A Potsherd Covered With Silver Dross Prov. 26 :23-28 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This proverb is about a potsherd covered with silver dross. A potsherd is a fragment or piece of broken pottery – dross is the worthless material that is removed from the silver when it is refined (it’s lead or tin or something like that).
In this proverb, the dross covers the broken piece of pottery – both are absolutely worthless – Job used his potsherd to scrape himself after the devil attacked his flesh – that was all it was good for.
So, the covering – what comes out of the lips (the burning lips) covers what’s underneath – a wicked heart full of hatred – so, the words and the heart are both worthless refuse.
In this “get-along-with-everybody” society we live in, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish this guy – you have to be a little tough and mean to smoke him out – in other words, not everyone that talks rough is a bad guy [some are] – a fellow that’s rude [like Paul in 2 Cor 11:6] is not a bad guy if he’s not covering up; Paul loved the Corinthians he said, “the more I love the less I be loved” – he was thoroughly manifest to them [2 Cor 11:6] – it’s the guys who sweet talk you that you have to watch out for [Rom 16:17-18] – even though all “sweet” talking men are not bad guys.
Now what do we detect about this kind of fellow from the text? Today, we see the dross – tomorrow the potsherd it covers (the heart).
Dissimulation – v.24 – he speaks double speak; he’s two faced – he talks one way to one group and another way to a different group [Peter’s dissimulation in Gal 2 is a good example of dissimulation] – so this guy pretends to like the group that he hates – he’s a hypocrite – see Jehu when he tricked the worshippers of Baal.
Fair speech – v.25 – he speaks like a grown-up to a child or like a gentleman to a lady, [Prov 5:3-4 for example] – Ps 55:21 – Mystery Babylon and the antichrist speak this way – that’s why we have the warning of Rom 16:17-18.
Deception – v.26 – he says what he says the way he says it to deceive you – it is the old stereotype of the used car salesman – he deceives his prey into buying a clunker – the Lord warned against deception as we near the time of his return – Matt 24:4-5 they “say” I’m Christ – 2 Tim 3:13 – a magician uses deception to fool you into thinking that what you have just seen really happened the way you saw it – only the truth can dispel the trick – likewise this deceiver will use his words to create an illusion that you will believe to fool you – what you are hearing is not what he is really saying.
Lies – v.28 – he will just out and out lie to you like the Pharisees did to Jesus (Jn 8:44) – if you are smart you can catch him in his lie – just don’t believe what he says until you’ve checked him out for yourself [like the teenage boy that lies to a girl just to satisfy his lust – he doesn’t love her – Amnon and Tamar].
Flattery – v.28 – the purpose of the flattery is to set you up so he can ruin you – they are wicked as hell, Ps 5:9 – and the Lord can’t stand their flattery, Ps 12:2-3 – the Jews tried to flatter the Lord [Ps 78:36-37] but the Lord wasn’t buying it – Prov 29:5 he’s up to no good if he has to flatter you to get your attention and you can bet that his heart is not right with God.