Archive for May 20th, 2019

Proverbs 29:21-24

In Proverbs 29:21-24 Solomon begins by addressing the potential of what happens if we aren’t careful about how we treat those who work with or for us. He talks about pampering a servant from childhood which today can be related to treating someone in a soft and generous way from the start making their work life easy and pleasant without accountability. That will come back to haunt later. “Whoever pampers his servant from childhood will in the end find him his heir.” Pampering isn’t always a good approach.  It can make the person so attached that the master ends up with another obligation and the servant feels entitled and expects an inheritance or special treatment in every situation.

Solomon goes on to refer to the man who stirs up strife, or anger as it is called today. It is in the nature of the angry man to spread his strife to others. With peace lacking in his own soul, it’s easy to put his inner strife upon others. His inner emotions of anger boil and his resentment for others explodes outward to those around him. “A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.” A furious man abounds in transgression: When the angry or furious man spreads his strife, it makes transgression abound. Sin that abounds in this atmosphere is marked by a lack of self-control. Anger often takes people to extremes.

Solomon again reminds us of the danger of pride. Because God resists the proud, pride will naturally bring a man low. Like Satan, the one who hopes to rise higher through his pride will fall. Pride comes from a root meaning ‘to be high’ and often leads us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, even to the point of elevating ourselves to no need to listen to or follow God’s laws. “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” The opposite of pride is humility. And just like God opposes the proud, He gives grace to the humble. God’s gracious blessing to the humble in spirit means they will gain and retain honor.

Solomon talks about the misguided loyalty around being connected to a thief. To partner with a thief is to reject wisdom and embrace folly. The one who steals from others will steal from you, and perhaps with violence threatening your own life. The law makes no distinction between the thief and the accomplice. Consenting to sin, receiving the stolen goods, involves us in the guilt and punishment. “The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.” The partner to the thief is the kind of man who will repeatedly vow to tell the truth, but reveals nothing about his partner’s criminal activity. He places loyalty to his friend above his loyalty to God. This won’t end well as the partner will be guilty by association.

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