Thursday, August 18, 2022
26 An honest answer
is like a warm hug.
27 First plant your fields;
then build your barn.
28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
I’ll make you pay for what you did!”
-Proverbs 24:26-29 The Message
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that, build your house.
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
-Proverbs 24:26-29 ESV
Verse 26 study: A kiss on the lips was a true sign of friendship. People always believe they should bend the truth, so they don’t hurt a friend. But any friend who gives an honest answer is a true friend. This action is also the most intimate expression of friendship. It highlights the values of the right and just responses.
Verse 27 study: The work we do should always be carried out in the proper order. For example, if a farmer chooses to build his house in the spring, he will miss the planting season and go a year without food. Another example is if a businessman invests his money in a home while his business is struggling to grow, he can lose both. You can still work hard and lose everything if the timing is wrong or the resources are not in place. Therefore, give your attention to what needs to be done productively, then you can do what is comfortable. But it has to be one thing at a time. For example, building a family first or a physical structure. Regardless, both of these need a firm economic basis. It is provided by the proceeds of one’s crops before they can be built.
Verses 28-29 studies: Avoid vindictiveness against a neighbor, even if he deserves it. These two verses go together because there is more at stake than the need to avoid giving false witnesses. Revenge comes from anger and the heat of the moment. The loss of control is the opposite of self-restraint called by biblical wisdom.