There are several attacks often laid against churches:

1. The church is all judgment.

2. The church is full of hypocrites.

3. The church only wants money.

While it can be said that this is true at some points and times, it is to be taken on a case by case basis. For example, a church that is teaching as it should, it will have a teaching on judgment, but will then offer a teaching on hope, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Second, if someone uses hypocricsy as the reason for not going to church, they themselves will be hypocrites if they engage in business, buy any hobbie products, go to any store that does not absolutely agree 100% with everything they believe. They then are hypocrites because they are supporting a company that supports that they don’t believe in. Lastly, money is absolutely a major topic of the Bible. It must be handled correctly but a church must focus on the Scripture as a whole and not just on one topic. It is on this topic that we are delving with in Proverbs 6:1-5. Today, we are going to focus on just Proverbs 6:1-2.

The discussion deals with the giving of surety. We would know this today as a co-signer. We have ran across this when we are looking at our children getting their first cars, cell phones, etc. What it means is the company has concern about the applicant for a loan being able to repay. In that event, the co-signor is on the hook. Therefore, since the Bible talks a great deal of money, let us tackle this topic of being on the hook for others.

Notice what it says in Proverbs 6:1, even a friend lends to issues. Those who guarantee money for others, including friends, are, for the friend, being a surety, and for others being a pledge. Throughout Scripture, we do find these two concepts.

For being a surety, we find such concepts as being the promiser for other people (Genesis 43:9; 44:32), mortgaged (Nehemiah 5:3), a pledge (2 Kings 18:23; Job 17:3; Isaiah 36:8; Jeremiah 30:21), Surety (Psalm 119:122; Proverbs 6:1; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26), Share (Proverbs 14:10), an associate (Proverbs 20:19; 24:21; 27:13), and a few other words. According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the author says,

[this is a] stock-in-trade parallel for arab I, in the sense, ‘to confirm a contract, bargain

Those who become this surety becomes, in a very real sense, responsible for the contract to be completed. If your friend “fails” to pay or forgets, it is the one who gives surety that will be hit. Their credit will be hit, their account will be hit. In other words, those who make this promise are putting themselves into the place where they themselves are getting the loan or buying the item. The difference is they are not receiving the item.

Then we look and those who take in the pledge of a stranger. This word is fascinating. It has the idea of striking or clapping of hands. Then it also has the idea of striking or pledging oneself. Do we not see the picture of the shaking of a hand? It used to be said that a handshake was enforceable. How that has fallen.

In our Brethren History, it was reported the local businesses never enforced or required any surety or paper to bind a Brethren to repay. It was said that a Brethren’s Word was his bond. Could we imagine going into a bank, store, dealership, home and buy it with our word and a handshake? Last time I bought a car I had to fill out several papers just to take possession.

This is the first time we have come across this word in Proverbs, but not the last time it will be used. We find it next in Proverbs 11:15 but we will handle that when we get to it. What is the Bible’s response to becoming a pledge? We find this in Proverbs 22:26-27. From here, it says do not do this because if you do not have the resources to pay, you will lose even your bed! Danger? Yes.

Proverbs 6:2 shows us. They are snared and taken. Even for a friend? Yes. It is amazing how money affects people. There have been families ripped apart because of inheritance. Those who once said they were closed never talk to each other because of money. Yes, even in friendships that “will never fail” when it comes to money, how fast it deteriorates!

If you like watching old T.V. shows, one of the ones you will find that represents this is the “I Love Lucy” show. How many times do we see the four of them ending their friendship because of money. Yes, while this is fictitious, the concept is real. Even in the Bible, money has divided families – Luke 12:13. Therefore, when we look at covering for friends, money can be and often is, a great divider.

What does the Scripture say? Proverbs 18:7. Look again at Proverbs 6:2. First is the fact that there is a snare that we are caught by our own mouths. This word “snare” is shown eight times:

1. Being snared by false idols – Deuteronomy 7:25

2. The bird escapes a snare – Psalm 124:7

3. Snares as used by hunters – Psalm 141:9; Isaiah 8:15; 28:13

4. Being snared like an animal – Ecclesiasties 9:12; Jeremiah 50:24

Therefore, being a pledge for someone else who is a stranger, or a surety for a friend only traps and ensnares ourselves! That with our words and mouth, we are now in bondage. Our mouths have led us astray. Perhaps this is why our yes should be yes and no no (Matthew 5:37).

Often our own words trap us. The words of Proverbs 11:15 is vital here. This matter of our words and mouth are important. When it comes to money, even more so. How many have said,

You promised me ____________________.


You said you would buy_______________________.

If you do not believe me, then I would encourage watching a few episodes of Judge Judy. How many deal with money, debt, and failure to pay what was “promised”. Well, words are dangerous if used foolishly. Again, your word is your bond. Failure to fulfill your word is a failure to uphold your own character.

I have attempted to teach my children that if you make a deal, or you make a promise, even if later you decide you did not want, need, or over spoke, you must still follow through with your promise and statement. It is much better to be out than be thought less of. A good name (Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1)? How we as Christians should desire to have our word be so sure that there would be no need for any papers or contract. I do not believe this will happen, but we should live our lives exactly as though it is reality. Our word really is our bond, especially when it comes to money.

All in, what we see is the position we put ourselves the moment we make a promise to cover for someone else. It is a trap. Starting in Proverbs 6:3-5, we are going to find out what the solution is to this problem.

But my encouragement, and this goes to everyone, do not over stretch yourself. Do not go into debt as much as you can help it. Parents, your children do not need to have guarantees on loans. Kids, if you cannot get the loan, work harder and save. Many a financial ruin happens by well meaning intentions.

That is hard! The thought may be,

My child needs xyz in order to make it!

No they do not, as long as it is not a necessity like food or shelter. I have seen many parents spend $1K or more on a cell phone for a child. Really? That is not a necessity.

How about,

They will get angry at me and be mean

Who is the parent and leader? 

By giving to them, they do not learn other valuable lessons that are sadly missing today. There is nothing wrong with good, old fashioned, hard work. If they want, work out something where you will HELP them, but make them learn the value of work and money, and make them work for what they “want”. You will be surprised how much more they appreciate what they get when they had to beat themselves up outside all day. You may also find they are not so quick as to spending money.

Children, do not get angry when you do not get that help. What this tells you is that you must work harder. There is a need for young people who are willing to work hard and to learn how to save. Use this as an opportunity to learn how to budget. A great website is Crown Financial.

In all things, no matter what, honor God first with our finances. For remember that all evil finds its root in the love of money – 1 Timothy 6:10. Seek Him first, and He will provide for your NEEDS (not necessarily wants).