Proverbs 6:1-19 - Outline of Proverbs (Book Notes menu page)
The Wisdom of Experience - The Contrast of Two Sons
Proverbs chapter 6 continues the counsel of a wise father (and mother) to sons. Chapter 4 pointed sons to the path of wisdom (also called the path of the just), and warned them to avoid the path of the wicked at all costs. Chapter 5 provided sex education, warning against entanglements with the 'strange woman' and pointing to the blessings and satisfactions of faithfulness in marriage. The last portion of ch. 6 and all of ch. 7 will look, from another perspective, at the dangers posed by the strange woman.
     The first portion of ch. 6, which is before us in this study, touches on several practical matters, to draw a contrast between the sons of God and the sons of Belial.
This section can be divided as follows:
  1. Dangers of Debt, 6:1-5
  2. Lessons on Laziness, 6:6-12
  3. Contrasts of Sons, 6:13-19
Dangers of Debt (specifically, of co-signing for another's debt) - 6:1-5
Lessons on Laziness - 6:6-11
  1. The ant - among the smallest and weakest of creatures, yet showing...
    • Initiative, v.7 - The ant sees what needs to be done and does it, without direction from others:
      • No guide - ie., no chief, no commander
      • No overseer - ie., no officer (no one to check on progress or quality of work)
      • No ruler - ie., no one with dominion, no boss
    • Industry, v.8 - The ant feeds herself, without assistance from others. (2The 3:10-12)
      • Provideth - ie., lays the foundation, lays the groundwork for her provision, in the summer, when the living is easy and food is plentiful.
      • Gathereth - lays up provision for winter during the season of harvest, which marks the end of summer.
  2. The sluggard - the lazy or sluggish person, much larger and stronger than the ant, is not so wise...
    • Rest and relaxation (v.9,10) are his pursuits. Three different words describe his relaxed disposition: v.9a 'sleep' {to lay down}, v.9b 'sleep' {to sleep}, v.10 'slumber' {to be overcome with drowsiness}. Being relaxed, his hands, which should be working, are folded.
    • Reward (v.11) -
      • Poverty
      • Want {lack of necessities} - These things come as surely as a traveler reaches the end of the road he has followed... and with the same result as if an armed man robbed you of your provisions. See Prov 13:4; 20:4
In summary of v.1-11...
Description of an ungodly son - 6:12-15
6:16-19 - The LORD hates these things.
To some, this sounds very strange. After all, 'God is love' (1Joh 4:8,16). Isn't His business to forgive all offenses?
However, the scriptures also teach that God hates that which violates His holiness and opposes His purposes.
Examples: God hates...
Note that the above list differs from the list, here, in Prov 6:16-19.
These six (or seven) things are not the only things which the LORD hates.
...these six things... yea, seven... (v.16) -
  • This formula (a list, with one more added) emphasizes that something has reached its limits and exceeded them.
  • This formula can be used positively concerning things that are exceedingly wonderful, or difficult to comprehend (eg., Pro 30:21,24,29; Job 5:19)
  • This formula can be used negatively concerning cause for judgment, which is not only deserved, but overdue (like the last straw that breaks the camel's back, calamity is about to fall). Amos 1:3,6,9,11; 2:1,4,6
    It is used in the negative sense, here. The number 'seven' adds further emphasis, since it is the number of completion.
...are an abomination {a thing of utter disgust} unto Him. -
Why? Because they are completely contrary to His nature. These are not characteristics of God's sons, but of the sons of Belial, the children of the wicked one. Joh 8:44
The characteristics of the devil (as listed here in Prov. 6) are reflected in his children...
  1. a proud look {lit., eyes of loftiness} -
    Pride was Satan's downfall. He thought of himself more highly than he ought to think (Isa 14:13,14). The LORD, who is the only truly High and Lofty One, will put the proud down and exalt the lowly in heart (Psa 18:27; 101:5; Isa 57:15; Mat 5:3).
  2. a lying {ie., deceiving, fraudulent} tongue -
    The devil 'speaketh a lie' {GK=pseudos, falsehood} for there is no truth in him... he speaks of himself, because he is a liar {GK=pseustes, one of falsehood} and the father of it {ie., of falsehood).' So, his children are like him, not like the heavenly Father (Joh 8:42).
    What shall be done unto such? Psa 120:2-4
  3. hands that shed innocent blood - The devil is 'a murderer from the beginning' (Joh 8:44).
    Likewise, his children have murder in their hearts, even when there is no blood on their hands (Mat 5:21,22).
  4. an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations - his heart silently invents trouble (cp. v.14).
  5. feet swift in running to mischief {HB= ra}- his feet don't hesitate to implement the imagined evil (Isa 59:7; quoted in Rom 3:15).
  6. a false witness that speaks lies - thus resulting in injustice against an innocent party (Pro 19:5-9; Psa 27:12).
    Such witnesses were found to testify against Jesus (Mat 26:59,60) and Stephen (Acts 6:11-14) and Naboth (by Jezebel's arrangement, 1Kin 21:9-11).
  7. he that soweth discord {ie., strife, contention} among brethren... (v.19, v.14) -
    Satan takes care not to allow division within his kingdom (as Jesus observed in Luk 11:17,18). But one of Satan's devices is to cause division between God's people. The sons of God must guard against Satan's desire to divide them (2Cor 2:11; 1Pet 5:5-9).
My son... - Whose child are you? (6:20-22)

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