1. Proverbs 27:3 (ESV) A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
RAF: It is the senselessness of a fool’s provocation that makes it unbearably oppressive. We are far more able to endure things for which we can assign reasons for their being. If we’ve done X and are suffering Y, it makes sense. But when there seems to be no rhyme or reason behind suffering, attacks, unwarranted opinions, slanders – these (the products of fools) are heavier than any mere suffering we know.
2. Proverbs 27:7 (ESV) One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
RAF: Hearkening back to the dual command of God to Adam in the Garden to eat freely of the trees, and to avoid just one – so we see this recurring principle: Fill yourself up on the good things of God, and you’ll have little appetite for sin. This is one of the most effective weapons we have against temptation. Our failure to eat of the Bread of Life often, to drink always at the Fountain of Life, leaves us victims of our own appetites. This is why the responsibility for our sin rests so heavily upon our own shoulders. Had God not made provision for us, our seeking out for things to fill us would be much more understandable. But as with the Fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5 – against these things there is NO law. We can go to the Father and seek the Fruit of joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindness and self-control all we want. There are no restrictions as to how much we can ask for and receive. The limitations are ours – not His. And left with our appetites for joy and peace etc., still gnawing, we WILL seek something else to fill us.
3. Proverbs 27:8 (ESV) Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.
RAF: We have all heard the arguments – man is not naturally monogamous. Men stray, it is part of their make up – etc. Scripture flatly and authoritatively contradicts such lies. It is as unnatural for a man to stray from his home as it is for a bird to stray from its nest. Sin alone is the culprit here. This is not how man was made from the hand of God – but how we’ve become in the aftermath of our rebellion and refusal to carry His image.
4. Proverbs 27:13 (ESV) 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.
RAF: The concept here is most interesting and practical. Should you find yourself having co-signed or been the guarantor for a loan for someone who has not done their homework or used the funds for corrupt ends – then when they lose their shirt, do not hold them harmless. They need to suffer the consequences, they need to feel the weight of their foolishness – do not let them off the hook for what they owe you. Take the garment.
5. Proverbs 27:19 (ESV) As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.
RAF: Many is the time – after uttering unkind, angry or hurtful words I’ve said “I’m sorry, that wasn’t me.” But of course, who else was it? It was without any contradiction – me. As it is YOU when you say or do something sinful. It may be out of character in terms of our normal comportment, but we can be sure it is simply something of ourselves we’ve kept in check – and not something foreign to us. Jesus Himself is the one who explodes the “it wasn’t me” myth in Mark 7:20-23 (ESV) “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” It is moments which bring the worst out of us, which reveal that part of our true selves we’ve kept cleverly hidden. But to be sure – it is us. And this is why we need our Savior so desperately. All of these things flow out of us, not into us. Our sinfulness is interior, not exterior. We need to be changed men, not those who simply change our behavior. To be sure, the hidden will eventually make itself known.
6. Proverbs 27:20 (ESV) Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
RAF: In our quest to mortify the deeds of the flesh – this one point is of the utmost importance: Lust is never satisfied by “just one more look”. Never. Our eyes will never fill up. We can never imagine that if we just look this one last time – it will suffice us forever. This is nothing less than self-deception. It is indwelling sin making its argument. In our pornography ridden culture, if men do not understand and take this truth seriously, we will remain in that endless, unbroken cycle of convincing ourselves that if we just let ourselves have this one last taste of the forbidden, we will be satisfied. And it is all a lie to keep us bound to our sin. Nor is it hard to extend this reality to other sins. Just one last tid-bit of juicy gossip. Just one last last lie to protect my fake reputation. Just one last unethical decision to seal the business deal. Just one last day to neglect prayer or the study of the word, or witnessing to the lost. Just one last…
7. Proverbs 27:22 (ESV) Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
RAF: We are ever and always trying to separate bewteen ourselves and sin – as though sin is not really a part of us, truly intermingled in our very nature – but purely a foreign influence. The truth is, no matter how far you break us down to the smallest parts, we are what we are. The stain infects every part of us. Sin is not an organ that can be removed. It is not a spirit that can be cast out. It cannot be compartmentalized as though it is an object or a substance. It is us, fallen. Sin as corruption is as much a part of fallen man as holiness is of God. It is an attribute of our fallenness. And this, is what Christ promises to utterly and completely remove from us when at last the Believer is fully conformed to His likeness. Oh Lord, hasten the day!