Archive for the ‘Proverbs 26’ Category

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 26:17- Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

Seizing the ears of a stray dog is a good way to get bitten, and interfering in arguments is a good way to get hurt.  Many times both arguers will turn on the person who interferes.  It is best simply to keep out of arguments that are none or your business.  If you must become involved, try to wait until the arguers have stopped fighting and cooled off a bit. Then maybe you can help them mend their differences and their relationship.

Even a friendly dog will bite, if you grab and pull its ears! And here is the busybody, stopping to get involved in the strife of others, who will soon be bitten by both parties! The Preacher taught you the wisdom of not getting involved in the conflicts of others.

Peacemakers are wonderful (Matt 5:9). But the greatest work of making peace involves your own fighting. If you have offended another, you are to make peace with him (Matt 5:23-26). If another has offended you, you are to make peace with him (Matt 18:15-22).

By great care, and only after wise reflection, should you get involved in others’ conflicts and try to make peace for them. For even your own strife, which you know well, is to be resolved with caution, let alone that of which you are ignorant (Pr 25:8). After wise thought, make sure your words are good ones spoken in due season (Pr 15:23; 16:20).

Spiritual and wise men should try to help others with their conflicts and problems (Rom 15:1-3; Gal 6:1-3), which includes fighting and strife. You are your brothers’ keepers in such things (Lev 19:17; I Thess 5:14). And those in authority, as parents and pastors, have the honorable right and obligation to search out matters (Pr 25:2).

But some people are busybodies. They love to be busy in other men’s matters (I Peter 4:15). This is a sin, and it is to be strictly avoided by wise men and women. Consider Peter’s strong warning by association, which compares murderers, thieves, and evildoers!

Meddlers love to get involved in disputes between others. They love digging up evil between others and spreading it. It makes them feel important to be involved in others’ problems, though they are always the worst at solving their own problems. They love the inside information of private controversies. It gives them a perverse sense of worth.

Some at Thessalonica were so eager for this sin they even stopped working. Paul wrote, “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (II Thess 3:11-12). He had written in the first epistle, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (I Thess 4:11).

Women have a great temptation to be meddlers, or busybodies, in strife not belonging to them. So Paul recommended marriage and children for young widows, to keep them from idleness and the temptation of such folly (I Tim 5:12-15). A busy woman who is conscientious about her duties will not have time or interest in such dangerous things. Idleness is a curse on any people, as it was in Sodom of old (Ezek 16:49). The true adage declares, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Stay busy, and do not meddle.

The Lord Jesus Christ was perfectly virtuous in this matter. “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you” (Luke 12:13-14)? Dear reader, follow this holy example of Jesus today. The difference is very great between suffering as a busybody and suffering as a Christian (I Pet 4:14-16).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and flattering mouth works ruin

Good words do not prove good intentions. Liars and flatterers are out to destroy you, no matter how good their words sound, no matter their excuses (Pr 26:24-25). A wise man rejects both kinds of men, just as David did (Ps 101:3-8). If you tolerate these deceitful people in your life, they will take you down (Pr 20:19; 29:5). They are hiding hatred and destruction behind their lying words, and noble and prudent men will stay far from them.

A man lies for advantage or to protect himself. He is selfish and wicked, so he feels no guilt about deceiving you in order to advance himself. It does not matter what his relationship is to you or how kindly he speaks at other times. If he has lied to you, then you should run far from him, whether it is a slander about you or a lie to your face. His deceit proves that he hates you. He is out to hurt you or use you. True friends never lie.

Flattery is praise designed to deceive you into doing what the flatterer wants you to do. It is a form of lying, but it is harder to detect and resist. Men love praise, so they are easily lulled to sleep by flattery. It is poison in a spoonful of honey. A flatterer is more dangerous than a slanderer, for he is crafty, friendly, and subtle in working his deceit, while liars are more easily detected by their open malice and wickedness.

Are you vigilant and intolerant against deceivers? Aggressive salesmen may lie or flatter to sell an inferior product. Many girls have lost their virginity or women their marital fidelity to lying flattery of whoremongers (II Sam 13:1-13). Many men have been led to hell by flattering lies of whorish women (Pr 2:16-18; 5:3; 6:24-26; 7:5,21-23). Many citizens have voted for corrupt politicians due to flattery and false promises, for the election process in most nations is based on words rather than character or performance.

Parent, you must punish lying and flattery, and you must teach children to reject liars and flatterers (Job 32:21-22). Teach them that God hates liars, He will judge them, and liars are going to hell (Pr 6:16-19; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3; Rev 21:8). Teach them that friends who tell the truth even when it hurts are better than kisses from an enemy (Pr 27:5-6). Teach them that men should be judged by their actions and lives, not words (Pr 20:11).

Religion has many lies and flattery, for the devil has used it since Eden (Gen 3:1-13; John 8:44). The Jews flattered and lied to Jesus to trap him (Luke 20:20-21). False teachers use good words and fair speeches to deceive simple hearers (Rom 16:17-18). Rome tells the lies of abstaining from meat and marriage (I Tim 4:1-3). But God’s faithful pastors and teachers never use flattering speech or lies (II Cor 2:17; 4:2; I Thess 2:3-6).

Jehovah is God of truth, and so is His Son Jesus Christ, Who is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He expects honesty and truthfulness from His children, and He punishes all liars and flatterers. All who take His name must make sure their every word is honest, sincere, and true – and obviously so in the ears of all others (Deut 32:4; Rom 12:17; I Pet 2:12).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 

Is anyone worse than a fool? Yes, a proud person who thinks he is right! A fool is stupid, but he may be able to learn a few simple things. There is little hope for a scornful man, one too proud to be corrected. How will you help him? He is convinced he has no faults.

Self-confidence and self-righteousness are damning. They lock a person into the conceit of their own deceived heart and mind, for they cannot imagine that their ideas and thoughts could be wrong. They arrogantly ignore and reject advice, no matter how worthy of their consideration. Safety from such folly is by humbly mistrusting yourself.

The fool has only one hindrance to wisdom – ignorance. The conceited fool has two – ignorance and self-delusion. He must first learn he knows nothing, which is the hardest lesson in the school of wisdom, and it is usually only learned by severe punishment. The more confident a man is in error, the more ignorant and dangerous his condition.

The LORD wants you to consider such people. You may learn by watching these proud and haughty wretches. They assume they are already wise, and therefore they never will be. They do not even know what wisdom is, let alone the spirit and means to obtain it.

Conceit is a high and haughty opinion of yourself and your abilities. It is pride and arrogance. It is the New Testament sin of being highminded (II Tim 3:4). It is the curse of the devil (I Tim 3:6), who thought so highly of himself he chose to compete with God.

In this proverb, conceit is of your own thoughts. Once you believe you are a great thinker and usually right, who will persuade you otherwise? You go to bed and rise with the same thought – your opinions are better than anyone else’s. You are hopelessly deceived.

The cure is to humbly admit you now know little more than you did as an infant and you are totally dependent on God and His word to learn anything of value at all. The lesson of wisdom in this proverb is to identify haughty scorners and avoid them. They are beyond hope, so do not waste your time trying to teach them. Get away from them (Pr 22:10).

The only absolute truth in the world is the Bible, but conceited persons cannot give ground even to it. They have convinced themselves the Bible is foolish, hopelessly outdated, or written by religious fanatics. If they say they believe it, they will argue that everyone else misinterprets it: only they truly understand the mind of God. They so love their own thoughts they will not accept correction from God or His ambassadors!

Consider how educators, the media, and entertainers all fulfill this proverb for you to see. Their bloated conceit from learning, power to influence public opinion, and social status cause them to despise and reject truth. So God has blinded them to even basic wisdom, as their dysfunctional lives prove to wise observers (I Cor 1:19-20; 3:18-20).

They hallucinate in their proud minds that men came from monkeys, which came from amoebas, which came from an accidental explosion of cosmic gases. What wisdom! What glory! What an accomplishment! The God of heaven ridicules their thinking as “profane and vain babblings” and “science falsely so called” (I Tim 6:20). They make science their conceit, and conceit their science. They are fools without any hope.

But the Most High God is not amused by their arrogant stupidity. He laughs at their ignorance and coming judgment, but He is not amused by their rejection of the truth He offers (Ps 2:4-5; 37:13; Pr 1:24-27). He darkens their hearts and removes even common sense to commit abominable acts with each that he considers appropriate for their deeds.

He sends them down below brute beasts to sexually defile each other (Rom 1:18-27). Good men will agree with Paul that their base sexual perversion is a fitting reward. Are they ashamed? No way! They glorify it, promote it, and protect it (Pr 5:23; 26:11; Ps 49:13).  They cannot grasp that they have been found out and cursed by their Creator.

The first lesson of this proverb is to identify such people. When you meet fools, you rebuke their folly in order to keep them from conceit (Pr 26:5). But when you realize they are the haughty scorners of this proverb, you should leave them to their wicked fantasies (Pr 26:4; 9:7-8). Further attention, honor, or debate is unproductive and dangerous (Matt 7:6). Let the blind lead the blind into the ditch, as Jesus would say (Matt 15:14).

Children must be taught early that they know nothing and teenagers know less. Do not worry about their self-esteem, for at birth they were all given a double portion of it from hell (II Tim 3:2). They came into this world messing on themselves, and they have not advanced much beyond that before they reach thirty. Teach them that a humble attitude of ignorance is necessary for true learning and wisdom. Knowledge is just around the corner for the man who admits he knows nothing. Such a man can be taught, and quickly!

Children must be taught that only the Bible has absolute truth and wisdom, and only parents and older godly persons have wisdom worth hearing. They must be taught that the rock and movie stars, athletes, and pseudo-intellectuals of today are worse than idiots, for idiots do not have a rebellious agenda of hatred for God, authority, and righteousness.

The second lesson of the proverb is to avoid being such a scorner yourself. Paul warned, “Be not wise in your own conceits” (Rom 12:16). You should follow Solomon, who told the Lord, “I am but a little child, I know not how to go out or come in” (I Kgs 3:7). You should be like David, who said, “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me” (Ps 131:1).

Dear reader, crave such humility and a low opinion of your own thoughts. It will save you from much trouble. Tremble before the Word of God with a poor, humble, and contrite spirit (Is 57:15; 66:2; Jas 4:10). Do not trust yourself or your thoughts. Suspect your every motive. Question your every opinion. Subject your every idea to Holy Scripture. Hate vain thoughts, especially if they are your own (Ps 119:13; Jer 17:9).

He that thinks he knows something does not know it yet as he should (I Cor 8:2). If you want to be wise, you must start as a fool (I Cor 3:18). A little knowledge is dangerous, for it puffs up the human mind (I Cor 8:1). True knowledge is recognizing and admitting that you know nothing at all. With such a premise, wisdom can and will be easily obtained.

The temptation is great to violate this proverb, for “every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Pr 21:2; 16:2, 25). The only safety is to allow the infallible Word of God to arrest and condemn your foolish thoughts (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20). How do you know, vain man, that you do not hold a lie in your right hand (Is 44:20)? Turn the searchlight of God’s inspired Scriptures upon your ideas and learn to categorically reject any folly.

Then you must esteem the safety provided in a multitude of good counselors (Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6), but the scorner will not be moved even by seven good men giving solid reasons (Pr 26:16). No matter what reasons you give, he will invent all sorts of excuses to justify himself. This is a terrible evil for you to avoid and to avoid all infected by it.

A man hasty in speech is also worse than a fool (Pr 29:20), for his only desire is to belch and bark his ignorance (Pr 15:28). He would rather hear himself talk than learn anything from anyone. Rich men also tend to be wise in their own conceit (Pr 28:11), because they have achieved some measure of success, can buy themselves out of most trouble, and find themselves above the poor in most stations of life. Watch both of these men, and learn.

Now, dear reader, you must consider spiritual folly. Jesus severely rebuked the church at Laodicea for its haughty opinion of itself, and He warned them how much they needed Him and the danger of imminent judgment (Rev 3:17-22). You should carefully heed what the Spirit said to this church and throw off any ideas of spiritual self-sufficiency.

The glorious God of heaven considers self-righteousness smoke in His nose! What is self-righteousness? It is saying, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou” (Is 65:5). It is the older brother resenting a celebration for the prodigal’s return (Luke 15:25-32). It is any thought you are not the chief of sinners (I Tim 1:15).

Jesus Christ ridiculed the arrogant Pharisee who prayed conceitedly in self-righteousness about his superiority to the publican (Luke 18:9-14). He rebuked haughty religious pretenders by announcing that harlots went into the kingdom of heaven before them (Matt 21:31). Dear reader, there is nothing more dangerous to the salvation of your soul than conceited self-righteousness. Hate it with a fervent and perfect hatred. Get down!

He who comes to Jesus helpless, naked, and poor will be received into everlasting pleasure above. Those who boast about their good deeds will be cast out! You should say humbly and sincerely with the songwriter, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn 6:37).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:7 – Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

A cripple trying to walk, run, or dance is a horrible sight! His legs do not function as a coordinated pair. Being not equal in length, strength, or coordination, his movements are absurd, contradictory, ridiculous, and unprofitable. The lame should not try to dance!

In the same way, a fool using parables or proverbs to teach wisdom is absurd, contradictory, ridiculous, and unprofitable. King Solomon by this proverb teaches another indictment of fools (Pr 26:1-12). Fools should not try to be teachers.

Parables and proverbs are the dark sayings of the wise (Pr 1:5-6; Ps 78:2). They are the carefully designed means of teaching wisdom in few words, with striking force. Taken from every day life, they have a figurative meaning requiring skill and understanding to interpret and explain. Formed with interesting similes and metaphors for appeal and challenge, they are too much for a fool, who is a man without understanding or wisdom.

Fools should be taught; they should not teach. Fools should listen; they should not talk. Therefore, they should not have the honor of a public forum for their babblings (Pr 26:1,8). And they should be ignored or shut up by wise rebukes (Pr 26:4-5). This is God’s rule for dealing with fools, and you should consistently obey it (II Tim 2:16,23; Tit 3:9).

Their lack of common sense and/or spiritual understanding denies them any right to take the deep things of God’s word into their mouths. Their sinful living habits and profane treatment of religious matters preclude them from touching His holy things. They would do much better and be perceived more kindly, if they kept their mouths shut (Pr 17:28)!

But it is impossible for fools to shut up and listen and learn – they must be babbling in their ignorance – for that is one of the chief marks of a fool (Pr 15:2; Eccl 5:3; 10:3,12-14). Identifying fools is easy: all you have to do is listen for the one talking the most. So fools in both the pulpit and pew vainly take up the Word of God and try to teach wisdom.

A fool thinks the sound and sense of words are equal – they need no interpretation – so the cripple stumbles into confusion and heresy. Sound bites are good enough for a fool. Why worry about context or the spiritual intent of words, he argues: the Bible means what it says, and says what it means. He does not know or understand the minister’s work of reading distinctly and giving the sense of a reading (Neh 8:8; Eccl 8:1; II Pet 1:20).

A fool thinks reading and study are the same – he assumes thinking and studying are the same – so the cripple falls without due preparation. Anyone should be able to give their opinion, he argues: we are all God’s children and have the Spirit to expound and teach the truth. He has neither the God-given aptitude for the work, nor invests the sweat to save him from doctrinal shame (Pr 15:28; I Tim 3:2; 4:13-15; II Tim 2:15; Tit 1:9).

A fool opens his mouth wide and belches about doctrine and principle – but his life never matches the Scriptures he uses – so the cripple stumbles and falls into the gutter of hypocrisy. He fools some by his loud profession of faith and wisdom, but the Lord Jesus Christ will expose his nakedness in the Day of Judgment (Matt 7:21-23). He fails one of the chief duties of a teacher – to be an example of the truth (I Tim 4:12,16; Tit 2:7).

Is this proverb literally true? Until you have heard a spiritualizing fool with the Song of Solomon or the parable of the Good Samaritan, you cannot appreciate just how ridiculous a dancing cripple can be! Until you hear a fund-raising fool abuse and twist the words of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” you cannot fully grasp the danger and folly of a cripple on a balance beam! This proverb is indeed literally true.

Reader, what lessons can you learn here? Be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19). Do not be eager to be a teacher, for they shall receive the greater condemnation (Jas 3:1). Silence is golden, especially if God or men have not called you to be a teacher (Heb 5:4). Make sure your life teaches louder than your words (Matt 23:14-15). Be thankful for God-called teachers and submit to them, for this is God’s means for your learning.

The Lord Jesus was no cripple. His legs were equal and very strong. He was perfectly fit as the greatest teacher of wisdom in the history of the world. His prudent use and interpretation of parables and proverbs was exceptional. He was greater than Solomon. His skill and power in teaching caused men to tremble in amazement and avoid questions (Matt 7:28-29; 22:46; Luke 4:22; John 7:46). Give Him the glory due unto His name.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:26 His malice may be conceal by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

Hateful people lie to cover their wickedness (Pr 26:24-26). But God promised to expose them. It is terrible there are such people, but it is worse that they get into churches.

Wicked men get into most churches. It is a terrible evil, but it happens. Though filled with arrogance, hatred, and selfishness, they creep into churches with false professions of religion. Even the world knows this fact, for many reject Christianity for its hypocrisy. But though such sinners cover their hatred by lies, their evil souls will be fully exposed.

What a great God! What a helpful proverb! God teaches you how to discern liars, and He promises to take care of them for you. Bible wisdom can help you perceive a person with hateful and wicked motives, and faith in God can comfort you that He will fully expose the lying monster. Faith and learning have their rewards. Love such truth and wisdom!

This proverb has a rare context to help its interpretation. Solomon had been describing the dangerous evil of talebearers (Pr 26:20-23). These wicked persons love to spread harmful facts, rumors, tales, and insinuations about others. They hurt others deeply, and they cause contention and strife among the members of any group. They do not know the way of peace themselves, and they also keep others from finding full peace and security.

They play the hypocrite with their mouths by claiming to be Christians, while their hearts plan games of pretence and revenge (Pr 26:24). Wise men do not believe their fair words, for they know many evil imaginations are in their hearts (Pr 26:25). Wisdom is the power of right judgment, the ability to discern and know things that deceive most other people.

What identifies these wicked imposters? They speak derogatorily about others and spread harmful facts or slanderous innuendos (Pr 26:20-25). Just listen to their speech about others, and you can discover them. They can hardly stop criticizing and sowing discord by negative information. They are backbiters, slanderers, talebearers, and whisperers.

When a person hates others, the Bible says it proves him a child of the devil (Jn 8:44; I Jn 2:9,11; 3:10,15; 4:8,20). When you detect the critical, hateful, and snide spirit of some toward others, you have likely found a child of the devil. Is this judgment too harsh? Remember Jesus and “the apostle of love” provided the cross-references! God is love, and those truly the children of God will show God is in them by their love (I Jn 4:7-16).

Though these haters lie and pretend to be loving Christians, God will expose them to save His true saints. David begged God to save his kingdom from such strange children – hypocrites that use vain speech and false handshakes to pretend love and piety (Ps 144:7-11). There are great benefits for a church to get rid of such false persons (Ps 144:12-15)!

Paul told the Corinthian church that God would send heresies into His churches to discover these lying frauds and confirm the identity of His true children (I Cor 11:19). So while heresies are a painful matter to deal with in a church, they are often used to expose the lying hypocrites that cause dissension and strife. The end result is well worth the pain.

God’s distillation process is precious. Distillation is a method used to separate a mixture into its component parts, where the desired component will be at a much higher strength than diluted in the mixture. The God of heaven is constantly at work distilling His faithful churches by removing the impure elements to refine and improve the remainder.

Absalom was Solomon’s brother and David’s son. He lied to Israel about how much he cared for them to steal the throne (II Sa 15:1-6). But God exposed his hatred and left him hanging by his hair in a tree for Joab’s darts (II Sa 18:9-15)! Judas conspired in hatred with the Jews against Jesus, and the other apostles had no idea (John 13:21-30). But God exposed his hatred and dashed his bowels over a field (Matt 27:1-10; Acts 1:18-20)!

How can you help your church? Never speak negatively about anyone, unless absolutely necessary for those in authority or for scriptural duty! If you cannot say something kind or commending, do not say anything. Make it your goal to promote the reputations of all men, even your personal enemies. This is true Christianity (Matt 5:43-48; Phil 2:1-4).

How can you help your church? If you hear someone criticizing, backbiting, gossiping, or slandering others, stop them by an angry face or warning rebuke (Pr 25:23; Ps 101:5; I Thess 5:14). God hates this sin, and so should you (Pr 6:16-19). A wife may do this even to a foolish husband, if she is discrete and respectful like Abigail (I Sam 25:3,19,36-37).

Jesus Christ is the Head of His churches, and He constantly walks among them, visible to the eye of faith (Rev 3:1). He exposed the lie of Ananias and his wife Sapphira in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 5:1-11). He cut down many selfish and profane souls in the church at Corinth (I Cor 11:30). He promised death to Jezebel and her followers in the church at Thyatira (Rev 2:20-23), and He comforted and exhorted the rest (Rev 2:24-27).

This God you can trust no matter what. Hateful liars claiming to love God and be your friends can be frightening and worrisome. But He has promised to take care of them by exposing them, and He has promised to take care of you by protecting you. He has sent His glorious Son, the King of heaven, to guard and protect you and every true church. Have you committed your life and church entirely to Him? You will never regret it.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:21 As Charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

Peace is precious. Fighting is terrible. Gossip destroys reputations and friendships. Life can be enjoyable – peaceful and quiet. But some persons never let you rest and enjoy it; they must be stirring the pot and spreading rumors or secrets to cause pain and fighting.

Trouble follows some people. They have conflicts, debates, fights, grudges, and strife with others, whom they blame. But this proverb says it is their fault. Quarrels and disagreements would either not occur or would end quickly, but these contentious troublemakers stir up fights and keep fighting with most anyone (Pr 15:18; 29:22; 30:33).

The man or woman that often has difficulties with others wants to blame them. But it is impossible for strife to consistently follow good people, while the rest of the world lives in relative peace with one another. They must be at fault, because no one can get along with them for long. Once you identify such persons, they are usually the ones at fault.

Some are divorced or have bad marriages, because they cannot relate to a spouse. Their children dislike them – they are harsh parents. They have a poor work history – they fight on the job. They bounce from church to church – they wear out their welcome. They have few devoted friends, because they fight too much. No one wants to be around them.

At the same time, there are others who get along with most everyone, most of the time! They are good spouses, parents, employees, church members, and friends. What makes the difference? It is the chasm between a gracious peacemaker and contentious scorner. The one is approved by God and men; the other is resented by both God and men.

There are two similes in the proverb, as shown by the use of “as.” Coals added to burning coals cause a fire to increase. Wood added to a fire makes it hotter and larger. In the same way, men with proud and fighting spirits cause strife and increase fighting wherever they go (Pr 13:10). They start arguments, conflicts, debates, and quarrels with most everyone.

Examine yourself. Are you esteemed and loved as a gracious peacemaker? Or are you generally avoided as a critical person that causes problems most places you go? Are you expert at praising others, cooperating, forgiving offences, overlooking faults, and being submissive? Or is your reputation one of dogmatic arguing, a resentful attitude, vengeful conflicts, and generally lacking in mercy? Examine yourself. Others already know!

God has called His children to be peacemakers. You are to use all your spiritual power to live peaceably with all men (Matt 5:9; Rom 12:18; Eph 4:3; I Thess 5:13; Jas 3:17-18). The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, and peace (Gal 5:22). Godly and wise men will hate a contentious spirit in themselves or anyone else. They will recognize this terrible evil for what it is and avoid such men with all their might. They will promote peace at all times.

Thankfully, the Prince of Peace is coming soon, and He will rid the universe of those that like to argue, backbite, criticize, debate, fight, tattle, whisper, or slander (Ps 10:12-18; 12:1-4; 17:8-15; Is 29:20-21; Gal 5:19-21). Are you prepared to meet Him? Live today in light of judgment day by being a peacemaker and ending all conflicts you can. God and good men will bless you for it, and you will also immediately see other benefits yourself.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

Words do not work with some men. They need a beating instead. They are fools, and part of wisdom is learning how to deal with them. Just as some animals need bridles and whips to control or direct them, some men need harsher methods than mere words.

You will meet fools in your life, so you must learn to adapt to their brute mentality. They only respond to force or pain. Though you may love gentleness and peace, you will have to take aggressive measures to protect yourself or to get them to do anything productive.

You think you can talk wisdom into a fool? How would you do it? Fools do not learn by words; they will not. That is why they are fools. Learning by words requires intelligence and humility. Fools have little of the former and none of the latter. They must be controlled by physical constraints and punishments like brute beasts (Pr 10:13; 19:29).

Words are wasted on a fool (Pr 26:4; 23:9). So only talk long enough to rebuke his ignorance, lest he arrogantly assume he is unanswerable (Pr 26:5). A reproof, “a word to the wise,” will work with a wise man more than a hundred blows on the back of a fool (Pr 17:10; 1:5). Be smart; choose only wise persons for your friends (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7).

Socialists suggest better jobs and more money make a difference. But you would never know by watching the fools among today’s actresses and athletes. Multi-million dollar salaries for playing boys’ games have not taught them wisdom. Some are no smarter than the animals mentioned in the proverb, in spite of exorbitant incomes and lavish lifestyles.

Love and affection are not right for a fool, for they will inflame his conceit and justify his perverse lifestyle. Fools should not be given honor or attention, for these two reasons make it wrong (Pr 26:1,8; 19:10; 30:21-23; Eccl 10:5-7). Giving esteem and respect to a fool is also a sure way to discourage the hearts of wise men observing such a disgrace.

It is a shame when so-called Christian authors write books like, “Dare to Discipline.” Considered by some a strong argument for child discipline, it presented the pampering of children and promotion of self-esteem under the guise of Christianity. Humanistic psychology rejects the rod and calls for much gentler forms of punishment. Clearly, the authors never worked with brute beasts, and their methods have proven worthless.

Corporal punishment for fools is good, as necessary and useful as whips and bridles for brute beasts. To the degree it is eliminated in modern discipline-hating and rebellion-pampering societies, those nations will decline. Self-discipline taught by a rod is crucial to good character. This proverb alone should justify the Bible at the top of bestseller lists.

Flogging was once the universal means of keeping family, domestic, military, and academic discipline. The hickory stick was a great way to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now you can hardly even find an accurate encyclopedia entry for this once widely used public punishment for all sorts of fools. Such revisionism is a devilish lie.

They say corporal punishment is not a deterrent, but such an insane notion is the product of academicians who never worked on a farm and hallucinate outside reality. Everyone knows pain is a deterrent. Children learn about fire and heat, weak branches in trees, and stairs by experiencing them! Not by learning about them through verbal instruction!

A whip does not make a horse smart, nor does a bridle help an ass; neither will a rod give wisdom to a fool (Pr 17:10; 27:22). The rod, like the whip and bridle, is merely God’s means to control, motivate, and punish fools. They will always need to be beat, as they will generally not learn wisdom, for they do not have the heart or mind for it (Pr 17:16).

Children are not properly fools in the sense of this proverb, but they are born with foolishness bound in their hearts (Pr 22:15). They must be trained from an early age with reproofs and use of the rod (Pr 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14; 29:15,17). While fools proper will not learn wisdom, you can train outstanding character into your children with the rod.

Today nations have rejected the Bible and their traditional use of the rod, so you do not have the option of beating the fools you must manage. Within the limits of any particular situation, you must be creative to use the strongest, most direct, most painful measures you have your disposal. This proverb’s wisdom has taught that words will not be enough.

The Lord Jesus Christ was an obedient Son to His parents and Servant to God by verbal instruction (Luke 2:51; Isaiah 50:4-6). There was no need for a rod in His training, for He was the wisest of men. Yet He did know how to make a whip and use it, when driving fools from His Father’s house of prayer (Jn 2:12-18). What a glorious Man and Leader!