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Proverbs 6:1-19 (NIV)
Warnings Against Folly
6 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 flower. 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 A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—he always stirs up conflict. 15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he 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 conflict in the community.
How would you describe the intensity of this passage?
You are a God of love, and out of your mercy, You give us Your Word as a guide to a healthy fulfilled life. When we stray from Your direction we suffer the consequences of our decisions. You are also a just God. There are things and behaviors that You hate; haughty eyes which include arrogance and pride, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stores up conflict in the community. As of late, we have witnessed all of the behaviors listed in this verse in our country. The kinds of sin that are listed cause enormous damage to our lives, the lives of others, and to society as a whole. The goal of those who have a wicked heart is to bring disunity where there is harmony in order to further their own interests and it is done for self-satisfaction or self-gain. They delight in arousing antagonism and hatred. But the language in this reading is strong. Certainly, one day those who ignore You and choose this wicked behavior over good will come into judgment. But I cannot judge. I too am a sinner. You are so hostile to sin that it led You to the cross. The only real response I can make is to turn to You in prayer and ask for forgiveness and help. You know my struggle to serve you when sin spoils my life and overshadows my heart. Please come to my aid and turn me and this country back to you again. Amen