Pathways Through Proverbs
August 27, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 27
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Following Scripture Verses
- Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
- Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
- A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
- Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
- Open rebuke is better than secret love.
- Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
- The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
- As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
- Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
- Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
- My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
- A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
- Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
- He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
- A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
- Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
- Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
- Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
- As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
- Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
- As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so a man to his praise.
- Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
- Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
- For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
- The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
- The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
- And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
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Today's verse speaks of the joy and refreshing that can come from receiving good advice from a good friend. Solomon illustrates this with the pleasantness that one experiences when he smells a sweet perfume or rubs in a soothing ointment. This rejoices his heart, and so does the sweetness of his friend.
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There are several items worth noting in this verse. First of all, we need to understand that what rejoices the man is the sweetness of his friend, not necessarily the counsel. Good advice is not always easy to hear, and because of this we sometimes fail to give appropriate counsel. However, we need to love our friends enough to be willing to share with them what they need to hear. I believe that the advice was given with a sweet spirit, for unpleasant counsel does not have to be delivered with an unpleasant attitude. Thus, when we are called upon for counsel we must give it with a gentle spirit, and when we receive counsel from a friend that is delivered in a loving fashion it should bring joy to our souls.
A second note is that the counsel is "hearty". This is the only place in the Bible where this word is found. In our modern English language the word means "exuberant, enthusiastic, or unrestrained". However, this is not what the King James translators meant. To them the word meant, "from the heart", for the underlying Hebrew word is "nephesh", which is often translated "soul", or "life". A man shows his sweetness to his friend when he gives him advice from his heart. This is not done flippantly, or without adequate thought. It is not done with selfish motives. It is given after a careful examination of the situation, and after prayer and seeking for the mind of Christ. Then, when the Lord has spoken to the heart of the man about what should be done, he can give counsel to his friend.
Good advice comes from a good friend who has a good attitude and is in a good relationship with the Lord.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery