Proverbs 17;17

1Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

2 A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

4 A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
    a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

5 Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

6 Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
    how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

8 A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
    they think success will come at every turn.

9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
    more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
    the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house
    of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
    so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
    the Lord detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
    when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
    whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
    one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
    there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
    surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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A true friend never fails, no matter what. A true brother is always ready to help in time of need or trouble. King Solomon described excellent friends and brothers in very few words. You must ask if you are such a friend, and you must ask if you have such friends.

Two are better than one! The solitary life is lonely and vain. Good friends help in four ways – they share in successes, they help when you fall, they provide encouragement and synergy, and they help oppose enemies (Eccl 4:9-12). Successful men have great friends.

Such friends are not found easily; they are a blessing from God. And such friends must be carefully preserved by careful efforts (Pr 27:10) and sincere friendliness (Pr 18:24; Jn 15:15). If you deeply offend a friend, it may be very hard to recover them (Pr 18:19). Look for friends among zealous saints (Ps 101:4-8; 119:63; Titus 1:8). They are won by a pure heart and gracious speech (Pr 22:11; I Sam 18:1). Holy living brings holy friends.

Jonathan and David were friends. Jonathan loved David as his own soul (I Sam 18:1-4). David described Jonathan’s love as greater than that of women (II Sam 1:26). There was no competition or envy between them. They strengthened each other in the Lord (I Sam 23:16). Back to back with swords, no enemy could touch them! Face to face, no lovers could match their affection! Their covenant of friendship, in life and death, was glorious.

Men say, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family ties are stronger than friendship or marriage. But the sons of God know better. They say, “Blood is thicker than blood,” meaning the bond in Christ, by His blood, is stronger than the bond of family. The best marriages are when a man marries his sister – his friend in the Lord (I Cor 9:5). No man has forsaken family for Christ that did not find a better, larger family (Luke 18:28-30).

Christians make the best friends, for God alters souls to match. They fear the LORD, believe the truth, adore Jesus Christ, follow Bible wisdom in life, have true love in their hearts, and know they will spend eternity together. They exhort and rebuke each other to perfection, which is sweeter than kisses (Pr 27:5-6,9). The world cannot know such unity!

It did not matter Paul was on trial for his life, Luke was there (II Tim 4:11). It did not matter Jesus was crucified by rabid Jews, John was there (John 19:26-27). Fair weather friends, as they are called, are never there when you need them (Pr 14:20; 19:4). Demas evilly deserted Paul, but Timothy more than made up for it (II Tim 4:10; Phil 2:19-22).

What kind of a friend are you? The first lesson of this proverb is to examine yourself to see if you are the only kind of friend that counts. What kind of friends do you have? The second lesson is to examine your friends and make sure you have the good kind.

Jesus of Nazareth, reigning as King on David’s throne, is the greatest Friend. He gave His life for you; He lives to make intercession for you; He will never leave or forsake you.

17 mBetter is a dry morsel with quiet

than a house full of feasting1 with strife.

2  A servant who deals wisely will rule over na son who acts shamefully

and owill share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

3  pThe crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,

qand the Lord tests hearts.

4  An evildoer listens to wicked lips,

and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

5  Whoever mocks the poor rinsults his Maker;

he who is sglad at calamity will not go tunpunished.

6  uGrandchildren are vthe crown of the aged,

and the glory of children is their fathers.

7  Fine speech is not wbecoming to a fool;

still less is xfalse speech to a prince.

8  yA bribe is like a magic2 stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;

wherever he turns he prospers.

9  Whoever zcovers an offense seeks love,

but he who repeats a matter aseparates close friends.

10  A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding

than a hundred blows into a fool.

11  An evil man seeks only rebellion,

and ba cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12  Let a man meet ca she-bear robbed of her cubs

drather than a fool in his folly.

13  If anyone ereturns evil for good,

fevil will not depart from his house.

14  The beginning of strife is like letting out water,

so gquit before the quarrel breaks out.

15  He who hjustifies the wicked and he who icondemns the righteous

are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

16  Why should a fool have money in his hand jto buy wisdom

when he has no sense?

17  kA friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.

18  One who lacks sense gives a pledge

and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.

19  Whoever loves transgression loves strife;

he who lmakes his door high seeks destruction.

20  mA man of crooked heart does not discover good,

and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.

21  He who nsires a fool gets himself sorrow,

and the father of a fool has no joy.

22  oA joyful heart is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit pdries up the bones.

23  The wicked accepts qa bribe in secret3

to rpervert the ways of justice.

24  sThe discerning sets his face toward wisdom,

but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25  nA foolish son is a grief to his father

tand bitterness to uher who bore him.

26  vTo impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,

nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

27  Whoever wrestrains his words has knowledge,

and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

28  Even a fool xwho keeps silent is considered wise;

when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

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