Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:25
"It is a trap for a man to say rashly, 'It is holy!' And after
the vows to make inquiry"
There are times when our desire to do or have a particular thing will cause us to not do a thorough investigation. It is this tendency to be led by our impulses and desires that Solomon is addressing in this proverb. Be very careful about approving something when you know you want to do it. You should put the brakes on and evaluate much more thoroughly when you know that you want to do it. This is one of the skills of a wise person. The ability to slow down internal and external approvals until something has been thoroughly checked out.
This is the Hebrew word moques which means snare, trap. You get lured into something and then the trap closes. You are caught, entailed in something that is very difficult from which to extricate yourself. It would have been much better if you had an automatic response, which slowed you down when you emotionally desired the thing or person you were deciding about.
This is the Hebrew word laa which means to talk wildly or rashly; to speak before you really have thought through what you are going to say. Many of us have a tendency to put our mouth in gear before we really know what we are doing. Solomon is saying to stop this guessing about the true content, results, or inner workings of something or a person until you have actually checked them out.
This is the Hebrew word qodesh which means holy, separate, pure, sacred, righteous. The idea here is an approval or positive evaluation of a thing or person before you have really done a thorough search.
In a Hebrew context it is a big deal to say that something is holy; that it is separated to God and pure. It is saying that God approves and God has or is willing to fully use or embrace the thing. Too often the church has approved a person or a program that is a scam or devious because people want to be accepting or they haven't done their homework.
This is the Hebrew word neder which means vow, consecrating. Solomon is saying it is too late to start investigating after the vows and blessings. This is most likely Hebrew hyperbole in that he is not just speaking about formal consecration ceremonies but all things in which you approve of it and then look into it. When you approve something, it should be because you have thoroughly evaluated it and not just because you like it.
This is the Hebrew word baqar which means seek, inquire. The idea is that the thorough investigation has not taken place until after you have approved the project, the person, the activity. This is not the way to go about it.
Maybe today or this week you will be presented with a new program, a new person, or a new activity and your tendency will be to talk well of it or approve its use without thoroughly checking it out mainly because you like its initial promise or orientation. Don't do that; check it out first. Be a little bit more hesitant and make sure that it is really all it is cracked up to be before you go rushing in.