Solomon tells us of seven things God hates. He also warns about making promises and being lazy. ALL practical warnings for us to heed.
The first five verses deal with vouching for someone else or possibly being a co-signer. You can never really make a promise for someone else and know that it will be kept. This reminds me of a very recent event in my life. Our property houses cows for a friend. His cows got out because they broke the fences he had promised to repair. They were finally located near a relative of a friend. Several hours later they were all secure in the friend’s location and we were told they would be fine there for the night. The next day I was called to make sure someone was going to check on them. I rounded up the person who was supposed to do the work and had him follow me to their location. While talking with the owner of the temporary pasture I ALMOST offered for the cows actual owner to pay for their time there. The way the cow tender was talking, it looked like the cows might be there longer. I stopped myself though because it is not for me to make promises for another person. My husband asked later if the owner had compensated the temporary pasture owner. I told him that it was not my place or my business to deal with. “Not my monkeys, not my circus.”
I would have made myself liable for the promises made if the one I had promised for didn’t agree to it. I believe this is what Solomon is cautioning against. And he says that if you do back yourself into this kind of trouble that you go to the one you promised for and plead with them to keep that promise made on their behalf.
You would have to be pretty good friends with someone to even think about speaking for them. Even so, without their express permission this is NOT something we should be doing.
So what about co-signing for something? This is a tricky situation too. When you co-sign, you are guaranteeing that if the original person doesn’t pay what they owe, you will pay it. This is all fine and good when you are certain of the other person’s character and their willingness to repay the debt. But when you co-sign for someone who is not responsible, you pretty much guarantee that YOU will be making good on their promise. I have been in this situation twice and have been asked to be in it recently. I will NOT be entering it with this third requestor for I know her character with bills. My bottom line advice here is to pray before getting yoked into this situation with anyone.
The next issue Solomon tackles is laziness. I have to admit to a fair amount of laziness myself. I would much rather read a book than fold laundry. I often get what I have termed “Mt. Laundry” because I let several loads of clean laundry accumulate before tackling the folding job. I do other things that keep me busy throughout the day though. I am far from idle.
Solomon seems to be speaking to the person who ignores the important work to be done. Work, that if not done, will have serious repercussions. My drawers might run low but because I have clean clothes I won’t go naked. But if I refused to even launder them my family would suffer. A farmer who puts off tending his crops soon finds he has no crops to speak of.
My ex-husband planted a garden one year. I said something to him about needing to keep up with the weeds. He tells me that pulling the weeds was bad for the plants as it could disturb their roots and he didn’t have time for it anyway. He forbade me from weeding his garden too. Low and behold, he never got ANYTHING out of that garden. The weeds choked out the vegetables. There were a couple of watermelons that tried to grow but they were hollow inside for lack of nutrients. I THINK he learned his lesson.
There is something special about the ants that Solomon is directing the “sluggard” to notice. The ants don’t have to be told to do a job. They see a need and do it without someone having to point it out to them. No job too small or too big. They don’t even need to be asked to help out on a job that is too big for one of them. See a need and fill it.
I believe this is how Jesus wants us to be in His body. We shouldn’t have to call the special minister over some program when we notice a need. We should be willing to roll up our sleeves and do the job to the best of our abilities. If it is a specialized job, be willing to take it personally to the one who would do it instead of waiting for them to notice it. Point it out in love instead of condemnation though in these situations. And for the jobs you can do on your own, don’t stand there tooting your horn and waiting for praise. Do the job out of love, not a desire for recognition.
The next issue Solomon addresses is a “worthless person” and their ways. There are people like this in ALL walks of life. Those who like to stir things up just to see what will happen. Those whose only goal seems to be to create trouble. STAY AWAY FROM SUCH PEOPLE. God will see to them in the end and see to their end. Vengeance is mine I will repay, says the Lord.
To wrap up the practical advice Solomon points out seven things that God hates. God will forgive us if we fall into any of these things but He will not tolerate us living in these sins. If you are His child He WILL use discipline to get you out of them.
- Haughty eyes – a person wrapped up in pride
- A lying tongue – someone who is so comfortable with lies that he/she believes them him/herself.
- Hands that shed innocent blood – bringing harm to one who is innocent of wrong doing. An abortion doctor could find themselves in this category.
- A heart that devises wicked plans – this is the wicked person we just spoke about. One who delights in making trouble.
- Feet that make haste to run to evil – someone just waiting for the opportunity to make mischief, cause trouble for others, or profit by dishonest means.
- A false witness who breathes out lies – someone willing speaking lies about another and swearing them to be truth. The witnesses against Jesus at His trial are prime examples of this.
- One who sows discord among brothers – this is the gossip who can’t wait to pit people against one another by “sharing” what they have heard. Often these things are exaggerated and taken out of context just to start trouble.
I confess to having fit into a couple of these categories over my lifetime. I am MOST grateful for God’s forgiveness and correction. I PRAY I NEVER again find myself listed above.
Father God, I want to be wise in YOUR eyes. I want to live in such a way that You are proud of me as Your child. I want to be a witness for You in how I live my life. I KNOW I have made/ make/ and will make mistakes. I pray they are not so severe as to destroy the testimony for You. THANK YOU for Your forgiveness of ALL my sins, past, present and future.
Thank You for not letting me fall into the first issue Solomon dealt with. I do not want to promise something of another without their express permission. Give me wisdom on when it is OK to let something go and when I’m being lazy. Don’t let me be lazy Father.
Thank You for caring about every aspect of my life. Thank You for addressing my character. Let it be a reflection of You.