Archive for May 1st, 2019

Proverbs 27:17-20

In Proverbs 27:17-20 Solomon begins by highlighting how important it is to have accountability in your life. A man can be used to sharpen (improve and develop) his friend, but it may happen through a bit of friction and sparks. We shouldn’t be afraid of that and expect that true sharpening can happen without the occasional use of friction. Without accountability, we likely won’t go as far or as fast as we would with it. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Bridges wrote “Gladly let us take up the bond of brotherhood. If a brother seems to walk alone, sharpen his iron by godly communication. Walk together in mutual concern for each other’s infirmities, trials, and temptations.”

When we work hard and do our job, there is usually a reward. In this example, taking care of the tree will lead to a harvest. The worker is worthy of his reward. If a man keeps a fig tree, it is appropriate for him to eat its fruit. It is cruel and unfair to keep the fruit of a man’s labor from him. “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.” The appropriate fruit from properly serving one’s master is to be honored. It isn’t right to keep honor from the one who has faithfully waited on his master. God promised to reward those who wait upon Him. Do your work diligently and leave promotion and reward up to God. In a sermon on this proverb Charles Spurgeon mentioned many ways that our Master may choose to honor His servants:

  • We are honored in our Master’s honor.
  • We are honored with our Master’s approval.
  • We are honored by being given more to do.
  • We are honored in the eyes of our fellow servants.
  • We are honored by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Solomon reminds us that things around us can reveal the true us. Smooth and clear water can give a wonderful reflection of a man or woman’s face. “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” The feelings and thoughts that come from our heart reveal us as the reflection in smooth water reveals the face. Who we are will eventually be evident to others as our words and actions reveal out heart. We can attempt to hide our heart, and even pretend to be different from it, but the truth will be revealed and our ability to attempt to be something we are not will be clear to those around us.

Solomon reminds us that death is coming. It will never end. We need to prepare for it and realize that planning ahead is our only option to truly deal with it. The grave and the world beyond will receive all of humanity and never become full. They are used here as figures of something that can never be satisfied. “Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.” Our longing to look upon things we desire will never be satisfied either; it must be controlled and brought under God’s power in our life. Sin will always attempt to pull us further. The answer is having the need channeled and satisfied in God and what He provides.

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