Pathways Through Proverbs
March 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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In today's verse Solomon shows two sides of the same coin, both of which are an abomination to the Lord. We often tend to focus on the second part: the condemnation of the just. This is probably done because we generally consider ourselves to be just, and it soothes us to know that someday the Lord is going to deal with those who have ridiculed and oppressed us with their words and deeds.
- 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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I would like to concentrate on the first part of the verse today. Justifying the wicked means that someone is declaring that the ungodly deeds that have been done are really not wrong after all. It is obvious that this takes place in our society today. For example, moral sins such as promiscuity and homosexuality are not considered to be transgressions by the majority of the people living around us. Most of us who are believers would never agree with this, and we take a strong stand against such activities. However, in my years of ministry I have seen many Christians who do justify the wicked in other, less obvious, areas. I have listened to parents as they made excuses as to why their children were not in subjection to them nor to any other authority in their lives. I have listened to husbands attempt to defend their pathetic, unloving treatment of their wives. I have listened to church members rationalize their lack of faithfulness, evangelism, giving, and service. What do all of these scenarios have in common? They show Christians who are attempting to justify wicked behavior.
It is bad enough to be sinful. It is compounded when we attempt to defend the action with foolish excuses. Do right in the first place, and you will never have to devise an alibi to justify your actions.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery