(e.g. john 8 32)

Proverbs 16:18  (King James Version)

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Proverbs 16:1-33

Verse 1 The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good. 2 . Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct. 3 . Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him. 4 . God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. 5 . Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. 6 . By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. 7 . He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. 8 . A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. 9 . If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. 11 . To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment. 12 . The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13 . Here is a further character of good kings, that they love and delight in those that speak right. 1. They hate parasites and those that flatter them, and are very willing that all about them should deal faithfully with them and tell them that which is true, whether it be pleasing or displeasing, both concerning persons and things, that every thing should be set in a true light and nothing disguised, ch. 29:12. 2. They not only do righteousness themselves, but take care to employ those under them that do righteousness too, which is of great consequence to the people, who must be subject not only to the king as supreme, but to the governors sent by him, I Peter 2:14. A good king will therefore put those in power who are conscientious, and will say that which is righteous and discreet, and know how to speak aright and to the purpose. 14 - 15 . These two verses show the power of kings, which is every where great, but was especially so in those eastern countries, where they were absolute and arbitrary. Whom they would they slew and whom they would they kept alive. Their will was a law. We have reason to bless God for the happy constitution of the government we live under, which maintains the prerogative of the prince without any injury to the liberty of the subject. But here it is intimated, 1. How formidable the wrath of a king is: It is as messengers of death; the wrath of Ahasuerus was so to Haman. An angry word from an incensed prince has been to many a messenger of death, and has struck so great a terror upon some as if a sentence of death had been pronounced upon them. He must be a very wise man that knows how to pacify the wrath of a king with a word fitly spoken, as Jonathan once pacified his father's rage against David, 1 Sam 19:6. A prudent subject may sometimes suggest that to an angry prince which will cool his resentments. 2. How valuable and desirable the king's favour is to those that have incurred his displeasure; it is life from the dead if the king be reconciled to them. To others it is as a cloud of the latter rain, very refreshing to the ground. Solomon put his subjects in mind of this, that they might not do any thing to incur his wrath, but be careful to recommend themselves to his favour. We ought by it to be put in mind how much we are concerned to escape the wrath and obtain the favour of the King of kings. His frowns are worse than death, and his favour is better than life; and therefore those are fools who to escape the wrath, and obtain the favour, of an earthly prince, will throw themselves out of God's favour, and make themselves obnoxious to his wrath. 16 . There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17 . A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18 . When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19 . Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21 . The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22 . As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23 . The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24 . The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25 . This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26 . We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish. 27 - 28 . There are those that are not only vicious themselves, but spiteful and mischievous to others, and they are the worst of men; two sorts of such are here described:—1. Such as envy a man the honour of his good name, and do all they can to blast that by calumnies and misrepresentations: They dig up evil; they take a great deal of pains to find out something or other on which to ground a slander, or which may give some colour to it. If none appear above ground, rather than want it they will dig for it, by diving into what is secret, or looking a great way back, or by evil suspicions and surmises, and forced innuendos. In the lips of a slanderer and backbiter there is as a fire, not only to brand his neighbour's reputation, to smoke and sully it, but as a burning fire to consume it. And how great a matter does a little of this fire kindle, and how hardly is it extinguished! James 3:5,6. 2. Such as envy a man the comfort of his friendship, and do all they can to break that, by suggesting that on both sides which will set those at variance that are most nearly related and have been long intimate, or at least cool and alienate their affections one from another: A froward man, that cannot find in his heart to love any body but himself, is vexed to see others live in love, and therefore makes it is his business to sow strife, by giving men base characters one of another, telling lies, and carrying ill-natured stories between chief friends, so as to separate them one from another, and make them angry at or at least suspicious of one another. Those are bad men, and bad women too, that do such ill offices; they are doing the devil's work, and his will their wages be. 29 - 30 . Here is another sort of evil men described to us, that we may neither do like them, nor have any thing to do with them. 1. Such as (like Satan) do all the mischief they can by force and violence, as roaring lions, and not only by fraud and insinuation, as subtle serpents: They are violent men, that do all by rapine and oppression, that shut their eyes, meditating with the closest intention and application of mind to devise froward things, to contrive how they may do the greatest mischief to their neighbour, to do it effectually and yet securely to themselves; and then moving their lips, giving the word of command to their agents, they bring the evil to pass, and accomplish the wicked device, biting his lips (so some read it) for vexation. When the wicked plots against the just he gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 2. Such as (like Satan still) do all they can to entice and draw in others to join with them in doing mischief, leading them in a way that is not good, that is not honest, nor honourable, nor safe, but offensive to God, and which will be in the end pernicious to the sinner. Thus he aims to ruin some in this world by bringing them into trouble, and others in the other world by bringing them into sin. 31 . Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness. 32 . To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy. 33 . All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.

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