Proverbs 27:21-27

In Proverbs 27:21-27 Solomon finishes this chapter by reminding us that we will go through a refining process in our lives. There is an appropriate place for silver and gold to be refined. It doesn’t happen just anywhere, but in the refining pot. There is also a place where God will refine us in an effort to remove the dross from our life. “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise.” We often know a man’s value more by what others say of him than of what he thinks of himself. A man’s self-estimation can be unreliable. Scripture tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Driving foolishness from our lives is not a simple task. Solomon used a striking and vivid image. Like crushed grain in a mortar and with a pestle, he pictured a fool being ground up. “Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.” But even with that extreme action, foolishness still remains. Despite the rough treatment mentioned in the previous line, foolishness does not depart from the fool. One of the sad marks of the fool is that he will not learn. It isn’t punishment that will change a fool, but God and His grace alone.  That’s what is required to get rid of folly.

Solomon reminds us to take care of that which has been entrusted to us. Solomon wrote this with images from the world of agriculture (flocks… herds… hay… grass… lambs… goats), but the principle applies in many other areas of life. We should work hard (be diligent) to know the state of whatever God has given us management over. If you don’t know the condition of something, you can’t effectively manage or lead it. “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?” We should give ourselves to diligent leadership and management because the future is uncertain. If we take good care of what God has given us now, it may provide for us in the future. If we don’t take care of what we have, it won’t be able to provide for us in an uncertain future.

We are warned to take care of what we have, as it may be the only provision for the days ahead. “When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.” God promises to provide for us, but that doesn’t mean it will happen in the same way as it has in the past. Remember that God provided manna for the people on their march to the promised land which was very new and different from what they were accustomed to. He provides, but we must steward things well.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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