Archive for December 19th, 2012

Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26 talks about character.  And in particular, Solomon spends the chapter focused specifically on a few rather nasty negatives.  What do you think of when you mention a fool?  Is it The Three Stooges, Tim Conway, Maxwell Smart?  None of them really fit what scripture tells us is foolish.  Many of us would consider people fools that are rather harmless, well intentioned people that cause us to feel a sense of pity at their inability to function.  The first half of the book is on the qualities of a fool.  It appears 11 times in the first 12 verses.  So its safe to say that he is focused on that situation.  Being a fool is not a small hindrance – it is a major character flaw.  “Honor is not fitting for a fool”.

We are told to discern the character of a fool.  Why?  Because there are some major issues with having them around.  In fact, we are told to”

–       Not associate with them

–       Not employ them

–       Not allow our kids to live like that

–       Deal with them very differently than one who is wise

There are many references to what a fool is across Proverbs.  Solomon spends much time talking about this group.  They have some major issues and can cause major disruption and damage to those around them.

Solomon goes on to speak next about being a sluggard.  Sluggards are not just lazy, they define what it means to be unproductive.  And the amazing thing is they don’t see it as a character issue, but rather something that sets them apart as wiser.  “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly”.  They don’t have a realistic picture of life, and the world they live in.  They expect the world to cater to them.  They believe they can do whatever they want and life will just happen.  It seems appropriate to talk about sluggards’ right after fools, as there certainly are some similarities.

He finishes the chapter talking about quarreling.  That is very different than discussing or talking through things.  A quarrelsome person is deceitful and is not truly attempting to come to any resolution.  They just argue every word, and are focused on being obstinate without any interest in truly working through the differences.  In fact, there may be no direction to the discussion, as they jump from one site to the other just to keep the interaction negative and unproductive.  How do you stop a quarrel? “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases”.  Recognize it and walk away.  That is how you can stop the nonsense.  It will quickly cease if one side stops talking.  That is often how you need to stop an quarrel that goes on and on.  Leave it for a time, and then return to see if you can resolve it.

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