- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 27:13
"Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; and for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge"
This proverb is the linking of two bad decisions so that men can see how really bad adultery is.
In the Old Testament law when you had a debt that you could not pay, you were required to give everything you owned, down to your cloak. So having your cloak taken from you became a symbol for having everything taken from you.
The cloak was to be returned every evening so that you had something to cover you. Jesus refers to this idea when He says, If someone sues you and asks for your coat, give him your cloak also. The last piece of clothing of any value was your cloak.
Solomon was reminding the people of his day that if you make a bad decision in business, you can be reduced to utter poverty with every piece of clothing taken from you except for what you are wearing. So don't make a bad business decision. Don't agree to cover the debts of others. Don't yoke yourself to someone else whose business practices you don't understand or have some control over.
While Solomon is reminding people of the penalty of debt, he is actually trying to help them see the far greater penalty that comes from something that seems more common: adultery. Many men do not see adultery as a bad business decision. They see it as a side thing, as an inconsequential thing. Solomon wants to jar them awake by setting the typical consequences of sexual indiscretion in a business equation. So he says that if you make a really bad business decision, they will take everything down to your clothes; but if you make a bad marital decision, someone may take you out over the jealousy issue. Grab a hold of the significant consequences of marital infidelity is what Solomon is driving at. It is a big deal. It may seem like just a little romp in the hay, but its consequences reverberate through your life for years.
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