Proverbs 27:11-18

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Proverbs 27

11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

A son's behavior reflects on his father's instruction. If the son is wise, he will make his father happy and will silence his father's critics. If someone criticizes a man for being an incompetent father, a wise, well-taught son will show that his father was not incompetent after all. The son who leads a life of wisdom is evidence of good child-rearing. When the children turn out right, it is an indication that something has been done right in the home.

12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

A wise man sees evil coming and hides himself so as to avoid the evil. The unwise keep on going and suffer for it. Noah was a prudent man, hiding himself and his family in the ark. The rest of the people went on their way carelessly and indifferently and suffered for it.

13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

The man that is surety or guarantor for a stranger will lose his shirt. Likewise, the one who guarantees payment on behalf of a seductress will end up paying when she defaults. If someone borrows money from a lender, he or his guarantor will have to pay the money back. Guaranteeing to pay a debt on behalf of a stranger or on behalf of someone of low character should the stranger or person of low character default, is crazy. The one who does the guaranteeing will most likely do the paying.

14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

No one appreciates loud, flattering greetings early in the morning when he is trying to sleep. They are more of a nuisance than a blessing. Timing and sensitivity to others who are sleeping are important. The right action at the wrong time will cause a blessing to be received as a curse.

15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

A continual drip, drip, drip of water through the roof on a very rainy day has something in common with a scolding, nagging, quarrelsome wife. Just as the dripping never stops, so this sort of wife never stops annoying or quarreling. They are both enough to drive a person up the wall.

16 Whosoever hideth her [i.e. the contentious woman in verse 15] hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself [i.e. calls out]. Another possibility is whoever hides her . . . grasps oil with his right hand.

Whosoever restrains the contentious woman restrains the wind and grasps oil with his right hand. No matter what you say, she will evade, excuse, blame others, and go right on nagging. She is as impossible to restrain as the wind or as impossible to pick up a handful of oil. She is unsteady and slippery.

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

When iron is rubbed against another piece of iron, it shapes and sharpens it. Just as the action of iron against iron sharpens, so the interchange of ideas among people makes them more acute in their thinking. Sharing each other's opinions gives a helpful breadth of view. Asking questions sharpens wits. Friendly intercommunication hones the personality. It may confirm or strengthen one's thoughts, correct his thoughts, or enlarge his thoughts.

18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

Whoever takes good care of a fig tree is rewarded by a good crop. Diligence in attending to one's occupation insures food in the pantry or deepfreeze. It is also true that one who faithfully waits on his employer will be honored. In John 12:26 Jesus said, 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Working well at one's job brings favorable results.