Summary: No man is an island. We all have families, friends, communities, organizations, or places of employment. We run into all kinds of people, and Proverbs helps prepare us to deal with the more challenging ones ("works of art").
It’s A Jungle Out There
(Proverbs 26:2, 13-16, 18-19, 27)
1. Maybe you have heard this one before.
A couple were going on a vacation to Florida together, but the wife had an emergency at work. So they agreed the husband would go as planned and his wife would meet him at the hotel the next day.
When the husband got to his hotel and had checked in, he thought he should send his wife a quick email letting her know he'd got there ok.
As he typed in her email address, he made a typo and his email was sent to an elderly preacher’s wife instead. It just so happened that her husband had sadly died just the day before.
When the grieving old preacher's wife checked her emails, she read the one from the holiday maker, let out an awful, loud, piercing scream, and fainted on the floor.
At the sound of her falling, her family rushed into the room. They tended to her and then looked at her computer and saw this email on her screen:
Just checked in to my room. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.
P.S. It sure is hot down here. [source: http://laffgaff.com]
2. We are all living our lives simultaneously, and sometimes they get confused, as in the above instance.
3. But not only do we live different lives at different stages, there are many kinds of people. Most people, IMO, are pretty decent from a relative point of view. Some are what we call “works of art.”
Main Idea: No man is an island. We all have families, friends, communities, organizations, or places of employment. We run into all kinds of people, and Proverbs helps prepare us to deal with the more challenging ones ("works of art").
I. The PLOTTER (2, 27)
A. Harming another by attempting to put a CURSE on that person (2)
• A coven of witches made the news when they met to put a curse on Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh.
• Numbers 23:8, “How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?”
B. TRAPS set for others may trap us! (27)
Daniel 6:24, “ And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.”
Esther 9:24-25, “ For Haman …the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them … to crush and to destroy them. But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.”
C. Our advantage: we don’t need to FEAR curses, and we need to remember that those who seek to thwart us will suffer the consequences.
II. The SLUGGARD (13-16)
The hallmark of a sluggard is this: he doesn’t get things done. Some people are unorthodox in their habits, but they take care of their responsibilities.
If you tell a sluggard that he won’t get anywhere because he procrastinates, his response is, “Just you wait!”
A. These pictures are sometimes laughable EXAGGERATIONS.
B. The sluggard is characterizes by attempts to avoid WORK.
Nabal was such a man in the Old Testament (I Samuel 25). His wife, Abigail, had both the brains and the initiative. Nabal liked to drink and sleep. Nabal means “fool,” and was probably a nickname that stuck — and was accurate.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”
1. EXCUSES: there is a lion outside! (13)
2. EXCESSIVE sleep (14)
3. ARROGANCE (15)
C. Our advantage: we can see through the sluggard and understand the excuses he presents or confidence he exudes is SPIN.
III. The CASUAL Liar (18-19)
A. The habitual or casual liar differs from the MALICIOUS liar.
A casual liar lies to protect himself or because it will given him an advantage, or because he is addicting to lying. A malicious liar lies to hurt us.
We will deal in a later sermon, perhaps next week, with the malicious liar.
“A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary.” [truthaboutdeception.com]