My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
It is common practice in the world of banking that when an individual or institution does not meet the minimum criteria required to be worthy of a loan, it is accepted that other person or institution with better credentials act as guarantor for the first one. This happens quite often during the early years of marriage, when parents sometimes must act as guarantors for their children because they still lack the necessary credit merits to receive a loan from a financial institution. One thing is to come out in support of a close relative and another is to commit to pay a debt of a third-party that fails in its obligations. The word of God is very clear about it. He who does this immediately becomes a victim trapped by the snares of the hunter. Maybe you decided to be a guarantor out of a good heart but be aware that we have a duty to God and to our family of wisely managing our family financial resources with which God has blessed us. Good credit is a powerful financial resource and to use it without a sound understanding of the consequences is simply poor financial stewardship.
Avoid, therefore, to commit yourself to respond for the debts that others cannot pay and if by chance you find yourself in that situation do everything necessary to break that foolish commitment because to do otherwise will lead you to ruin and financial bondage. Do not let time pass or it will be harder for you to get out of the problem. Act diligently and immediately get rid of that unnecessary responsibility. Pay attention to the advice that the word of God gives. You’ll be wiser and it will keep you out of trouble. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, free, God, hand, mouth, neighbor, pledge, security, snare, stranger, trap
Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
One of the most common entertainments of the wicked is to mislead the unwary and foolish from the straight path and have them imitate their wrongdoing. They use all kinds of tricks and traps to induce the naive to do the bad things they’ve been doing and for which they feel proud. Of course they use all kinds of lies and when they succeed in their mission to divert the unwary from the right path, instead of celebrating they make fun of him and make a mockery by accusing him of stupid. The only way they can achieve their purpose is through trickery and that is why we must never go distracted.
In any case, these wicked fellows shall fall into the traps that they have tended at the foot of the inexperienced to take them down. Their lies and tricks will be turned against them in the same way that a boomerang returns to the hands of the one who threw it. From this retribution they will not be able to escape because it is a principle established by God to punish the wicked who manage to confound the unwary. Let us always be alert to the wiles of the enemy. He will always be looking for our downfall and will take advantage of any unguarded moment to attack us with his arsenal of tricks and pranks. I we are aware of his traps we will not be snared by them. Our heavenly Father will give us the discernment and wisdom needed to stay in the center of the right track. To God alone be the glory!
let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
Many people consider that stealing and killing are the only serious sins. Every other sin is, according to them, something to which God gives little importance. When reminded that we are all sinners and need Jesus Christ, they typically respond, “I’ve never done anything wrong.” Of course, they mean they have never killed anyone or have never robbed a bank. These people would be horrified if someone comes to propose to them to kill somebody . They would also be shocked if someone invites them to participate in a bank robbery. Any other opportunity to do something wrong would not be considered as something reprehensible and they would be willing to participate without worrying much about what God thinks about it. That is why we are so naive when we accept the invitations from the world to do something that does not please God. These invitations are usually adorned and sweetened with false promises of fun, entertainment, satisfaction, fame, power, sex appeal, happiness, wealth, success and things like that. When people receive these invitations they seldom stop to consider whether what they are about to do pleases God or not. That is why the world is in the state it is.
The only voice to which we must pay attention and obedience is the voice of our shepherd and master, Jesus Christ. Like sheep of the flock that the good shepherd grazes and for which he has given his life, when he goes on ahead of us, we follow him because we recognize his voice. The world does not want us to follow our shepherd but to be attacked by the wolf and to be scattered. The only way to be safe is by keeping ourselves within the herd, attentive to the voice of our shepherd. If we get distracted by listening to the false promises of the world we are in grave danger of going astray. Let us keep ourselves, then, receiving guidance from our teacher every morning as we come to him through reading his word and prayer. If we follow his daily instructions we shall be able to discern the deceptions and traps that the world tends to our feet to make us stumble and fall. Only with the help of Jesus Christ we can do it. To God alone be the glory!
May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
There are a lot of things the wicked use to boast of being superior to the children of God. According to them these things are all signs of the success they have achieved on their own without the help of God. They rely on their wealth, strength, health, physical condition, knowledge, ability to do business, their vain reasoning, their ability to deceive others and many other things like these that they believe are the key to their success. These skills are used indiscriminately and mercilessly against the humble and the needy to exploit and abuse them. Therefore it seems that justice can hardly be found.
Sooner or later all these evil men will be held accountable for their actions and then there will be gnashing of teeth. The desperation and urgency of the oppressed is what makes seeing that justice is a long time coming. There may be some delay ─in appearance─ but it is also true that inevitably justice will arrive to give the reward to those who have acted unfairly for personal profit at the expense of the weak. We must take refuge under the protection of God. The world with its injustices will continue until the Lord gives the order to stop everything and start conducting the trial. Meanwhile, we move on with the living hope of that moment when all our troubles will disappear, never to return. Then, in his glorious presence we shall never remember the injustices we suffered because at that time they will not be important anymore. To God alone be the glory!
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Greed is the result of man yielding to the temptations that the world offers. It is a deep sense of dissatisfaction with what God has given us. Because of our pride we feel we deserve more than we have received. In fact, we think we deserve to have everything our hearts desire without obstacles or limit. We complaint and murmur because we think God has let us down and we’re getting less than we deserve. Of course, this position put us face to face with God, which is something impossible to achieve as well as being a highly disrespectful attitude because it ignores the obedience and respect that we must show him because of his majesty and authority. Greed can never be satisfied. When we achieve something, that something we have achieved immediately becomes unattractive and it makes us desire even more. Wise King Solomon put it this way: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.This too is meaningless.” God’s law is also very clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever the circumstances were: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By the way, this last verse is taken out of context by many but that’s a topic for another day. The important thing here is that the control and dominion over greed is something that is learned. It is God’s job, through his Holy Spirit to transform our lives and one aspect that he changes is precisely that of our natural greed. So, let us not act stubbornly, but let us learn the lesson God teaches us to live happy with whatever we have. Let us learn to rely on him and only him. To God alone be the glory!