PROVERBS 20:1-15 – 7/14/21

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3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

You have more control over situations than you know. Though your participation in any relationship is 50%, you bring 100% of you. If there is strife in that relationship your honor quotient will drive you to curb the strife or your fool quotient will drive you to meddle further. While we may first enter a disagreement in the name of honor, sometimes there is no honor in digging your heels in. Dig them out and take them home. The word cease is the same root word as Sabbath, meaning to desist from exertion, to sit down. That is honor. If there is strife and your interaction is not going anywhere, drop it. Learn when to say “peace out” and sit down.

In the Hebrew, to meddle is to expose or lay bare. It is to break out in contention and disclose oneself. It is to be obstinate. That’s what the fool does by digging his heels, stubborn as an ass. In contrast, the next two verses have to do with tapping or mining and drawing out buried treasure. The fool wears his heart on his sleeve. He is naked and exposed for all to see. He is shameless in his brash exposure and may even brag about it. “I am a proud man,” or “I am an angry woman, don’t mess with me. He or she may justify their actions as even see them as good.

6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

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The fool is as a shallow but churning spot in a river. Round and round it goes. Loud-mouthed and boastful. Here, there, and everywhere, much like the wild woman in Proverbs 7:12, “Now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.” The fool is tiresome and will wear out your spirit in no time.

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But the man or woman of wisdom is akin to deep water. You may not tell their depth by looking at them. You might not even notice them and may slight them. They do not advertise themselves. In their simplicity, they are draped in honor. You as a man or woman of understanding will develop the skill of a miner to sound and extract the riches buried deep within the wise person. They speak and not merely talk and that is the vein of the treasure within them. Take time to speak with such. Make time to speak with such. Learn their discretion, their knowledge, their intelligence. They utter gold. They divulge rubies. Nuggets and jewels. Gather those one by one and treasure them.

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