Pathways Through Proverbs
March 26, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 26
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Following Scripture Verses
- As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
- As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
- A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
- Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
- Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
- He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
- The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
- As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
- As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
- The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
- As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
- Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
- The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
- As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
- The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
- The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
- He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
- As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
- So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
- Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
- As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
- The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
- Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
- He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
- When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
- Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
- Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
- A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
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Solomon is using today's proverb to show the great danger and harm that a gossip can cause. Any one who has every sat by a fireplace or a campfire knows that when all the wood has been consumed the fire dies out because it no longer has the fuel necessary to keep it going. The writer uses this point to illustrate the truth that problems between people would cease if fuel was not constantly being added to that fire.
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This fuel comes from two sources. The first source is the two combatants themselves. They keep digging up old disputes that occurred in years gone by and add that to the fire. In fact, often the people wind up fighting over issues that have no bearing on the original problem that started the argument. The solution to this is to stick to the issue at hand and work towards a resolution of that particular problem. Once it has been resolved, it should never be brought up again.
The second source of fuel is the one that Solomon addresses in this passage. This occurs when an outside party who is not directly involved in the squabble runs back and forth between the two combatants telling stories that stir up strife. These usually take the form of "Do you know what he said about you?" and "Do you know what I saw her doing?". If this meddler would stay out of the way, the problem would be taken care of, but he delights in causing trouble and refuses to be quiet.
Here are some suggestions. Stay out of other people's business. Don't let another's gossip influence your decisions. Work at resolving problems quickly and Scripturally, and then forgive and forget. If we all put these into practice, our relationships with others will be far more blessed.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery