Are we ready to go to war? God knows things that we don’t know and it is dangerous to run into harm’s way. Our leaders may know things we don’t and our enemies may be more righteous than we realize. Humility may save you from disgrace if you allow others to have grace.
Proverbs 25: 1-14
25 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. 2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Solomon is accredited by the scribes for this wisdom. God has the sovereign right to his own secrets that we will never know. However he is the one who anoints kings, so he has the right to honor them with a revelation. The king can investigate anything, but no one else has access to that knowledge. In America our presidents have hidden lies that took us to war, and decades later we find out. But we may never know all the weight of things that motivated their decisions. God alone will be their judge, and only they know the secrets he has slipped out to them.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
Refining the ore of valuable metal, shining the silver makes it workable for the artist. In the same way if one removes the corrupt people from the counsel of the king, he will not be under the influence of evil. His reign can turn in the right direction if he has only wise advisers.
6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
No, don’t step up to the boss’s table and seat yourself. If you deserve a seat with the leaders, the boss knows it without your help. Wait for his invitation to come when you have earned it. Otherwise he will put you down where you belong.
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
Do not be quick to start a fight where the outcome is uncertain. Even when you are sure you have the advantage there is a chance the opponent will win the fight. Or you may win only to face a judge who does not share your opinion. Take the opportunity to have a private conversation with your neighbor and honestly seek to understand his point of view. DO NOT tell any story about him to a third party. That is even worse that fighting with him, and you will still get beat up for sure when he finds out. Take this lesson now, or get spanked again in the New Testament:
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
Saying the right thing is more than gold and silver, it is like artwork made from the precious metals. And one who hears and accepts correction with grace will honor the source of that wisdom as valued as gold.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
When harvest didn’t involve heavy machinery it could be a hard working day. It could be refreshing to have a fresh snow blow in to cool the working men. When important messages must be delivered it is refreshing to know that someone is a reliable messenger. even today companies and governments need accurate communications. We have enough fake news…
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
Are you a hero, a legend in your own mind? A resume that is embellished with absent skills and fake experience will leave you stranded in a dry place. The job you get by false claims will discover your shame.