Proverbs 27:1-5
Prov 27:1 (KJB)
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
I think everyone who reads this including myself has said many times, “I’ll do it tomorrow” or you may say to someone “I will see you tomorrow.” When you really analyze these statements they are really statements of assumption. We are assuming and counting on the hope that we will be alive tomorrow to fulfill those statements. It also means that we assume that everything will go according to our plans and these statements do not make room for the reality that God may change those plans. (James 4:14-15 KJV) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. {15} For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James writes about the same thing especially concerning the fact that we do not know what the next day holds for us. As a matter of fact, we do not even know what the next hour holds for us. We may plan something and God may change or stop those plans, even if they are not something that is sinful. We may want to hand out tracts in a certain city and then we go out to our car and it will not start. There have been documented cases of people missing airplane flights or train rides and then only to find out that there was a tragedy and if they would have made that flight or ride, they would have been killed. On September 10, 2001, there were probably many people making plans for the following weekend not knowing what was in store for 3,000 of them the next day. This verse is stating that we must always be ready for the reality that God may intervene in our lives. In the old days, when people wrote letters to each other they would place “DV” at the bottom of the letter. It meant Deo Volente which means “God willing.” It is not wrong to make plans but we are never assured that those plans will come to fruition. They probably will, 90% of the time, but we must always realize that God can change those plans according to His will.
Prov 27:2 (KJB)
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
This verse is teaching us that we must never seek self-adulation or boast about how well we do something. If God has given us a talent of some kind which pleases other people, we should never brag about it nor should we start honoring ourselves. If we have done something that pleases another, let us say we bring a good sermon, then let them praise us, not the type of praise we give God, but they may tell us that they have enjoyed the message and they liked the way that the word was expounded. So they will bring the encouragement and commendation. By the way we all can use a little encouragement along the way but it must come from another who is sincere. I remember when I preached my first sermon back in 1982. After each point, I kept saying “ok?” My father came to me and asked me, “why did you keep saying ok?” I never realized how irksome that sounded but because he encouraged me rather than discouraged me, I never did that again and always watched myself when I preached. So sometimes within an admonishment you can find positive encouragement.
Prov 27:3 (KJB)
A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
Weighty - Burden or heaviness
Wrath - Anger or vexation
Heavier - Burdensome
This verse is likening two heavy objects to a fool’s wrath. The first one is a stone and that stone could be of any weight according to the wrath of the fool. If the fool is very wrathful, then the stone will be a boulder. Then the second comparison is that of sand. Sandbags can be very heavy and very cumbersome to handle. While sand may be nice to walk on or let it run through your toes or fingers, when it is gathered together, it is very weighty. When a fool is engaged in his folly and then that folly elevates to wrath or anger, it could become a very serious thing. Like a gun in the hand of crazy man, anger in a fool is just as dangerous because they do not think and may do something that could harm many people.
Prov 27:4 (KJB)
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
Cruel - Like an act of cruelty
Outrageous - Effusion, outpouring, or flood
Here is another verse with a double comparison. Wrath is very cruel and it is not a stationary thing. A person who is filled with wrath will be driven by that wrath to some type of action. Anger is not something which can be held in check for very long. It is like a volcano waiting to erupt and when it finally does, the venom which is spewed will come out like a flood of lava. These are shown to be worse than envy. Why? First of all, these two comparisons are visible things and of someone lashes out at you or does something against you, you know where you stand with them. Envy is something which is unseen. It is an emotion which cannot be seen but is fed by suspicion or false beliefs about the other person. It is not easily diffused because it is fed constantly. Envy can be the catalyst for wrong actions being taken against an innocent person. Eventually envy will reach a crescendo and will erupt like the volcano. Envy can remain hidden a lot longer than wrath and anger but eventually it does burst forth. (Acts 17:5 KJV) But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. Here we see how Paul’s entourage was moved against by the Jews, who moved with envy.
Prov 27:5 (KJB)
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Rebuke - Correction
This verse is an expression of true friendship. A friend should be willing to openly correct a good friend if they see them going down a wrong path. If we just hold our peace and continue the friendship, that is not true friendship. True friendship is willing to point to the right way so a friend will not drift from truth. If we see a Christian friend of ours starting to read materials by the cults, if we do not warn them, then what kind of friend are we? True friendship is willing to risk the friendship to keep the other person safe.