THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
Kings, Neighbors, Enemies, and Honey – Proverbs 25:1-28
VERSES 1-7 – On verses two and three the MacArthur Study Bible notes, “God…kings. The roles of God and the king are compared. God, whose knowledge is above all human knowledge (cf. Ps. 92:5; Eccl. 3:11; Is. 46:10; Acts 15:18; Heb. 4:13), and whose ways are unsearchable (cf. Job 5:9; Ps. 145:3; Is. 40:28), keeps things to Himself because He needs no counsel (see Rom. 11:34). On the contrary, kings should rightly seek to know what they must know in order to rule righteously.”
Looking at verses four and five we can conclude that kingdoms of men are established by God when wickedness is removed and righteousness is in place. There is silver present, but it must be refined by fire.
In verses six and seven we see that humility is an honorable trait even in places of authority.
VERSES 8-20 – Getting along with neighbors will be aided by not being hasty in judging them when they seem to be unwise, and in the end you are shamed by your own actions (vv. 8-10).
Using words wisely when dealing with our neighbors (vv. 11-12). Refreshing and encouraging words from a messenger (v. 13). Forbearance or patience is a necessity for good neighbors (vv. 14-15). Too much of a good and sweet thing will end in hatred of that very thing (vv. 16-17).
Being a good neighbor involves confidence in the right place and people, respecting truth and, others comfort, shelter, and nourishment (vv. 18-20).
VERSES 21-28 – We ought to treat our enemies as we would treat our neighbors. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8).
VERSES 16 and 27 – Honey is a natural sweetener. Too much of this sweetner will make one sick. Verse 16 prepares us for verse 17 where spending too much time a neighbor’s can be a thing that turns to hatred if not done in moderation.
To search for one’s own glory is as bad as eating too much honey. It will make others sick, and possibly you sick as well.
-Tim A. Blankenship