by Harley Howard

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Proverbs Chapter 18 (19 of 32)
Series: The Book of Proverbs
Harley Howard

1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

There are at least 2 possible different interpretations of this passage and interestingly enough, they are opposites. Here's the first: Here is a person who, for selfish reasons, separates him or herself from other people so that they will not subject themselves to sound wisdom from another person. Some people like anonymity because their lifestyle would never be corrected by God's wisdom. In fact they defy and mock at the idea of correction from others. Those who attempt to correct this person will meet up with quarrels galore. Here's the second possible interpretation:

He who loves wisdom will separate himself from all impediments, and give himself wholly to seek it.

2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

Derek Kidner writes in his commentary on this verse: "The double trouble of the fool is his closed mind and his open mouth". Here is a person who does not want to learn God's wisdom, but doesn't mind at the drop of a hat to give their own opinions of foolishness. Their desire isn't to learn anything, just to air out their own opinions. That is what is meant by "discovering itself". The "fool" finds no pleasure; but self-assertion, talking about himself and his own opinions, is his highest joy.

3 When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

Contempt, dishonor or shame, and reproach are all the wicked will bring into another person's life, including your life and mine. The best thing that we can do for the wicked is to give them a gospel example by our own life and let them be.

4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Our words reveal the depths of who and what we are. They are concealed in us. We will know what is in our h ...

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