God’s Financial Principal – Proverbs 27:13

Proverbs 27:13 "Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman."

This verse is identical to Proverbs 20:16. A paraphrase of the verse would be, "Exact severely from the one that carelessly cosigns for a stranger, and take a pledge of him who is surety for an adulterous." This Proverb communicates the same point in two different ways to drive a truth home. This concept must be very important because God gave it twice and each time He told us He said it twice.

What does God want us to take away from this proverb? Be wise to whom you loan your money and obtain sufficient collateral to hedge against potential loss. A person being surety for a high risk individual must have something of high value taken from them. A stranger and an immoral person are high risk individuals compared to a friend or a morally upright person.

I find it interesting that Solomon says that a friend cosigning for a friend is safer for the person making the loan. In Proverbs 6, Solomon commands his son to never cosign for friends and to get out of cosigning relationships with friends as quickly as possible. As God’s chosen people, Israel was prohibited from loaning money and charging interest to each other. However, they were allowed to charge interest on debt to foreigners (Exodus 22:25, Deut. 23:19, Lev. 25:35-37). Being the one loaning instead of borrowing was a sign of God’s blessing on Israel’s obedience. They would be the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13-14). If Israel as a nation disobeyed God, part of the curse was they would be the nation borrowing rather than loaning.

Now how do we apply this practically? We see God’s desire for us to think wisely about our business decisions. He does want us to be successful, but we need to follow His principles. Whether we are dealing with the dough or just living life, we need to think before we act. Do you act rashly? Do you make well thought out decisions based on what you believe God wants you to do? Are you trusting the Lord to direct through your finances?

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