Proverbs

Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs gives us the application of that wisdom which created the heavens and the earth to the details of life in this world of confusion and evil. This thought brings out the immensity of grace unfolded here. God deigns to apply His wisdom to the circumstances of our practical life, and to shew us, with His own intelligence, the consequences of all the ways in which man may walk. For it is often in the way of knowledge, not of precept, that the statements made in the Book of Pr...

Proverbs 22

This chapter begins with a comment on the great importance of a person’s reputation. 22:1 The first verse of this chapter declares that a good name is to be preferred far above earthly treasure, though often it is forfeited to obtain riches. The adjective good does not occur in the original text. But “a name” is used in the sense of a character of renown, as elsewhere in Scripture: notably in Genesis 11:4, “let us make us a name”; Deuteronomy 26:19, “make thee high…in nam...

Proverbs 19

Ignorance is not to be admired. The worldly axiom, “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise,” is false and foolish. To lack knowledge is undesirable. 19:1-3 The first three proverbs of this chapter are intimately connected, and we therefore consider them together. They contrast the path of truth and the way of self-will and ignorance. It is far better to be poor and unknown, walking before God in uprightness and integrity of heart, than to be obtrusive in speech but given...

Proverbs 18

Nothing is more clearly taught in the Scriptures than the need of a separation between the clean and the unclean— between those who love the truth and those who walk contrary to it. Separation from evil is imperative. He who would honor God must bow to this principle, whether it be to separate from evil friends, from ecclesiastical evil, or from evil business practices. The word is plain: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and ...

Proverbs 17

We are carried back to Proverbs 15:16-17 as we take up the first verse of the wise sayings of this chapter. 17:1 The word sacrifice (kjv) refers to the peace offerings, portions of which were eaten by the offerer and his friends. Such a feast was supposed to indicate great piety on the part of the host and his intimate associates; but if marred by discord and contention, it lost all its precious character. A dry morsel with peace and quietness was much to be preferred to a celebration ...

Proverbs 16

The human proverb, “Man proposes, but God disposes,” finds its far earlier counterpart in Proverbs 16:1. 16:1 “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). He may plan and arrange, but when the time arrives to speak or act the answer comes from Jehovah. See Balaam (Numbers 23-24). 16:2 Ever since the fall it has been second nature with man to justify himself. Until brought into the light of God’s holiness he is certain that his conduct is defensi...

Proverbs 15

It is impossible for man to estimate correctly the power for good or evil that lies in the tongue. A kind and gracious word will often disarm a most ill-tempered and wrathful man. A sharp, cutting remark has frequently separated friends dear to each other for years; some trivial circumstance arose which should have been lovingly turned to an occasion for grace and forbearance on the part of each. 15:1-2 It is considered unmanly by many not to resent an insult and to allow wrathful word...

Proverbs 14

The wise woman and the foolish woman are brought before us in vivid contrast in the opening verse of this chapter. 14:1 The wise woman will lead her household in the right way by counsel and example. She directs their steps in accordance with the Word of the Lord. Consequently her house is established on an immovable foundation of righteousness. The foolish woman through her evil behavior and unworthy instruction, lays up sorrow for herself and grief for her children. Contrast the moth...

Proverbs 13

The truly wise person acknowledges that learning from the experiences of others may save him from much trouble. Others can teach him about the road they have already traveled, which is all new ground to him. 13:1 In the first verse of this portion we are again reminded that it is the wise who are grateful for counsel and help; the foolish scorner will not accept rebuke. In his self-confidence he passes on, indifferent to the words of the wise. He must learn by bitter experience of the ...

Proverbs 12

The man who loves instruction for its own sake values true knowledge, whatever channel it may come through. 12:1 Whoever welcomes discipline desires the truth, not the ability to display his acquired knowledge. The vain scholar hates reproof and, like a senseless animal does not value correction (10:17). He prefers his own unbridled will, however contrary his thoughts and ways may be to sound instruction. This was the great characteristic of the world before the flood (Job 22:15-17). J...
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