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BIBLE GATEWAY Proverbs 27 :: NASB

BIBLE GATEWAY Proverbs 27 :: NASB.

Verse 1 states,

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“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

 This is very much like the passage found in James 4:13-16,

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

The activities of life fill the days. For many, there is work, school, raising a family,  illness, appointments and all the other countless things that absorb a person’s attention. Small and large decisions must be made every day. When dealing with day-to-day living, it is easy to get caught up with all the events that occur. Yes, plans must be made for tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year.

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But it is not the planning that is displeasing to God. It is the boasting that is condemned. “Look what I have done! Look what I am going to do! Look how successful I am!” Such an attitude ignores the reality that God is in control. Boasting is arrogant and evil.

Day-to-day life seems to be so important, but there is nothing in this life that is permanent. Every moment of every day, the world changes. All a person must do is look back at photos from 10, 20, 50 years ago to see the change. Each individual must under this and submit to the Living God.

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James said,

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

 Any decision, any plan must begin with the fundamental belief “If the Lord wills.”  

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Verse 2 states,

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

 Very few people appreciate a person that boasts about his/her accomplishments. There are short phrases that are used to describe this kind of person. “He toots his own horn.” “He is outstanding in his own field.”

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Luke 14:7-11 states concerning Jesus,

 “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

A person that boasts about his accomplishments or position is much like the one described in verse one. He/she is self-absorbed and prideful. Passage after passage in both the Old and New Testaments warn against such people. The attitude of being boastful has no place in a Christian’s life.

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Verse 4 states,

“Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?”

Clearly, extreme vengeful anger, and experiencing a strong wave of anger directed to another person or persons is wrong. This type of wrath and anger are uncontrolled with the goal of striking back at another either physically or verbally.

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The New Testament repeatedly warns that Christians must learn to control their earthly emotions. Too often, words may be spoken, or actions taken that the person does not really mean, but once done, it cannot be undone. This type of wrath and anger is like a flash flood or an eruption that soon subsides.

But jealousy is entirely different. Where wrath and anger erupt and subsides, jealousy is like an untreated wound that festers and grows. It feeds on the person and grows. Anything relating to the source of one’s jealousy simply feeds that person’s bitterness and cold anger.

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A jealous person will try to hurt another person in deliberate ways. It may be a little gossip, a comment accompanied with a knowing smile, or trying to undermine the other person in some way.

King Saul was jealous of David’s popularity with the people and struck out at him often even though David was loyal to the King. Cain was jealous of Able because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice. In Cain’s case, his jealousy fed his anger to the point that he rose up and killed his brother Abel!

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Jealousy is a potent weapon used by the Devil. But the one thing that will disperse a jealous heart is genuine Christian love.

Verse 6 states,

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“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” 

A true friend is a rare gift that should be treasured. This is a person that is there in the good times and the bad. This is a person that has repeatedly demonstrated his/her trustworthiness. This kind of friend will tell another if his/her attitudes or actions are wrong. The words may hurt, but the motive behind the words is a deep love and friendship.

The opposite of this are the words of an enemy. One of the problems is that a person may not recognize that another person IS an enemy. There could be many reasons for a person’s animosity. One could simply be jealousy as described in verse 4. The point is that this person will say anything that will achieve his/her goal.

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The story of the prodigal son is one example of this as recorded in Luke 15:11-14,

“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.” 

When the naive young man arrived at his destination intent on enjoying himself, many people would have been ready to relieve him of his wealth. Suddenly, he would have had many friends. Possibly one or more women smiled at him and seemed interested in knowing him better.

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Of course, he would spend his funds with his new friends as they made him feel important. But as he had less and less possessions, those “good” friends began to drift away looking for a new victim.

The point is that a Christian must pick his/her friends carefully. The first place to look is within the Lord’s Church. A friend or a potential spouse should have a common love for God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

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That common love will become the foundation for a life-time friendship, or a strong solid marriage. Someone else may seem different, exciting, or mysterious; but that path will lead to death.

Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’”

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Verse 12 ties in nicely with the story of the prodigal son.

“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.”

 The late teens to the early to mid-20s are a dangerous age for a young man or woman. The world is often seen as an exciting place to explore. The ability to recognize potential trouble or danger has not been well developed by experience.

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The only thing this young person has is the principles that he has been taught. If he/she remembers them and applies them to situations that arise, then the evil traps will be avoided. But if that person is like the prodigal son and ignores what he/she has been taught, then the result can be tragic.

How many times have a small group of young people gone off somewhere away from home “to have some fun”? That usually means wild dancing, drinking alcohol, possibly the use of drugs, and in a club or bar full of strangers. And in the end, someone may be dead in a robbery, a young woman may be physically assaulted, arrested and in jail, involved in an alcohol induced vehicle accident, or they just disappear.

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To the prudent person, the scenario above is a disaster waiting to happen. When a person knows and applies the principles in the Bible, that person will have a life that is fulfilling, full or happiness, and….fun!. In fact, Christians can “have fun” where there is no danger or trap set by the Devil. When a person lives a Christ directed life, that person will avoid the countless evil traps.

Verse 17,

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“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

 This verse is a good definition of the word “synergy”. Synergy means “the benefit that results when two or more agents work together to achieve something either one couldn’t have achieved on its own. It’s the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.”

The combined efforts of good friends will accomplish more than if the two worked separately. If friends going running together, they will often go further than if they run alone. The same can be said for a good Christian marriage. Husband and wife grow closer, they become best friends. They truly become one flesh. When that happens, the true beauty and strength of a marriage can be seen.

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Christians closest friends must be Christians. The faith and love of one will strengthen the other in times of trials. They will help one another as they walk in the light of the Lord. There is no such thing as a strong Christian that tries to go alone.   

Verse 19 states,

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“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” 

People can wear many different “masks” in life that do not truly reflect the person. More than one comedian became famous for making people laugh, but then committed suicide. A public figure may declare that he is against corruption, illegal drugs or pornography; but then be arrested for the very crimes that he supposedly stood against.

But God knows and judges a person by what is in the HEART. Passage after passage in both the Old and New Testaments warn that outward respectability or righteousness is nothing without the inward heart reflecting the same thing.

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A person that has lived a loving, caring Christian life will reflect that in day to day living. Then, as that person grows old, that inner goodness still shines forth! The physical beauty may fade, but the spiritual beauty is still there.

But many people have become famous due to their physical beauty, acting ability or singing talent. While they are popular and admired for a time, their actions and attitudes reflect a worldly, evil life, and eventually the outer person will reflect the same thing.

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