Proverbs 6 is all about obligations; the ones we have and the ones we don’t. Watch and see, but you’re under no obligation.
Verses 1-5 – Obligations to others. Solomon tells his children to think long and hard before signing your name to something. This applies to co-signers, hand shakers and promise makers. It’s all serious stuff! The reason? Because if it’s you on the line, then your “buddy” might just cut bait and run! That’s never happened before, has it?
Verses 6-11 – God understands the necessity of rest, but He also understands our obligation to work. Not only does Exodus 20:9 speak to this, but so does 2 Thessalonians 3:8-13. Solomon isn’t trying to take a stick to those who aren’t capable of working. He’s lighting a fire under those who can, but won’t!
Verses 12-19 – Here we have a person’s obligation to God. The wicked man and the wickedness of man go hand in hand. Verse 15 reminds us that we can’t out plan the One who sees all plans. Backroom deals, secret alliances, lies, cheating and back stabbing are fruitless in the eyes of God. Verses 16-19 are a very popular section of Proverbs for a very good reason – they preach as powerfully today as the day they were written. Pride, lying, murder, wicked hearts, evil intentions, trouble makers – none of that still happens…right? From head to toe, mankind has an obligation to God; one that He’s not soon to forget.
Verses 20-29 – Obligation to purity is the name of the game here. Play with fire, and we will get burned. Not only is this advice from a father, but also from a mother (vs. 20-21). The tools of the “trade” haven’t changed for an adulterer/adulteress, and neither has the result. They never build anything; they just tear down! Solomon guarantees that the eye is bigger than the belly, and the cost is higher than advertised. It destroys the soul (vs. 32). It destroys reputations (vs. 33). It can literally destroy a life (vs. 34). If we allow our sexual appetite to take us to someone else’s table, then mercy won’t be an easy helping to find.
Obligation is an interesting, powerful, heavy and even dangerous word.