Sunday, August 15, 2010

Proverbs 17: 1-14

1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.

2 A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son, 

and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, 

but the LORD tests the heart.

4 A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; 

a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

5 Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; 

whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

6 Children's children are a crown to the aged, 

and parents are the pride of their children.

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool— 

how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

8 A bribe is seen as a charm by those who give it; 

they think success will come at every turn.

9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, 

but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person 

more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God; 

the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs 

than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house 

of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; 

so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

Questions to consider:
  • What should be your attitude toward your ethics considering verse 3?
  • Where is the source of wickedness?
  • What relationships do you see in this passage? What principles do you see for interaction in these relationships?

Possibilities for prayer:

Verse 9 seems rather relevant to most of our lives. We all have probably had friends who have had fights, and who come to us to help them process and/or resolve the conflict. In those moments, we have the opportunity to be peacemakers (read: foster love) or to create even more distance and tension in the relationship between friends depending on the stance we take and the words we choose. Today, let’s ask God to create in us the spirit of a peacemaker, that we would be able to use wise words spoken carefully to bring about reconciliation and to foster love in relationships around us (as well as our own!). Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9a) so we know that’s something for which we can strive!