Pathways Through Proverbs
December 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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Today's verse urges us to exercise caution before entering into some form of conflict with another individual. The word "strive" in general simply means "to get into a struggle or fight with". This fight could simply be a disagreement, or it could be a "war of words", or it could even involve legal action, such as a lawsuit. Solomon writes that it would be wise to enter into anything like this slowly. I am sure that the reason for this is to give you time to make sure that you have all the facts, and to give some thought as to what the response of your neighbor will be.
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Solomon warns that anytime you get into an altercation like this, the potential is there that you will be put to shame. If your information is incorrect, and this is revealed, you will look like a fool. If your information is correct, but there was a legitimate reason for your neighbor's actions, you will look like a fool. Perhaps you will even win the debate, but if you look foolish in the court of public opinion, this will bring a shame to you and to your cause. Solomon's admonition here is to be certain of your facts and your credibility before you get mixed up in something, so that there will be no surprises.
In addition, he tells his son to be prepared for the worst. If the situation does not work out the way that you believe it should, how will you respond at the end of the ordeal. Are you going to lose your temper, or sulk? Will you be willing to admit your error, if you have made one? Will you be willing to stand for truth even if the court rules against you? You need to know what to do, whether you win or lose.
There is much to think about before you get involved in strife. Take your time, seek the Lord's face, and be prepared for every contingency. You'll be glad you did.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery