Pathways Through Proverbs
November 25, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 25
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Following Scripture Verses
- These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
- It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
- The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
- Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
- Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
- Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
- For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
- Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
- Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
- Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
- A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
- As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
- As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
- Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
- By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
- Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
- Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
- A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
- Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
- As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
- If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
- For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
- The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
- It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
- As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
- A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
- It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
- He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
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If the principles of this verse were followed, many church problems would be avoided. There will always be issues which arise between brothers in Christ. Jesus Himself said "for it must needs be that offences come", so we understand that because of man's sinful nature there will be times when trespasses occur. The real problem is not that they occur; it is how they are handled and resolved. Any sin issue that comes our way can be handle Biblically, and if dealt with in God's way it does not need to destroy the church or the individuals involved. However, if it is not resolved Scripturally, the problem will simply grow.
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When confronted with a problem with another brother, most Christians choose one of two courses. Either they ignore the problem and let it fester, or they talk to some other person about it. Solomon deals with both of those choices in this verse. First of all, he states that if a disagreement occurs, you are to go to the offender and begin to resolve the problem. Christ repeated this in His teachings on church discipline in Matthew 18. In verse 15 of the chapter He says,
"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault..."
There are several reasons for this. First, the offender may not even realize that he has done anything. If he isn't informed, how can he make it right? Second, particularly if he is a young Christian, he may not realize that what he did was sinful, and will not be able to grow spiritually unless an "older brother" shows him his error. Third, it is possible that the one who was offended misunderstood what had taken place. Perhaps the "offender" is actually innocent. If he is never confronted, then this important fact will never be revealed and the offended brother will go through life with a mistaken understanding of the situation.
Next, Solomon states that the problem should not be revealed to anyone else. In Matthew 18:15 Christ finishes the quotation above by adding "between thee and him alone." If a problem exists between me and another individual, no one else needs to know about it unless one of us refuses to handle the matter according to the Word of God. If I can be restored to my brother without dragging his name through the mud, then I should do so, both because I love him and because I should not want the name of Christ and His church defamed.
Big problems happen when little problems aren't handled correctly. Do it God's way, and the crisis can be ended.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery