THE PROVERBS

Chapter 17

"Personal Contentment and Peace."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by
http://www.theseason.org/ 

As you live your life, God is going to send you in the right direction, however if you get off that path, God will straighten you out until you get back on that path. We are going to look into your personal commitment and peace of mind that you will have when you are following the path that God has set before you.

Proverbs 17:1 "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, Than an house full of sacrifices with strife."

So what is this trying to tell us? What is offered for sacrifice at the time of writing in Solomon's day? Beef or lamb was given as sacrifice offerings. This then is telling us that a dry piece of morsel bread taken in the quietness of your personal commitment is far better than dining with steak and all the trimmings, where there is fighting and bickering going on at the table. This is not directed to what you eat, but what is going on around you while you are eating.

Proverbs 17:2 "A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, And shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren."

The word "servant" as used here is "slave". In this verse there is a rich man, that has a wise slave and a no good son. So what this is saying is that the wise slave will take pride and give protection to that rich man's property [inheritance], whereas his foolish son just doesn't give a care, not even for his own inheritance. In this position, the wise slave is better off than the foolish son. Now apply this to your commitment to God. We are all slaves to our Father. Those foolish sons [unwise Christians] that care less for Father's inheritance just will not be there to share in the inheritance. This is an important time to be living in. Call them the foolish virgins of the parable.

Proverbs 17:3 "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: But the Lord trieth the hearts."

When silver is refined, the refining takes place in the smelting pot. The gold is purified in the furnace; however the refining of a person can only be done by God, as he tests and shapes a person's mind. Then and only then will it truly be see what a person is made of. Sure God will allow us to be put into situations for our testing, and those times are important to mold our thoughts. However there is no temptation that God will put you in, but what he will provide a way of escape. God is in control, and he is the one that does the judging and determines the rewards that each of us receive.

Proverbs 17:4 "A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; And a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue."

A wicked person listens to and pays attention to liars, and they find pleasure in those lies. The person that is wicked would rather play games with those lies, and he simply does not have enough sense to know the truth from a lie; nor does he care. If a lie helps him in what he is doing, that lie then become a tool for his use. He doesn't care about the truth, nor could he handle it.

Proverbs 17:5 "Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: And he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished."

"The Maker" is our heavenly Father. Father is telling you that if you find and take pleasure within another man's problems, He is going to bring calamities right down on your own head. If that poor servant of God is one of God's elect, and you sit there and find pleasure in his troubles, God is warning you to look out, it's coming your way also. God warned us in Romans 12:19; "vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." Any time you think you can mess over Father and his elect, you are in for real trouble.

Proverbs 17:6 "Children's children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers."

Grandparents take great pride in their grandchildren; and the children are the pride of their parents.

Proverbs 17:7 "Excellent speech becometh not a fool: Much less do lying lips a prince."

A prince is a representative of a government, and all governments are ordained by God. This use to be far more real than it does today. In years past, to catch an official in a lie branded him as a fool; an evil man. Today our government has become so corrupt that lies and evil acts amongst government officials are protected, but is common practice. The population expects the government official to be of lying lips and a stammering tongue.

Proverbs 17:8 "A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: Whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth."

Again this word "gift" should read "bribe", and it takes on a whole new meaning. Once the bribe has been refined and turned, it is as a precious stone, for it will prosper the one that gave it. That is until the bribe has been uncovered with the truth. The precious stone will shine its light into the eyes of the one viewing it, and if you think you can accept a bribe and have it go away, you are wrong. That evil act will always be there in the eye of your mind. You will not get away with evil doings, especially in politics and government.

Proverbs 17:9 "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; But he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."

Because one friend loves another, he will cover for him. However when the two of them are alone, rest assured the one that forced the other to cover for him, will not let him forget that act. In the future, it will hold that act over the man's head and collect many times over the value of that lie told. In time it will cause the separation of that friendship. If you are a true friend and want that friendship to last, then forgive that friend and get on with your life. If you are the one that covers for a friend when no one else is harmed, then forget it and let it be over. If you don't, your friendship is over and finished.

Proverbs 17:10 "A reproof entereth more into a wise man, Than an hundred stripes into a fool."

You could beat a fool to death, but he won't learn a thing. Until that fool changes his mind and reforms he will never become wise. A wise person will pay attention to forms of correction and and gain from it. Of course it is dealing with adults, and not the correction we give our children.

Proverbs 17:11 "An evil man seeketh only rebellion: Therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him."

Mark that rebellious man, for that is all that is on his mind. His entire life is built around mischief, and as long as you are around him, you will be part of his rebellion. It is God that sends this cruel messenger [angel] against that rebellious one, and he will get his just reward. God doesn't send evil on anyone, but he will allow Satan to have his way with that rebellious one. Satan likes to mess over people, and when God takes His protective hand off an individual, all sorts of things happen to that person. This is why it become important to keep our faith strong in Father, and seek his protection.

Proverbs 17:12 "Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, Rather than a fool in his folly."

This is saying that it is safer to walk up on a bear that has been robbed of her cubs than to meet a fool all wrapped up in his folly.

Proverbs 17:13 "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, Evil shall not depart from his house."

It takes an evil person to reward evil for the good someone has shown them. Once that evil comes into the household, the entire family reaps the results of the wickedness. Until there is a change in the mind of the evil one, there will be no change in that wicked ones actions.

Proverbs 17:14 "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: Therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with."

What this is picturing is a huge dam, that is about to break and send it wall of water down on those beneath. That is how trouble can come down on you when you all contention to continue without putting a stop to it. Face those problems when they are small, and they will not amount to something destructive at a later time.

Proverbs 17:15 "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, Even they both are abomination to the Lord."

This is aimed at those that sit in authority and power over others, and it deals with praising the wicked and their deeds, and condemning the righteous as being something evil. God calls that one that sits in judgment doing such a thing of attributing the things of God to Satan and the things of Satan as an abomination to the Lord. The end results is either repentance, or payday at the final judgment.

Proverbs 17:16 "Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, Seeing he hath no heart to it?"

This would be better worded as such; why would a foolish man set a price in his hand to buy his wisdom, seeing he does not have the mind to receive that knowledge with understanding when it comes. You simply cannot buy wisdom, for you have to attain it through your study to receive the knowledge. Wisdom also come by your experiences in life, and watching what other do. A fool can have all the money in the world, but when it comes to common sense, you just can not buy it. All wisdom comes from God.

Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loveth at all times, And a brother is born for adversity."

Again we have to go back to the Hebrew text to gain understanding; This is talking about a person that is very close to you, and through that friendship the actually become your brother. This verse is saying that that person [friend] will also stand with you in times of adversity. The adversity and controversy in this case is against Satan himself. There is coming a time when you had better know who your friends are, and choose them wisely.

Proverbs 17:18 "A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend."

So what this is saying is that this man is willing to shake hands to back a friend even when he is void of understand of what he is shaking on. Right or wrong, this person could care less what the truth is, but only the outcome of the situation with his friend. This verse carries into the making of vows to someone, even when the vow is without sound judgment. The fool will walk right in and commit himself without knowing the details.

Proverbs 17:19 "He loveth transgression that loveth strife: And he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction."

Those that love transgression look forward to strife and bring it on to themselves, even within their own families. For the rest of this verse you have to understand the circumstances of the times. The homes of that day were within walled cities. The gate is the only part of the house that could be viewed from the street because of the wall. The show of the house was not in the gate but within the house itself. So what this verse is say, is that if someone is exalting their gate with beauty, they are asking for trouble from the thieves. When you brag on what you have, you are asking for trouble.

Proverbs 17:20 "He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: And he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief."

He that does not guard his tongue will find himself in much mischief. If you let your tongue go astray, you are asking for trouble.

Proverbs 17:21 "He that begetteth a fool does it to his sorrow; and the father of a fool has no joy."

This is so true, for the father of a fool sees much sorrow by the actions of his son or daughter.

Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: But a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Feeling good and being happy and pleased with yourself, is some of the best medicine you can receive. A person with a broken spirit and depressed is open for sickness in his life. That is why a Christian friend is so valuable when one is in a depressed state of mind.

Proverbs 17:23 "A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom To pervert the ways of judgment."

The verse goes against everything reasonable; so something is wrong with the translation. The word "give" should be better translated "bribe". So it reads; "a wicked man takes a bribe out of his pocketbook to try to buy off the judges." He buys favors at the court to win judgments. This crime still goes on today in the courts of our land through high priced lawyers.

Proverbs 17:24 "Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; But the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth."

No matter where a man with understanding goes, his wisdom goes with him. For the man with understanding, wisdom is everywhere. However the fool thinks that he has to go to the end of the earth to find wisdom, when it is all around him all the time.

Proverbs 17:25 "A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her that bare him."

Even if your mother is bitter against you, she will still stick by you when trouble comes your way. That is just human nature.

Proverbs 17:26 "Also to punish the just is not good, Nor to strike princes for equity."

Anytime you knowingly punish a just person, God will make it right and get you. The "just" in the Hebrew is the "Zadok", those that stand "just" as the elect before God. If a person punishes one of God's elect for the good they do, God will take vengeance on him. The second part of this verse deals with someone in a governmental position, and to strike him would not be to smart, because the government would come down on him. Think of it, how smart is it to fight with a policeman when you have done wrong.

Proverbs 17:27 "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: And a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit."

The man that has knowledge thinks over what he is going to say before he talks. Your spirit is the intellect of your soul, and if your spirit is right with God; for all understanding comes from God, then you have peace in your mind that comes from your faith in Him.

Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: And he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

What this is saying is that you can be the biggest fool in the community, but it you keep your mouth shut, nobody will know what a fool you are. A man that can control his mouth and what he says with discretion is a man of understanding.

 

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