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Beloved: Grace and Peace

Elkmont Baptist Church

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Strife and Quietness

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Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Proverbs 17:1 says, "Better
Grace to you.
Ekklesia,
is
a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full
with
strife
(bold added)." Solomon tells us that it is better to eat a cold,
dry piece of bread for a meal with quietness than to eat a great and wonderful meal with strife present. Can we get a witness?
"Who
is
a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a
good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and
strife
in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. The
wisdom descendeth not from above, but
is
earthly, sensual, devilish. For where
envying and
strife
is
confusion and every evil work."
confusion
: Gr. tumult, unquietness" (Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, et al.,
- James 3:13-16 (bold added)
James tells us,
("
Jam 3:16)) There is tumult, unquietness where strife and envy are.
"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do engender
strifes
. And the servant of the Lord must not
strive
; but be gentle unto all
men
, apt to teach, patient ["
patient
How do you respond if there is strife in the home? Paul tells Timothy,
: or, forbearing"
(Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, et al., 2Ti 2:24)], In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And
that
they may recover themselves out of the snare
of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
- 2 Timothy 2:22-26 (bold added)
When we have strife in our home, we who are servants of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle, teaching meekly with good behavior, instructing those who oppose themselves (those causing strife are actually fighting themselves). Perhaps God will give them repentance to know the truth and awake out of the snare of the devil.
Let us look at what else the Scripture says about strife:
"A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but
he that is
slow to anger appeaseth strife"
(Proverbs 15:18).
"A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends" (Proverbs 16:28). One who is twisted sows strife, and a tattletale keeps it going.
"He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat" (Proverbs 28:25). "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression" (Proverbs 29:22). Where there is strife, pride, and anger are behind it.
Paul tells us that wrath and strife are two of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20).
What can be done to help diffuse strife in the house? "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).
What will remove strife from the house? "
Let
nothing
be done
through
strife
or
vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:3-5; bold added).
"The beginning of
strife
is as
when one letteth out water: therefore leave off
contention
, before it be
meddled
with" (Proverbs 17:14; bold added). This proverb
warns us that once strife is let out, it can't be stopped or gotten back. We are to leave off contending with one another before it starts.
"He loveth transgression that loveth
strife
:
and
he that exalteth his gate seeketh
destruction" (Proverbs 17:19; bold added). This proverbs teaches us that the person that loves strife (loves to argue and fight) loves transgression. Transgression is willfully and knowingly crossing of some line one ought not to cross. Strife normally comes when one tries to exalt his gate (seat of government - hence kingdom, influence, act as king, get his own way). The proverb warns that destruction is the result of that.
"
It is
an honour for a man to cease from
strife
: but every fool will be
meddling
"
(Proverbs 20:3; bold added). It speaks highly of the one who will be first to cease from strife, but it is foolish behavior to meddle with others (to aggravate, to tease, to get an angry response). The right response to someone meddling with you is found in Proverbs 14:7: "Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not
him
the lips of knowledge."
"Where no wood is,
there
the fire goeth out: so where
there is
no talebearer, the
strife
ceaseth.
As
coals
are
to burning coals, and wood to fire, so
is
a
contentious
kindle strife" (Proverbs 26:20-21; bold added). As parents we need to teach our children not to tattle or be talebearers
"Cast out the scorner, and
contention
shall go out; yea,
strife
and reproach shall
cease" (Proverbs 22:10; bold added). When children are fighting, banishing them to their rooms can be helpful.
Now let us change our focus: "Better
is
a dry morsel, and
quietness
therewith, than a
house full of sacrifices
with
strife" (Proverbs 17:1; bold added). "Better
is
a handful
with
quietness
, than both the hands full
with
travail and vexation of spirit"
(Ecclesiastes 4:6; bold added). We have looked at what the Scriptures say about strife. Why is quietness so valuable?
"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved;
in quietness
and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not"
(Isaiah 30:15; bold added). Later Isaiah tells us that, "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness
quietness
and assurance forever"
(Isaiah 32:17; bold added). We have strength through quietness and confidence. The effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance.
Paul told the Thessalonians, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with
quietness
they work, and eat their own
bread" (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12; bold added).
Perhaps some of you have read George Muller's autobiography. God used him to take care of many orphans in England during the 1800s. He did so by telling only the Lord about his and their needs. He saw God provide over and over again.
"From whence
come
wars and fightings among you?
come they
not hence,
even
of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and recieve not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume
it
- James 4:1-3
We have wars and fightings in our homes because of our selfish desires. James tells us that we have not because we don't ask, and we have not because we are asking for something that is not good for us. May I suggest that if we ask God for quietness and for the things we need, we may with confidence believe that we shall receive?
Lord, please grant quietness in our hearts and in our homes.
"From whence
come
wars and fightings among you?
come they
not hence,
even
of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume
it
- James 4:1-3
James tells us that when we have strife, it is because we are trying to meet our own needs. We desire selfishly and fight with one another to get what we want. We don't have because we don't ask, or because we ask amiss (out of selfish desires).
David tells us, "Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so
shalt thou dwell in the land, and
verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalms 37:3-4).
David assures us that if we trust in the LORD and do good, if we delight ourselves in Him, He will meet our needs and give us the desires of our heart. Only when we delight in Him can we trust our hearts.
So what will remove strife from the house? "
Let
nothing
be done
through
strife
vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:3-5; bold added).
, there
is
of sacrifices
in
man to
James tells us,
upon your
lusts."
So James asks us rhetorically:
upon your
lusts."
or
References
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword. [computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation.
Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge.
Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, et al., Intro by Torrey, R.