Proverbs 17:16-17 – The folly of fools and the faithfulness of a friend

money in the hand of a foolIn my opinion, the 1980’s marked the peak of the Christian school movement in the United States.  Well-meaning parents and self-sacrificing Christian schoolteachers devoted themselves to educating and training a whole generation of children that was growing up in our Christian homes and Bible-believing churches.  Churches devoted precious resources to buildings and classrooms believing a new generation of devoted servants would rise from their ministries.  Unfortunately, those same well-meaning ministries realized too late that foolish children, those who persist in their lost sinful state, lack a heart for God and have no appetite for His Word and godly wisdom.  Solomon observes the same dilemma in Proverbs 17:16.

Proverbs 17:16 – “Wherefore is there a price [money; wages] in the hand [power; control] of a fool [stupid; silly; dull of hearing] to get [acquire] wisdom [skillful use of knowledge], seeing he hath no heart [will or mind for wisdom; understanding] to it?”Christian School

Someone reading today’s devotional might be blaming their church, a Christian school, a pastor or a youth pastor for the sins and indiscretions of a foolish son or daughter.  Allow me to be blunt—stop it!  You can buy a child the best opportunity of an education, join a church dedicated to preaching God’s Word and discipling young people; however, you cannot buy wisdom!

Whether it is homeschooling, investing in the expense of a private Christian education, or sending your child to a Christian college—a foolish son or daughter has no stomach for godly wisdom and the principles of God’s Word!  Stop complaining and blame shifting; start praying earnestly for your child to turn from their sin and trust Christ as Savior!

Proverbs 17:17 is one of the better known, most oft quoted proverbs of Solomon.

Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend [companion; trusted confidant] loveth [has affection for; loves to be in the presence of] at all times [seasons; continually], and a brother [male sibling] is born for adversity [trouble; distress].”

If we are honest, most of us have a few friends; however, I do not write amiss when I qualify that assertion with the adverb “very”, meaning “very few friends”.  There are few men and women who have the character to be friends “at all times”.  In fact, troubles and trials are the proof test of the character of your friends and friendships.

Friend loves at all timesLike a brother who calls you family regardless of your circumstances, a “true friend” is a trusted confidant and companion who will never give up or abandon you! [Stop and ponder: What kind of friend are you?]

The friendship between Jonathan, the son of King Saul, and David is a classic portrait of a friend who loves at all times. Jonathan was prince and heir to the throne of Israel when he first met David, a mere shepherd boy, but one whose character and courage were undeniable when he rose up and slew the Philistine giant Goliath. Unlike his father, Jonathan was not only a courageous man and mighty warrior; he was also a loyal friend who put his friendship and the well-being of Israel above his personal aspirations (1 Samuel 18:1-4; 20:17; 41-42).

Oh to be and have such friends in life!

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith