- Proverbs 17:1-5
- Prov 17:1 (KJB)
- Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith,
than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
- Morsel - A small piece
- Quietness - To be at ease or peaceable
- This verse continues a previous theme and that it is better to live in a
situation of having less, which is illustrated by the morsel and have a
peaceful, tranquil existence. The result of wisdom will have such a result
and it is always welcome in such a world of anxiety. The house full of
sacrifices points to the fact that the sacrifices under the Mosaic system
were mainly of meat animals. So here again we see that an abundance of
things which can cause much strife in a family. It seems the more a family
has, the less peace there is because everyone wants to have what each other
has. The abundance of goods causes a greed to set in on each one and greed
will always engender some type of strife among members. So those who think
that much is better are deluding themselves.
- Prov 17:2 (KJB)
- A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall
have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
- Many times in the ancient world a slave may become a steward in a
household. The myth is that the slaves in the ancient world were being
whipped all day. There were many that were put to forced labor but there
were many that were very intelligent and well-educated. It was these that
many of the wealthier citizens had purchased to run their households. In
fact, many of these servants turned out to be so valuable that the masters
of the house placed their children under their authority to learn. The
servants even had the permission to exact corporal punishment as needed. If
there is a son of a man in a home which has wise servants, he will hand him
over to them for correction and education. In fact, many of the wise
servants became part of the family and even were included in the
inheritance. When Abraham discussed his heir, he had mentioned Eliezer who
was the steward of his house. (Gen 15:2
KJV) And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go
childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Basically, what Proverbs 17:2 is teaching us is that
wisdom does not have any hold on any particular social position. A person
who is a servant can be wiser than the one that is being served.
- Prov 17:3 (KJB)
- The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the
LORD trieth the hearts.
- Trieth - To examine or test
- Just as the metalworker has a pot or crucible for the purpose of
refining silver and has a furnace to place gold in it for the purpose of
refining it which removes all the impurities. Pure gold melts at 1060
degrees centigrade, that is 1940 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the analogy
is that since gold melts at such a high temperature, thus allowing the
impurities to be removed, God examines the hearts of all His people.
(Psa 11:5 KJV) The LORD trieth the righteous:
but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
God also places His people through the furnace of
affliction for the purpose of purifying them, which is also called the
process of sanctification. (Isa 48:10
KJV) Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in
the furnace of affliction. When a person becomes
saved, they still have the dross of the world on them but as they continue
to grow in the faith, the dross begins to fall off. This is how God refines
His people. As they find themselves in a practice which is not in keeping
with the Christian walk, they will eliminate it and that means more dross
has come off.
- Prov 17:4 (KJB)
- A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth
ear to a naughty tongue.
- False lips - Lips of iniquity
- Naughty - Wickedness
- As water is to a fish, evil is to the evil person. The fish needs water
to survive and the evil person continually must feed their appetite for evil
to survive. An evil person cannot stand to be told truth so they are always
giving heed to lies because lies are easy to believe for the wicked person.
In turn, the one who propagates lies are the ones who give heed to the
tongue of wickedness. It is a vicious cycle that the unbeliever is in.
Wickedness panders to the basest instinct of man and he is quick to embrace
it. It is a scenario that evil begets evil. A spiritual application is that
the unbeliever will pay more attention to a false gospel because it is more
palatable. He in turn will propagate the false teaching he has learned
giving him a tongue of wickedness because the essence of wickedness in this
world is to present a false Gospel and a false view of God. Many in this
world are going to hell with the belief that God loves them the way they are
but the truth is that God is at enmity with the unbeliever.
- Prov 17:5 (KJB)
- Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and
he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
- Mocketh - Scoff or deride
- Reproacheth - Taunt or abuse
- Glad - Joyful
- Calamities - Distress
- Here are two scenarios which the unbelieving fool must be careful not to
engage in. The first one is that a person must never mock poor people. The
very wealthy who plan wars see the poor people as nothing more than cannon
fodder. This attitude of superiority is a reproach to the Creator. If you
will notice, the term used is “his Maker.” God is emphasizing the point that
the one who is scoffing at the poor is also a created being and can be
placed in a worse condition than the ones they are mocking. The foolishness
of the fool does not allow him to recognize that he too is a created being.
Then the other fool who laughs at the distresses that come upon another is
guaranteed not to go unpunished and whether that means here on earth or on
Judgment Day does not matter because the punishment is guaranteed. When
someone has a calamity in their life and maybe they are our enemy, if we can
help, it opens up a wide door of testimony and it shows them that Christians
are real and not just talkers.