An Honest Ruler Makes a Nation Strong

The brilliant physician and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and his brother John represent two radically different views on the subject of flattery. Dr. Holmes loved to collect compliments, and when he was older he indulged his pastime by saying to someone who had just p … More

Flattery

Men who stubbornly and persistently refuse to heed reproof, that is for his own best interest, is not only destroying himself but placing himself in a position where a remedy will no longer be available  (v. 1). I can think of several men who have destroyed their ministry because of refusing to admit their error. When righteous leaders are in control even the unbelievers will be glad. On the other hand, when wicked leaders are in control the people will groan under cruel oppression (v. 2).

If you love wisdom your parents will be glad, but chasing after bad women will cost you everything (v. 3). An honest ruler makes the nation strong; a ruler who takes bribes will bring it to ruin (v. 4). Flattery is the saying of what the heart does not mean with the intention of misleading or obtaining favor (v. 5). True praise and  honest recognition of worthy accomplishments is right and proper in its place.  However, insincere remarks to gain favor are dangerous and the person doing it will often get caught in the very net he has set for others. Your sins will catch you, but everyone who lives right will sing and celebrate(v. 6).

The wicked don’t care about the rights of the poor, but good people do (v. 7). Sneering at others is a spark that sets a city on fire; using good sense can put out the flames of anger (v. 8). There is no use to try to convince a fool of his errors (v. 9). A murderer hates everyone who is honest and lives right (10). The fool may pour out all his wrath, but the wise man holds it back (v. 11).

Application

Probably all of us have exercised our stubborn will at one time or another. I need to remember that God calls me a fool if I refuse to accept Godly counsel.

Proverbs 29:1-11 (English Standard Version)


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