Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Proverbs chapter 26, the major theme is on the nature of a fool.
- Describes the nature of a fool. Pro. 26.1-12
- Describes the nature of a sluggard or a lazy person. Pro. 26.13-16
- Describes a person who stirs up controversy or quarrel. Pro. 26. 17-22
- Describes a hypocrite. Pro. 26.23-26
- Describes a fool who is caught by his own trap that he sets for others. Pro. 26.27-28
Proverbs 26:23-26 The Message (MSG)
Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like glaze on cracked pottery.
Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.
One of the most painful experiences in my life working on mission fields, is trusting the wrong person. Directing the ministry of Friends of Pastors International for the last 20 years, has taken me to many poor countries in the region. One of the most welcome ministries we offer to the poor pastors and leaders is Micro Financing. Over the 20 years, I have encountered two distinct cases of trusting the wrong persons. Is painful!
Solomon is describing the lips and heart of this person is like the cheap clay vessel covered with lovely glaze. It looks good on the outside but is cheap clay on the inside. This was what Jesus did when he was exposing the Pharisees and the Scribes during His earthly ministry. They were hypocrites, like filthy cups, were washed clean on the outside but dirty on the inside Matt. 23.25-26. They were hypocrites, like the whitewashed tomb that appeared nice and clean on the outside but inside was a rotting corpse Matt. 23.27-28. Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of these religious leaders who put on a good holy front but the inside are all filth.
“Burning lips” Solomon illustrate the same point of hypocrisy, these men speak with great zeal and literally on fire in talking about the things of God and spiritual things or beautifully crafted words of affection, love and friendship. However, Solomon warns us that this man has a “evil or wicked heart” This evil or wicked heart seeks to sweet talk and convince people.
Proverbs 26:23-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
“Like a [common] clay vessel covered with the silver dross [making it appear silver when it has no real value]
He who hates, disguises it with his lips, but he stores up deceit in his heart. When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him,
For seven abominations are in his heart.
Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly.”
The Star paper reported several cases of Casanovas who cheated many women of tens of thousands of Ringgits. Solomon’s warning is very straight forward. Don’t fall for sweet, gracious, and charming talk! Don’t believe him! This man is a hypocrite; a liar; and a deceiver. Beware of preachers too!
“Seven abominations” that’s how Solomon describes the heart of a hypocrite or the wicked. Seven in the Bible is used symbolically as complete or fullness. “Abominations” means disgusting, detestable; repulsive; that which is offensive. The two words together, means the wicked heart is full of evil thoughts, intentions, designs and motives. The hypocrite will cover all these evil intentions with a lovely mask.
This hypocrisy has creeped into our lives too. We have perfected the use of a mask in our daily life. All our lives are full of scars, pains and insecurities but we have learned to hide them so well with beautiful veneer that is acceptable to the world. This is a tragedy of living. Our values are so much fashioned by the glamorous world of success. The so-called success of the world is all about the now and what meets the eyes. It is temporal and fleeting. Real life begins when we dare to take off the mask and remove the veneer and boldly receive freedom, honesty and meaning in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Way. the Truth and the Life.
Pray for today
Our heavenly Father, we thank you in spite of the dark clouds of the Corona Virus which has brought about the downturn of all the economic affairs of the world. We are grateful there is still light in you in the so- called dark time that covers the world is just a passing phase. It will not last forever.
We are thankful, for this unusual time that we are forced to take a closer look at life and it’s meaning. What is actually most precious and valuable in life. Relationship has taken on new meaning. We appreciate the intimate time we can spend with you and with our spouses and our children, which we have taken a back seat. It used to be our bank account; the mighty dollar is top priority in our lives. In just two to three months, we experienced great losses from our investments, businesses, our jobs.
Thank you, Lord, you have reminded us of who You are during this time of Covid-19. We thank you for selfless frontline workers who make such great sacrifices to save lives everywhere. The doctors, nurses, all types of medical personnel and a host of other essential workers. We have forgotten many real heroes and heroines that have contributed so much to enrich our lives of which we have taken for granted. Our fathers and mothers; our teachers; pastors/elders, farmers, police and many who serve us daily.
Lord, we are thankful, you allow us to take off our masks. It is frightening to do that. We dare to because you have accepted us as we are. You have given us confidence to be ourselves rather than trying to be someone else. We ask for your forgiveness for this sin of hypocrisy, dishonesty and living with double standards. Help us to live in confidence with the new identity we have in Jesus Christ, who makes all things new when you come in to reside in our hearts.
Lord, teach us to live with love, kindness, generosity, honesty and simplicity. We thank you for making this type of lifestyle possible through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This kind of lifestyle will result in unity and harmony in our homes and in our church.
We pray and ask in Jesus’ Mighty Name! Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim
我在宣教工场上最痛苦的经历之一就是信任了错的人。作为“国际牧者的朋友”机构（Friends of Pastors International）20年的主任，我有机会去到不少贫穷的国家。我们机构提供的筹资微化管理，是贫穷牧者领袖们最欢迎的事工之一。在过去的20年中，我遇到了两个独特的“信任错人”的案例。很痛苦！