The Book of Proverbs claims that God’s own wisdom has been woven into the fabric of the universe, and you are invited to participate. What’s the wise choice when it comes to relationships and money and work, the stuff of day-to-day life? This 32-day plan will walk you through the Proverbs step by step as you train your heart to discern the wise way forward.
- Proverbs 6
“Chapter 6: Don’t Be a Fool”
9th Speech from Father to Son
Chapter 6 is the father’s ninth speech, and there’s a trove of wisdom gold in there. As you read through it, look for words such as “snare,” “caught,” “hunter,” “fowler,” “robber,” “capture,” and “thief.” According to the father, there are four hunters out there looking to ambush your soul and rob it of the good life.
Debt. (verses 1-5)
The father warns his son of the dangers of financial liability, even if it’s to help out a friend. Stepping into debt is like stepping into a trap. Don’t sign your name, he says. If you do, get yourself out of the situation with dogged persistence (“to the point of exhaustion”) and escape like a gazelle or a bird (two animals that exhibit swift speed).
Laziness. (verses 6-11)
Here the father tells the son that “poverty will come upon him like a robber” if he doesn’t learn to work hard. “Check out the ants!” he says, pointing out the diligent way these insects store provisions for their future. Solomon, as 1 Kings 4:33 indicates, was a skilled zoologist and drew many lessons from the world of animals.
Gossip. (verses 12-19)
In these verses the topic switches from the “sluggard” to the “slanderer.” Both are deemed to be worthless people, but the latter receives the father’s harshest criticism. Verses 16-19 catalog a list of things that the Lord hates, culminating with someone who creates relational disharmony.
Lust. (verse 20-35)
This last warning takes the form of a speech. Once again, we encounter the adulteress. This woman will hunt you down, the father says, and capture her prey with her eyelashes. Don’t be fooled, for there will only be pain from engaging with her. In other words, the father asks in a rhetorical question, “Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?”
The uniting theme of this chapter is the father’s encouragement to maintain a healthy distance from these sly hunters. To give in to them is to forsake freedom and give way to calamity. What temptations are you prey to today? Surrender them to God with a humble heart and remember what the father said: “correction and instruction are the way to life.”