Love/Hate Relationships (Proverbs 17:9 – 17)

This passage is not so much about specific love/hate relationships as it is about ways people deal with one another that demonstrate either loving, compassionate actions, or else hateful or damaging actions.  Either way, they describe ways that individuals deal with one another in the days of Solomon and today.  

9 He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends. 

10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool. 

11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 

12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly. 

13 Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house. 

14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. 

15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. 

16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it? 

17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

As is evident in these Scriptures, discretion and confidentiality show love, whereas gossip and tale-telling divide people.  Rebellion leads to punishment.  Fools are hard to deal with, and those who do not deal fairly with others will receive the recompense of evil.  People should stop arguments before they become hurtful.  Do not defend the truly evil and do not condemn the just.  The final verse of this passage is famous, speaking of the fact that a friend loves at all times, and helps in others adversity.

What is the basic premise of these sayings?  Deal fairly with people out of a heart of selfless love and compassion.  Don’t be contentious, hard to deal with, and dangerous.  God loves us with an unconditional and powerful love.  Be Godly and love others the same way.  With God’s love, we can save souls from destruction!

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