PROVERBS CHAPTER 2.
Invitation to Seek Wisdom.
ADVANTAGES IN ACCEPTING WISDOM. — V. 1.My son, so Wisdom, as the proper teacher of all men cries out, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, laying them up in store, guarding them as a precious treasure, v. 2. so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, yielding a ready obedience, and apply thine heart to understanding, ready to accept it, to make use of the right discrimination in every situation in life; v. 3. yea, if thou criest after knowledge, calling and inviting it, and liftest up thy voice for understanding, in order to be able to distinguish between good and evil, between wise and foolish; v. 4. If thou seekest her as silver, with the same eagerness, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, with the avidity which avarice induces in a person digging for gold or jewels, v. 5. then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, making this childlike reverence for Jehovah, the outflow of faith, one’s most valuable possession, and find the knowledge of God, for the fear of God is the basis of all true wisdom, and its object is God Himself. V. 6. For the Lord giveth wisdom, granting it as a gift of His free favor; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding, it is a matter of revelation in His Word. The ability of having the right judgment in the various situations in life and of discriminating properly in applying this knowledge is a gift of the Lord. V. 7. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous, preserving it after the manner of a treasure or a jewel; He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly, for wisdom shields all those who exercise themselves in a blameless conduct. V. 8. He keepeth the paths of judgment, protecting the ways of justice, the conduct of those who try to behave in agreement with the demands of justice, and preserveth the way of His saints, guiding and guarding them from foolish and wicked behavior. V. 9. Then shalt thou understand righteousness and judgment and equity, all parts of the duty included in a godly conduct toward God and man; yea, every good path, for it is only with the wisdom gained from the Word of God, as the source of true wisdom, that a person’s conduct will be in accordance with His will.
WISDOM PRESERVES FROM FOLLY. — V. 10. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, not as a transient guest, but for the purpose of making it a permanent residence, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, affording the only genuine pleasure and satisfaction, v. 11. discretion shall preserve thee, that is, proper reflection, a careful consideration, will serve to keep the prudent from foolish steps, understanding shall keep thee, enabling one to judge rightly in any given situation, v. 12. to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from wicked conduct, from the man that speaketh froward things, uttering perverse and malicious speeches; v. 13. who, that is, such people in general, leave the paths of uprightness, where their conduct was in agreement with the Word and will of God, to walk In the ways of darkness, being habitually active in the pursuit of wickedness; v. 14. who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness, the maliciousness and deceitfulness, of the wicked; v. 15. whose ways are crooked, literally, “who with respect to their ways are crooked,” and they froward, full of malice and deceit, in their paths; v. 16. to deliver thee from the strange woman, the unknown, foreign, unattached, her existence and way of conduct being full of dangers to youth, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words, making use of wanton speeches, v. 17. which forsaketh the guide of her youth, her lawful husband, and forgetteth the covenant of her God, which demands purity and chastity from every woman. V. 18. For her house inclineth unto death, sinking down to destruction, and her paths unto the dead, the shadowy forms of those who dwell in the kingdom of the dead, said, in this case, of everlasting damnation. V. 19. None that go unto her return again, being swallowed up by the destruction which is her punishment, neither take they hold of the paths of life, they forfeit their chance to reach the ways of life once more. Over against the temptation from such wicked men and wanton women is placed the companionship of godly people. V. 20. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, following their conduct, and keep the paths of the righteous, that being the object of this admonition. V. 21. For the upright shall dwell in the land, enjoying earthly prosperity, as the blessing of the Lord, and the perfect shall remain in it. V. 22. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, utterly destroyed, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it, this punishment being all the greater in the case of the Israelites because their land was the Land of Promise and a removal from it was equivalent to total rejection by the Lord. But the same facts, in substance, apply to men at this time, and therefore the warning of wisdom should be heeded most carefully.