Archive for February 8th, 2019

Proverbs 17:17-20

In Proverbs 17:17-20 Solomon begins with some thoughts on friendship. Having real friends is a gift. Scripture reminds us that true friendship doesn’t always last.  One large failure we remember is when Judas sold out his Lord. History has shown us that the greatest of kings have been abandoned and even attacted by those who claimed to be friends while in power. A true friend will not only love when it is easy, but at all times. What is sometimes called fair weather friends – those who are friends only when the weather is pleasant and fair – are not true friends at all. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” A true brother (used here to show something beyond the literal blood relation) will always show up in a time of trouble.

Solomon warns us against putting up collateral for another. Wisdom guards us against creating or being a part of foolish partnerships. They are much easier to enter and always difficult to end. “One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.” It is responsibility enough to honor our own debts. Wisdom warns us against taking responsibility for the debts of others. That’s exactly what happens when we co-sign a note or become part of a partnership. We are literally taking on liability on behalf of another, and often don’t have clarity on exactly what that means.

There are those who love both transgression and strife. They love it when God’s laws are sinfully transgressed and when there is conflict. There is a sense of evil in their heart.  Sin should always be accompanied by strife or conflict – as it is in direct violation of God’s laws.  When sin becomes accepted we are living in a dangerous place, which is certainly where the world is today. We have to protect God’s way as the standard and truth. “Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction.” Those who exalt the leadership of anyone who loves transgression and strife are promoting destruction. Such people should never sit in a place of respect, leadership, and authority.

Solomon reminds us that we choose how we look at those around us. If our heart is not right with God and filled with deceit we will only find corruption and deceit in others. It is so important that we walk closely with God and follow His ways.  If not, we’ll be surrounded with people whom we can’t trust and always find fault with. “A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.” Wicked and foolish words not only display the evil of someone’s heart, they also lead them into greater peril.  What we say and how we live matters.  We need to make sure our heart is aligned with God’s plan for our life and His ways.

%d bloggers like this: