Unwise Obligations (Proverbs #31)

Text: Proverbs 11:15

  • What is surety? A mediator.  An insurer.
    • Judah was surety for Benjamin – Genesis 43:9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
    • Psalm 119:122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
    • Jesus Christ was surety for saved people – Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
    • Surety is someone who takes on the obligation of the debtor.
    • Paul was surety for Onesimus when he told Philemon if he’s done anything wrong, put it on my account.
  • Smart for it means to cause pain.
    • Have you heard the phrase, “That smarts!”?  So this verse is a warning about getting in the middle of something that will cause you unnecessary pain.
    • Jephthah makes an unwise vow


  • We will take the second part of the verse first.
  • Hateth suretiship means the person isn’t looking for insurance or a mediator or cosigner.  The reason is because he is sure, confident.
  • Financially, it means the person has no need of insurance or securities.  They may have sufficient cash, so there is no need to borrow.
  • Sometimes there is overconfidence.
    • No preparation for the future.
    • Ministers can sometimes be overconfident about the future

Carefully Consider Obligations

  • Warning about being over sympathetic
    • A sympathetic soul prone to emotional decisions is going to have trouble with this.  They may see what they perceive is a need and want to be quick to jump to rescue.
    • So in love with the idea of mercy that you don’t see the snare.
    • It is about obligating yourself unwisely.
  • Wise and foolish surety
    • Sometimes taking on the obligation of the debtor is a wise act as in the cases we talked about.  But other times it is foolish.  If you aren’t in a position to pay the debt, then it’s foolish.  If you don’t have it to give, you don’t have it loan.
    • The mortgage crash of 2009-2010 was a result of government policy forcing banks to become surety for people who could never pay back mortgages.  Banks were required to write mortgages for people who could never pay them back.  And the whole thing collapsed like dominoes once the defaults began.  Property values began dropping as defaults on loans increased.  Banks went belly up with their overexposure to debt.  Then the financial companies that bought the bad credit began going out of business.  And the market sort of corrected itself when it shrunk back to a size prior to its overextended credit.
    • Don’t ever obligate yourself for a stranger
      • Avoid getting snared or yoked with an unnecessary yoke
      • Notice the guy trying to help is the guy that ends up in pain.
      • If you don’t have it to give, you don’t have it to loan.
    • Co-signer, financially more responsible than the signer.
      • A lady calls a lawyer because a bank is suing her for a car she cosigned with her boyfriend for.  Lawyer explains that the reason the bank wanted a cosigner for her boyfriend was because he wasn’t reliable.  And they know they aren’t getting any money out of him.  Now that he stopped paying on the loan and they can’t find the car, they are suing her because as the cosigner, she guaranteed the money.
      • If the lender wants a cosigner it is because they don’t trust the signer to pay the bill.  Assume all liability without any benefit
  • Tactic of the devil
    • Get you overextended or compromised so you are entangled with affairs of someone else in an unwise way.
    • He wants to get you tied to a sinking ship.