A Blessing Counted A Curse Prov. 27:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Prov 27:14 says, “He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.”
The motive for a man, who rises early to bless his friend with a loud voice, is to take advantage of him. Like Jude 16 says, “… and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” Those great swelling words are to demonstrate an admiration for a man of whom he wants to take advantage. The loud praise is intended to exalt the man in front of others. This way, the one who has just been praised will now feel obligated to the one who has just attempted to make him look good. The fact that the man rises early to bless his friend is an indication of the importance of this matter to the one offering the blessing.
This proverb is best illustrated by the following examples.
Judas Iscariot blessed Jesus in the wee hours of the morning in front of a crowd. He said, “Hail, master; and kissed him.” His blessing was a curse in that it was, in fact, a betrayal [Matt 26:47-50]. The Pharisees and the Herodians tried this “Hail, Master” treatment on Jesus in Matt 22:16. Their motive was to entangle him in his talk. But he knew that they were trying to condemn him and kill him. And so, he didn’t fall for their trap. Contrast Nicodemus who also blessed Jesus. Nicodemus came at night and didn’t bless Jesus with a loud voice. He was sincere. He wasn’t trying to set Jesus up.
The people in Acts 12:22-23 blessed Herod by proclaiming, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.” This intended blessing was a curse to Herod in that he was suddenly eaten of worms. He didn’t heed the warning of Prov 27:21, “As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.”
When men are praised, then you find out their true character. A wise man said “I would rather not have a statue erected in my honor when I deserve it than have one erected to my honor when I didn’t deserve it.” Wise men disregard praise. Weak men, on the other hand, are inflated by praise. Praise given quietly and appropriately can improve a man. It encourages him to do better. Praise given publicly can destroy him.
Jesus didn’t get set up by the rich young ruler in Lk 18:18-19, who also blessed him loudly. Jesus didn’t fall for this man’s status and wealth. He wasn’t intimidated. He didn’t give the rich man something easy to do just so that he could get some of his money. Jesus wasn’t like modern day preachers who compromise the gospel around rich people so they can get a few bills paid.
Where do you see this blessing, in your life, that becomes a curse?
You find it in “Camps.” Men in one camp offer you praise and then you feel obligated to go along with them to maintain your status among them. This becomes a curse when you can’t go along with someone else because they are not approved by the folks in your “camp.” You are trapped.
You find it in church. Some will say, “You are the best.” They want you to believe that you are something special. And so, they bless you in front of a crowd. Now you feel compelled to live up to all that they have said. The praise goes to your head and it ruins you. A haughty spirit goes before a fall.
You find it among athletes, musicians and movie stars. How many times have you seen the rising star publicly praised and they can’t handle the praise? Many professionals have been destroyed by public recognition and accolades.
So, don’t use this means of public acclaim to take advantage of people and don’t get sucked into the trap of accepting this praise that then becomes a curse. Be wise. The people who praise you can ruin you.