Pathways Through Proverbs
January 18, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 18
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Following Scripture Verses
- Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
- A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
- When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
- The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
- It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
- A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
- A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
- The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
- He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
- The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
- The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
- Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
- He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
- The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
- The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
- A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
- He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
- The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
- A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
- A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
- Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
- The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
- A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
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Today's verse contains a simple truth, yet one which many of us have ignored at various times in our lives. The principle is this: don't make statements or decisions about a situation until you have all the necessary information.
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I know that this is applicable to me. There have been times in my life when I saw or heard something and drew a conclusion that later turned out to be false. Probably you have done the same. As parents sometimes we "shoot first and ask questions later" when dealing with our children. Have you ever gone back to your child and had to ask forgiveness because you punished them for something that did not deserve punishment? Perhaps you would not have done that if you had taken the time to listen to your child's explanation in the first place. Are we not often quick to make assumptions about what a brother in Christ may be doing, or to question the motivations behind someone else's actions? Of course we are! Have you ever said something like this: "If I had only known..."? It is these types of activities that Solomon is warning against. What should the practice of the believer be? Take time to ask questions and gather data before you speak out.
Notice the end result of this impetuousness. In addition to potentially hurting an innocent individual, Solomon emphasizes here that we are behaving like fools and are bringing shame upon ourselves. What an embarrassment it is to have to go to someone and admit that we foolishly dealt with a matter before understanding it, particularly if we harmed the other person in the process. How shameful to throw your support behind some movement that turns out to be corrupt or heretical. How sad to look like a fool and discredit yourself and your Lord.
Make sure you know what you are talking about before you start talking.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery