Proverbs Chapter 27
Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Fools think they know the future or can affect its outcome, but the future rests with sovereign God.
The best Scripture in the entire Bible to cover this (is found in James 4:13-15).
James 4:13-15 “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:” “Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” “For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
You see, our life is not our own. The Lord purchased us with His shed blood and we are His. We live or die as He sees fit.
Proverbs 27:2 “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”
If we honor ourselves, it is more like conceit and the honor is not very valuable. If another begins to honor you then it is accepted because it comes from an impartial person. Bragging on yourself is very close, as I said, to conceit.
Proverbs 27:3 “A stone [is] heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath [is] heavier than them both.”
We see in this that a fool’s anger is almost too heavy to bear. No physical weight in this world is as heavy as the weight of the load this angry fool has brought. This heaviness this fool brings on is heaviness of the heart, which is very difficult to bear.
Have you ever heard someone say, when you told them good news, you took a load off my mind? This is the same type thing.
Proverbs 27:4 “Wrath [is] cruel, and anger [is] outrageous; but who [is] able to stand before envy?”
Envy is jealously which is the most uncontrollable sin.
Wrath and sudden anger are sometimes shown through a big fight, but when the anger goes away the fight is over. Many times, those angered with each other make up, especially if it is husbands and wives. This envy (in verse 4), seems to me to indicate jealousy.
Jealousy lingers on and is seldom settled. Jealousy is usually unfounded. It primarily stems from a low self-esteem. Comparing ourselves with those around us is a dangerous thing to do because it brings on sins such as envy, strife, coveting, jealousy, hatred, etc. Be satisfied with where you are in life and you will be much happier.
Proverbs 27:5 “Open rebuke [is] better than secret love.”
I see even in this “open rebuke” here, a sense that this is more constructive criticism than rebuke. A person who truly loves you will try to help you overcome problems in your personality.
To genuinely love is to manifest the truth, even if it means to rebuke.
This “secret love”, to me, seems to say I am not really interested in you at all. I care for you as long as no one but you and I know it. To me, this is not caring at all. A person, who takes someone for granted that they love, will soon find their selves alone.
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.”
True criticism from a friend may hurt for a time but may be welcomed, for it issues from his love, whereas the kisses of an enemy are an attempt to conceal his hatred.
When a friend (a true friend), wounds you for the moment, it is to help you in the long run. As I said in the verse above, constructive criticism is good as it helps you to improve.
An enemy that flatters you with his lips is trying to maneuver you to his advantage. He wants something; and he thinks by flattering you, you will give him whatever it is that he wants.
Proverbs 27:7 “The full soul loatheth a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”
The luxury and indolence of wealth make the best things tasteless, while the hard working person who hungers finds every bitter thing sweet.
This proverb extends beyond food to things in general, which means so much more to those with little.
Proverbs 27:8 “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so [is] a man that wandereth from his place.”
We see in the bird leaving the security of home, that out in the world there is great insecurity and uncertainty. At home, you at least know what you have. There is no uncertainty.
A man that wanders is not only out of place, but could be in danger. So the message is to stay close to home.
The prodigal son discovered that this uncertainty of the world was not for him and, like many others who venture away, came crawling back home again.
Proverbs 27:9 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”
The smell of perfume makes a person even more pleasant to be around. Good friends who bring you good counsel, are always welcome too.
It is wonderful to have a good friend that you can trust their counsel. You have no fear of taking their advice, because you know they have your interest at heart. Everyone needs a friend that he can call on for advice.
Proverbs 27:10 “Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: [for] better [is] a neighbor [that is] near than a brother far off.”
We see here, that long-time family, oriented friendships are to be held in high regard.
We see that friendships built on mutual interest and belief are many times stronger than friendship with a blood relation who has no interest in what you are doing and is alien to your belief.
Many times, a friend will come to your rescue in a calamity quicker than a brother. Sometimes, the brother lives in another state and is not close enough to help immediately.
Adhere to tried and true friends. The ties of blood may be less reliable than those of genuine friendship.
There is a friend who sticketh closer than a brother. Solomon perhaps felt this more than usual, because his half brothers wanted him killed.
Proverbs 27:11 “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.”
We could see from this what Paul felt toward Timothy.
Paul taught Timothy well, and he wanted to be glad about the activities of Timothy.
A parent, in a sense, is given credit or blame for what our children become. We are their teacher and some of the blame or praise should be ours.
A wise son accredits his father and also aides him in difficulty with appropriate answers. This proverb is true in reverse as well.
Proverbs 27:12 “A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, [and] hideth himself; [but] the simple pass on, [and] are punished.”
“Prudent” here translated means cunning or crafty. We see a man then that is totally aware of the situation around him. The prudent man is not just going straight ahead with no thought of safety. If he sees danger, he hides and protects himself as we learned (in chapter 22, verse 3).
In contrast to this, the simple man takes no thought of the direction of his life or even for the dangers which show up along the way. He is punished, because he takes no care at all in his walk. He steps in all the holes so to speak.
Proverbs 27:13 “Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.”
We went into this fully in a previous lesson, but we must touch on this again; because the fact that it is mentioned several times shows us that it is a very important lesson for us to learn. We see how ridiculous it would be to offer to secure a note for someone you hardly know with the clothes on your back. You could wind up naked and cold.
This “strange woman” (prostitute), charges for her affection and will leave him in the, same or worse, shape than the putting up security for a stranger.
Any man, who is foolish enough to guarantee a stranger’s loan, especially if that stranger is a seductress, is a bad credit risk. If you make a loan to him, be sure to get adequate collateral.
Proverbs Chapter 27 Questions
- Why should we not boast of tomorrow?
- What Scripture does the author believe describes this best?
- In this Scripture, we are warned not to promise what?
- What should we say about tomorrow?
- What does it appear to be if we praise ourselves?
- Who should praise us?
- What kind of weight is spoken of in the fool’s wrath?
- Wrath is ________ and anger ___ _______________.
- What is even worse than wrath and anger?
- What is better than secret love?
- What is meant by faithful wounds of a friend?
- The _________ of an enemy are deceitful.
- The full soul loatheth what?
- Why is everything sweet to the hungry?
- When the bird leaves the nest, he leaves the ______________of home.
- What effect does ointment and perfume have on us?
- Why do you not fear the counsel of a friend?
- Who are we not to forsake in verse 10?
- Why would a father’s son be made glad at a son’s success?
- What 2 New Testament characters bring a vivid picture of this?
- When the prudent man sees evil, what does he do?
- What does “prudent” mean in verse 12?
- What could happen to the person who puts up the clothes on his back for security for a stranger?
- Who is the “strange woman” in verse 13?