Proverbs 27:11-14 – Four “Uncommon” Common Sense Proverbs

proud dadRather than following a common theme, the sequence of proverbs in today’s devotional represent four individual bits of wisdom.

Proverbs 27:11 – “My son, be wise [act wisely; exercise sound judgment; restrain from evil], and make my heart glad [rejoice; cheer up; merry], that I may answer [give an answer] him that reproacheth [upbraids; speak sharply] me.”

Solomon’s emphasis to his son to be a wise man is not only a common theme in the book, it is the longing of every father who loves God.  A godly father yearns for his sons and daughters to be wise and discerning.  He knows, beyond the child-rearing years, the burden of wise choices rests upon the child’s shoulders.  When a child chooses the path of godly wisdom, they honor their parent’s lives and name; however, a foolish child is a source of shame and heartache (note – Proverbs 10:1).

Our second devotional thought is from Proverbs 27:12.Danger

Proverbs 27:12 – “A prudent [cunning; crafty; shrewd] man foreseeth [looks; beholds] the evil [sin; wickedness; mischief], and hideth [conceals; separates] himself; but the simple [silly; foolish; immature] pass on [cross over; alienate], and are punished [condemned].”

Whether a prince who will be king, a son who stands to inherit his family business or a laborer who dutifully provides for his household by the daily sweat of his brow, Proverbs 27:12 stands out as a diamond among the “uncommon common sense” parables.

We live in a society that tends to “live in the moment” while giving no thought to tomorrow.  Like its citizens, our nation is following the same philosophy, robbing our children’s future to pay for social programs we cannot afford.  To our own demise, we have elected leaders who fail to look beyond the next election cycle.  Not so with the wise and prudent.

The characteristic of a wise man is he plans for the future by preparing for the possibility of unforeseen trials and troubles.  Someone might argue, “Preacher, you need to trust the Lord!”  My answer, God gives a man wisdom and discernment to plan ahead; only a “simple” fool would speed toward dark clouds on the horizon and give no heed to the possibility of approaching storms.  Lesson – Wise men plan for the future!

national debtOur third parable, Proverbs 27:13, is a repeat of the same wise saying found in Proverbs 20:16.

Proverbs 27:13 – “Take [take away; seize; snatch] his garment [clothes; raiment] that is surety [pledged; mortgaged] for a stranger [foreigner], and take a pledge [binding agreement] of him for a strange woman [non-relative; foreigner; or a harlot].”

The matter of loaning and giving a surety against borrowed funds is the subject of this proverb.  Our nation and society has become a debtor culture to our own ruin. Deserting the “Gold standard” (where the value of a dollar was based on the price of an ounce of gold) has turned our currency into “Monopoly money”.  Our politicians have made us a debtor to our enemies (specifically Communist China) and left the uncertainty of our future in the hands of those who would design our ruin.

As goes the nation, so goes our society.  The economic crisis in 2008, followed by a collapse of the mortgage industry, revealed the danger of indebtedness.  Did we learn anything?  Apparently not…a 2014 survey states that the average American household carries a credit card debt of $15,191.00!  Lesson—don’t presume on the future by borrowing today what you may not be able to repay tomorrow…or you may proverbially lose the coat off your back!

Proverbs 27:14 – “He that blesseth [salute; praise] his friend [brother; neighbor;coffee companion] with a loud [great; mighty] voice [loud call; shout; thundering voice], rising early in the morning, it shall be counted [reckoned; regarded] a curse [accursed] to him.”

I confess I had to learn the lesson of this proverb the hard way!  I am an early riser by nature and had heard of a creature that could stay up late, but was not a “morning person”.  Having grown up in a household where mom rose early, baked fresh, hot out of the oven biscuits and had breakfast ready; I married a beautiful lady who starts slow in the morning, but whose energy is going long after I am ready for bed.

Yes, this “morning person” had to learn his wife was not blessed by a burst of energy and a loud mouth before sunrise!