Proverbs 17 Commentary

Proverbs 17 Commentary

Chapter 17 begins by elevating the importance of peace. Without peace, all feasting is useless; be it a feast of money, entertainment, pleasure, fame, or indeed any other form of abundance.

The New Testament expands our understanding of the term peace. It is more than simply the absence of strife. Ephesians would put it this way: “For He himself is our peace.” Ephesians 2 verse 14a.

The scripture is making the point that without Jesus, all other forms of attaining completeness are useless.

The mention of a servant who rules over the disgraced son may draw the thoughts of the famous fall in Genesis 3. Humanity lost the blessing of dominion. By prudence, translated as Wisdom or otherwise Jesus Christ, men and women can rule once again.

In the meantime, the LORD tests the heart. Is there prudence? No, if you still want to listen to liars, mock the poor, pay your way through, and feel salvation can be bought by human effort.

Then the chapter broadens the description of wickedness or the lack of prudence. Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent, for example. You expect the LORD to be happy with this? The LORD tests the heart. Is your heart happy with wickedness? Or is there pain inside because of sin and wrongdoing?

What senselessness, and what stupidity to want to put your life on the line all for nothing. Verse 18. The scripture is lamenting the poor reasoning behind wickedness. Why do you want to be part of it? For what and for who?

Verse 21 seems to picture the Creator God grieving over the foolishness of His children. He knows the missing part: prudence – Wisdom it is.

In this book, the LORD explains the human problem: lack of wisdom. Read Wisdom. Without Wisdom, nothing works.

The last verse is a masterpiece. Say nothing and everyone thinks you are intelligent. The scripture is encouraging us to stop trying. Accept our poor condition and inability to solve our own problems. True wisdom comes when we completely keep quiet and let the LORD Jesus Christ do the talking.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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