My personal Bible study with commentary and devotional thoughts:
Pr 17:1 Our culture worships success and is willing to sacrifice anything and everyone to achieve it. We praise the ability to handle stress, 7-day work weeks, and late nights at the office… while pitying the families shattered by it and mourning those poor souls who die an early death because of it. Don’t make a living. Get a life!
17:2 We owe our employees more than a meager paycheck when they are productive. God’s word teaches that they deserve a generous share of the wealth they generate and an equal share of the status and the privilege enjoyed by the family of the employer.
17:3 The tribulations of verse 1 are self-made and should be avoided. However, that does not mean that our lives should be totally carefree without any stress. God uses the very worst days of our lives, whether cooked up by hell itself or in the kitchen of our own foolishness, to lead us towards the right path, to refine us, and to mold us into His image.
17:7 I wish we could all remember this at election time. It isn’t the eloquence of the speech, nor the smoothness of the presentation, but rather the character of the person that counts. It is also helpful to remember who God calls a “fool” rather than who the opposing political party mocks as one.
17:9 God sought Adam and Eve in the garden as they hid, naked and ashamed in their disobedience, and then He covered them. He sent His own Son to seek lost sheep and to not only cover us but to cleanse us from our sin. Oh, How He Loves US! And oh, how He treasures our love in return!
17:11;20 Revolution is sometimes a good thing. Thomas Jefferson said so! I am exceedingly grateful to his kind. But… often if not usually, so called revolutionaries are nothing more than rebels without a cause. The only thing they really value is the sound of their own voice. To tell everyone else how everything is wrong… until they get in power.
17:12 Any real wisdom found in these words of mine on this page, on this web site, or tumbling from my lips somewhere doesn’t come from me. I often feel that someone should be running down the street in front of me screaming “Robert’s coming!” as loudly as they would of a marauding bear. Ever feel the same?
17:14 How often do we go out of our way to have a knock-down, drag-out bloody fight? Not counting those of us who paid to do so, or who really enjoy a night in jail. Probably, not often if ever. On the other hand, how often do we bring up a small issue for discussion that we absolutely know is going to cause an argument? Don’t.
17:15;26 That said… “abomination” is an ugly word these days. Most people who don’t read the Bible think it is only used in sentences relating to homosexuality. Not! This verse deals with justice: it is equally wrong to condemn the just as to justify the wicked. How does that apply to the controversial issues of the day?
17:17 “A friend loves at all times…” How does this apply to loyalty when everyone wants their head delivered on a platter? When the friend is wrong/guilty? When they’re in political office? The preacher who got caught? The friend or family member who just came “out”? Or, your fundamentalist, evangelical Christian co-worker?
17:18 Do I ever do something when I know beforehand that doing so is going to get me into trouble? With the spouse, the boss, the government or the media? Do I then flash my credentials or otherwise flaunt my position to justify my wrongdoing? The Apostle Paul wrote that we shouldn’t exercise our liberty at the expense of others.
17:22 Have you taken your medicine today? Or, are you so dry that everything shrivels up and blows away when you walk by?
17:27-28 Now you tell me!!! I’m the quiet, shy type! It’s hard to get a word out of me. Honest! Oh, just stop it already.
Add your insights, answers, questions, etc in the comments. May God bless you today!