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THE UNCERTAINTY OF TIME
The Uncertainty of Time
Verse 1 warns against the assumption that there will be ample time for future plans because no man has assurance of tomorrow, James 4:13-15; Luke 12:19-20. Divine wisdom urges that the present be used wisely, giving proper consideration to first things first, Isaiah 1:18; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7-8; Matthew 6:19-34.
Verse 2 forbids self praise and suggests that one be content with whatever unsought commendation exemplary conduct may elicit from others, Proverbs 25:27; Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 14:11; John 5:44; John 12:43.
A Fool’s Wrath is Grievous
Verse 3 declares that the wrath of the fool was a heavier burden for those with whom he was vexed than the ordinary burdens of stone and sand. Rough, unhewn stones were used for many purposes: to sit upon, cover wells, seal caves, construct walls and fences, etc. Movement and placement required much physical labor. Sand appears often in Scripture as a simile of a large number or quantity, Genesis 22:17; 1 Kings 4:20; Isaiah 48:19; Judges 7:12; Psalms 78:27. Unpaved trails, travel on foot, desert experiences, farming activity, etc. provided much burdensome activity involving sand and stones, but the wrath of the fool was a heavier burden, Vs. 3; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 18:6.
Verse 4 recognizes that wrath and anger are responsible for cruel and outrageous acts; but declares that envy (which here means jealousy "for," not of) results from acts far more intolerable. The offended husband, Proverbs 6:32-35, expresses. this form of jealousy. See also 1 Kings 19:10; Zechariah 8:2.
Frankness or Silence
Verse 5 affirms that an open rebuke, when correction is needed, is better than love that remains silent, Proverbs 28:23; Galatians 2:14.
Friend or Enemy
Verse 6 suggests that a timely rebuke though it wounds is the act of a true friend; but an enemy will deceive with pretended affection and approval, Proverbs 20:30; Psalms 141:5; Proverbs 29:5.
An Important Choice
Verse 7 suggests that overindulgence leads to contempt for even the most desirable; but restraint increases the enjoyment of the lesser, even the bitter. This principle applies in both physical and spiritual realms, Proverbs 25:16; Proverbs 25:27; Proverbs 23:1-3; Isaiah 55:2; Amos 6:1; Amos 6:4; Luke 1:50-53; John 6:51; Luke 21:34.
Beware of Wanderlust
Verse 8 warns man against wandering from his place as a bird wanders from her nest. Where the LORD . has placed man is the best place until the LORD sees fit to move him. To wander otherwise wastes time, forsakes duty and opposes Divine wisdom. This warning has particular significance for the believer, 1 Corinthians 7:20-24.
Verse 9 emphasizes the sweet comfort derived from the counsel of a true friend. See 1 Samuel 23:16; Psalms 23:5.
Loyalty To Old Friends
Verse 10 emphasizes the loyalty due the tried and true friend of long standing, the old friend of father and family. He is not to be forsaken, neither is help of a brother to be sought in preference to that of the old friend if calamity comes. In time of stress a neighbor near is better than a brother far off, 1 Kings 12:6-8; Proverbs 18:24.
The Teacher’s Goal
(For verse 11 - See comment on Proverbs 10:1 and references, also Proverbs 29:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 3:8.)
The Wise and the Foolish
(Verse 12- See comment on Proverbs 22:3 and Proverbs 14:15-16.)
Warning Against Suretyship
(Verse 13-See comment on Proverbs 6:1. See also Exodus 22:26.)
(Verse 14-See comment on Proverbs 26:18-19.)
The Contentious Woman
Verses 15-16 emphasize again the irrepressible traits of the contentious woman. She is a continuing annoyance, like the constant dripping of rain; and as difficult to conceal as the wind or oil held in the hand. See also comments on Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 21:9.
Influence of Friends
Verse 17 suggests the power of true friends to influence the moral and spiritual life of each other, Proverbs 17:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; 1 Samuel 18:1; 1 Kings 5:1; Ruth 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:16; Romans 16:4.
Faithful Servant Rewarded
Verse 18 declares that as he who faithfully takes care of his fig tree gets to eat figs, so the servant who faithfully serves his master shall be rewarded, 2 Kings 18:31; Isaiah 36:16; Luke 12:42-44; Luke 19:17; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:6.
The Mirror of the Heart
Verse 19 suggests that as a clear pool like a mirror reflects a likeness of the face, so the heart or mind of man reflects what is in man, Proverbs 12:5; Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 15:19.
Man Is Never Satisfied
Verse 20 declares that as hades, the world of the dead, and death the destroying power are never full, continuing day after day to receive more; so the desires of man are insatiable, incapable of being satisfied, Proverbs 30:15-16; Habakkuk 2:5; Ecclesiastes 1:8; Ecclesiastes 6:7; Isaiah 5:14.
The Lord’s Trial of Hearts
Verse 21 reveals that one of the ways the LORD tries man (see comment on Proverbs 17:3) is to test how man reacts to praise. Saul was much displeased because David received greater praise than he, 1 Samuel 18:6-9. The chief rulers loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, John 12:42-43. The recording of such incidents as these shows that the LORD takes such into account, Psalms 17:3.
The Incorrigible Fool
Verse 22 emphasizes that though various forms of corrective discipline buffet the fool as wheat is pounded with a pestle to separate the husks and impurities; he does not depart from his foolishness, Proverbs 23:35; Isaiah 1:5; Jeremiah 5:3.
The Sufficiency of the Lord
Verses 23-27 present a series of admonitions for those who follow the pastoral life of flocks and herds and tillage of the land:
1) They are urged to be diligent in knowing and providing the needs of their flocks and herds, Vs 23; John 10:3-4; John 10:12-13.
2) They are to be mindful that neither riches nor crowns endure forever; it is wisdom, therefore to look to the LORD who does endure always, Vs 24; Proverbs 23:5; Jeremiah 17:11; 1 Timothy 6:7; Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 145:13.
3) They are to observe and rejoice in the sufficiency of the LORD’s care in providing the things that grow and the animals which provide clothing, milk, food, and also the price of another field when the family grows and such is needed, Vs 25-27; Psalms 104:5-14.
NOTE: The pastoral life is not for everyone, but all can benefit by recognizing the sufficiency of the LORD for all, and yielding to His plan for their particular life, 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 27". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany