Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 27:13-27.
While Hezekiah was king of Judah, men who worked for him compiled more of the wise sayings that God gave Solomon.
Solomon has a message for fellow kings and their officials. The wicked should be removed from the king’s court like dross is removed from silver. A wicked ruler is “like a roaring lion or a charging bear . . . over a helpless people” (Proverbs 28:15). But while many people seek an audience with the king, “it is from the Lord that one gets justice” (Proverbs 29:26).
Solomon also speaks about trustworthy people: If a friend wounds, it is a trustworthy injury and a needed rebuke. A trustworthy messenger is like a cold, satisfying drink on a hot day. Trustworthy people can develop each other’s character like iron sharpens iron.
One of Solomon’s closing proverbs serves as a summary: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
The King’s Heart
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter” (Proverbs 25:2).
The great King knows all. As he spoke so poetically to Job, there are many mysteries that are too mighty for our intellects to comprehend or our souls to carry. While God has revealed much about life and about himself, he has left much a mystery. God is the Mysterious One.
Yes, the great God is our close Friend. He has chosen to draw us close to himself. We can bask in the love he pours on us. But he is still high, holy, mighty and other. The same God who draws us close commanded the universe into orderly existence with just a word — matter and molecules snapped into being at his command. The same God who beckons us into his presence is constantly surrounded by majestic creatures we’ve never seen, creatures who worship him because his good glory invokes such a response. The same God who gave us breath has no end and no beginning. God is the Beautiful Mystery, and it is to his great glory that he is not fully comprehensible.
Be comforted in the presence of the high and holy One. He is bigger than anything you will face. Let his bigness snap your worries into perspective like the matter snapped into order at his command. And take heart. Even though you do not understand God in his entirety — and never will — he is good. In the mystery, you can trust his heart.
“An enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:6). Jesus experienced the truth of this proverb himself with Judas’s betraying kiss (see Matthew 26:49).