Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Fourth Day of Lent

Posted on February 20, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Proverbs 25:8-22 (NKJV)
25:8 Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame?
9 Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another;
10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame, and your reputation be ruined.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.
16 Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.
18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like vinegar on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
The text appointed for today speaks of the great value of humility coupled with words of kindness, guided by wise observation. God’s children are solemnly warned against daring to bring frivolous accusations or charges against another, for such behavior can bring temporal and eternal consequences, leading to an unfavorable judgment being brought against the offender. Such actions can also lead to the destroying of a man’s reputation with untrue words secretly spoken against him, which is a horrible thing that clearly violates the Commandments of God. A good name is one of life’s most valuable possessions.
The Lord beautifully uses the author Solomon to present the divinely inspired lesson that wise words delivered with tact, humility, and faith will accomplish their purpose. The text also warns against excessiveness regarding all things, whether it be the delivery of praise or admonishment, as either delivered overabundantly will create trouble, rather than success. The verses of our assigned text also present the reality that this sage advice is as valuable when dealing with conflict as it is when handling contentment or peaceful relations. All relations are well served by moderation and discipline, guided by the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of true wisdom.
Prayer: O Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully hear our prayers and, having set us free from the bonds of sin, defend us from all evil; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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