- Proverbs 26:21-24
- Prov 26:21 (KJB)
- As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is
a contentious man to kindle strife.
- Contentious - One who disputes
- Here we have two comparisons which teach how people can get caught up
into strife. First we have the piece of coal. The coal itself is just a
stagnant cold rock which by itself does nothing. When it is placed next to a
burning coal, it eventually starts to burn as the coal which ignited it.
Secondly, if you have a fire, such as a campfire, you will have wood already
burning in the campfire and you will have a pile of wood next to it that is
waiting to be used. The pile of wood next to the fire is not burning.
However, when a person takes a piece of wood and places it in the fire, the
wood begins to burn. These give an illustration of how the contentious man
kindles strife. A contentious man may approach someone he knows and begins
telling him some type of story and that person he is telling it to starts to
become agitated until he is convinced that the contentious man is right.
That person was not agitated or contentious until the disputer came and
started talking to him. The contentious people have the ability to plant
strife where there is no strife. We must be on guard that we do not court
the contentions of an angry man.
- Prov 26:22 (KJB)
- The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into
the innermost parts of the belly.
- Talebearer - Slanderer
- Innermost Part - Inner chamber
- Not only is the fool revealing their foolishness when they speak but
here we have a verse which teaches that those who gossip or slander about
others are just as foolish. Slander is just like a deep wound which goes
into a person’s heart. The word “innermost part” also speaks of an inner
chamber in a home and normally that inner chamber is hidden from the outside
world. One who slanders, especially a friend, is like wounding you deep
within the inner recesses of your heart, a place that only you can
experience. Usually a slanderer uses gossip and slander to build themselves
up by comparing themselves to the one they are slandering. The great
deception about being a slanderer, is that you never win the approval of
people and you will be labeled as a slanderer and it will be almost
impossible to make any close friends. It will affect every part of their
life and eventually the words they used against someone else, will become a
wound in their own life.
- Prov 26:23 (KJB)
- Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered
with silver dross.
- Burning - To burn or set on fire
- Dross - The Impurities separated from molten metal also from a cognate
which means “to deviate.”
- Here is a verse which speaks about fraudulent friendship. Those who
speak nice things but in reality are speaking things from a wicked heart
concerning their friends are no better than if you purchased a piece of
pottery which was overlaid with silver dross rather than real silver. If the
pottery is sold as silver, then if it ever breaks, the reality of the lesser
value of it becomes apparent. It is the same with phony friendships. They
may look like they are overlaid with silver but in reality they are nothing
but dross and the one who is the dross always deceives the other person into
thinking they are his friend. These types of friendships always become known
when the innocent party hits hard times and the phony friend runs for cover
and is nowhere to be found.
- Prov 26:24 (KJB)
- He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up
deceit within him;
- Dissembleth - Disguise or false appearance
- Layeth up - To set or to place
- Many people are too good at what is being taught in this verse. It is
speaking of being deceptive with the words. Their heart is filled with
deceit and as they are hating the one they are speaking to or about. Their
hatred is being cloaked in false appearance with words which speak the
opposite. It is like organized crime, on one hand they speak nice to you and
then the contract goes out to kill you. There are many who hate people and
speak with words of adoration which are totally opposite of what they are
really feeling. Eventually the deep seated hatred will manifest itself
sooner or later and in a different and maybe more destructive manner. No one
can hide hatred for a long period of time because it is like a volcano ready
to erupt at any moment.