You have heard the famous proverb before haven’t you? Iron Sharpens Iron, So one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17, I have heard it so many times that we ought to listen to every one that speaks no matter what they say, we could learn something right? This is true we can and we should listen, because the idea here behind this proverb is that people grow from interacting and fellowship with other people. It is always a joy when I’m with other men and women who have a desire to learn, share what they have learned.
Just last Saturday morning we were in our bible study and were discussing sin and a certain verse and the meaning behind it and all of a sudden one man said something that made the group say that’s it! We were all sharpened and edified.
I like this word sharpened (חָדַד chadad) root; to be sharp, keen:—keener(1), sharpened(3), show yourself sharp(1).
How do you show yourself sharp, is it just sharing your opinions or is there more to this?
Paul told Timothy to share his progress to all 1 Timothy 4:12, 13, 14… Then in verse 15 we read Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:15
I think there is hard work in sharpening other people, do our opinions really matter unless they lay in the cradle that is the bible and word of God? I have seen so many times pictures of a blacksmith sweating and working the iron into shape with sparks flying to depict Proverbs 27:17 I always say to myself that looks like hard work, then this verse comes to me.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
It means you study hard and long if that’s what it takes, “Study” is spoudazō “to make haste, to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.” Just like the blacksmith working the iron out… A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut, that’s hard work.
I like Wuest’s translation of this verse Bend your every effort to present yourself to God, approved, a workman unashamed, expounding soundly the word of the truth. It also means you use the brains of other men if that’s what it takes… Men who have done the hard study, who have searched out the scriptures, who can help us formulate what we need to say about the word of God. Spurgeon said “He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own.”
Sure there are those who will have a difference of opinions about a verse… But it’s not what this verse means to me! It’s what this verse meant to the original writer through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that matters and that takes hard work.
Iron Sharpens Iron, So one man sharpens another. Don’t give me your opinion, give me your progress, share with me what you are learning, edify me with the word of God, not with I feel this means… Give me a word from God and I will be sharpened and God will get all the glory!
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria