Like a Deer from the Hunter 6 1Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger, 2If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back and now find yourself shivering out in the cold, 3Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess. You’re in that man’s clutches! Go, put on a long face; act desperate. 4Don’t procrastinate— there’s no time to lose. 5Run like a deer from the hunter, fly like a bird from the trapper! A Lesson from the Ant 6You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. 7Nobody has to tell it what to do. 8All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. 9So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? 10A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? 11Just this: You can look forward to a dirt–poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest! Always Cooking Up Something Nasty 12Riffraff and rascals talk out of both sides of their mouths. 13They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet, they cross their fingers behind their backs. 14Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty, always stirring up trouble. 15Catastrophe is just around the corner for them, a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair. Seven Things God Hates 16Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: 17eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, 18a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, 19a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family. Warning on Adultery 20Good friend, follow your father’s good advice; don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings. 21Wrap yourself in them from head to foot; wear them like a scarf around your neck. 22Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you; whenever you rest, they’ll guard you; when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next. 23For sound advice is a beacon, good teaching is a light, moral discipline is a life path. 24They’ll protect you from wanton women, from the seductive talk of some temptress. 25Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty, nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes. 26You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread, but a wanton woman may well eat you alive. 27Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? 28Can you walk barefoot on hot coals and not get blisters? 29It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife: Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses. 30Hunger is no excuse for a thief to steal; 31When he’s caught he has to pay it back, even if he has to put his whole house in hock. 32Adultery is a brainless act, soul–destroying, self–destructive; 33Expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good. 34For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband; wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances. 35Nothing you say or pay will make it all right; neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About