Archive for the ‘Proverbs 25’ Category


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 25:13 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him, he refreshes the spirit of his masters. 

Are you a breath of fresh air to all who trust you? Do you refresh the spirits of those who depend on you, like a cool drink on a hot fall day? Are you especially a source of joy to your employer? Faithfulness is a great thing, but it is a rare thing today. There are people trusting you and depending on you, and you are a relief and pleasure to them based on the degree of your faithfulness. The lesson of the proverb is the joy created by a faithful man.

Harvest occurred in the fall in Israel. After a hot summer and all the hard work of bringing a harvest into the barns and garners, the reapers, threshers, and other workers were parched and weary. The arrival of cool weather was a wonderful relief and pleasure, and so was a drink cooled by snow preserved from nearby mountains (Pr 25:25). Snow itself in harvest was not good; it was the cool weather or cooling effect of snow that was good. Solomon used this refreshing effect of cool weather or a cool drink for his simile.

Solomon used a messenger, or ambassador, for the lesson, though it applies to all jobs and duties. Rather than working under constant supervision, a messenger would be sent with news, covenants, or ultimatums to other places. It would be easy to delay departure, linger on the way, get sidetracked, forget details of the message, present it in the wrong way, say more than needed, misperceive the response, or fail in other ways (Pr 13:17).

Faithfulness is a great measure of a man’s character (Pr 11:13; 14:5; 27:6; 28:20). Most men claim to be faithful. Just read their resumes or listen to them talk! But there are only a few truly faithful men in any generation (Pr 20:6). A faithful man meticulously fulfills every duty to equal or exceed the expectations of those trusting or depending on him.

How faithful are you? Are you early to work and appointments? Are you known for punctuality? Do you pace yourself on projects? Do you procrastinate? Do you always hit deadlines? Are you easily sidetracked? Are you distracted quickly? Do you always finish projects? Do you get the details others need? Are you a great communicator so that all parties know all that is needed? Are your quality and quantity greater than expected?

Faithful men are rare. You can separate yourself from the crowd by faithfulness in your assignments (Pr 22:29; Luke 2:52). Do your duties in such a way that those trusting you and depending on you are filled with excitement at your outstanding performance. And this applies from President of the United States to being a great student in kindergarten!

God’s messengers should be the most faithful men. Only very faithful men tested by real duties should ever be ordained (I Tim 3:1-7). He should be the most diligent and faithful man in the church and focused on his God-given duties without distraction (Phil 2:19-22; I Tim 4:12-16; II Tim 2:3-4; Titus 1:5-11). It is a disgusting shame when the ministry is referred to as a “nonprofit profession” due to the dereliction of duty of most ministers.

The rest of your life begins now. Who is trusting you and depending on you that needs a refreshing drink of cool water or the relief of a cool breeze? Get to your duties and fulfill each one better than expected. Child, make your bed and clean your room perfectly. Wife, have a real meal for your family tonight. Husband, do not relax or sleep tonight without training your family. Mr. President, provide fully for our national success.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:7 It is better for him to say to you, “Come up here” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman

Humility will win the favor of God and men. Humility is crucial to be a great Christian, a successful leader, a gracious person, or a man with friends. True humility never presumes on the activities, approval, or presence of others. It is far better to be invited than to invite yourself, because you may and should be rejected on the basis of such presumption. Let others make you important rather than trying to do so yourself (Pr 25:27; 27:2).

Only half of the proverb is here. These words are the explanation and reward for taking a humble approach in public gatherings. The first half declares, “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men.” Solomon taught humility by teaching good manners for social events. It is better to take a back seat and be invited forward than to take a front seat and be asked to move back in front of those present.

The Lord Jesus Christ used the same illustration for humility, when He saw proud guests at a meal choosing the better seats (Luke 14:7-10). With greater detail than Solomon, as a parable is more detailed than a proverb, Jesus described the public shame of being asked to move lower versus the public honor of being asked to move higher! He concluded by declaring that He would reward humility and punish pride (Luke 14:11). Beware!

While the shame of public dishonor and rejection makes the proverb potent and valuable, the pride of your soul is what must be identified and eliminated. Proud actions that offend others are merely the symptoms of an arrogant spirit and haughty heart. True humility begins in the soul, where you admit your worthlessness before God and commit yourself to serving others rather than expecting or demanding them to honor and serve you.

How are you in group discussions? Can you calmly and patiently listen to others speak, or are you agitated with the need to talk? What about one-on-one conversations? Must you respond to every statement with one of your own? Why is it crucial for you to speak? Why do you feel the need? You are violating the principle of humility taught by this proverb. You should remain silent in most cases until your opinion is specifically sought.

Consider a more distant application of this principle of humility and reservation taught by the proverb. If you are allowed the privilege to use a company expense account while traveling or for other assignments or perks in a job, you should always choose a less expensive place to eat and menu item than a more expensive place and costlier menu item. This choice is crucial for the character of a Joseph or Daniel necessary for success, and it will endear you to those over you approving the bills. They will trust you with more and tell you later to spend more. Many men cannot grasp such simple wisdom.

Your success requires humility and meekness. God Himself will surely bring you down, if you do not hate pride, arrogancy, and presumption (Pr 8:13; 15:25; 16:5; Job 40:9-14). Men will reject you for friendship or business, for most men resent a haughty spirit (Pr 13:10; 26:12,16; 28:11). And you will make costly mistakes, for pride is blinding and deceitful by its presumptions (Pr 11:2; 16:18; 29:23). Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you soon enough (Pr 18:12; Jas 4:10; I Pet 5:6).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 25:09-10 If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another mans confidence, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation. 

Gossip can ruin your reputation. Yet gossip is incredibly easy. Wise men will know you are wicked and will rebuke you, and you will be disgraced and shamed. The lesson is simple: do not talk critically or negatively about others; do not spread news or rumors; do not slander anyone. Gossip is a heinous sin, and it can permanently stain your reputation.

This is half of a proverb. The first half says, “Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another” (Pr 25:9). Good men only discuss differences or offences with the person involved, not with others. If you tell others about a conflict with someone, those others will know you are hateful, malicious, and wicked.

Jesus Christ taught the same rule of godliness and wisdom. He said, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone” (Matt 18:15). If you cannot ignore the offence of another, go tell him his fault. Instead of telling others about the problem, tell him alone. The rule is clear and definite.

When you have a problem with someone, it is cruel and malicious to tell others about it. You do so in order to defame and injure the other party and obtain sympathy for your cause. You seek to hurt another person’s reputation and exalt your own. The holy God of heaven considers such intentions and actions to be murder (Matt 5:21-26). Beware!

You should keep controversies and offences between you and your adversary. If you tell others about them, it is called gossip. In the Bible, it was called backbiting, talebearing, tattling, and whispering, if you told the truth. These are terrible sins that God hates. If you lied about the matter, then it was also called slander. It does not matter that these sins are popular today and no longer preached against: they are heinous in God’s sight.

Godly men despise this evil treatment of others, and they will despise the person doing it. They will angrily rebuke those who gossip about others. It is a duty to do so. Solomon wrote, “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue” (Pr 25:23). It is terrible that more wise men do not put backbiters, talebearers, whisperers, slanderers, and gossips to shame by angry rebukes (Lev 19:17; I Thess 5:14).

If you have a problem with someone, and you cannot gloriously overlook it, go to him alone and settle it through Christian charity. Put a guard on your heart, and do not even think about telling others. Only say complimentary and kind things about other people. Let your reputation be glorious and gracious, always edifying others (Eph 4:29; Col 4:6).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:11 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in setting of silver

How beautiful is your speech? Would hearers compare it to a beautiful painting or sculpture? King Solomon praised good speech in this proverb by comparing it to an exquisite scene. In your city are many paintings or sculptures of fruit in bowls and other settings, and apples are commonly used. Fine homes are decorated with such lovely art.

Here is a simple simile, a figure of speech of comparison. It is identified by the word “like.” Apples, gold, pictures, and silver are not the real subject matter of the proverb. They only have comparative value taken together as a beautiful setting. Proper speech is praised and recommended by comparing and likening it to their combined beauty.

What are pictures, especially before photography? Since the other uses do not define the word (Num 33:52; Is 2:16), you should find a dictionary summary of this English word.

  • Picture.  A painting, drawing, sculpture, statute or other   symbolic representation of some thing as a work of art.

Can you visualize apples of gold in a painting or sculpture of silver? As in a silver basket or bowl? What a beautiful combination of color and images! So are words well spoken!

As the next verse shows, Solomon again used a simile to praise and encourage good speech (Pr 25:12), though there he used “as” to show the simile. Still using gold, he compared it to fine jewelry. You should easily get the lesson of learning good speech.

Right words used the right way at the right time are wonderful. The person speaking them deserves a kiss on the lips (Pr 24:26). Such proper words are wonderful (Pr 15:23,26; 16:13,24; 22:11; Eccl 12:10; Col 4:6). Will you start today to beautify your speech?

Some have foolishly dreamed this proverb proves an important rule of hermeneutics, or Bible interpretation – single words are more important than their context. They imagine a single word is like gold and its context like silver, and since gold is worth more than silver, then a single word is more important than its context. Incredible! Such wisdom is too high for us (Ps 131:1), since the Holy Spirit has no hermeneutics here, and especially a rule that is entirely contradictory to understanding a passage of scripture. Lord, help us.

Furthermore, a single word is not the point or lesson of the proverb. Paul said much more than one word when giving a word of exhortation (Acts 13:15). And he called Hebrews a word when closing out that lengthy epistle (Heb 13:22)? Solomon and you use the word “word” this way, as something said, quite often (Pr 12:25; 13:13; 14:15; 15:23; Eccl 8:4).

How did Jesus Christ speak? Most beautifully! The synagogue at Nazareth could not believe it (Luke 4:22); Mary could not get enough of it (Luke 10:39); His enemies praised it (Jn 7:46); His beautiful tongue and choice of words had been foretold long before (Is 50:4). Delight in His words as recorded in the Bible, and copy them as well.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:1These are more proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah King of Judah.

Here is a reminder you are studying Solomon’s proverbs. You have the personal counsel of a very successful king, whom God inspired with divine wisdom and great ability of observation and analysis. The proverbs you have in the following chapters were selected from many by the careful work of men appointed by Hezekiah, another great king.

There is value in this verse of Scripture, or the LORD Jehovah would not have given it to you. There are two intermissions in the book of Proverbs, one at Proverbs 10:1, and one here. God gave you a break to consider again what special words you are reading. Consider the matter carefully, and you will see that here also is wisdom for your learning.

God gave Solomon, son of David and king of Israel, much wisdom and a large heart (I Kgs 3:10-15). He immediately showed Israel his great sense of judgment by dealing with two prostitutes in a wonderful way (I Kgs 3:16-28). He was wiser than all men, and wise men and kings came from all nations to hear him speak on any subject (I Kgs 4:29-34).

God also gave Solomon the other things needed for a full experiment in discovering purpose and pleasure for life. He was a very attractive man (I Sam 16:12; II Sam 11:2); he had unlimited capital (Eccl 2:10); he had no wars or disturbances (I Kgs 4:24-25); and he was an absolute ruler at the height of the power of the Israelite nation (I Kgs 4:20-21).

Consider! He was incredibly skilled and desirable socially; he could afford anything he wanted; he had no opposition or wars to distract him; and everyone would do exactly what he wanted. His great laboratory for experimenting with life was exceptional. No man or group of men, before or since, can even approach his research opportunities or ability in analyzing and summarizing the results. Surveying the homeless does not cut it!

Solomon committed his life to discovering man’s purpose and pleasure in life (Eccl 1:3,12-13). He tried it all, and then some. Wealth? Silver was as common as gravel (I Kgs 10:14-29). Women? He had seven hundred princess wives and three hundred concubines, many of whom he loved with his extra large heart (I Kgs 11:1-3). Entertainment? He tried everything there was to try, in staggering excess (Eccl 2:1-10). Prestige? The wise men and kings of the earth came with presents annually to hear him talk (I Kgs 10:1-25).

At the end of his grand and exhaustive experiment of life, he carefully sought out good words to teach his people the truth about what he had learned. He summarized his vast learning in 3000 meticulously devised and acceptable proverbs – short, substantial, and powerful sayings of truth and wisdom for the people to learn his knowledge (Eccl 12:9-10). And the proverbs were further refined by divine inspiration from God (Eccl 12:11). Can you hear from heaven, “These are the true sayings of God” (Rev 19:9)?

Where does Hezekiah fit in? He was a glorious king in his own right, a descendant of David and Solomon (II Chron 32:27-30). He was exceptionally wise and zealous in the reformation and revival of true religion in Israel, like in the days of David and Solomon (II Chron 29:2; 30:21-27; 31:1-21). He appointed men, under the direct guidance of God, to select the proverbs used from this point to the end of the book of Proverbs, for you.

What an incredible gift! Can you believe it? You have a book of about 500 of the choicest proverbs of Solomon’s learning, edited to perfection by the Creator God, and carefully selected by the appointment of another great king. Here is the wisdom of the greatest king and of God Himself for you to live prosperously. Give God great praise!

Now, dear reader, what will you do with these short, pithy statements of wisdom called proverbs? Will you read them as quaint sayings of ancient religious literature? Will you marvel at their brevity and variety? Or will you humble yourself before them with a trembling heart and beg the Lord to teach you in your soul all the wisdom each contains?

All the wisdom of all authors, even with the information and learning explosion today, cannot compare to one of his proverbs (II Tim 3:7). Why read the tome on anthropology of a God-hating, marijuana-smoking, same-sex-loving professor who teaches classes about abnormal and deviant sexual behavior of one-legged penguins in Madagascar?

The verse does have value! It serves as the second intermission, after 10:1, for you to realize once again that you are reading the most glorious words in the universe (along with the rest of Scripture). See the comments on Proverbs 1:1. Dear reader, you are very blessed. What will you do with this book? How can you put it down for anything else?

Can you see Jesus Christ in this verse? You should, for the Bible testifies of Him (Jn 5:39), especially parts written by another son of David. The Holy Spirit inspired the verse to further whet your appetite for Solomon’s proverbs, but with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ you should say, “A greater than Solomon is here” (Mat 12:42; Lu 11:31)!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:27 – It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor.

Dwelling on the honors you deserve can only be harmful. It can make you bitter, discouraged, or angry, and it will not bring the rewards that you think should be yours. Obsessed for what you should have received may make you miss the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

A little honey goes a long way! Its sweetness exceeds most foods, so that a small amount can satisfy your taste and appetite. Indulging in more than a little will bring nausea and sickness (Pr 25:16). In the very same way, desiring or seeking praise from men, in order to bring yourself more glory, is not glory. It is disgusting, nauseating, and shameful!

Here is a great proverb with a valuable lesson. As in many proverbs, human conduct is compared to a natural fact. Solomon used the universal knowledge of honey’s sweetness to condemn the ambition and desire of men to seek their own praise. Stated in a pithy way, these few words are helpful, intriguing, and powerful for learning divine wisdom.

In our artificial society, many are ignorant about honey. They are addicted to dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, corn syrup, and other popular sweeteners, which stimulate rather than satisfy appetite. When did you last eat some honey? But to the informed, honey is a luxurious food God created for our benefit (Pr 24:13).

The LORD described Canaan, Israel’s land of promise, as a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex 3:8; Deut 8:7-9). Even the manna He gave Israel for forty years tasted like wafers made with honey (Ex 16:31). No one will deny that honey is sweet. It is twice as sweet as sugar! In recipes calling for sugar, only one-half the amount of honey will work.

Seeking compliments, praise, or glory is as foolish as gorging on honey – it quickly becomes revolting! Wise men avoid praise, even though most today are obsessed with it (II Tim 3:1-5). Trying to increase your glory and popularity will be disgusting to others watching you. What you thought was sweet will become nauseating. Any honor you must seek is not truly honor, for it is not real or sincere, and those giving it are offended by it.

Moses was one of Israel’s greatest leaders, but he was the meekest man on earth – he did not want glory (Num 12:3). God defended this humble man by severely punishing any who accused him of pride (Num 12:1-15; 16:1-40). Wise men and holy women will both seek to be meek (Matt 5:5; Jas 3:13; I Pet 3:4), as did Paul in following Jesus Christ (II Cor 10:1). He only gloried when forced to do so for the profit of others (II Cor 12:11).

Have you ever heard a backdoor compliment – when a person thanks God for making him so gifted? Have you ever given yourself one? Shame! Can you restrain yourself in a group and not speak unless others ask you? The apostolic rule is to reject the vanity of glory for yourself and make others and their things more important than you (Phil 2:3-4).

If you crave praise and glory, then wait for others to give you some, so you can know it is sincere and deserved (Pr 25:6-7; 27:2). If you have to wait a long time, be assured you did not deserve any! Why do you even want praise, you conceited and selfish wretch? Praise someone else! It is more blessed to give than to receive, especially in this matter.

When a person tells you about an event in their life, is it your typical response to raise a similar event or connection from your life, and overlook the precious point being made by the person? Shame! You are gorging on honey, and you do not even know it. Shame! Shut up about yourself. They do not want to know about you, or they would have asked.

The only real approval that matters is God’s approval. Reject the praise of men for the praise of God, and it will keep you from a horrible snare (John 5:44; 12:43). Diotrephes could not reject man’s honor, so beloved John severely censured him (III John 1:9-11). Remember that anything highly esteemed by men is an abomination to God (Luke 16:15).

If you examine yourself in the mirror of Scripture, you will see enough blemishes and deformities to keep you humble and avoid glory from men (Jas 1:21-25). Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, and He will exalt you at the right time (I Pet 5:6-7). Fall at the feet of Jesus Christ, and He will lift you up to greater glory (Rev 1:17-20).

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:8 What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?

Slow down! Haste makes waste! And haste can put you to shame! If you are in a conflict, do not react hastily. Do not rush to action. Calm down; sit down; slow down. Consider every angle carefully, or you will miss the obvious and be put to shame by your enemy.

Conflict and strife are parts of life in a sinful world. They evoke strong passions, which cause men to rush to action. People in a fight want to rectify a situation immediately, but such haste in a conflict easily leave men exposed to the wiser reaction of an opponent. The human heart and its demand for haste must be ruled and stopped (Pr 16:32).

A passionate response is usually a poor response. It is better to let passions cool before planning any action. The mind is usually not fully engaged, when the heart is pounding and the emotions are raging. Cool off first, before you do anything or even plan anything. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:19-20).

A multitude of counselors makes for safety in war (Pr 20:18; 24:6). What blessed wisdom! And they cannot be any counselors; they must be wise, experienced, and sober. They should be uninvolved third parties, who can think objectively and wisely. They should have experience in battle, and they do not need to be close friends. Friendship blinds eyes and stops ears, so seek counselors who will not be inflamed with you.

Unless you are very careful, small conflicts will escalate quickly into much larger wars (Pr 17:14). Responding foolishly without due deliberation is the mark of a fool, and such a reaction usually deserves punishment (Pr 18:6). Forcing wrath will bring forth more strife, just as surely as the churning of milk brings forth butter (Pr 30:33). Slow down!

Kings go to battle slowly. Jesus said, “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace” (Luke 14:31-32).

If you have ever slept on a conflict, with a mind toward fearing God and loving wisdom, you woke in the morning with a very different perspective than what you went to bed with. This is wisdom. By allowing some time to pass, your passions cooled, your mind had time to clear foolish emotions, and the Holy Spirit could direct you. Amen.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Can you win a person in authority? Gentleness will defeat power. What works best with a hard or angry person? Submissive yielding will defeat revenge. Here is precious wisdom to be successful in relationships. Instinctive responses will seldom work.

Wisdom includes ability to persuade those in power, which is very useful knowledge. The main authorities in life are parents, husbands, employers, government, and pastors. They are moved more by patient reverence than by bold debate. Though your cause might be important and right, wisdom calls for careful and respectful appeals.

Here is great wisdom for dealing with those over you. You may need to persuade a boss of your cause or dissuade one from punishing your offences. The proverb here deals with persuasion, but the same wisdom serves in dissuasion as well (Eccl 10:4). This rule, learned and remembered, will give great and peaceful skill for dealing with authorities.

The world teaches the opposite of this wisdom, and the results are horrible. Demanding your way and expecting an authority to cater to your needs and opinions is proud rebellion and creates bitterness. Rather than moving the one in authority toward your cause, it will force him to solidify his position and punish your insolent insubordination.

Human nature is proud, rebellious, and selfish. It assumes all men are created equal and having many rights. But the Bible rejects such arrogant presumption. No two men are created equal, and they are put in the five offices already listed that give them power over other men. God created the offices of authority, and exalting them makes a society great. Disrespect of authority is a widespread problem in our profane and rebellious world.

Solomon wrote as a monarch, when a king and princes had great authority. They had the power of life and death, and there was no separation of powers, threat of a hung jury, meddling media, or any other limitation to ruling. The example in the proverb is a prince. Solomon gave you divine wisdom to help you persuade a powerful authority to consider your person and your cause. Much of life involves convincing others, so the lesson is key.

Forbearing is putting up with disagreement or poor treatment. It is patient longsuffering in the face of adversity. It is used here to describe a patient approach with authority. If you seek to persuade an authority to change, you must wait for them to consider your cause. Impatiently demanding their change will totally work against you. Wait for them.

A soft tongue is a metonym for gentle and respectful speech (Pr 15:1). It is so effective that it is described as being able to break the bones of a prince. Rather than arguing or debating your case, a meek and reverent appeal works far better. Aggressive and harsh words ignore their important office and attack the integrity of their authority. Instead of soberly considering your cause, they will defend their position and rank by rejecting you.

The lower you go in humility, and the higher you lift a person for their rank, the greater leverage you have with them. To the degree you protect yourself and dilute this reverent, gentle, and patient approach, you give up leverage. Wisdom is profitable to direct!

David skillfully used this wisdom appealing to King Saul for mercy (I Sam 24:1-22; 26:1-25). And Abigail, a beautiful woman with great understanding, used it to persuade David against revenge, when he was passionately angry against her husband (I Sam 25:1-42). Read these three chapters and focus on the choice of words of David and Abigail.

Child, a respectful and kind letter to parents will work far better than arguing or pouting. Both of these actions indicate you are a spoiled brat and deserve nothing. Thank your parents for their goodness to you, and declare your love and obedience to them. Humbly state your request. Remember to patiently wait for their answer. They do not owe you!

Wife, a reverent and submissive appeal to your husband, carefully chosen for timing and location, will work far better than haughty demands, presumed rights, or sexual deprivation. Remember, he owes you nothing on the spot. Patiently wait for him to consider your request. Sarah and Bathsheba called their husbands lord, and they obtained great requests from powerful men. Godly women give up their “rights” to gain freedom!

Employers and government should be treated the same way. A grievance for poor working conditions or an undesirable assignment is received much better when made with respect and patience than with demands, insubordination, or threats. Everyone knows state troopers respond better to respectful answers than arrogant ones.

The godly application of this wisdom will bring peace and prosperity into your life, and it will exalt godly authority in the earth by its careful and patient respect for those in positions of rule. The lesson here was penned by a brilliant king for your profit. Believe it. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of princes, be given all the honor due unto Him!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:16 If you find honey, eat just enough-too much of it, and you will vomit.

Moderation in all things. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Extreme use of anything is abuse. God and Solomon want you to maximize the use of things in life by not overusing any of them. This is an important rule of wisdom and success for your life.

God created honey as a sweet gift for taste, and it is good for your body. Yet too much can overwhelm your senses and make you sick. When you find something pleasant, use it prudently for its intended purpose, lest it be a snare to your soul, or you end up hating it.

Every man’s honey is different. What is sweet to your taste but tempts you to overindulge in it? What is your honey? It is your duty to identify those pleasures that captivate you the most and be temperate with them (I Cor 9:25). What is your honey? Eat only a little.

Honey is good and pleasant (Pr 16:24; 24:13). Honey is not forbidden; it is God’s gift. Be thankful for it. But too much is not good (Pr 25:27). How can something so good make you vomit? By proving that excess is bad! Excess, which is too much, shows good things have limited uses. Use them until sufficient, to their intended purpose, and not beyond.

God richly gives His children all things to enjoy (I Tim 6:17), but all those things must be used in moderation (Phil 4:5). He is not watching from a distance to see how we treat His gifts, as many imagine. The Lord is at hand. He made man upright and gave him gifts, but he has sought out many inventions (Eccl 7:29). And one such invention is excess!

This generation loves excess. They are proud to be X-treme! Christians should avoid any immoderation. God’s gifts of food and drink have been abused to destroy souls. Gluttony and drunkenness overcharge men’s stomachs and hearts (Lu 21:34). Young men gorge until they vomit; drunkards do the same and sleep in it. They sin against this proverb.

The wisdom here is mainly moral and spiritual, yet it also contains nutritional advice. Honey and other simple or refined carbohydrates are a principal cause of obesity and other maladies affecting health. With prosperity supplies an endless variety and amount of sugars and carbohydrates, an excessive society can gorge to a diabetic epidemic!

Consider other pleasant gifts of God to grasp the lesson. God gave bread to make hearts strong (Ps 104:15), but overeating bread, cereal, pasta, cookies, cake, chips, crackers, pizza, and other grain products destroys the heart. God gave wine to make hearts glad (Ps 104:15), but drunkenness is a sin of excess that can cause horrible heartache (Eph 5:18).

Solomon commended eating and drinking for strength, rather than pleasure. There is pleasure in eating, but it cannot dominate. And he commended nations with policies and examples of temperance (Eccl 10:16-17). The all-you-can-eat buffets may be a nice blessing for variety, but they are a curse for the man given to appetite. You should eat to satisfy hunger and promote health. Can you believe, “Enough is as good as a feast”?

What about marriage? It is a great gift from God for companionship and love, but you should live without it consuming your life (I Cor 7:28-35; Ps 73:25-26). What about hobbies and entertainment? They can be pleasant diversions, but too much emphasis and they bring poverty and waste precious time (Pr 21:17; Eph 5:16).

What about bodily exercise? It has a little profit, but extremes will cost you your soul by leaving more important matters undone (I Tim 4:8). What about righteousness and wisdom? Can you have too much of these things? Yes, indeed, when misapplied! The Preacher warned against excesses of either, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day (Eccl 7:16).

Consider sex. It is one of life’s sweet pleasures – tasted and enjoyed in marriage only, and then only within godly constraints. If it is emphasized out of place, its desires will consume the single person, and it will distort a marriage into selfish practices. The wonderfully pleasant expression of love can easily become a painful ritual of bitterness.

The proverb may also be applied to friends (Pr 25:17). Too much of even friends is too much! If you are obsessive in relationships, you will lose friends, because they cannot bear or keep up with your excess. The good gift of friendship pressed to excess will turn to hatred, and then you have ruined another precious blessing by your overindulgence.

Excessive indulgence in any pleasure dulls the appetite and enjoyment of that thing, so that you need greater and greater amounts to give you the original pleasure. The more fine food you eat, the less you enjoy that special dinner out. The more you travel for business, the less you enjoy the getaway with your wife. It is a simple lesson of experience that too much of anything steals much of its pleasure (Pr 27:7).

Viewing women other than your wife, which is a sin, will reduce pleasure from your wife. It will not enhance her or your appreciation of her. Once you start this sin, you will need greater stimulation to get the same pleasure you once easily had with her. Having dulled your senses and enjoyment, you must then dip deeper into the sewer of excess and drink longer to find the original sinful pleasure. Sin lies, as it takes you down to hell.

Christian reader, what is your honey? In moderation it is good, but in excess it is sinful? Is it eating, family, drinking, working, marriage, hobbies, exercise, sex, or something else? What is it? You will have the greatest temptations to be intemperate with those things that are sweet and pleasant to you. What is your honey? You must identify these weights or sins, so you can lay them aside to successfully run your race (Heb 12:1-4).

Once you identify your honey in life, how much pleasure should you seek in using it? Until you are sick? Oh no, you have gone way too far. Godly temperance and moderation avoid excess, so you must stay safely back from the sinful line. In fact, sincere persons will consider metaphorically cutting their throats, cutting off hands, or plucking out eyes in order to avoid even the temptation to excess (Pr 23:2; Matt 18:8-9).

There is honey for the Christian that has no limit, and it is free, and you may delight in its fatness (Is 55:1-5)! It is the wonderful facts of the gospel. Lady wisdom also offers bread, wine, and a furnished table (Pr 9:1-5), and there you will not be sick or disappointed by eating as much as you can. Fill yourself today with both the gospel and wisdom.

You should also seek to be filled with all the fullness of God, in which there is great blessing (Eph 3:14-19). You can also in good conscience desire the best gifts in the church and serve better than any of them (I Cor 12:31)! Choose good honey. O Lord, fill me with your Spirit, until I am filled to overflowing, and then give me a little more.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:02 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

God has infinite wisdom of all things. He gloriously acts without revealing His purpose, seeking counsel, or exposing matters to public scrutiny. Kings are much different. Since they understand very little in comparison, they should act only after diligent examination and deliberate consideration. It would be folly for them to act in an arbitrary way, pretending to be wise as God. And all human rulers should follow their prudent example.

The world moves according to God’s secret will, of which we know little (Deut 29:29). He does not seek counsel or reveal these matters (Job 26:14; Rom 11:33), and there are many such things with Him (Job 23:14; Ps 139:17-18). Only by revelation of Scripture and passage of time do we learn this will. But we have been given His revealed will, the Word of God, by which we are to govern our lives and verify all decisions (Deut 29:29).

The LORD deals privately with men, in their souls, and only rarely exposes them to the judgment of others. He often afflicts men in their beds and chastens them in their thoughts (Job 33:14-33). He told Abimelech during the night not to touch Sarah (Gen 20:3), and He told Laban to be gentle with Jacob (Gen 31:24). David knew to use these private times with the Lord (Ps 4:4; 42:8; 63:6; 77:6; 119:147-148; 139:17-18).

He forgives us daily, of sins large and small, without exposing them to any. For this we should be very thankful, and we should also see His great glory in such gracious concealment. And when we have opportunity to overlook and conceal personal offences against ourselves, it is also our glory (17:9; 19:11). But it is our duty, with the authority He may have given us in a particular role, to search out matters and deal with them according to the wisdom of Scripture.

A noble king must gather all the facts, call wise counselors, examine witnesses, review precedents, consider consequences, and deliberate before drawing a conclusion and making a judgment. Solomon did very wisely in dealing with the two harlots (I Kings 3:9-28). Ahasuerus did so regarding Vashti’s rebellion (Esther 1:12-21), but he failed in hastily approving Haman’s personal vendetta against the Jews (Esther 3:8-15).

God told Moses how authority should deal with hearsay (Deut 13:12-18). They should inquire about it, make search, and ask diligently. If their investigation showed the matter to be true and certain, then they were to execute the appropriate judgment. The same procedure was to be followed in matters of conflicting testimony (Deut 19:15-21). Job, the perfect and righteous man that he was, followed this godly procedure (Job 29:16).

Every authority should copy the noble king. Parents should search out matters regarding their children. Children do not have rights; they have responsibilities and privileges. If there is reason to be suspicious, or even if there is not, wise parents will make diligent inquisition and search to confirm or convict. A sin nipped in the bud, before it is a full grown poisonous plant, is much easier to correct for both parent and child.

The father who does not search out things, but hides his head in the sand, is no father worthy of the name. And He will be brought to painful shame (29:15,17). The father who believes all that he hears without careful investigation exalts simplicity (14:15). David foolishly let Adonijah go so far in rebellion without questioning him that it cost him his life (I Kgs 1:6; 2:10-25). Let every father reading this proverb be a noble inquisitor.

The purpose and wisdom of human rulers is to examine all matters carefully, in order to properly rule and protect their subjects. God never intended careless and/or overbearing rule when He ordained the five spheres of human authority. Rule was not given just for the pleasure of the one reigning, but also for the protection and perfection of those under the reign. Righteous Job even considered the contentions of his servants (Job 31:13-15).

It is this honorable aspect of Christian authority that every magistrate, master, father, husband, and pastor should also include in the discharge of their office. While the degree of service to those under authority varies from position to position, it is an important part of using your God-given authority in a holy way. For example, masters rule in employment situations for the profit of the company and themselves; but they are also bound to use that rule equitably and fairly (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1).

Our Lord Jesus operates at a level we cannot explain or even define. He divides between the joints and the marrow, and between the soul and the spirit (Heb 4:12-14). All things are naked and opened to Him, but He Himself dwells in a light that no man can approach unto (I Tim 6:16). He searches our reins and hearts (Rev 2:23). Rather than have Him discover our secret sins while trying to hide them, let us open our hearts before Him and beg Him to make merciful examination (Job 34:31-32; Ps 26:2; 139:23-24).