Happy Wednesday everyone. I pray you are having a great week in the Lord. I am preparing to have our Vision Casting service this upcoming Sunday (May 1st), so I've been busy preparing for that. Go ahead and look at Proverbs Ch. 27-my comments will follow.
1. Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.
4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood,
But who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
7 A sated man loathes honey,
But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.
8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest,
So is a man who wanders from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.
10 Do not forsake your own friend or 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 far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches me.
12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself,
The naive proceed and pay the penalty.
13 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge.
14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be reckoned a curse to him.
15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious woman are alike;
16 He who would restrain her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.
18 He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who cares for his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
21 The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And each is tested by the praise accorded him.
22 Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26 The lambs will be for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field,
27 And there will be goats’ milk enough for your food,
For the food of your household,
And sustenance for your maidens.
I would like to focus on 2 verses today-vs. 7 and vs. 24. Both are well known and can teach us so much.
Vs. 7: 17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.
This verse is all about accountability and the notion that 2 are better than one (Ecl. 4). In regard to "the church," and how things are typically run-I will be the first to tell you that accountability is lacking in a big way. In my first job at a church, I had a mild philosophical difference with my boss (the lead pastor). It was not an argument to anything, just a difference of opinion. He did not like this, and said to me (this is an exact quote): "If the senior pastor says the sky is green, then the sky is green." In other words, right, wrong or indifferent, he was not to be questioned under any circumstances. Unfortunately, I did not last long there. Now that I am in that position of lead pastor, it is my desire to NEVER be like that. To surround myself with people who are not afraid to tell me I'm wrong (in the right way and when it's appropriate).
The next vs. is 24:
For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
Everything that is bound to this earth is temporary-money, power, prestige, and authority. Eventually, a page will turn and the money will run out and someone else will assume the leadership role. The idea here is that we should live in such a way that the temporary things of this world do not have a strong hold on us. Our resting place is in heaven, where all of the things of this earth will pass way.