Pathways Through Proverbs
July 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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I have never tried it, but it seems to me that it would not be a pleasant experience to grab a dog by the ears. I'm sure that the dog wouldn't like it, and I am also sure that he would do everything that he could to bite me, so the end result would be bad for both of us.
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Solomon uses this as an illustration of what occurs when someone gets involved in a conflict that does not concern him directly. According to the verse, the issue does not belong to this man; he is neither the offender nor the offended party. In fact, since he is simply passing by, he probably doesn't know all the facts behind the disagreement. What he apparently does is make a judgment call based upon ignorance, and jumps into the fray to render his opinions. This happens regularly in life, and often in church. People hear about a problem that exists between two people, and they immediately feel the liberty to speak to the subject even though they really know nothing about it. People will take sides without having heard both sides of the issue. Churches have been blown apart, not by a conflict between two members, but by the fallout when half of the church sides with one party and half with the other. The conclusion of the matter is that the original situation is not helped, and the meddler, and probably others, get hurt as well.
Here is the principle: stay out of other people's conflicts. Don't speak out if you don't have the facts. Don't make rash choices as to who is right or wrong. Take care of your own problems, and pray for those who have problems of their own. Your interference in the lives of others will only come back to bite you.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery