Men, there are four enemies “crouching at your door, desiring to have you, but you must rule over them” (Genesis 4:7). In Proverbs 6, Solomon warns us of using money foolishly (vv. 1-5), laziness (vv. 6-11), bad character (vv. 12-19), and lust (vv. 20-35). These four enemies can obliterate everything God has built in a man’s life and leave him morally, physically, relationally, financially, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt. A man must know and practice God’s principles and boundaries when it comes to money, work, and sex or destruction and ruin are eminent.
Solomon begins his warning by addressing bad money habits, or unwise financial dealings. He mentions “put up security” and “shaking hands in pledge” as ways to describe foolish financial commitments. Paul said the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, causing one to wander from the faith and much grief (1 Timothy 6:10). You can be content (1 Timothy 6:6) without all the fleeting bells and whistles of stuff this world has to offer. Solomon mentioned making bad money decisions, maybe to impress or because of discontentment, thinking stuff would bring significance. Bigger is not always better. That new “boy toy” may bring financial hardship. He said you are now “trapped” and “ensnared” (v. 2). The way to deal with this is “free yourself” (v. 3). Don’t just say, “Oh well, I shouldn’t have done that”, do biblically whatever is necessary to get out of that debt or deal. Return it, sell it, or create a debt elimination plan. This is so urgent that you, “go to the point of exhaustion, allow no sleep to your eyes and no slumber to your eyelids”. What got you into debt was easy, but what it will take to get you out – hard work and discipline – will not be as easy. Remember, “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). This leads right into the next warning from Solomon.
Laziness is Solomon’s next topic in Proverbs 6 and will hurt a godly man in many ways. Solomon gives the illustration of how the ant prepares and works hard. We are told to “consider its ways and be wise”. No one tells it to go out and get provisions as, “It has no commander, overseer, or ruler” (v. 7). It takes responsibility on its own to gather and store up what it needs (v. 8). Twice, Solomon calls out the lazy by calling them “sluggards” (vv. 6, 9). According to verse 10, a lazy man sleeps and plays too much and does not put their hands to work. The result is poverty and scarcity “come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man” (v. 11). For the lazy man, it may seem like lack “sneaks up” on them and they are not sure how it happened, but in reality, it is because they have not been hard working and preparing for themselves and their family all along. We are commanded by scripture to take care of our families (1 Timothy 5:8).
Solomon also calls wicked character in verses 12-19. A Proverbs 6 man is not a troublemaker, villain, potty mouth, deceiver, does not plot evil, or stir up conflict (vv. 12-14). Those who do are quick to discover that “disaster will overtake them in an instant and they will be destroyed without remedy” (v. 16). Proverbs 6 men know what character the Lord hates and detests: haughty eyes, lying, hands shedding innocent blood, heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, and stirring up conflict (v. 18-19). A Proverbs 6 man has character in their eyes, hands, heart, feet and mind! Godly character is shown in thought, words, actions, and every part of a man’s life!
Lastly, Solomon addresses lust in the man’s life once again (see Proverbs 5 and 7 as well). Pointing back to a mother and father’s wise instructions, he reminds us to hold them close in our heart, keeping them in front of us (v. 21). Wisdom from the Lord guides, watches over, corrects, instructs, and speaks life to us (v. 22-23). From this foundation of wise instruction and boundaries, we must stay away from lust and sexual sin. You cannot play around with lust as you will get burned (vv. 27-28)! He urges men to stay away from another man’s wife in this section. Godly men do not talk to women that are not their wife as though they are their wife! That means flirting, intimate details, and even too close of friendship especially where there is one-on-one time should always be avoided. Sexual sin and lust of any form will destroy, bring disgrace, loss, shame, and harm.