately may have nothing to lose (the actual debtor). And if that becomes a reality, we have only helped them bring damnation upon themselves by not doing the right thing! If we want to, and can afford to help someone out, give them a generous gift instead. Such is wiser, and certainly approved of by the Lord.
Verses 6-11 warn us that laziness and being unprepared can result in great poverty, while verses 12-15 admonish that evil behavior such as knowingly cheating others will “catch up” with such a person, and often in a horrific way (certainly to be the case after life’s end). Verses 16-19 list seven things that God finds truly despicable. Read through these, and notice that every one of them is a deed that is bound to bring harm to others. God cares deeply about how we treat each other. That fact resonates in book after book, and chapter after chapter of His word; and Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 7:12 and Mark 12:30-31. Verses 20-35 are more warnings against sexual immorality in general, and adultery in particular.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.