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Proverbs 1-1:33 Proverbs 2:1-22 Proverbs 3-4 Proverbs 5-6:16 Proverbs 6-7
Proverbs 8-9 Proverbs 10-11 Proverbs 12-13 Proverbs 14-15 Proverbs 16-1-33
Proverbs 17-18 Proverbs 19-1-29 Proverbs 20-1-30 Proverbs 21:1-31 Proverbs 22:1-29
Proverbs 23:1-35 Proverbs 24:1-34 Proverbs 25:1-28 Proverbs 26:1-28 Proverbs 27: 1-27
Proverbs 28: 1-28 Proverbs 29:1-27 Proverbs 30:1-33 Proverbs 31:1-9 Proverbs 31: 10-31

 

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Proverbs 25:1-28

 

“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. 2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing:  but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. 4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. 6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 7 for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. 8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. 11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. 13 As the cold snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him:  for he refresheth the soul of his masters. 14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. 15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. 16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. 17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. 18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. 19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. 20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart. 21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. 23 The north wind driveth away rain:  so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. 24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. 25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. 27 It is not good to eat much honey:  so for men  to search their own glory is not glory. 28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

 

Introduction

 

“Chapter 25, now this is one of the interesting Proverbs, as we read through the Book of Proverbs, this is one of the breaks, chapter 1 says “these are the Proverbs of Solomon,” chapter 10 says “these are the Proverbs of Solomon,” here in chapter 25 it says “These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.” (verse 1)  It gives us two more headings in chapter 30 and 31.  But this is interesting, this is almost 300 years after Solomon lived [we’ve only been a nation for 236 years, as of 2019].  And the Holy Spirit takes note of not only the fact that this was the king, who was in authority at that point in time, Hezekiah, but these are the Proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah copied out.  He wrote over 3,000 proverbs we’re told, now these are given to us several hundred years later, it’s a period of reform, of reformation, good things are going on because the Word of God has come back to the surface [with the help of Isaiah and Hezekiah] and with the conviction of all of that, Hezekiah’s men evidently have at their disposal more of Solomon’s Proverbs that had been recorded.  So it says in the days of Hezekiah, now these Proverbs were copied out, and God doesn’t just take notice of who the guy in charge is [i.e. Hezekiah], he takes notice of the guys who put their pens to the page and did the work.  Nobody else knows their names, they’re known in heaven.  We go into chapter 25 tonight because they were faithful.  The men of Hezekiah copied these things out, put them before us, wonderful.

 

God Conceals Things, Kings, Mankind Uncovers Those Things

 

Chapter 25, verse 2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing:  but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.  The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.” (verses 2-3)  Now here’s something Solomon wrote, something God used his heart, he of course was reigning.  When he took the kingdom, the kingdom [composed of all 12 tribes of Israel] was at it’s zenith after David’s reign, and Solomon in all his wisdom, here he is able to write this.  He says, the Holy Spirit comes through the quill, he says, ‘It’s the glory of God to conceal something, it’s the honour of kings to search out a matter.’  There’s two kings put in contrasting pictures here, God, the Great King, he conceals things.  If we, with what he’s given us, from Genesis to Revelation, there’s more grace than we know [to believers], it says that God’s wisdom gives us light, it says his Word is a lamp unto our feet, he reveals things, there’s so much to him, it says in the ages to come we’re still going to be learning of him and his grace, and of his mercy.  The grace of God surpasses understanding, there’s just measures of things still ahead of us, that even in the ages to come it will still be new and fresh, continually.  That’s compared to a little puny earthly king, his job is trying to find stuff out.  God’s job is hiding stuff, he’s got so much he conceals it.  The earthly king, he’s the one whose trying to find out what’s going on.  Solomon did, he gave us these Proverbs, and it says “but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” ‘is to search things out.’  Look, and Solomon knew, God said this in Deuteronomy 17, when you get a king, this is what I want you to do, and Solomon broke all of these, I don’t want him to multiply wives, Solomon did, Deuteronomy 17, I don’t want him to go back to Egypt to get horses, Solomon did, I don’t want him to multiply gold and silver, in Solomon’s day there was so much gold, silver was considered as stones, as rocks.  And he transgressed all of that, and lastly it says, I want the king to take a copy of the Law, and I want him to write it out by hand, and I want him then to sit in it and meditate in it every day, that his heart be not lifted up.  And that’s the place that every king should be searching out, wisdom, the things that God has revealed are there.  God has concealed certain things, certainly he’s given us his Word, and it says it’s not on the other side of the sea, it’s not far away, it’s nigh, even in thy mouth. ‘It is the honour of kings to search out a matter, heaven is for height, the earth certainly is for depth,’ Solomon says, ‘that the heart of kings is unsearchable.’  We say this, ‘It’s lonely at the top.’  You get put in that position with all these responsibilities, that’s your position, you can’t expect other people to have all of the consideration, that you might want, because you’re brought to a place where you stand there before the LORD, so he says ‘the heart of kings is unsearchable.’ 

 

Take Away The Dross From The Silver, Take Away The Wicked, Same Results, Silver Shines, Society Shines

 

Verse 4, it says, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”  the refiner, the one who can work and make beautiful ornaments out of silver.  When you remove the dross, then it is fit for that man.  “Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.” (verse 5) so there’s the comparison, you take the impurities out of silver and the artisan can make a beautiful vessel.  If you take away the wicked from before the king, it’s like removing impurities and dross from the silver, there’s more for the king to steer, to work with, and he’ll be established then in righteousness. 

 

Don’t Seat Yourself In The Place Of Honour

 

“Put not thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:  for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.” (verses 6-7)  The Hebrew kind of has the idea ‘Don’t be a show-off and try to push yourself out there with all your qualities in front of the king.’  Of course, we’re told this in Luke’s Gospel, he says ‘When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not thou in the highest place, lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him, and he that bade thee and him come and say to you, Give this man place, and thou begin with  shame to take the lowest place in the room.  But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest place, that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend go up higher, then thou shalt have honour in the presence of them that sit,’ Jesus picks up on this very thing here, it’s God’s Word.  Solomon says, ‘Don’t put yourself forth in the presence of the king, don’t stand in the best place, don’t take that for yourself, it’s better that it be said unto thee, Come up hither, than that thou shouldest go take the lower place,’ so don’t.  You think ‘Oh, I would never do that,’ look at the disciples, they spent three years with Jesus, and he says ‘What are you guys arguing about?’ they said, ‘Oh, nothing.’  They’re arguing about whose going to be the greatest in the Kingdom!  He takes a little child and puts him there, and said ‘Whoever becomes like this little child will be the greatest in the Kingdom.’  He knew exactly what they were talking about.  So, just, I don’t know how you apply that, you probably know somebody you need to give this exhortation to.  Ah, it’s a joke. 

 

Don’t Rush Into Strife, Conflict

 

“Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.  Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:  lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thy infamy turn not away.” (verses 8-10)  So it says ‘Don’t be fast to put on the gloves, don’t put the gloves on, don’t get in the ring.’  If you just stand still, enough trouble’s going to come to you.  Don’t go look for it.  You know, there’s people, if they can’t find a fight they’ll start one, they just want to find one.  I’m just a peacemaker, I’m travelling on this journey, I got enough trouble that follows me, I don’t need any help.  He says, ‘Don’t go hastily and strive with someone, or with your neighbour, because he may end up putting you to shame,’ that could happen because you get knocked down, for lots of reasons.  Rather, it says, if you have a quarrel with somebody, this is great advice, Jesus says it, “Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:” go alone and talk to somebody, don’t go and talk to everybody else, don’t humiliate him, please, don’t do it online, ah, we have this new way of doing laundry now, publicly.  The best thing is, it says you go to him [or her] alone, the New Testament tells us this, ‘debate thy cause with thy neighbour alone, and discover not, don’t bring it out into the open, a secret to another, don’t blab the other person’s failings or their problems…’  Nobody has the right to sit and counsel with someone and go blab what they heard.  “lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.” (verse 10) you get caught in it, and then your infamy, your rep is then hard to get rid of.  Nobody wants to come and tell you anything because they know you’re going to go and blab it [i.e. you’ve now got the ‘rep’ of a Gossip, which Proverbs deals a lot with].  So nobody wants to go counsel with you, because it’s going to get on the highway of the internet. 

 

A Faithful Messenger, A Wise Reprover Is Like Gold & Silver Jewelry

 

Verse 11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”  That’s plain enough.  As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him:  for he refresheth the soul of his masters.” (verse 12)  Here’s the idea, “a word fitly spoken” is a very interesting phrase, it’s taken from the Hebrew, and it literally says “A word that is upon the wheels,’ it’s a picture of something rolling forward smoothly with momentum, and it’s saying ‘When you can speak what you’re saying, it’s smooth, it has a momentum, it has the proper motion, then it’s like apples of gold in settings of silver, it’s like beautiful jewelry to be admired.’  You guys have been to the Middle East, not just Israel, but all the Middle East, you go there, I’ve been there 23 times, there’s nobody in the world that knows how to make apples of gold in settings of silver like those in the Middle East.  We only think we know about jewelry.  Anytime we make something big here it’s gaudy.  Over there when they make something big, it takes your breath away, it’s beautiful.  They’ve been doing it for 4,000 years longer than us, that’s all.  But it says ‘A word spoken properly, on the wheels, it has its motion, it has the right movement, it’s like a spectacular setting of gold, it’s beautiful.’  And he says, As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” (verse 12) here’s the point of these two verses, “so is a wise reprover” ‘there’s going to be motion to it,’ he says, it’s going to roll.  “so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear” that’s a good combination, a wise reprover and an obedient ear.  As wise reprover and a disobedient ear is a frustration.  An unwise reprover and an ear that wants to listen is a bad combination, you get a load of stuff you don’t want to listen to.  But a wise reprover and an obedient ear, that’s a good combo, they go together. 

 

How Refreshing A Faithful Messenger Is To His Masters

 

Verse 13, “As the cold snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him:  for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”  “As the cold of snow” it doesn’t say ‘as snow in the time of harvest,’ Pentecost, when the spring harvest began, was in the middle [beginning] of summer, it’s usually in June and July, it doesn’t snow then, particularly in the Middle East.  But what it’s saying is, for labourers who are out in the field then, thirsty, and for something to be handed to them with the coolness, the coldness of snow, is just unimaginable.  If you handed them a bottle of water out of a refrigerator, they’d have freaked out, nice cold drink, you know, on a hot day.  It says, ‘a cold refreshing drink, in the time of harvest, the way that is to a worker, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.’  What a wonderful thing to know, that’s somebody’s been faithful, what they’ve repeated, you ask them to communicate something, it’s been done right, it’s been done well, in this world that’s refreshing.  [On the spiritual side of this, I think of some faithful messengers of the Lord, one being J. Vernon McGee, whose faithful radio sermons going through the entire Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, and then he turned them into a five volume commentary on the Bible, he’s one such faithful messenger that comes to mind.  Malachi 3:16-17 speaks of such faithful messengers that the LORD is going to write a book about.  Good pastors are faithful messengers as well.]  And as I look at this verse I just put a note in here, ‘Lord, make me so to you.’  You know, I want to be a faithful messenger, and so should all of you with what he’s given us to communicate to a lost world.  And it says if we are faithful messengers, that we can refresh the soul of our Master.  I like that.  I like that, I like to, however crazy the day has been, to be able to lay my head on the pillow at night and say ‘Lord, it was good today, I didn’t murder anybody, I didn’t run anybody down, I didn’t cuss at anybody, I didn’t make any obscene gestures [that’s a hard one, considering how many people justly deserve it], I didn’t get pouty, I didn’t get selfish, it was a good day Lord.  And I believe in different circumstances, I was faithful with your Word.’  [And we as much communicate the Word of God through our actions as by our speech, as we are walking, silent Bibles as well.]  And it refreshes the Master.  You know, look at this world that we live in, again, look at what calls itself the Church across America, what they embrace, what they endorse, you gotta be kidding me. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/IntroChurchHistory.htm]  How wonderful it must be to Jesus to say ‘There is a faithful messenger, he refreshes me, I’m his Master.’  Amen?  We want to do that for him, he held nothing back for us when he came to us. 

 

‘Whoso Boasteth Of A False Gift Is Like Clouds Without Rain’

 

Verse 14 says, “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”  You know those people.  Right?  All they talk about is their gift, what they can do, their calling, how smart they are.  Lord, don’t put them next to me in heaven, because I’ll have to listen to that for eternity, it won’t be heaven.   [Comment:  Biblically, heaven is going to end up on earth, cf. Revelation 21:1-23, so you can run and hide anywhere you want, if such people do end up in eternity.]  When Cathy and I lived on the West Coast, when we were Pentecostal, we lived in communal houses, it was the 70s, it was all above board, there was no immorality or anything, but we were Hippies, we were stuck in one of those places.  I remember this crazy guy in the church we were in, and he was a big guy, older guy, was always saying ‘Gift of healing, I’ve got the gift of  healing,’ he was always driving me crazy, because I knew he didn’t have the gift of healing.  But he was intimidating, he was a spiritual bully to a lot of young people.  I remember praying with this girl this night, and she was crying, she had something, physical infirmity, and he was praying, he did this whole crazy thing, he said ‘I felt my faith come down, he said the gift of healing came down and went down my arm and it came to her, and she had so little faith it almost knocked me down,’  That’s what I think of when I read this verse [laughter].  “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.” ‘They’re promising and don’t deliver, and hot air.’  That’s my interpretation of the rest of it, a big blob of hot air, ah wind without rain.  I have to move on, if I keep talking about that it won’t be good.

 

What Persuades Best?  Long Forbearing And A Soft Tongue

 

“By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.” (verse 15)  You have to be forbearing to see the truth of this verse.  There is a way to approach someone whose in authority, civil government, and it says here that if we do that with long forbearance, the prince can be persuaded, if we do it the right way, without being arrogant, that there can be progress.  Listen, God Almighty when he had his own prophet, and finally got him alone, it says there was a hurricane, there was an earthquake, there was fire, that’s how Elijah operated, with those powerful signs.  And it says ‘But the LORD wasn’t in any of those things, he says, behold, a still small voice, a still small voice, the God of the Universe.’  It says when he speaks [normally, full volume] the deer of the field give birth, the cedars of Lebanon shake, the mountains rumble when he speaks.  But it says when he spoke to his prophet, it was with a still small voice.  Isn’t that wonderful that he’s willing to come to us, and he says to us, much in his own Spirit, he says “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded,” (verse 15a) it’s the long forbearing part that bothers me [and this verse can apply to any person, not just a prince, leader or civil king].  I can whisper for awhile, but after awhile.  “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.” (verse 15)

 

Too Much Of A Good Thing

 

Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.” (verse 16) There’s a lot of verses in here about honey.  “Hast thou found honey?” ‘eat what’s proper, lest thou be filled therewith and vomit.’  That’s good advice, I think, just off the top of my head.  Ah, we say ‘Don’t ruin a good thing,’ that would apply to this verse.  I think he’s tying it in with verse 17, before he told us honey is good, and he said let wisdom be like that for your soul.  Now he says here, ‘If you found honey,’ it was a treasure in that world, he says ‘eat what’s sufficient, don’t overdo it, for if you overdo it, you’re going to be filled, and you’re going to be sick and vomit.’  Then he says this, “Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.” (verse 17) unless he wants to vomit you out.  So, too much of a good thing will make you sick, and you have a neighbour that’s wonderful, he doesn’t want you knocking on the door every morning coming for a cup of coffee, it can be a good thing, and you can wear it out.  Anybody know what I’m talking about here?  Ok, you like too much honey, honey’s a good thing, it can be sweet until you eat too much and you end up hurling.  And then here the idea is, with your neighbour, you’re in there in his house every day when he’s trying to get things done, he needs times to think, sometimes he wants to be alone, ‘Honey, there he is again, lock the door, lay on the floor, turn out the lights, they’ll think we’re not home,’ “lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.” (verse 17b)

 

A False Witness Is Like A Sledge Hammer, Sword, Sharp Arrow

 

“A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.” (verse 18)  “a maul,” that’s a sledge hammer by the way.  The idea is, you’re injurious.  If you bear false witness against another human being, it says you’re like a sledge hammer, you’re like a sword, you’re like an arrow, you’re injurious, that shouldn’t take place.  Well, there’s some great stuff here too, we’re going to have to come back next week, I’m not gonna get all this done.  Alright, at least let’s do the broken tooth [laughter].

 

Confidence In An Unfaithful Person, Less Than Useless

 

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” (verse 19)  I just love the picture, that’s wonderful there.  If you have confidence in somebody whose unfaithful, ‘I really need you to do it, I really need you to do this,’ ‘ya, I’ll do it,’ and then a week later you find out…Verse 19, chapter 25, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” no dentists then, remember that.  My dad’s dad, my grandpa, lived in the house with us, he died on Thanksgiving, and I remember that Christmas, under the Christmas tree was my first Bible, from him.  So, then many years later getting saved, I got that Bible when I was 8 years old, realizing he must have been a believer, so looking forward to seeing him again.  He shoveled coal, had an engineering degree from Vienna, in Austria, shoveled coal until he was 70-years-old, great old guy.  But when he would get a broken tooth, I remember, he went into the garage, took a wet washcloth, laid it over the molar in the back of his mouth, took a pair of pliers, was going like this, pulled it out with the roots sticking out, and he was better.  [laughter].  Can’t help, but those kind of memories stick with you.  Verse 19 anyhow, the point of it is, an unfaithful man in time of trouble, it’s like that. 

 

Understand Other’s Heavy Emotions Before Singing Happily To Them

 

Verse 20 says As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.”  So, somebody takes away your coat in the winter, when it’s cold, that’s a big help, or somebody that pours vinegar on nitre, carbonic acid, we use baking soda today, would be that kind of thing, ancient days, which was used for different things.  But if you pour vinegar on it, it just fizzed up and was gone, “so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.”  You know that person, don’t you?  Once in a while, comes around.  You appreciate them singing songs when you’re really bummed out.  Especially if they sing ‘All things work together for the good,’ I know that person, not today. 

 

Jesus Quoted This One In His Sermon On The Mount

 

“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:  for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.” (verses 21-22) It’s a tough verse, because immediately the carnal part of me goes to, ‘Lord, you said vengeance is yours, you’ll repay, but you’re telling me if my enemy is hungry, feed him?  If he’s thirsty, give him something to drink?  And by doing that I’ll be heaping coals of fire on his head?  Yaba daba doo, I knew there was a way to get him!’  It’s not really the sense of what it’s saying here, ok, what it’s saying is, you’re enemy, and it doesn’t seem to be a national enemy, or an enemy [militarily], there was much of that in Solomon’s day, your adversary, somebody that you would be at enmity with, if he’s hungry feed him, if he’s thirsty give him water to drink.  Because in doing that, you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD will reward you.  It seems to be those coals of fire, that conviction better felt now than in eternity, it seems to be saying, when somebody wrongs you, and just aggravates you, instead of getting even, show kindness to him or her.  Jesus would say, ‘Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile.’  You reflect your Father in heaven, and in those actions, you’ll bring coals of fire, you’ll bring conviction to his soul, it seems to be indicating, and it’s better for him or her to come under that conviction now than come under eternal fire forever.  So, the idea is, whether he turns or doesn’t, God will certainly reward you. [There are differing beliefs within the Body of Christ about heaven and hell, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.]  But the idea here, seems to be you’re giving him something to eat, you’re giving him something to drink for his benefit, it will bring him under more conviction than if you just argue and fight with him.  And of course we like that way, it’s easier. 

 

‘As A Nor’Easter Brings A Driving Rain, So A Backbiting Tongue An Angry Look’

 

Ah, verse 23 says, “The north wind driveth away rain:  so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.”  The Hebrew kind of reads it this way, it says “the north wind” not driveth away, the idea is, “the north wind, it drives, it brings rain, so [i.e. a Nor’Easter] “doth” is in italics, it doesn’t really help us here, “so a backbiting tongue” the idea is, “the north wind brings rain” “so a backbiting tongue brings an angry countenance.”  So, ‘as a north wind brings rain, so a backbiting tongue is going to bring an angry countenance.’  Somebody finds out you’re backstabbing and gossiping about ‘em, they’re not going to be real happy about it, is the idea here. 

 

Back To That Brawling, Contentious Wife

 

Verse 24, it comes back to the wife here, It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.”  “a contentious woman.”  Ah, better to live in the corner of the house than to be in the house with a woman who wants to fight with you continually.  This is the second time we have heard this, goes kind of in the mouth of two or three witnesses I guess here.  He starts telling us about her, he had told us this, “The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping,” remember he told us that?  You have a wife who is contentious, it’s like Chinese water torture.  You know, a wife could say ‘I’m submitting!’ that may be true, that doesn’t mean she’s submissive, that’s a different issue.  Because if she’s saying ‘I’m submitting!!!’ then she’s probably not submissive.  I’d much rather have “submissive,” which is an attitude, than “submitted” which is an action.  Everything lives longer and happier that way.  But, chapter 21, verse 9, tells us this, “It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top,” now you were inside the house, continual dripping in that culture eroded the structure of the building, it jeopardized its structure, its strength.  Now you’re out on the roof, “It is better to dwell on the corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” (21:9)  Then he comes around and finally says “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (21:19)  He finally says it’s better to dwell in the wilderness, now he’s leaving the roof, he’s headed out into the woods somewhere, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (21:19) [I know one of those, very attractive, but heaven help the poor guy who marries her.]  Better to just get out of town, get on the bus Gus.  And now he’s kind of back, I don’t know if they’re making up or what, what’s happening here?  Now he says he’s back to the corner of the roof again, It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” (25:24)  Now Solomon would know this, with 700 wives, obviously.  A little boy in Sunday school, once his mom asked him what he had learned about, he said ‘I learned that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 porcupines,’ and evidently he did, and one of them drove him out of the house to the roof, and then to the wilderness.  A contentious wife is rebelling against her Creator and her Redeemer, who in his genius, decided how a family should best work.  Proverbs also tells us this, it says “Rejoice with the wife of thy youth, let her be as a loving hind and a pleasant roe,” ‘be satisfied with her, ravished with her love at all times.’  It also prescribes the wonder and wonderful situation that God intends to exist within marriage, and this isn’t that wonderful circumstance here. Ah, he’s back here to a brawling woman, you have to look out, because if she’s bigger and stronger than you, you’re really in trouble.  [Also God is not for abusive husbands either, and I would say if the husband is physically abusive, he is not acting as a believer, and divorce is permitted in such cases, because he is proving by his actions that he is not a believer, cf. 1st Corinthians 7 applies then.]  Anyhow, it’s Solomon here, giving us his wisdom, the wisest man that ever lived, and the Spirit of God tells us this. 

 

As Cold Water To A Thirsty Soul

 

Then verse 25 says As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”  Certainly, somebody just longing to hear what’s going on in a terrible situation, finally hears good news from afar, you couldn’t tweet, you couldn’t email, you couldn’t facebook, how many “likes” you had by the end of the day, or how many times you were “disfriended.”  So, it finally came, this was your mobile device at that point in time, it says ‘It’s like cold waters to a thirsty soul, when good news finally comes from a far country.’ and we all know that, ‘Behold I bring you great tidings of joy and good news, for He was born this day in the City of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’ That was good news from a far, far country, from heaven, from eternity.  I don’t know about you, I can still remember the day I got saved, the day I was washed, it was like cold water from a far country, I woke up the next day, I was alive, my life was changed.  So, he puts that in front of us here, great truth of course.

 

Compromise Equals Pollution

 

A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” (verse 26)  Compromise equals pollution, for a righteous man to bow down before the wicked, is bowing wrongly.  Certainly we’re the peacemakers, much instruction.  But for the righteous to bow before the wicked is like pollution in a stream, there’s something wrong with it, it’s confusing, it certainly infects the next generation.  When you talk about pollution, and we see enough of it today, all over the news.  Hopefully, if we are called upon, at the right time, we will stand.  Ah, troubled fountain, corrupt spring. 

 

Don’t Believe Your Own Press-Clippings, Avoid Self-Promotion

 

It is not good to eat much honey:  so for men to search their own glory is not glory.” (verse 27)  We’re told twice it’s good to eat honey, it’s not to overeat honey, because you might vomit.  Here it says ‘It’s not good to eat much honey, so’ the comparison, ‘for men to search their own glory is not glory.’  Don’t believe your own press-clippings.  Don’t eat too much honey, it’s sweet, it’s good, don’t eat too much of it, this is talking about somebody who is promoting themselves, and he says that kind of glory is not glory.  Some prefer to be better known in this world than in the next, some prefer to have their names in neon lights in the present church than in the Book of Life.  And it’s around us, it is around us, and it’s a disease, and it deals to the flesh.  So, just good advice.  It’s not good to eat too much honey, it’s good, but too much, and “so for men to search their own glory is not glory.” it isn’t glory at all.  If you believe your own press-clippings you’re going to have a rude awakening. 

 

He Who Has No Rule Over His Spirit Is Like A City With Broken Walls

 

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (verse 28)  look, in this culture, the walls of the city, that was your security, that was your security system, your burglar alarm, the walls around the city, the gates were locked at night, that was your security.  It says a man that can’t control, he doesn’t have rule over his own spirit, is like a city where the walls are broken down, he’s defenseless.  If you can’t rule your own spirit, then you’re going to lash out in anger, you’re going to fall to adultery or sexual sin, you’re going to be given to pride, you’re going to be given to gossip.  Somebody who can’t rule his [or her] own spirit is like a city with walls broken down, and you’re just going to be subject to the world of flesh and the devil.  Interesting. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/nehemiah/nehemiah.html]

 

[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Proverbs 25:1-28, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

What are the churches like today?  see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/IntroChurchHistory.htm

 

A city with broken down walls, what does that picture spiritually?  see http://www.unityinchrist.com/nehemiah/nehemiah.html

 

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