Proverbs 22:26-29
Prov 22:26 (KJB)
Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
Sureties - Pledge
This verse may have a little continuation from the previous verse. If anyone forms a friendship with a person of perverse ways, then it would not be long before a person would get themselves into a situation where one of their “new” friends might want to strike a deal with them. The verse is stating that you must never strike hands or accept a deal which may have many insecure elements attached. You may wind up losing everything you invested. The second part of this verse warns against becoming a pledge or surety from somebody else’s debts. This too might be one of the “new” friends and if you know little or nothing about them, you could wind up paying all his debts and losing all your money. This is why it is very important to know as much about a person as you can. In fact, it is better not to be surety for anyone, even if it someone you know for a long time because they might presume upon that friendship and rely on the belief that if they are unable to pay off their debt, then because you are their friend, you will not mind being stuck with the bill.
Prov 22:27 (KJB)
If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
Here is the consequence of being surety for someone. What if you state that you will be surety and you really do not have the funds to pay off the debt if he defaults. The reality is that the one who is owed the money has the right to size your property and sell it to reclaim his loan. This is why even becoming surety for friends or family is dangerous because it may cause you to lose everything you have worked for plus your credit rating will be ruined because of someone else’s fault.
Prov 22:28 (KJB)
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
In ancient Israel, according to the law, landmarks were set on the boundaries of land. If one had an estate, a farm, grazing lands, or whatever, the limits were marked off by a landmark. Under the Law it was forbidden to remove any of the landmarks because if one moved the landmark, it would mean that someone was illegally increasing the size of their estate. (Deu 19:14 KJV) Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it. According to Deuteronomy 19:14, the land that the Lord gave to the Israelites were considered to be an inheritance which was to be passed down from generation to generation. (Lev 25:23 KJV) The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. The land was not to be sold, for the Lord stated that the land was His and He considered that the Israelites were strangers and sojourners, which means they did not own the land, the Lord did, and they were just stewards of that land which was to be passed down to future generations. If anyone had removed their neighbor’s landmark, they were under a curse. (Deu 27:17 KJV) Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen. The moving of the landmarks to enlarge the estate of another would fall under the jurisdiction of the Eighth Commandment. (Exo 20:15 KJV) Thou shalt not steal. In the book of Job, the oldest book in the Bible, this activity was going on already, about 600 years before the Law was written. (Job 24:2 KJV) Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof. So when God inscribed the law, since He owned the land, and gave parcels of it out as stewardships, He wanted that practice of land stealing to stop. In Hosea, he labels the princes of Judah, the leaders, as corrupt as those who remove the old landmarks. (Hosea 5:10 KJV) The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. He was comparing them to land thieves and that was one of the indictments against the leaders of Judah which caused it to go into captivity.
This verse also has a great spiritual meaning beyond the land. The ancient landmarks which are set for us are found in the Scriptures. In other words, the unadulterated Word of God is our ancient landmark. Now let us ask the question about those spiritual landmarks. What is happening to them today? They are being removed little by little resulting in the blessings of God being withheld. This is why the church is in such disarray and is so weak, it is near death. This is because Pastors have removed the ancient landmarks which God has set in the Scriptures for our benefit. What are some of the landmarks being removed? Here are just a few and others will be easily seen at your local assembly.
1) Marriage after Divorce - (Mark 10:11-12 KJV) And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. {12} And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. There are many adulterous Christians in churches with the blessings of the leadership.
2) Unqualified Elders - (Titus 1:5-6 KJV) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: {6} If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. In many churches there are women elders. How can they be the husband of one wife? Many single men are voted in as elders, where are their wives?
3) Counterfeit Bible versions - (Psa 119:89 KJV) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. How many Pastors and Christians have mounted massive campaigns to remove the King James Bible from their churches and replace them with the Gnostic versions? As soon as a church replaces the true word of God with a counterfeit, in comes the flood of false teachings, tongues, rock and roll worship bands, and the suits are shed in favor of dungarees and t-shirts. In regard to these kind of churches, if you had a bar in the back, what would be the difference between them and a night club?
4) Endorsement of Alcohol - (Prov 31:4 KJV) It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: The Bible refers to believers as both kings and princes. Many in the churches believe it is permissible because they claim that Jesus drank wine. Yeah, He drank wine and He also smoked cigarettes and cigars. No regenerated Christian should ever be drinking alcohol. How do you have a beer in one hand and a bible in the other? The ancient landmark against mind altering drink has been removed by the modern church. I know a Pastor who believes that Christian liberty consists of Highballs and beer. For those who do not know, a Highball is a whiskey drink with water or a carbonated beverage. How effective would your witness be after you had a few highballs and a six pack of beer. (1 Pet 3:15 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15 states that you need to be ready to give an answer. If you are high on liquor, how is that helping you to be ready.
These are just four of the ancient landmarks that have been removed and the church has removed many more and this is why the blessing of God is off many churches. They can play their worship music as loud as they want but if they have removed any landmark, the blessing of God has gone.
Prov 22:29 (KJB)
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Diligent - Skilled or quick
He shall stand - Take his position
Mean - Obscure or insignificant
Here is a verse which is an encouragement to those who are diligent or skilled in whatever vocation they are called to. It does not matter whether the person is a slave and has many good talents or if he is a skilled worker. If that person continues to progress in their field, they will exceed those who do not desire to get ahead. We have all worked with people who do nothing to progress in their field and then there are others who desire to excel in their field and study it well. Eventually, those people who choose to excel, will begin to make their mark in their chosen field. Those who refuse to progress in their field will be left behind and the one who does excel will no longer be among them. They will be considered the insignificant ones because of their attitude of just going with the flow and never trying to improve. The one who excels in their field will eventually get noticed and will be rewarded for their hard work, which means they will stand with management or a place in government. This is why when we are called to a vocation, it behooves us to be the best we can by learning all we can and by doing all we can. This way we will progress and the more a Christian makes, the more they can give to missions. It is also a good testimony for the Lord when a Christian progresses in their vocation because others see it. There are too many Christians in business who just go with the flow and have a bad testimony making it hard for other Christians to get hired.
There is also a great spiritual lesson to be learned in this verse. (Rev 1:6 KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. The Bible refers to the believers as kings in Revelation 1:6. If we are diligent in our studies of the Scriptures, eventually we will gain enough biblical knowledge that we may progress to that of a teacher, whether in Sunday School or elsewhere. The kings we stand before will be other believers whom we will edify with bible studies. The obscure people will be those who refuse to study their Bibles and as a result, they will remain stagnant and will not grow. Therefore, they will not have a ministry which will affect the lives of other believers by helping them to grow simply because they themselves have refused to grow. As we continue to progress within the ministry God gives us, He begins to utilize us more in Kingdom work. In that manner we can also say we are standing before the King of the Universe Himself. This is why it is so important for us to grow in the faith and to refuse the satanic inertia which pervades so much of Christianity. It is really sad that Muslims know their Koran, Mormons know the Book of Mormon, and Christians choose to remain spiritually illiterate. No wonder we have become the weakest segment of society. We are sorry testimonies to the One that put the stars in space and opened the Red Sea. Christianity has the real power but we have chosen to pull out the plug and sit in darkness.