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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 26

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel
Date Penned: (970-931 BC)
Overview: Wisdom to Teach People to Live Godly (c 1-31)
Theme: Wisdom for Leaders (c 25-31)
Message: Wisdom for Employers and Leaders (v 1-28)

Proverbs 26 Commentary 

(26:2) Disregard Criticism - "The curse causeless shall not come" means that an unjust curse has no effect. We should disregard such insults and put-downs. Shrug them off when you know they don't apply to you. 

(26:4:5) Avoid Arguments - These two verses seem to contradict each other, but they purposely demonstrate two different situations. The wise person has a choice to make depending on the nature of the foolishness. Some fools don't deserve an answer because they are clearly not in a position to listen. Those who try to answer or argue with them will simply stoop to their level. In other situations, however, we should answer or rebuke a fool in order to expose his or her pride and folly. 

(26:7) Applying Proverbs - Some people are so numbed by foolishness that they wouldn't sense wisdom even if they were to memorize these proverbs. A mindlessly quoted proverb proves as useless as a paralyzed body part. Those who want to be wise must have the receptive attitude needed to make the most of these wise words. If we want to learn from God. he will meet us and pour out his heart to us (1:23) 

(26:8) Confront Troublemakers - When discord or dissension occurs in a group, the leader may try to make the disruptive person loyal and productive by giving him or her a place of privilege or responsibility. This usually doesn't work. It is like tying a stone to the sling of a slingshot-giving this person special consideration may actually backfire and hurt the leader and the group. The dissenter's new power may be just what he or she needs to manipulate the others. 

(26:9) Applying Scripture - This proverb is a warning to be careful in the application of proverbs. A proverb misapplied by a fool can be a dangerous thing and can actually cause harm. A foolish boss might claim that the proverb "He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him" (16:26) gives permission to underpay workers in order to keep them hungry. All Bible verses need to be read in the light of the entire witness of Scripture, and this could never be a valid interpretation (see Deuteronomy 24:14:15). 

(26:12-16) Laziness - If a person is not willing to do work. he or she can find endless excuses to avoid it. But laziness is more dangerous than a prowling lion. The less we do, the less we want to do, and the more useless we become. To overcome laziness. take a few small steps toward change. Set a concrete, realistic goal. Figure out the steps needed to reach it, and follow those steps. Pray for strength and persistence. To keep your excuses from making you useless, stop making useless excuses 

(26:17) Avoid Arguments - Taking hold of a dog's ears is a good way to get bitten, and interfering in arguments is a good way to get hurt. Many times both arguers will turn on the person who interferes. It is best simply to keep out of arguments that are none of your business. If you must become involved, try to wait until the arguers have stopped fighting and cooled off a bit. Then maybe you can help them mend their differences and their relationship. 

(26:20) Avoid Gossip - Talking about every little irritation or piece of gossip only keeps the fires of anger stoked. Refusing to discuss them cuts the fuel line and makes the fires die out. Does someone continually irritate you? Decide not to complain about the person, and see if your irritation dies from lack of fuel. 

(26:24-26) Avoid Debates - This extended proverb warns about debating with hate in their hearts. They exhibit their true feelings in ways that can't always be seen on the surface. How do they treat others at home? How do they react when inconvenienced? They may sound pleasant enough, but be observant and cautious about trusting them or believing what they say

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue with the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 26. Today's text continues with Wisdom for leaders and a look at foolishness. In making an application, we see those who depend on their Wisdom versus the Wisdom of the Lord are unwise or what the Bible describes as foolish, which is unfruitful. How about you? Do you depend on your Wisdom versus the Wisdom of the Lord in the Bible? Let us learn from our text today that when we rely on our own Wisdom over the Lord's Wisdom, we end up with what the Bible calls foolish.


Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26

 1As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

 2As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

 3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

 4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

 6He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

 7The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

 8As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

 9As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouths of fools.

 10The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

 11As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

 12Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

 13The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

 14As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

 15The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

 16The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

 17He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

 18As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

 19So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

 20Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

 21As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

 22The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

 23Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

 24He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

 25When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

 26Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

 27Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

 28A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.