Sunday - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM Worship Service
by: Denise Robinson
What does it mean to get along with others? When someone hurts us or hurts others, how should we respond? Solomon answers some of those questions today. There are those who commit truly "evil" acts against others; we are not to return evil against them, but we are also not to try to justify the wrong they are doing. We cannot give "surety" or a pledge for our neighbor (in other words, take on responsibility for everything another person says and does); it is enough to take responsibility for what we say and do.
Evil will not depart from the house of one who returns evil for good. The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so stop before the quarrel breaks out. One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord. Why should fools have a price in hand to buy wisdom, when they have no mind to learn? A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity. It is senseless to give a pledge, to become surety for a neighbor. One who loves transgression loves strife; one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones. The crooked of mind do not prosper, and the perverse of tongue fall into calamity. (Prov. 17:13-20)
My focus verse for today is v. 14: "The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so stop before the quarrel breaks out." Once you start to let water out of a tub, it's hard to stop it. I am assuming in Solomon's day they didn't have rubber plugs to assist in the letting out some water and then stopping it from draining; plugs were likely inflexible and had to be pounded in. In any event, I like the imagery of this verse. He is saying that the beginning of strife, of anger, of disagreements begins slowly enough but then gains in momentum - so stop it right away.
Meditation: Another verse that I found interesting is v. 19: "One who loves transgression loves strife; one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones." What do you think this verse means? Some people just love to "stir the pot," don't they? What are they inviting (assuming Solomon is again using imagery and not speaking literally of broken bones)?
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