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(FAITHFUL) PROV. 27:6                                                                      SEPTEMBER, 1995



Whoa !!! Let's look at that again. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Can that be right?? Maybe it's a misprint. Maybe it should read, faithful are the kisses of a friend, but the wounds of a enemy are ... No, that can't be right. What's going on here?? Is this some kind of joke? Sad to say, no it isn't. What this scripture is telling us, is a truth, that keeps millions of people from going to hell. It is a truth, that we all need to practice, and be aware of, in our everyday lives.

Let's look at the first part of this scripture. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. The first word is FAITHFUL. We relate being faithful, with being someone, or some thing (usually living), that we can trust in. In the case of things, we are talking about pets, like dogs, cats and such. A faithful pet, will always be there, when you want them. They may be out in the neighborhood, or somewhere in the house, where you can't see them. But, if you call, or whistle for them, they will stop what they are doing, and run to your side. Some of them, will always stay where they can see you, and you, them. A good dog, for instance, will guard the house, and let you know if something isn't right. They have been known to risk their lives, to protect the kids of their house. One dog, went into a burning house, to pull its master out of the house. Another dog, stayed in a burning house, with its master, and died with him, rather than leave his side. This is the faithfulness of animals. Sometimes, these animals, do this, in spite of being woefully mistreated by their owners. If a person, can find a human friend like that, they would have found someone that is more precious than gold.

The rest of that first part says, 'THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND.' Now, when we think of wounds, we think of hurting. We think of, pain. We think of something that is not pleasant. We think of something, that we associate with an enemy, doing to us. It is almost inconceivable, to think that of a friend, especially a faithful friend, doing anything to us, that would cause us pain, or discomfort. The two, just don't go together. Or do they???

Picture, if you will, a man going down a road, and passing an alley, and seeing a man with a gun, lurking in the shadows, waiting for some unsuspecting soul, to venture in there, so he could presumably rob them or worse. Then, imagine that this man's best friend comes along, and says to him, that he is going to take a shortcut through this alley, to get to his girlfriend's house. Now, if this man, is best friends with the other man, wouldn't he warn him of the danger that is lurking in the alley??? I certainly hope so. That is being a friend. We should do that, not only to our best friends, but to anybody. However, what if the man's friend, didn't believe him, and said, 'I'm going down that alley, no matter what you say', and starts down the alley. Well the faithful friend, might have to use force, or may even have to knock him out, to keep him from going in there. Here, is the case of a friend, going so far, as to hurting his friend, in order to keep him from losing his money, or worse, his life. Seems to me, that this is a true friend. A friend that will risk their relationship with you, if it means saving your life.

Now, let's look at an enemy. Here is a person, that means you nothing but harm. Everytime they see you, they are trying to hurt or destroy you. With an enemy, you know where they are coming from, and what to expect. They are the type, that you know, not to turn your back on. However, not all enemies will be overt, in their hate for you. There are those, that will be deceitful, and slowly draw you in, then watch as you begin to fall. They know how to gain your trust, then use it to destroy you. 'THE KISSES OF AN ENEMY', is what the Bible calls it. Take the scenario above. The man, sees his friend, getting ready to go into the alley, and pats him on the back and says, 'Yeah, that's a good idea. You can save a lot of time, by going that way.' The man goes in, and gets robbed, or killed. By not telling his friend, of the danger in the alley, this man, has proven not to be a friend, but rather an enemy.

The message of the scripture then, is, many times, people that are true friends, will have to hurt you, in order to help you. While an enemy, may pat you on the back, and tell you everything is ok, while leading you to destruction.

Today, there are many people, that are Christians, that are on the road to destruction, and other Christians, are trying to tell them, that they are in danger, but they don't want to believe it. They like doing things, that will lead them to hell, and they don't want anyone telling them that. They say, 'You are supposed to be my friend, my brother, yet you are here trying to judge me. Get out of my life, I don't want to see you again.' Then they go to another Christian, and he tells them, 'There's nothing wrong with what you are doing. God understands. He loves you. You are alright.' This type of thing also happens when a Christian, tries to tell a sinner that they need to get saved, or they will go to hell. In both instances, the truth, is not pleasant to hear. But, if a person is a true friend, they will tell the truth, even if it hurts. Alcoholics Anonymous has a way of getting people to come in for treatment. They call it 'tough love.' The alcoholic, is destroying his or her life, and tries to fool themselves, in to thinking they don't have a problem. Well, AA, tells the friends and relatives, to confront the person, and tell them point blank, 'You are a drunk, and if you don't go and get help, we are going to leave you.' What are they doing? They are trying to get this person, to realize that they have a serious problem, that could destroy them. It seems unfair, it hurts, but it is necessary, to save them.

In Ezekiel 33:1-7, the prophet tells how God has told him to deliver a message to His people. That there are appointed people, that are set in the position of watchmen, whose responsibility it is, to watch for danger, and warn the people, so as to allow them to do what is necessary to escape. God says, that if the watchman sees the danger, and warns the people, and they don't listen, then their blood will be on their own heads. However, God says, if the watchman sees the danger, but doesn't warn the people, then their blood will be on the watchman's hands.

The watchman(men) today, is the Church. And in the Church, the head person, is the pastor. Yet, in far too many Churches, the watchman, is failing his job. He has blinded himself to the truth. He sees the danger, the curse (sword) that God has sent to our nation, but he tries to blame it on other forces, like whites, Republicans, the rich, and a myriad of other causes. But, what he doesn't do, is tell his people that the real problem, is the sin, that this nation is engulfed in.

Abortion, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft (including psychics and astrology), hate, drunkenness, idolatry and on and on it goes. All of these are sins that put man in danger of judgement from God. Yet, in too many, far too many Churches, the pastors, remain quiet. In (1 Cor. 5:1-5), a Church was actually bragging about one of their members, that was committing incest. Everybody knew about it. Paul told them to cast that person out, before he corrupted the whole Church. Let me ask you something. How much trash, is going on in your Church? What is the pastor doing about it?? If he is cracking down on everyone involved, and preaching about it from the pulpit, then he is doing his job as a true friend. If, however, he is overlooking it, or making light of it, then even though you may want to consider him a friend, he is patting you on the back, and leading you straight to hell. He is the enemy. The same thing is true, when they address the situations in this nation. If he calls it anything but the results of sin, he is the enemy. If, you think that I will compromise the gospel, to be your friend, FORGET IT. I will call it, the way God sees it. I'd rather be God's friend, than yours, if I have to lie to make you feel good.