Strife and Hatred

Strife and Hatred

Text: Proverbs 26:17-28

Meddling in an Argument

(Proverbs 26:17)

            Getting involved in other people’s arguments will get yourself attacked and hurt. Dogs were typically not domesticated in these days. They were scavengers, so taking a wild dog by the ears would be to invite a furious attack as soon as you try to disengage. The people involved in the dispute must want help, or you need to have reason for your involvement. A relative stranger’s opinion will be rejected and the stranger attacked. As an example, notice that when Jesus was asked to take a side in a dispute between two brothers, he declined (Luke 12:14).

“I Was Only Joking”

(Proverbs 26:18-19)

            Another foolish behavior is seen in some people, when caught in a lie will try to cover their tracks by claiming that it was just a joke. But lies are not a game (Jeremiah 9:5). The person hurting everyone around him like a madman with weapons.

For discussion:

  1. Is joking wrong?

Why Strife Doesn’t Die Down

(Proverbs 26:20-21)

            Gossiping keeps strife going long after it should have died away. It continually reminds people of the disagreement. It invites people to take sides. But it doesn’t solve the problem. In the same way a person who constantly finds fault in another lights the fires of strife (Proverbs 15:18; 22:10). By implication, the way to get strife to cease is to remove the person fueling the fire (Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10).

Gossip

(Proverbs 26:22)

            People have a hard time resisting gossip. When they give in and listen to gossip, what they hear stays with them and becomes a part of how they view another person (Proverbs 18:8). This proverb, then, explains how gossip ends up fanning the flames of strife and hatred.

For discussion:

  1. What is different between Proverbs 26:22 and Proverbs 18:8?
  2. Why repeat the same proverb?

Hypocrisy

(Proverbs 26:23-28)

            Sincere sounding words don’t make a wicked man any better or useful (Matthew 23:27-28). No matter how fervently spoken, he still has an evil heart. A person who hates you will usually disguise it with lies. Be skeptical of such a person’s kind words, he is trying to get you to let down your guard (Psalm 28:3; Jeremiah 9:8). Seven abominations means a complete representation of all that is abominable. In the end, his wickedness is exposed despite his lies (Proverbs 12:13).

            The one who lays traps ends up being snared (Psalms 7:15-16; 9:15; 57:6; Ecclesiastes 10:8). His goal is to crush and ruin, but he will end up ruining himself.

            A liar doesn’t want the best for those to whom he tells lies. The same is true for the insincere flatterer (Psalms 12:3). Therefore, don’t make excuses or cultivate as friends people who lie or flatter