27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
There will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
Proverbs 27 Commentary
by Hank Workman
We need people in our lives who speak truth to us. We need others who are friends enough that they can talk freely about decisions we’ve made, paths we may be considering or even attitudes we harbor. Scripture is full of such stories from the Judges to the Kings to even the disciples and their stories in Acts where hard truths at times were spoken. You peel back the stories and see that these who spoke had the right to do so as they were friends or advisers. They loved one another where such openness was accepted even if the words were strong or painful at times.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”Proverbs 27:6
Would you rather have a friend who wounds for the right reasons or an enemy’s kiss that is empty and of betrayal? If we place someone in the category of a friend they should have our best interests at heart even though they may give unpleasant advice or counsel. We know in the end it’s for our own good. An enemy may tell us what we want to hear but is not sound judgment. We must be open to the words of a friend.
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17
We’ve probably all heard this verse before. What we’ve maybe not considered is how iron sharpening iron is a violent action. Sparks fly, dullness being sharpened on a sword takes heat and friction but a sharper blade is the end result. This is the only way a sword will be sharpened.
We need others in our lives. We need these who have the freedom to speak truth to us at any given point where their challenging of our thoughts or ways can bring the sharper edge to our spiritual walk and life. Even if it is painful and hurts, such wounds from a friend show they’re faithful in our relationship. If you struggle with this concept or allowing another to speak into your life, there may be a pride issue personally which hinders such a friend the open door to speak.
Proverbs 27 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person. 20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and people’s eyes are never satisfied.”Proverbs 27:19-20 HCSB
A modern phrase similar to this is, “Hurt people hurt people.” It’s interesting when you consider the condition of one’s heart based on the fruit of their life. Those who follow their deceitful heart usually end up associating and producing others that do the same thing. Those who fight their flesh, and choose freedom through the Spirit usually reflect that upon those around them.
It’s a very basic principle but something we need to be reminded of every day. I know many families (mine included) who struggle under the grip of a reflection. It could be anything… complaining, laziness, anger, etc. You are not just affecting yourself with these behaviors, you are reflecting it upon everyone around you and they are reflecting it into their relationships. It’s a sobering reminder.
Sheol was an OT designation for the dead who are separated from God. The KJV translates it Hell. Abaddon literally means a place of destruction. These two words are found together in Proverbs and Job as well, sometimes along with death. What does it mean that they are never satisfied?
Satan is the master of Hell, death, and destruction. He hates us. He would love nothing more than to deceive every person on the planet. Just as he was not satisfied with being under God, he is never satisfied with the amount of people he is deceiving. Not surprisingly, he plays off our own desires. Our flesh is wired the same way. If left unchecked, we will chase sin straight into Hell and destruction.
What satisfies? For those who have experienced the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, we know what true spiritual satisfaction involves!