An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Guilt by Association

(Proverbs 6:1 KJV) My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

Here is another recurring theme in Proverbs, the danger of guaranteeing someone else’s debts. We do stupid things such as standing “surety” (6148) for someone. In modern terms this would be co-signing on a loan. Parents do this for children. I don’t see it being applied that way. The key is whom you trust.

An interesting application to this is found in the binding our associating ourselves with a “friend" (neighbor NASB) (7453) or a “stranger” (2114a). We are to be leery of close associations with people who are not bound by blood or belief. Again it seems that Paul has read his Bible:
II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (NASB)
In Proverbs it is talking about business arrangements. Paul expands it to such things as marriage. Do not get tied down to people who have different values. Do not establish any relationship that would commit you to evil practices and values. It is clear this means do not marry an unbeliever. It might even go so far as to not marry anyone who comes from another branch of Christianity, not because they are evil but because of the stress on working together. It would also mean business partnerships. It gets more confusing as you move out into the broader world. It used to be possible to avoid shopping at stores that violated your values. Today, good luck with that.

This would include friends. The word “neighbor” (7453) is “friends” in the KJV. That is at the core of the meaning. We are to associate with the world. We can have friends. But there is a limit to how involved we are to be.

“Stranger” (2114a) is the word used for “adulteress” in Proverbs. There was a definite view that those outside the Covenant were polluted by their morals and social practices. They were not believers. They were considered strange. Today we consider the world normal and we are strange. We need to get over this.

This train of thought continues at least to verse 3.

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