3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: We have to live life in the real world, not the ideal world. We need real help, not idealistic theories.

Dealing With What Is, Not What Should Be

(Proverbs 21:9-11)

Tom, Dick and Harry returned to the hotel. Their room was on the top floor of a skyscraper hotel 99 stories high.

Unfortunately for them, the elevator was not working. They came up with a plan to make their climb less painful. For the first 33 stories, Tom cracked jokes.

For the second 33 stories, Dick told happy stories. For the last 33 stories Harry would tell sad stories. After an hour, they were two stories away when Harry began his last sad story. He turned to the other two and said "Ok guys, here's my last sad story. I just remembered that I forgot the keys downstairs.”

Main Idea: We have to live life in the real world, not the ideal world. We need real help, not idealistic theories.

I. Male REACTION to Female Anger (9)

A warm, peaceful marriage is better than a large, extravagant house.

The particular proverb deals with a man who is married to an unpleasant woman

A. About what is, not what should be; no assignment of BLAME

• Is the woman unpleasant by personality? Body chemistry?

• Did he wrong her so she became unpleasant?

• Complication: often necessary to break the peace to address problems/ closeness requires asserting oneself.. to be close, you may have to argue

• Is she unwilling to forgive a wrong?

B. Speaking of situation, not the CAUSE

C. Men UNDERSTAND male anger better

D. Women put up with GRUMPY men better than men put up with angry women

E. A man’s tendency is to WITHDRAW

Houses had flat roof tops….better outside on roof than in house…

1. Some men or women find themselves married to an unreasonable person

• Sometimes one must withdraw; unhappy people m/f want to spread gloom…

• Two types; Unhappy want you happy, unhappy want you unhappy too!

• Matthew Henry points out that a man in this situation regrets (1) his choice, (2) his management, and (3) though living in a large house, is embarrassed to have company. He handles it best by seclusion, better than partying.

2. More often, men do not understand the logic of female anger

• Sometimes, however, things are not that extreme and men do not know what to do with female anger… [space, listen, write down, no-win, address later]

• Minds: women get pop-up windows from the past & cannot dismiss them…

• It takes humility to accept what you do not experience…

Application: People should be reasonable and gracious, esp. believers; but that is not how it is. We have to deal with what is, and we have to seek to be less the problem.

II. Evil Generally PRECLUDES Mercy (10-11)

A. Evil takes ADVANTAGE of others

1. Here a person has no grace for his neighbor

2. He delights in evil and has an aversion to good… recreation

3. Evil is the ruining of good…

4. I talked to a man who enjoyed hitting animals on the road…

5. Most of us are --like Paul-- regret when we are drawn into sin; we are ashamed when we give in to evil; not the wicked!

B. Mercy is the opposite, grace given at your OWN expense

• Evil often involves benefitting at someone else’s expense…

• Jezebel acquired Naboth’s Vineyard for Ahab…lying…executing Naboth

• Ultimate positive example: Jesus, who died for our sins…

C. Some evil people appear kind to gain an ADVANTAGE or infiltrate

D. Ultimately, the evil person is not really MERCIFUL

III. Sense: The Easy Way or The Rough Way (10-11)

A. The scoffer learns through PUNISHMENT (11a)

1. The scoffer despises wisdom and learns only what he must, grudgingly

Proverbs 26:3 compares a stubborn learner with a beast of burden: “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.”

2. Some people have to literally be forced to conform to what is right…

3. Cain was marked and then whined… but no record of him killing anyone else

B. The wise man is ready to learn wisdom by NATURE (11b)

• He doesn’t need to have sense beaten into him…he vacuums it up!

• Jesus is the incarnation of God and of God’s wisdom: “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” (I Cor. 1:30)

C. Applications

1. Ironically people who are already somewhat wise collect wisdom and learn from others; people who need wisdom most, however, resist it.

2. People who value wisdom grow in wisdom… people who are proud, stubborn, and threatened by any change or information remain unwise

3. Scorners and fools are content with their lack of wisdom, wise people are not.


1. Life in the real world involves living with sometimes angry people.

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