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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 6:1-5

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

Responsible Living: Do Not Be Indebted for Others: Prov 6:1-5

1) My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
2) Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
3) Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
4) Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
5) Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter], and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon shares with as a series of Proverbs that teach us how to accept the responsilbilities God has given to us to live Godly, wise lives.  These proverbs give us teachings concerning becoming a loan guarantor for an acquaintance… 

EXPOSITION:

1) My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
First, he describes the nature of the loan guarantor agreement…. it is becoming a security or a pledge of payment for the debts of another.  Normally, this agreement is made with those that we know and trust.
Keep in mind, the Scriptures clearly teach the need to take great care and be very hesitant to enter into indebtedness for self-benefit and personal use (Rom 13:8).  How much more should care be exercised when indebtedness is based solely upon the honestly and reliability of another, with no personal advantage to be gotten?

Solomon emphasizes the seriousness of this type of agreement in two ways…
1.  He is reminding us that a simple handshake is all that is needed to make this agreement binding.  A Christian’s word must always be a good as his bond.
2.  Also, he describes the validity of an agreement that is made with a stranger.  There could be no worse, or more foolish, agreement than to become surety of a debt with one who is a stranger.  Solomon’s point is, although we may make a misinformed agreement, or even a incredibly stupid agreement with a stranger, it is still binding and cannot be undone.

We can clearly see that, since a Christian’s word is ALWAYS as good as his bond, great care must be taken before the Christian enters into any agreement; no matter how foolish the agreement may be, it will still be binding.

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”   (James 5:12)

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it [was] an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”   (Ecclesiastes 5:2, 4-6)

 

2) Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
Becoming a loan guarantor for a friend is accepting a great, heavy responsibility with no personal benefits to be gained.  It is much like being caught in a trap with no benefits, but only the possibility of harm awaiting the guarantor.   What is the net that has captured the guarantor and brought upon him the likelihood of injury ?  His own words.  How sad.

Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.  The words of a wise man’s mouth [are] gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.  The beginning of the words of his mouth [is] foolishness: and the end of his talk [is] mischievous madness.  A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?”   (Ecclesiastes 10:11-14)

 

3) Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
Being a loan guarantor is described as being grasped in the hand.  This describes being under the control, or being held captive by the friend.  Once again, this is emphasizing the dangerous situation that being a loan guarantor entails.

If Christian, through poor judgment, becomes a loan guarantor, how is he is handle the situation?
1.  the individual is to go and bow to the creditor, explaining his situation and asking for his release from the agreement.  If the creditor refuses to release him from his agreement…
2.  he is to approach his friend, foster a closer relationship with him, and encourage him to make timely payments and, if possible, to pay off the debt early.   In that way, the guarantor is doing all he can to ensure the debt will be paid by the debtor and the guarantor will not be place in a position of harm.

In other words, do all that is in our power, short of breaking our word of honor, to make certain we will not enter into harm because of this agreement into which we have entered.

Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts.  If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?   (Proverbs 22:26-27)

 

4) Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
The guarantor is not to rest until this loan is paid in full, assuring that there will be no harm done as the result of this agreement that was has entered into.  This, again, emphasizes the importance of this issue in the life of a Christian.

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, [or] slumber to mine eyelids,  Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty [God] of Jacob.”   (Psalms 132:4-5)

 

5) Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter], and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
The “roe”, or gazelle, and the bird are very fast, and very difficult to ensnare.  The Christian who is already held in this type of agreement must work quickly and seriously to find release from this situation. It is much like a netted animal that will do all in its power to escape.
For those who are not in this situation, they are to run quickly from these agreements, making certain they will not find themselves ensnared in this type of obligation.  All of this can only be accomplished through the application of wisdom to our lives and God’s gracious intervention…

Blessed [be] the LORD, who hath not given us [as] a prey to their teeth.  Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.  Our help [is] in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”   (Psalms 124:6-8)

 

SUMMARY:
As Christians, we should understand the importance of keeping our word and the danger of becoming a loan guarantor for others.  By doing so, we will avoid being under the control of others,  putting ourselves in a position of being unable to freely serve the Lord and care for our immediate families, due to indebtedness and abuse by those to whom we are indebted.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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5 Comments

  1. james1948 says:

    So not be a co-signer to some one elses debt but if you do, keep your word.

  2. Debbie says:

    Praying for His wisdom and help in these kind of situations! Thank you and God bless you, Pastor Rob.

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