Pathways Through Proverbs
August 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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Today's proverb deals with the way in which a man responds to the faults of another. When we find out that someone has done something wrong, we have two options: we can either keep quiet about it or we can broadcast it to others.
- 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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Solomon opens by stating that when a man covers a transgression he is seeking love. There are two things that must be noted here. First of all, this man is not allowing sin to go on unchecked. His covering of sin does not mean he allows the transgressor to get away with something, but rather it means that he does not gossip about the iniquity to those who have no need to know about it. Second, he is not simply seeking the love of the transgressor, but he is attempting to live in a loving fashion. He is not selfishly motivated; he is concerned about the sinner and how others will treat him as he deals with his sin.
Solomon concludes the verse by saying that when a man repeats the gossip to someone else, he can drive a wedge even between best friends. The illustration is of three men: two of whom are close companions. One of the friends says or does something that he should not. The third man runs and tells it to the other friend, who has no business knowing the information. The second friend gets upset with the first friend, and their relationship sours. Perhaps the first friend was repentant, but it no longer matters because the damage to the friendship has been done.
How would you like it if all your faults were broadcast to all your friends? If you wouldn't want it to happen to you, then choose to be loving yourself, and keep matters of sin between yourself and the one who has gone astray.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery