Proverbs, Chapter 18

Verse 1: If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. (2). Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. (3). As soon as sin entered, shame followed. (4). The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. (5). The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person. (6,7). What mischief bad men do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! (8). How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! (9). Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions of sin. (10,11). The Divine power, made known in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. (12). After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. (13). Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. (14). Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? (15). We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. (16). Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls. (17). It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. (18). It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now. (19). Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. (20). The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. (21). Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. (22). A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. (23). Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. (24). Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, (Joh 15:14).

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