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In Case You Missed It

Updated: 3 days ago

Sermon Notes from Sunday, May 22, 2023

Proverbs 17

The Proverbs are the one book of the Bible that it is almost impossible to take out of context. Each two-line Proverbs is a pearl of wise advice that stands completely on its own. But I was wondering if we looked at one chapter in Proverbs, if we might see a pattern arise. Here is a summary of what I found:

Concerning Speech


  • Be some who loves to stir up trouble and arguments 17:1, 14, 19

  • Be some who listens to a spreads lies 17:4 (Note that they are the same person)

  • Be some who mocks and gloats over the misfortunate 17:5 (God made them, mocking them is mocking Him)

  • Be some who tells lies while serving a ruling official 17:6, 15, 23, 26 (Look how many times God is warning about official corruption)

  • Be some who tattles 17:9 (Just like your mother told you, no one likes a tattle-tale)


  • Be some who covers over an offense with quiet and forgiveness 17:9

  • Be some who stops arguing and finds a settlement 17:14

  • Be some who uses words with restraint17:27 (Even fools seem wise when they keep quiet)

Concerning Family

  • A disgraceful son risks his place in the family- he is not irreplaceable 17:2

  • Grandchildren are the reward for successful parenting 17:6

  • If you want your grandchildren to visit in your old age- be a good parent to their parents in your youth 17:6

  • True brothers and friends show themselves in adversity 17:17


The odd statement about bribes in verse 8 seems to approve of bribes, but the Bible elsewhere deplores them, even in this chapter (verse 23). What does I mean? Here is a more literal translation- showing that bribes are an illusion of safety, not reality

17:8 A bribe is a “magic stone” in the eyes of its owner to whomever he turns he thinks he will succeed.

Don’t be entangled with a fool

  • Fools don’t learn from good advice 17:10

  • Fools will lead you to harm 17:12

  • Fools will misuse any money given to them 17:16

  • Fools have no clear goals, so waste their efforts 17:24

The Proverbs warn to stay away from an not invest materially with a fool. This is not to be confused with admonitions to help the misfortunate. This requires wisdom in an area without clear absolutes. But note these famous passages about generosity:

Jesus says to “turn the other cheek”, “give also your cloak to the one who demands your coat”, “walk two miles with the one who demands one mile”- These are all reactions to acts of violence. By not returning evil for evil we demonstrate our trust in God to watch out for ultimate good.

James warns that a person with true religion helps his brother in a time of need. Note he says “brother” and “time of need”. These are people in our church whom we know well. We know the cause of the need and we know the scope of their need.

God uses a crucible 17:3

The ore smith tosses raw ore into the crucible, and when it melts, any silver or gold rises to top. The smith then skims that good metal off and says, “I can use this!”.

So God puts our lives into the crucible hoping to find good gold or silver rising to the top so that he can say about us, “I can use this!”

If we spend our lives dedicated to the wise words of the Proverbs, that good metal will be there for God to find

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