Thursday, April 17, 2014

“SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 26:17-19”

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Enemies Of The Lord: The Cruel 1: Proverbs 26:17-19
17) He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears.
18) As a mad [man] who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
19) So [is] the man [that] deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

In this chapter, Solomon describes for us three of the greatest enemies of the Lord:
1.  The Fool (vs 1-12), One who does not apply the Word of God to their life.
2.  The Lazy (vs 13-16), One who is not diligent and industrious in their responsibilities
3.  The Cruel (vs 17-28), One who is angry, malicious and out of control 

Before we being this final portion of our devotions from Proverbs 26 a short explanation is necessary.  The title of this final section of chapter 26 (vs 17-28) is “the cruel”.  Although this title cannot be found in our verses, it is a very fitting title for the enemy of the Lord that is being portrayed.  Note the different ways in which this individual is described…
1. vs 17 – one that “meddleth with strife”
2. vs 18 – “a mad man”
3. vs 19 – the “man that deceiveth his neighbor”
4. vs 20 – “talebearer”
5. vs 21 – a “contentious man”
6. vs 22 – “talebearer”
7. vs 23 – “burning lips” & “wicked heart”
8. vs 24 – he that “hateth” and “layeth up deceit”
9. vs 25 – there are “seven abominations in his heart”
10 vs 26 – whose “hatred is covered by deceit” & his “wickedness”
11 vs 27 – whoso “diggeth a pit” & “rolleth a stone”
12 vs 28 – a “lying tongue” & “a flattering mouth”
From these descriptions we can see the great harm cruel individuals can do to Christians and the work of the Lord.

We can see from the above descriptions that the basic principle is the harming of others motivated by hatred.   This is why I felt as if the title “cruel” is the best one to use to describe this individual.  As a matter of fact, one of the ideas behind the title “mad man” found in verse 18 is the idea of “cruelty out of control”.

So please keep in mind, as we study these verses over the next several devotionals, we are looking at different traits of one type of enemy of the work of the Lord. It is one who harms others based upon uncontrolled hatred in their heart… in other words it is one that is “cruel”. 

As we begin our study of one that is cruel keep in mind vs 17-19 are only the beginning of this section, this entire study extends through vs 28 of this chapter.

17) He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears.
1.  A person who is going on his way, intentionally leaves his path and crosses over to a conflict that is taking place between two individuals is like
2.  one that grabs the ears of a dog. 

Here, we see a person who desires to interfere with a dispute taking place between others.  Note his desire is so great to “stir up trouble” he risks the delay of his journey just to be involved in a dispute.  This type of individual   is much like a person who intentionally grabs a dog’s ears just to make the dog to attack him.

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  (2 Timothy 2:22-26)

18) As a mad [man] who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
1.  As a mad man (out of control hatred, to be rabid, to be insane)
2.  who has fiery arrows, piercing arrows or spears, and death flow from them like a raging river.

Those who possess uncontrolled hatred within themselves lash out at anyone in their path, flooding them with hate-filled acts and words meant to harm and destroy them.

Joseph [is] a fruitful bough, [even] a fruitful bough by a well; [whose] branches run over the wall:  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot [at him], and hated him:  But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)   (Genesis 49:22-24)

19) So [is] the man [that] deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
One common way that hatred is spewed upon others is through
1.  the cruel working to mislead acquaintances.
2.  This is done for the entertainment and the pleasure of the deceiver.

Those who are cruel make the harming of others through deceit an entertaining contest

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;   (2 Peter 2:12-13)


In our study of the cruel, we have seen that he is:
1.  a person who desires to “stir up trouble” between two warring individuals.
2.  a person who with uncontrolled hatred that floods others with acts and words meant to destroy.
3.  a person who make the harming of others through deceit a contest that entertains and pleases them.

May we all possess Godly wisdom and live our lives for Him.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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