Pathways Through Proverbs
February 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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In this verse we see two attitudes that the Lord finds to be sinful. First of all Solomon condemns any man who would make fun of those who are hurting financially. This is important to remember, particularly in our American society. Because of the way that our government tax system operates, we often see money being taken away from the more productive members of society and given to the poor. This "legalized larceny" can certainly be aggravating, particularly if you are the one being taxed to death. However, this does not entitle you to mock the poor. Undoubtedly some are poor because of foolish decisions or a lack of motivation. However, many are poor for reasons beyond their control. Are they to be ridiculed for this? Solomon states that when we mock the poor we reproach God Himself. The poor are to be voluntarily assisted by the prosperous, not jeered. If a man does not have all the material benefits that we posses, this does not allow us to make him a laughingstock. Love forbids it, and so does the Lord.
- 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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The second attitude is similar to the first. However, instead of finding humor in another's poverty, this person rejoices when evil befalls someone else. Once again I believe we have a scenario that hits close to home. How often have fundamental Baptists crowed with delight when a wayward brother in Christ has fallen into judgment. We say things like "I knew he wasn't any good. It's about time he was taught a lesson." If someone has hurt us, and tragedy comes his way, we secretly smile, pleased that he has gotten his just rewards. Perhaps the other person has never done anything wrong to us at all; we are simply jealous of him, so his difficulties please us. The Bible says that anyone who thinks this way will receive punishment from the Lord.
A believer is to love, and Biblical love will never allow us to mock the less fortunate nor rejoice in the pains of others.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery