Chapter 17 includes more of the Wisdom of Solomon contrasting the blessings of the Wise and the Strife of the Fool. Much of this chapter discusses the the Evil hearts of those who speak un-truth, and corruption.
I initially planned to reflect on Verse 4:
"A wicked person listens to deceitful lips:
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue."
I intended to base my reflections on the evil of those who listen to the corrupt, the liars, and the fools. This is a good reflection...I may circle back around on it. But not today. Today was our first day of the school year...I need something more positive as a reflection today.
V. 17. "A Friend Loves at all times, and a Brother is born for a time of Adversity."
I love this correlation.
Friends, True Friends are there to offer support. To provide advise, a shoulder to cry upon, and ear to listen. A Friend provides unconditional love and support. Friends love is not limited to times of wine and roses...a Friends love is ever present in good times and bad.
Often Friends...Really close friends, are considered Family...considered a Brother. The relationship between these "Brothers" transcends the literal familial blood relations. This use of the word Brother is figuratively the deepest bond of friendship.
A Brother will be there for Adversity. A brother may not "be there" all of the time. A brother might not be the "good time charlie" who is always up for fun. Brothers are the friends who show up when things get bad, when there is adversity, when the breaks are beating the boys... A Brother will call us out when our actions are foolish, A Brother will be there to help pick up the pieces, A Brother will carry another when the weight is too much to bear.
A quick story:
There is a guy walking down the street. He falls in a hole. The walls of the hole are steep and slippery...He cannot get out. He is trapped.
A Doctor passes by and the guy hollers up...Hey, Doc. I am stuck in this hole. Can you help me?
The Doctor writes a prescription. Throws the prescription down in the hole and carries on.
A Pastor passes by and the guy in the hole cries out. Pastor, can you help me?
The Pastor sends a prayer and a blessing down into the hole.
Then, A friend walks by. "Hey, Brother. It's me! Can you help me out of this hole? Without hesitation, the Friend leaps into the hold. Our guy in the hole says, "What, Are you stupid? Now we are both stuck in this hole."
The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out."