Pathways Through Proverbs
April 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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Verses four and five of Proverbs 26 have often been cited by skeptics as proof that the Bible is not inspired. These unbelievers claim that the two verses contradict each other. In fact, there was a time when the decision to include the entire book of Proverbs into the Hebrew Canon of Scripture was questioned because of this conflict. However, as we shall see over the next two months, these two verses do not oppose each other, but instead they compliment each other.
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When a foolish man spouts his foolishness, there are two ways that he can be responded to. He can be answered, or he can be ignored. There is a time and place for each response, and in today's verse Solomon explains the appropriateness of choosing not to answer. If a man is speaking in a foolish way, then the wise man must be careful not to respond in kind. Often, in an attempt to reason with a fool, the believer will find that he is lowering himself to the fool's level. He begins using the fool's language and the fool's reasoning. Perhaps he starts arguing or raising his voice in such a way that those who pass by will think that they are both fools. This will only serve to hinder the correct message.
It seems also, in this scenario, that the fool has no interest in learning the truth. It is one thing to enter into a discussion with someone who is wrong, but willing to listen, which seems to be the case in verse 5. However, when the fool is stubbornly clinging to his ridiculous beliefs and making a mockery not only of the Truth, but also of common sense, then it is time for the wise man to shake the dust off his feet and move on.
Use wisdom when dealing with the foolish, so that you do not harm the cause of Christ in your attempt to promote it.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery