Archive for April 30th, 2019

Proverbs 27:12-16

In Proverbs 27:12-16 Solomon continues to share his wisdom.  He begins by addressing the ability to see danger and avoid it rather than plowing blindly into it. Wisdom will lead a man or woman to anticipate danger and to take action, such as to hide from the coming evil. Scripture tells us to flee the temptation of sin. “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” It is wise to avoid situations that we know could lead us to fall.  Those who are naïve and untrained in wisdom are blind to the potential danger around them. They will eventually bear the bad consequence of their blindness and be punished. Life is far less painful if we will avoid the evil we see coming at us.

Scripture warns against providing a guarantee for another person’s debt. Yet we do it for any number of poor reasons. If someone is a bad credit risk (foolish enough to be surety for a stranger), then we should hold a deposit as security against anything they owe to us (take the garment). “Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.” The man is as immoral and foolish to be surety for an adulteress, then we should especially regard them as a credit risk. He probably was seduced to do so through bad judgment created by her enticements and flattery.

Solomon talks next about how we should greet those around us.  His message isn’t that we should ignore those in our patch, but rather we need to be considerate and sincere in how we engage. The sense here is of an over-the-top greeting and blessing, meant to flatter and manipulate. It is loud and it starts early in the morning. Something is amiss in such excessive praise. “Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.” Normally a friendly greeting is a blessing. Yet if that blessing is flattery or meant to manipulate it can be counted a curse. People can often see right through those manipulative interactions and do not like them.

Solomon returns to again remind us that marriage is a two way street and we need to learn to live harmoniously together. The scene is in a house with a bad roof, where a rainy day means continual dripping. That dripping shows there is a problem, it brings damage, and it greatly annoys. That is the same effect as a contentious woman or man in the house. “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.” To correct a contentious relationship can be a challenging and daunting task. Our spouse can be as difficult to restrain as the wind or as hard to get a hold of as oil in the hand. Instead of trying to change them, a wise and godly spouse loves them as Jesus Christ loves His church and leaves the changing up to God.

%d bloggers like this: