Vv. 1-5 – Caught in a Pledge [be quick to escape]
I haven’t had much time for Proverbs 6 today. But here are some good, helpful quotes from Ernst Lucas and David Hubbard, followed by some of my own brief reflections.
“[Proverbs 6:1-5] warns, in strong terms, against standing surety for a non-family member, a theme that recurs in Proverbs. As 2:26-27 shows, what is in mind is a financial pledge which could lead to the loss of the guarantor’s property. Proverbs encourages giving generously to the poor (e.g. 28:27), but loans are regarded as too risky” (Lucas, 71).
“… putting up security for a loan is seen as getting into a self-imposed trap out of which one should get as soon as possible, sparing no effort in the process. … It is better to lose your dignity than lose your property” (Lucas, 72).
“In a society where pride and self-esteem governed public conduct and made apology rare and groveling before a creditor even more rare, this lesson would have cut to the quick. It called for admitting a faux pas, reneging on a promise, and badgering a powerful neighbor for relief from it. Distasteful but necessary. And a wholesome reminder that prudence would have avoided the predicament in the first place” (Hubbard, 99).
One is not to run from the marriage oath, nor to ask to get out from under it. But where you have made a bad deal, do all that you can to get out of it! Put away sleep, put away pride, and simply have one goal in mind: get out of the trap!
In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus speaks in similar terms of being free from God’s judgment which is looming because of how one has spoken to her neighbour or family member. He says that step one is to put down your offering to God; step two is to quickly make things right; step three is to make your offering. When it comes to consequences that you can get out of – then do it!
This is true of the judgment. Do what you can to get free from the judgment of the Law. Do not sleep, do not eat, and be rid of your pride; hang on to nothing. Your one goal is: escape!
Perhaps there is someone you need to make right with.
Don’t partner with untrustworthy people.
What situation do you need to be free from?