June 11, 2020
The book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings in the Old Testament meant to instill wisdom in God’s people. As we read, it is important to remember that a proverb is a statement which is generally true in principle, not a universally true promise. Let’s dig into the Word together and allow the Lord to shape our hearts, our minds, and our lives in his wisdom over the next month!
Proverbs chapter 27 repeatedly asserts that an aspect of living a wise, God-glorifying life is having people in our lives who can both give good advice as well as call us out when we need it. Verses 5-6 say this: “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” As the people of God, we have been called to lovingly rebuke, correct, and call one another out as we seek to follow after Jesus together!
We all need to surround ourselves with people that we can be vulnerable and real with and who won’t just tell us what we want to hear, people who are willing to call us out in order to help us walk more closely with Jesus! The picture the New Testament paints of the church is that we need each other, that we cannot live as God has called us to as individuals without the help, support, and correction of the whole.
Verse 17 asserts this principle again in a different way: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” This is an amazing picture of the kind of relationships we need to have with others in the church; we need to have relationships in which both parties are being “sharpened”, where we are mutually loving and leading one another to look more like Jesus in every area of life!
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
13 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.
14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
24 for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 There will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Family Discussion Question:
- How can we make starting and developing friendships and relationships like verse 17 describes, relationships where we are helping the other person follow Jesus more closely and they are doing the same for us, the priority they need to be?