Verses 1-3: God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no
harm. (4,5). Be not of those that will be rich. The things of
this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those
that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot
hold them long. (6-8). Do not make thyself burdensome to any,
especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his
feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, (Isa 25:6;
55:2), we may safely partake of the Bread of life. (9). It is
our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things;
but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his
peace. (10,11). The fatherless are taken under God's special
protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and
he is mighty, almighty.
Verses 12-16: Here is a parent instructing his child to give his mind
to the Scriptures. Here is a parent correcting his child:
accompanied with prayer, and blessed of God, it may prove a
means of preventing his destruction. Here is a parent
encouraging his child, telling him what would be for his good.
And what a comfort it would be, if herein he answered his
expectation! (17,18). The believer's expectation shall not be
disappointed; the end of his trials, and of the sinner's
prosperity, is at hand.
Verses 19-28: The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for
his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels
us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his
way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to
the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the
steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing
to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for
pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world. The
heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to
divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or
none. Look to the rule of God's word, the conduct of his
providence, and the good examples of his people. Particular
cautions are given against sins most destructive to wisdom and
grace in the soul. It is really a shame to make a god of the
belly. Drunkenness stupifies men, and then all goes to ruin.
Licentiousness takes away the heart that should be given to God.
Take heed of any approaches toward this sin, it is very hard to
retreat from it. It bewitches men to their ruin.
Verses 29-35: Solomon warns against drunkenness. Those that would be
kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear
coming within reach of its allurements. Foresee the punishment,
what it will at last end in, if repentance prevent not. It makes
men quarrel. Drunkards wilfully make woe and sorrow for
themselves. It makes men impure and insolent. The tongue grows
unruly; the heart utters things contrary to reason, religion,
and common civility. It stupifies and besots men. They are in
danger of death, of damnation; as much exposed as if they slept
upon the top of a mast, yet feel secure. They fear no peril when
the terrors of the Lord are before them; they feel no pain when
the judgments of God are actually upon them. So lost is a
drunkard to virtue and honour, so wretchedly is his conscience
seared, that he is not ashamed to say, I will seek it again.
With good reason we were bid to stop before the beginning. Who
that has common sense would contract a habit, or sell himself to
a sin, which tends to such guilt and misery, and exposes a man
every day to the danger of dying insensible, and awaking in
hell? Wisdom seems in these chapters to take up the discourse as
at the beginning of the book. They must be considered as the
words of Christ to the sinner.