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v1 My sons, listen to your father’s instruction.
As you listen to me, you will understand more.
v2 My lessons are good.
Do not leave the things that I teach you.
v3 I was only a boy in my father’s house.
I was young, and my mother’s only child.
v4 My father taught me. He said, ‘Study my words deeply!
Keep my commands, and so learn to live a good life.
v5 Get wisdom! Learn to be wise!
Do not forget my words! Do not turn away from them!
v6 Do not leave wisdom. (Wisdom is like a woman.) She will protect you.
Love her! She will watch over you.
v7 Wisdom is better than everything else, so get wisdom!
Even if it costs you everything, learn to be wise!
v8 Give honour to wisdom. (Wisdom is like a woman.) She will lift you higher.
Hug her, and she will give honour to you.
v9 Wisdom’s gifts are like a beautiful crown.’
This poem is not just about Solomon’s family. It is about all families. It tells us that a father should teach his son. When he grows older, the son should teach his own children.
Solomon’s family was Israel’s royal family. In the poem, the father does not teach about being a king. He does not speak about wealth and money. He does not explain how to lead the nation. For this father, only one thing matters. His son must learn wisdom.
We can teach our children about many things. We must not forget to teach them wisdom. This is the most important lesson of all.
The poem begins with commands to listen. The father will teach a valuable lesson to his sons.
The advice did not begin with the father, who is writing the poem. The father learned this lesson from his own father. The lesson is good, because it is ancient. Grandfather followed this advice. And he saw that it was good advice. This is why he taught it to the boy’s father. The father has lived by this advice too. So now he teaches it to his own sons.
The words of verse 3 speak about the father’s childhood. These words suggest a loving home. The father was grandmother’s only child, so he was close to her. Grandfather taught his lessons with love to his little child.
The grandfather began his lessons in the same way as the poet. The grandfather also emphasised that the lesson was important.
Today, many people say that things are important. A salesman will say that his advice is important. This is because the salesman wants us to buy his products. We can doubt salesmen and politicians. But we must not doubt God’s word. The Book of Proverbs repeats its advice, because wisdom really is important.
At last, we hear the advice. This is the lesson that grandfather taught. We must learn to be wise.
As in earlier chapters, he compares wisdom to a woman. Wisdom, like a woman, deserves our love. Like a woman, she will protect you, if you love her.
Wisdom is better than everything else. It is better than money. It is better than beauty. It is better than health. Wisdom is worth more than everything that you own. Remember that these words come from Israel’s royal family. They had great wealth. But wisdom is more important than wealth.
As in verse 6, the poet compares wisdom to a woman. In verse 6, the poet tells us to love Wisdom. In verse 8, he tells us to hug her. We should get closer and closer to Wisdom. We shall benefit if we do so. Wisdom will lift us higher and give honour to us. Like a woman, Wisdom looks after those who love her.
At the end of this poem, the royal family speaks about a crown. This crown is not a gold crown or a silver crown. It is a crown for a king, but a poor person can wear a crown, too. Wisdom gives honour to us. This gift is like a beautiful crown.
In the introduction to this poem, we saw that it was about every family. This poem was not just about Israel’s royal family. Every family can teach wisdom. Every person can trust God and learn to be wise. We can all wear wisdom’s crown. Jesus said, ‘God will give honour to anyone who serves me.’ (John 12:26)
v10 My son, believe my words!
They will bring you long life.
v11 I am guiding you in a wise way.
I am leading you along straight paths.
v12 You will walk in safety.
When you run, you will not fall.
v13 Hold on to my instructions! Learn them well!
Guard my instructions, and they will give you a long life.
v14 Do not choose the same path as wicked men!
Do not walk with evil men!
v15 Keep off evil paths! Do not travel on them!
Turn away! Go elsewhere!
v16 Evil men cannot sleep before they have done an evil action.
They cannot sleep before they have tripped up someone!
v17 An evil man thinks that his evil ways are better than bread.
An evil man thinks that cruelty is better than wine.
This passage returns to the idea that life is like a journey.
If we plan our journeys wisely, then we are safer. We can avoid many dangers. In the same way, if we are wise, then our lives will be safer.
We shall not walk alone. Wisdom will be our guide and our guard. Remember that this whole book is about God’s wisdom! God protects us, when we live our lives in his way. Jesus said, ‘Do not worry about clothes. Look at the flowers in the fields. The flowers do not work or make clothes. But even the wealthy king Solomon did not dress as well as the flowers. God dresses the grasses in the field beautifully, although tomorrow they will burn in the fire. He will provide your clothes also, although you hardly believe.’ (Matthew 6:28-30) Jesus explained that the same was true about food and drink. God cares for us. He will provide what we need for each day. He will lead us to our home in heaven.
‘The people who trust in God will become stronger. They will be so strong, that they will be like the eagle (a large, strong bird). They will run, but they will not become tired. They will walk, but they will not become weak.’ (Isaiah 40:31)
We must guard the good things that God has given to us. Sometimes evil things might seem attractive. We might remember our behaviour before we knew God. We might see an evil action and we might want to do the same. ‘Stay awake! Pray! Do not allow evil things to tempt you!’ Jesus told this to his followers in Mark 14:38. Paul wrote, ‘Stand firm in freedom, because Christ has freed us!’ (Galatians 5:1)
Solomon emphasises his words. We should not behave like evil people. We should not listen to their advice. Their advice is never wise.
We must not do the same things that evil people do. Their behaviour is never wise. If we copy their actions, then we are in great danger.
As Solomon emphasises the lesson, he uses humour. He tells us to imagine the evil man. This man is a very evil man. So, he cannot even sleep until he has done an evil action. At midnight he gets up. He has still not done his evil action. He struggles to think an evil thought. The time is very late, but this man must act now. He cannot even sleep until he has completed his evil task.
The story shows us that evil things are powerful. Evil things will control us, like dangerous drugs or alcohol. We can become like slaves, to our own evil actions. God can set us free, but we must turn to him.
Solomon continues his joke. The evil man has woken. He is eating a meal. We are looking at his food. We expect to find bread or meat or vegetables. The evil man is eating none of these. This man does not want food. Instead, he chooses evil behaviour. He does not think that food will make him strong. Instead, he thinks that his evil actions will make him strong. He wants to do evil things, more than he desires his food. He thinks that evil things are essential for his life.
This evil man does not think that he needs milk or water or wine. He supposes that he can manage without these things. He does not want something to drink. Instead he thinks that cruelty is essential for his life. He wants cruelty, more than he wants a drink.
v18 The good man walks at early dawn.
The light shines brighter and brighter as the day begins.
v19 The evil man is like someone who walks at night, in the deepest darkness.
He does not even know why he fell.
This is a beautiful short poem. It contrasts a good man and an evil man. Sometimes people think that everyone is the same. Some people say that everyone is good. The Bible does not say this. The Bible says that we all have turned from God. We must turn back to him. Only God can make us good.
The good man has a good life. He does not yet know everything that God wants to teach him. He has not yet received all the gifts that God will give to him. His life is like a man who walks at dawn. At dawn, there is only a little light. But the light will soon become brighter. And soon the good man will know God better.
Paul writes about this in 1 Corinthians 13:12. ‘Now, we see an image in a poor mirror. In heaven, we shall see clearly. Now, I only know a little. One day, I shall know completely, as God knows me completely.’ Paul is writing about the time when he will see God in heaven.
The evil man has the opposite fate. He is like a man who walks on a dark path. A journey at midnight is dangerous. A traveller cannot see in the darkness. Without any lights, the traveller will trip and fall. In the same way, the evil man is in great danger. He will suffer because of his evil behaviour. God will punish him.
Many people, who are not Christians, want God in their lives. They know that they are in danger. They are like someone who travels at night. Christians should speak to them. We should share what God has given to us. God will help those who ask him. When these people first trust God, they will know little about God. In time, they will know more, as they live God’s way. In heaven, they will know God fully. A path becomes brighter as the day begins. And they will know more, as they trust God more.
v20 My son, listen to me!
Study my words!
v21 Do not forget my words!
v22 If you study my words, you will receive health and strength.
v23 These lessons will protect your mind.
They will save your life.
v24 Do not speak evil words!
Do not tell lies!
v25 Look ahead!
Do not even glance at the evil things that surround you!
v26 Choose the best life!
Choose the best route for life’s journey.
v27 Do not allow evil things to tempt you away from the right path!
Do not turn right or left!
Wise words are like medicine. They benefit every part of our bodies.
These verses show us the subject of this passage. Each chapter of Proverbs 1-7 begins in a similar style. Here the subject is health. Wisdom is like a medicine, because wisdom improves our lives. Unlike a medicine, wisdom does not heal our bodies. Wisdom heals our spirits. Wisdom leads us to God.
We should be careful about our thoughts. We should love good things and hate evil things.
James 3:1-12 explains this verse. James compares our tongues to a fire. Our words can be powerful. We can use words to say good things. But we can use words to say evil things, too. Our mouths can praise God, but they can curse other people. We must be careful about our words.
We look forward, when we follow God. We should not look away from him. Jesus warned about this in Luke 17:31-32. ‘Jesus said, “Do not begin the work, then look back! If you look back, you cannot serve God.” ’ (Luke 9:62)
Again, this compares life to a journey. We will live ‘the best life’ if we obey God. This is like the best route for a journey. If we serve God, then we will help other people. We will be like a postman who brings good news. ‘On the mountains, the postman takes a good message. He has good news about peace and rescue. He says to Jerusalem, “God is king.” ’ (Isaiah 52:7)
Chapter 5 is a poem. The poem has two subjects:
1. A married woman tempts a man who is not her husband.
2. Evil things are like this woman, because sometimes these things attract us. But evil things offend God. We must obey God, and refuse to do evil things.
Solomon discusses both subjects at the same time. This is similar to Proverbs 2:16-19. The actions of the woman show us how evil ideas can attract us.
v1 My son, listen to my wisdom!
Hear my knowledge!
v2 Then you will know how to behave.
You will know what to say.
v3 A married woman may tempt you. Her lips are sweet like honey.
Her speech is attractive, as oil is smooth.
v4 However, soon her lips will taste bitter.
Soon she will cut you, as with a sword.
v5 She will cause your death.
She will lead you to your grave.
v6 She does not think about the way of life.
She does not know that she has wandered from God’s ways.
Solomon begins his lesson in the usual way. He reminds us why we need wisdom and knowledge. With wisdom and knowledge, we can avoid danger.
A married woman attracts a young man. She seems so beautiful. When he kisses her, her lips seem to taste like honey. When he listens to her, her words are so attractive. He does not think about the woman’s husband. He does not think about God’s law. He does not even think about the results of his actions. He only thinks about her.
Sometimes evil ideas attract us. These ideas might seem sweet and pleasant. Sometimes it seems easy to do the wrong thing, and it seems hard to do the right thing.
We should not do evil things. We should say, ‘This offends God. It might hurt other people. It could place me in danger.’ The devil offered bread to Jesus when Jesus was hungry. (Matthew 4:1-4) Jesus refused. He said, ‘Man does not live by bread alone. A man must live by God’s instructions.’ (Deuteronomy 8:3). We also must refuse to do evil things.
Evil ideas may seem attractive, but they are really terrible. When the man kissed the woman, even her lips tasted sweet. Later the taste in his mouth will be bitter. Later he will know the results of his actions. At first, the woman’s speech was attractive. Later she will be like a sword. She will attack him and hurt him.
Evil things are often like this. Evil behaviour always causes pain and trouble. The devil uses evil ideas to try to destroy us.
If our behaviour is evil, then the result, in the end, is death. Solomon’s son might die if he follows the married woman. Solomon does not say how his son could die. The woman’s angry husband may kill the young man. The woman herself might be a murderer. Or the whole town might punish the son for his evil actions.
Occasionally, evil actions lead straight to death. Usually, the process is slower, step by step. Every evil action brings death nearer, because our evil behaviour takes us away from God. We can only receive true life, if we trust God.
When the Bible speaks about death, often this does not mean the death of our bodies. Often the Bible means the death of our spirits. If your spirit is dead, then you will go to hell. If your spirit is alive, you will go to heaven. ‘Jesus became alive again after he died, by the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit lives in you, then your bodies will also live again.’ (Romans 8:11) The result of our evil actions is death. But God brings life to our bodies and spirits by his Holy Spirit.
Again, the verse compares life to a journey. Sometimes a person, like this woman, refuses to hear God’s law. The woman lives in the way that she chooses. She does not care about what is right or good. She lives by her emotions. She has forgotten God. She does not know where her life will lead. She does not even know that her actions are wrong.
We have heard God’s law. We know what is wise. We must trust God. We must not copy people like this woman.
v7 Now, my sons, listen to me!
Do not turn aside from my words!
v8 Choose a path that does not go near this woman’s house!
Keep away from her door!
v9 Do not waste the strength of your youth!
Do not give your best years to someone who is cruel!
v10 Do not let other people enjoy your wealth!
Do not work like a slave to make another man wealthy!
Solomon advises that his son should not even meet the married woman. Solomon’s son must be very careful. He should not enter her house. He should not even walk near her door.
If the son walks near her door, then he might enter. If he enters, he might listen to her. Her speech is attractive (verse 3). She will tempt him. If he listens to her, he might want to have sex with her.
Solomon’s father, David, had a similar experience (2 Samuel 11-12). From a distance, he saw a beautiful woman. She was having a bath, naked.
David did not look away. If he had looked away, he would have avoided many troubles.
Instead, David watched the woman. He sent a servant to call her. She was a married woman, but she came to David. David talked with her. They had sex. They even had a baby together.
David tried to hide his actions. He even caused the woman’s husband to die in battle. Then David married the woman.
God knew what David had done. David’s older sons fought David, because of his evil deed. The baby, who was David’s youngest son, died.
God did not kill David for his evil deed. This was because David turned to God. David asked God to forgive him. His prayer is in Psalm 51.
Later, David and the same woman had another son. This second son was Solomon, who wrote the Book of Proverbs.
A young man should not waste his strength with another man’s wife. He should use his strength wisely. When he marries, perhaps he will have his own family.
We must all be careful with our strength. We should use our strength for good things, not for evil things. Our energy is precious. Our time is valuable.
v11 When you are old, then you will be sad.
When your body is weak, then you will speak.
v12 ‘I was very stupid.
I hated discipline. And I refused correction.
v13 I did not obey my teachers.
I did not learn my lessons.
v14 Suddenly I suffered great shame.
My wrong actions have ruined me in public.’
These verses teach us the result, if we live for our desires. In the end our wrong desires will ruin us. They will bring us to despair.
Solomon warns his son. He explains what will happen to a foolish son. The son will become an old man one day. Then the son will ask himself what his life achieved. He will see that he achieved nothing. He ruined his life, because he did not serve God. Instead, the foolish son served his emotions and desires. He wasted his energy on cruel people (verse 9). His strength brought wealth to another man’s home (verse 10).
We should think about our lives. Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 7:24-27. A wise man built a house on rock. When the storms came, the house was strong. A fool built his house on sand. When the storms came, the house fell down.
We should be like the wise man in Jesus’ story. We should build our lives on a strong base. That base should be God. When problems come, God will protect us. And he will help us.
If we build a house on something weak, the house will fall down (Matthew 7:26-27). In the same way, our lives need a strong base. Our emotions are not a strong base for our lives. If we trust our emotions, we shall become very weak.
Let us build our lives in God’s way.
Paul wrote about sex in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. He said, ‘Your body does not belong to you. Jesus bought your body, for a price.’ (Paul means the price of Jesus’ death for us. We belong to God.) ‘Therefore, use your body to give honour to God.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20)
v15 You should drink water from your own taps!
And you should be loyal to your wife.
v16 Do not have sex with another woman.
And do not let your water pour into the street!
v17 Your wife, like your water, should be yours, only.
Do not share your water with other men!
v18 Enjoy your own water!
And enjoy your own wife always!
v19 She gives love and grace, like a deer (a beautiful wild animal).
Her breasts always satisfy you. Her love always attracts you.
v20 My son, do not get close to another man’s wife.
Do not allow her to tempt you to do a wrong action.
Here, Solomon talks about water. In dry countries, water is valuable. Clean water is very precious. You should not waste water. It should not flow into the streets. It should not pour out, into the town. Your family and your animals should drink it. You should water your crops. Use it wisely!
Think about your own life in the same way. You should use your strength wisely. If you follow your emotions, you will waste your energy. You should have sex with your husband or wife, and not with anyone else. Our lives belong to God. God has shown us how we should live. He will be kind to us when we obey his instructions.
As your own taps belong to you (verse 15), so a husband and wife belong together.
Marriage is God’s gift. A husband and wife should give themselves to each other. They should enjoy their marriage. They should love each other. They attract each other, and this is good.
v21 God sees everything that you do.
He watches all your actions.
v22 Evil actions are like a trap for an evil man.
His own evil deeds are like an enemy who ties up the evil man.
v23 An evil man will die, because he has no discipline.
He wanders because he is a fool.
Perhaps, like David, we do some wrong things in secret (2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12). A woman might tempt a man. They might think that nobody knows. They are wrong because God knows. He sees our secret actions. He knows everything that we do in private. Like David, if we have done wrong things, we should turn to God. David’s prayer in Psalm 51 will help us to understand why we must ask God to forgive us.
The evil man is foolish. He thinks that he is free. But his evil behaviour will make him into a slave. He can hide his actions from other people. But he cannot hide from God (Numbers 32:23). This man’s evil behaviour will destroy him. This man should invite God into his life. This man needs to ask God to forgive him. God will save the evil man, but only if the man trusts God.
v1 My son, follow this advice when you make a mistake.
Perhaps you promised to pay a neighbour’s debt.
You thought that your neighbour would return your money.
v2 But your plan failed.
So your words became like a trap for an animal.
v3 Follow my advice, and free yourself!
Since your neighbour can hurt you, be humble!
Ask your neighbour to free you!
v4 Do not delay! Do not wait! Do not sleep!
v5 Free yourself! Run, as a wild animal runs from its hunter!
Escape, as a bird flies from a trap!
In this poem, Solomon compares our mistakes to a hunter’s trap. When a hunter works, he may build traps. He hides his traps so that animals will not see them. He hopes that the animals will fall into his traps. Then he can kill and eat the animals.
In our lives, our mistakes can be like traps. Perhaps we want to do the right thing. Perhaps our plans are good. But our best plans could fail. Then, like a trap, our plans can destroy us.
In verse 1, Solomon’s son had good intentions. He wanted to help his neighbour. The son trusted the neighbour. The son tried to do the right thing, but the neighbour would not do the right thing. If his neighbour could not pay, Solomon’s son promised to pay instead. Now, his neighbour has failed to pay. The lender expects Solomon’s son to pay. The son’s plan failed and now he is in danger.
Sometimes we place ourselves in danger. Our own choices can become like traps. Many people suffer from alcohol or from dangerous drugs. Originally, they just wanted to enjoy themselves. When they tried to stop, they failed. Now they must ask God to help them. They must remember that God is greater than them. A doctor could also help them.
We all do wrong things against God. This behaviour is also like a trap. We cannot free ourselves. Paul wrote, ‘When I want to do good things, evil thoughts attract me. My spirit loves God’s law. But my body fights against my mind. I am like someone in prison. This is because evil behaviour controls my body.’ (Romans 7:21-23) But there is an answer to this problem. God can free us. If we ask God, then he will forgive us. And he will help us to control our behaviour. He will teach discipline to us. Paul continued, ‘Thank-you, God. God frees me through Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 7:25)
Be humble! The Bible warns us not to be proud. Jesus said, ‘If you are humble, like a little child, then you will be great in heaven.’ (Matthew 18:7) James wrote, ‘Be humble. Then God will give you honour.’ (James 4:10)
If Solomon’s son was proud, he could not escape. He is like an animal in a trap. He cannot free himself. He must ask for freedom. He must ask for help.
We have all done wrong things, against God. We must be humble. We must ask God to forgive us. Only God can do this.
If we want freedom, then we must not be lazy. We must not delay until tomorrow. If we delay, then we might never take action.
God calls us to trust him now. Do not be like King Agrippa. Paul spoke to the king about Jesus. Agrippa answered, ‘You cannot persuade me so quickly to become a Christian.’ He was not ready to trust God. Perhaps he was never ready to trust God. (Acts 26:28)
Earlier, Paul spoke to a ruler called Felix. Felix said, ‘I will speak to you at a convenient time.’ Felix never trusted God. He waited. Although he spoke again to Paul, Felix never found the ‘convenient time’ to trust in God. (Acts 24:25)
We should act quickly, like an animal that runs to escape from a hunter.
v6 Do not be lazy! Think about the ant! (Ants are insects. They live in large groups.)
Learn from the ant, and so be wise!
v7 It has no king.
It has no general and no ruler.
v8 Without any leadership, ants store food in summer.
They also collect the harvest.
As saints, kingdom builders, or believers, we should work. We might have a job. Have our own business, go to school full time. We might look after people, for example our families. We might do God’s work, perhaps as a church leader, or helping building the kingdom of God. We might do various tasks. Whatever we do, we should not be lazy.
Solomon writes about insects. Ants are a common type of insect. Ants work together, in groups. They are wise because they store food. They do not waste their time.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, some Christians refused to work. The church gave food to them. Paul told the church not to do this. ‘If a man will not work, then he shall not eat.’ He added, ‘Do not get too tired to do the right things.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:13)
Paul obeyed this lesson himself. Daily, he spoke about God to the people. However, the church did not provide Paul’s wages. Paul deserved money, because he worked for God. Paul deserved money, but he did not accept money from the church. Instead, he decided to work. He made tents. He earned enough money for himself, and also for other Christian workers. He worked very hard. Paul did this, because Jesus taught, ‘God makes the giver even more glad than the person who receives.’ (Acts 20:35)
We also must work to help other people. ‘Belief is good, only if you do good things. Perhaps someone has no food and no clothes. You might tell him, “Go away! I hope that you will be warm. I hope that you get a meal.” But then you do nothing to help. This is not good. Belief achieves nothing unless you help people.’ (James 2:14-17)
v9 You are lazy.
How long will you lie there?
v10 You say, ‘Let me have another sleep.
Let me have some more rest. Let me relax.’
v11 Then suddenly you awake. You find that you have become poor.
You have lost everything. It is as if a thief has stolen everything.
Solomon emphasises that we must not be lazy. When it is time to work, we must not sleep. In verse 9, Solomon asks the sleeper how long he will sleep. In verse 10, we hear what the sleeper thinks. He does not want to get up. However, he must wake. It is time to work. It is as if a thief is at the door. The sleeper must act quickly. Otherwise, he is in great trouble. He might lose everything.
1 Thessalonians 5 discusses this idea. However, the situation in 1 Thessalonians is different. The Bible says that, one day, Jesus will return to this world. That day will come suddenly, like the arrival of a thief. Some people will not be ready. ‘We must not sleep. We must stay awake. We must be ready. Sleepers sleep at night. Drunks drink alcohol at night. But we belong to the day.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).
v12 Look out for the evil man! Look out for the thief!
His mouth is speaking false words.
v13 Look out for his signals!
He shuts his eyes. He moves his feet. He taps his fingers.
v14 He is plotting evil plans in his heart.
He starts arguments.
v15 His punishment will be sudden.
There will be no remedy for him.
Sometimes, an evil person is easy to identify. At other times, we must be careful. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 mentions a ‘secret’ evil power. The evil man in verses 12-15 is dangerous because his evil plan is secret. His signals are small, but these signals might help us to identify him.
Matthew 7:15-20 explains how to identify evil people. We must look for the results of these people’s actions. ‘A good tree cannot have bad fruit. A bad tree cannot have good fruit.’ (Matthew 7:18) If we see a poisonous tree, its fruit is poisonous. If we see a good tree (for example, an apple tree), its fruit is good.
Consider the actions of the man in Proverbs 6:12-15. In verse 12, he speaks false words. Such behaviour is not good. It warns us about the man’s true character. In verse 14, he starts arguments. This man’s behaviour is evil. We should not trust him.
We cannot see that the man is plotting an evil plan in his heart (verse 14). However, we can already hear his arguments. And we can hear his false words. The results of his actions are wrong. He is like the bad tree in Matthew 7:18. The man’s actions are evil, so his plan will also be evil.
v16 God opposes 6 things. In fact he hates 7 things:
· v17 proud eyes
· a mouth that speaks lies
· hands that murder
· v18 a heart that makes evil plans
· the feet of a person who rushes to do evil deeds
· v19 a witness who tells lies
· a man who starts arguments between brothers.
Verses 16-19 use a different style of poetry. The poet writes a list of things that God opposes.
This style is also in Proverbs 30 and in the Book of Amos. The numbers in these lists are not important. However, the subjects are important. Here the poet tells us that God hates these evil actions.
‘Proud eyes’. The poet is describing someone who is proud. He mentions ‘eyes’, because we see other people with our eyes. The evil man thinks that he is greater than other people. Perhaps he even thinks that he is greater than God. God opposes proud people. God wants us to be humble.
‘Lies’ and ‘murder’ are in the 10 commands. God gave this law to Moses. See Deuteronomy 4.
Today we might say ‘mind’ instead of ‘heart’. God knows our thoughts. He knows our secret plans.
Contrast this verse with Psalm 133:1. ‘It is good when brothers live together calmly.’ The evil man wants to start an argument, or even a war.
‘Brothers’ does not only mean family members here. It can also mean neighbours and friends. It could even mean nations. Peace is good - it is God’s gift. Sometimes a war might be right, if, for example, one side does a terribly evil deed. However, even in war, we must look after people and try to work for peace. We should always pray for peace.
v20 My son, keep my commands!
Do not forget the things that your mother taught you!
v21 Always keep these words in your heart!
Wear these words about your neck!
v22 When you walk, my words will guide you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake, they will speak to you.
v23 These commands are like a lamp.
This lesson is like a light.
Correction and discipline are the way to live.
v24 This lesson will protect you when a married woman tempts you.
It will protect you from her attractive words.
v25 Do not allow her beauty to tempt you!
Do not allow her pretty eyes to attract you!
v26 A man may hire certain women for sex.
These women will make him poor.
But if the man has sex with another man’s wife, it will cost him everything.
In the end it will lead to his death.
v27 Do not light a fire against your body! It will burn your clothes.
v28 Do not walk on hot coals! They will burn your feet.
v29 The same happens if you sleep with another man’s wife.
If you even touch her, that man will punish you.
We should love wisdom. Wisdom should be in our hearts and in our minds. We cannot physically keep wisdom in our hearts. We might not physically carry wise words about our necks. But we can live in a wise manner.
Life is like a journey. Wisdom will guide us each day. Wisdom will help us to make the right decisions. At night when we sleep, our wise decisions will protect us. As we wake, we can think about wisdom.
The relationship between us and God must be like this. God will guide us to make good decisions every day. The Bible will teach us the right way. At night, God watches over us. He protects us. As we wake, we should think about God’s word.
This is similar to Psalm 119:105. ‘God’s word is like a lamp for my feet. God’s word is like a light for my path.’
Solomon is writing about sex, but he is also writing about other evil actions. Sometimes an idea about an evil action attracts us. Sometimes we want to do evil things. But we should refuse to do evil things. Solomon has taught this lesson to us before. See Proverbs 2:16-19, and Proverbs 5. He will also explain the same lesson in Proverbs 7. He repeats the lesson because this is important.
In Proverbs 6:25-29, Solomon explains about punishment. A husband will punish the man that sleeps with the husband’s wife. In the same way, our evil behaviour leads to punishment. God will always punish our evil behaviour. There are punishments in this world, for example, prison. The Bible teaches us about heaven and hell after we die. Everyone has done evil things, so everyone must turn to God. We all must trust God, because only God can forgive us. When Jesus died, he suffered our punishment.
If a man has sex with a woman, she might use him for her advantage. She might ask for money. She might put him in danger. He might even die.
Fire is dangerous. It can burn you. Use fire carefully!
Sex is also dangerous. You should only have sex with your husband or wife. Otherwise, it is dangerous. Be careful!
Our evil actions are dangerous. These actions can send us to hell. Escape from evil things! Trust in God!
v30 We can understand why a hungry thief steals food.
v31 However, if we catch him, he must pay 7 times over.
He might lose all his money.
v32 The man, who sleeps with another man’s wife, has a worse fate.
He is making a wrong decision.
He is destroying himself.
v33 He will receive pain and insults.
His shame lasts always.
v34 The woman’s husband will be jealous and angry.
He will not forgive.
v35 He will refuse money.
No gift can take away his anger.
This thief is hungry. He has no food. His family also have no food. So, this thief steals, because he needs food. We can sympathise with him. However, the law will punish him. The law does not forgive. The law does not ask if he needed food. His punishment is severe.
Some people do wrong actions, because they hate God. Other people sincerely want to do good things, but they still do evil things. Everyone must trust in God, because everyone does wrong actions. ‘If you obey one law, but not another, then you are still guilty. Your actions are against the whole law, not just one part.’ (James 2:10-11)
The thief (in verse 30) suffered a severe punishment.
The man (in verse 32) will have a worse punishment. This man had sex with another man’s wife. The husband will punish him. There is a double punishment for the man who had sex with the wife. He receives punishment because his actions were evil. He also receives punishment from the angry husband.
The Bible says that God can be angry. He is angry about our evil behaviour. He is angry when our actions are unfair. He is angry with us, if we turn against him. A man’s anger may be terrible. God’s anger is much worse.
‘God’s anger comes from heaven. He hates people’s wicked actions. Men hide the truth when they do wrong things.’ (Romans 1:18) ‘God’s anger is against the people who do not obey God.’ (Ephesians 5:6)
God is angry, but he also loves us. Micah prays this to God: ‘There is no other god like you. You forgive the evil things that your people have done. You are not always angry. You want to love us. You will care for us again. You will forgive our wrong actions. You will forgive completely. You will act as if you threw the records of our evil deeds into the sea.’ (Micah 7:18-19)
We need God's wisdom so we can have victorious life in him
Wisdom is knowledge and knowledge is power. Amen.
We have to use wisdom in our everyday life to do the will of him.
I'm going to read the book of Proverbs so much I will be able to recite it by heart.
This is so powerful, “My son, believe my words!”, believing in the words that God has spoken is truly a saved life, God is letting us know that we are his and we must be obedient to His Will, Way and Word….He is guiding us, leading us, and will be able to walk in safety.
Wisdom is to be passed down from Father to son and Mother to daughter wisdom is the principal thing in this passage it says if you have to give up everything GET WISDOM!! I pray wisdom is being taught to our youth today.
Soaking it all in!!!!!
Syllabus Notes:~Listen, my sons: Get wisdom. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun. Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prv 5: My son, listen to my words. In the end an adulteress is bitter as wormwood. Keep away from her. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. Prv 6: A little slumber, and poverty will come like a bandit. A scoundrel sows discord. My son, a man who commits adultery destroys himself.
Notes:~Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.
Foolishness is a cancer it eats away at us from the inside out.. We have to learn too be wise at all cost. Foolishness will cost us everything.