Friday, July 17, 2009

Anything for a Bit of Peace and Quiet (Proverbs 17)

Pity the parent of a fool according to Proverbs 17:21, 25. They have no peace. Even though they have plenty of parties and feasting at the family home there’s always plenty of conflict to go with it (v. 1) and that’s not a good cocktail.

The theme of the fool is ripe in Proverbs 17 (like we also find in Proverbs 14 and 26). And punishment follows them (vs. 5, 11, 13, 19). But when the fool is silent he or she is thought wise (v. 28). The foolish in full flight are scary and cumbersome--safer to meet a bear robbed of its cubs! (Verse 13)

A Failure to Learn Equals Arrogant Ignorance

Know anyone who’ll never learn? Well, Proverbs would call them a fool. Whereas a person of wisdom will learn from a single chastisement, the foolish won’t learn from a hundred thrashings (v. 10). They just keep coming back for more. All the courses in the world won’t teach this person virtuous, moral wisdom; for they have ‘no heart’ for learning (v. 16). Instead, his or her ‘eyes wander to the ends of the earth’ (v. 24) rather than embrace the much closer Wisdom. They would insist on their own way.

Friends & Business Ordinarily Don’t Mix

Faithful ones, however, will stick around and be wet weather friends in the time of our need (v. 17), yet we should never expect them to go surety for us (v. 18) no matter how close we are. Friends and business don’t mix unless both are equally and fervently faithful and morally upright, living the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12.[1]

Justice Always or the Wrath of God

God hates it when we get justice wrong, forgiving the villain and crucifying the godly (vs. 15, 26). We should reward people with lighter sentences for telling the truth, and this is part of the better judicial system. Fairness for the disabled is crucial to God--anyone caught taking advantage of these or the ‘misfortune of others’ can certainly expect to be punished (v. 5).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Viz, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

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