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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 27:17-22

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

Earthly Blessings From The Lord: Godly Enabling: Proverbs 27:17-22

17) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
18) Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
19) As in water face [answereth] to face, so the heart of man to man.
20) Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
21) [As] the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so [is] a man to his praise.
22) Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, [yet] will not his foolishness depart from him.

In this chapter, Solomon directs our attention to several different earthly blessings that given to us by our gracious Lord…

 

EXPOSITION:

In this devotion, we will be looking at the blessing of Godly enabling.. in other words, the intervention of God which enables us to faithfully fulfill a task…

17) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Many times, the Lord can use our friends to supply an enabling influence in our lives…
1.  Iron is sharpened by bringing it into contact with iron just as
2.  A man can make his friend more useful to others.

Just as an iron tool can be sharpened (made more useful, more efficient and brighter) by rubbing it against a iron file.  In the same way, a true friend can be of great benefit to his friend by encouraging him to greater faithfulness to Christ.  In doing this, he is helping him to possess a Godly testimony (his outward appearance in the eyes of others) which is useful to both God and man.

 

18) Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

The Lord supplies enabling through the reaping of our labors…
1.  whoever maintains the fig tree has earned the right to partake of its fruit.
2.  whoever fulfills the needs of his master will be placed in a position of exaltation.

The Lord meets many of our physical needs, as fruits that are related to our sewing of spiritual seed for Him.  Pastors, Missionaries and other “full time” servants of the Lord are blessed by finding support for their physical needs from those to whom they minister.

But this basic principle does not simply apply to those who are “full-time” servants.  ANYONE who ministers to us in things which are spiritual becomes our responsibility to help them in their time of need.  Did a co-worker lead you to Christ?  If so, when we see they are discouraged, it is in our place to try to encourage their hearts.  When we see they are in need of a talent that we possess, we should gladly offer to meet their need through use of our talent that is given to us by God.

It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.”   (Romans 15:27)

If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”  (1 Corinthians 9:11)

Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.”   (Galatians 6:6)

19) As in water face [answereth] to face, so the heart of man to man.

The Lord uses His Word to enables us to discern our the spiritual condition of our heart and mind.
1.  As a man can see his own face as he looks into still water so too
2.  a man, enabled by the Lord, is able to see the spiritual condition of his own heart

When we look into God’s Word, we can see our spiritual needs revealed to us plainly. Whether lost or saved, anyone who makes a sincere comparison of his life to the Word will come away seeing himself in need of the gracious intervention to the Lord for both forgiveness of sin and ability to serve.

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.   For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”   (James 1:21-25)

 

20) Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

The Lord enables us to consistently serve based upon our unfulfilled desires and goals…
1.  Physical death and ruin are not satisfied and fulfilled likewise
2.  the eyes of man never say they’ve had enough

Every man, when left to himself, must face physical death and eternal ruin… there will never be a time that the lost will escape death or ruin because there is no room left for them.   Because of this Christians should never be satisfied with what they have done for Christ.  There will always be lost who are in need of Him.

One of the ways that Christ enables us to consistently serve Him throughout our life is that sense of urgency and dissatisfaction knowing there is still more lost to be witnessed to and more saved to teach and encourage.  As the saved look around them and see the great need around them, their eyes are never satisfied seeing there is much more work to be done.

(Just a quick note… we are to always be content in our service (meaning we are to be content to serve in whatever way pleases the Lord).  As long as we are doing His will, we are to be content and continue in our service to Him.  However, we are never to become satisfied with our accomplishments and therefore, no longer serve Him.  Both contentment and dissatisfaction are great tools to encourage our continued service to Him)

 

21) [As] the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so [is] a man to his praise.

The Lord enables us to see the value of our testimony through the fame and honor we receive from others…
1.  As the crucible for silver, and the fiery furnace for gold so is
2.  a man to the fame his possesses

One of the most difficult things for all of us to accomplish is to honestly judge the value of our testimony among others.  How often do we find ourselves justifying a sin in our life that we are criticizing in the lives of others?  This is the issue being addressed in this verse.

Men use crucibles placed in hot flames to test and reveal the true value of precious metals.  In the same way, the Lord uses the praise we receive from others as the crucible that reveals the value of our testimony for Him.

What do others notice about our lives?  Perhaps it is our honesty, faithfulness, or kindness?  Or is it our deceitfulness, irresponsibility and treachery?  This tells us much about our testimony in their presence.   Also, notice WHO sends us praise… are they faithful Godly Christians who are encouraged and strengthened by our lives?  Or is it those who are living carnal lives of selfishness who find great comfort and support when we are in their presence?   Again, this speaks volumes about the lives we are living.

The praise we receive, and the source of that praise, is our God-given crucible to show us the true value of our testimonies before men.

22) Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, [yet] will not his foolishness depart from him.

The importance of God’s intervention and enabling in our lives is clearly seen when compared to the lives of those who are lacking His enabling…
1.  The fool can be pounded and ground up like the wheat crushed into flour with a mortar and pestle, yet
2.  his foolishness will not be driven from him.

We have seen that, through the Lord’s gracious intervention and enabling we can:
1. Be encouraged and strengthened by our friends.
2. Be blessed with the fruits of our labors
3. See the condition of our heart
4. Live contented yet driven lives of consistent service for Him
5. Perceive the true value of our testimony

Without His enabling, we are like the fool, who is unable to rid themselves of their own foolishness, nor can it be driven from them.

SUMMARY:

We should praise the Lord for His enabling grace and His intervention in our lives for without it we are simply as the fool, destined for spiritual failure and unable to deliver ourselves from our condition.

May we never take His enabling for granted.

May we all possess Godly wisdom and live our lives for Him.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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9 Comments

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Some good verses in this devotional!

  2. I am reminded of the saying that man’s extremities equal God’s opportunities and praise Him for the ways in which He intervenes when we submit to Him.

  3. pj54 says:

    I always try to keep this scripture in mind. Friends can build you up or tear you down. Look at Job and how his so-called friends did him. To me those were not friends. Friends should be people that keep you encouraged and build you up. Not in a prideful way, but so you don’t get down on yourself. In this world that is so easy to do. I just keep reminding myself of an “old saying”, “God don’t make no junk”. (not my grammar, it was the way it was originally written and spoken). Anyway, we have to be careful to keep ourselves around people who are true friends and encouragers. That way, iron sharpens iron. We help them and they help us to stay encouraged in our lives, spritually and otherwise.

  4. […] SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 27:17-22 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com) […]

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