Proverbs 26:17-23

In Proverbs 26:17-23 Solomon moves from the sluggard to those who sin by the words that come from their mouth. Some find it irresistible to get involved in the disputes of other people. The quarrel doesn’t really belong to them, but they makes it their own. The Hebrew verb literally means ‘become excited’…someone who gets angry over the fight of another. Jesus knew when to not get involved in another’s dispute and taught about it to His disciples. “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.” It is a foolish and dangerous thing to take a dog by the ears. Once one does, it’s hard to let go without getting bit, and the dog never appreciates it.

Solomon next paints the picture of a wild warrior who leaves a trail of destruction and is a madman. It may be physical, or emotional, or even spiritual destruction, but this person creates fear and havoc among those around him. “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!” But the man who plays tricks on others, deceiving them, and covering it by saying, “I was only joking!” is also a danger to others—and a very unwelcome companion. Making threats and causing fear is not a laughing matter.

He next talks about the wisdom of keeping quiet when there is potential for a quarrel. It is not possible for one person to quarrel by themselves, at least not a normal person. It takes two to tango, or to quarrel. Just as wood fuels a fire, so the quarreler or gossiper fuels strife. The fire won’t continue to burn without the wood, and the strife won’t continue when the words stop. “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” We can become consumed with getting the latest gossip which will penetrate deeply and cause conflict in our soul and with those around us.

Solomon next moves on to talk about a person who uses their charisma to cover their evil heart. He is really talking about someone with a bad mouth and a worse heart. There are people who are able to speak with power and persuasion, but they have a wicked heart. The effect of their wicked heart is made much more effective because of their smooth and controlling words. “Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.” This is an example of something that looks good on the outside; but is worthless on the inside. So the man Solomon talked about may attract people with his words, but inside he is filled with evil.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

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