Pathways Through Proverbs
January 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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Most of us are familiar with the process by which precious metals are refined. They are subjected to intense heat and elevated to a high temperature which causes the impurities in them to rise to the surface. These impurities are then removed from the metal, and what is left is a pure material. It is this procedure that Solomon uses to describe the way the Lord examines His people.
- Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
- A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
- The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
- A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
- Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
- Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
- Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
- A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
- He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
- An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
- Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
- Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
- The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
- He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
- Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
- A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
- A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
- He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
- He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
- He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
- Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
- A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
- Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
- He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
- Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
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First of all, notice that the part of man that God tries is the heart. We tend to be very conscious of our actions, and we want to look right before our fellow Christians. However, this passage of Scripture does not say that the Lord tries our deeds; it states that He tries our hearts. God is very interested in what our motivations are. He is concerned not just about what we do, but the attitude with which we do it. It is often easy to fool others by performing appropriate endeavors, but the Lord knows what we really are, for "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he," (Prov. 23:7).
Also, it must be noted that the Lord tries the hearts of men by turning up the heat in their lives. Anyone can be a good Christian when life is going well, the bills are paid, and everyone is healthy. However, it is when problems arise that a man's true character is revealed. When life gets difficult we must cast ourselves upon the Lord. We need to repent of our sins and confess them before God. This will remove the dross that our hearts have accumulated, and purify our hearts for a closer relationship to the Lord.
God desires for His children to be pure in their hearts. He will put us through the furnace of trials, if necessary, in order to accomplish it. Rather than get bitter, let's choose to allow our impurities to be removed. It is for our own good.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery