Iron Can Sharpen Iron

A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck. “Where’s Harry?” he was asked. “Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the tr … More

Friend

When grief and tragedies come, it is far better to have a faithful friend than a member of your own family whose affections have been weakened by time and distance (v. 10). If someone has been a good friend of your father you need to feel an obligation to helping him when he is in need of help. A disobedient and disrespectful son is a reproach to a father who has not trained him properly (v. 11). The actions of a child always reflect upon his parents. The father who can point to acts of wisdom in the life of his son will be able to answer critics who may accuse him of being an incompetent father. The child who leads a life of wisdom is evidence of good child rearing.

Be cautious and hide when you see danger, don’t be stupid and walk right into trouble (v. 12). Don’t loan money to a stranger unless you are given something to guarantee payment (v. 13). Timing and sensitivity to others who are sleeping are important (v. 14). The wrong time for the right action becomes a curse rather than a blessing. An example of this is waking a neighbor up early in the morning to praise him for something he has done. It matters not only what we say, but how, when and why we say it.

Rain in Palestine soaks through the flat earthen roofs, and water leaks in droplets everywhere. It is truly an annoying situation and perhaps only equaled by the nagging of a contentious woman (v. 15). She is as unsteady as the wind and as slippery as oil; you can never tie her down (v. 16). Friends can sharpen one another even as one piece of metal can sharpen and brighten another through contact with each other (v. 17). Look after your master, and you will be praised (v. 18).

Application

Lord help me to be sensitive as to what I say to others and how I say it as well as when I say it? I definitely want to do a better job in this area.

Proverbs 27:10-18 (English Standard Version)

Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend, and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away. Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me. The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress. Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing. A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »