Proverbs 24:15
Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, near the dwelling of the righteous; do not destroy his resting place.
The Test of AdversityE. Johnson Proverbs 24:10, 15
Violence and Shameful Joy DefeatedE. Johnson Proverbs 24:15-18

I. THE ATTITUDE OF THE MAN OF FRAUD AND VIOLENCE DEPICTED. (Ver. 15.) He is like the prowling wild beast, seeking whom he may devour. God the Creator has not armed us with tooth or tusk or other means of defence, like the wild beasts which are formed for making war on others. We are strongly furnished for defence, not for attack. Ferocity is distinctly an unnatural vice in us.

II. HIS ACTIVITY IS DEVASTATING. Here, again, he resembles the wild beast in his blind fury, the boar that uproots and overturns in the cultivated garden.

III. THE SELF-RECOVERY OF THE RIGHTEOUS. (Ver. 16.) To fall into sin and to fall into trouble are two different things. Avoid the former, and God will not forsake thee in the latter. Seven falls stand for many - an indefinite number of falls. There is an elasticity in rectitude like that of the young sapling; bent to the earth, it rebounds with strong upspring. "It may calm the apprehension of calamity to see how quiet a bound nature has set to the utmost infliction of malice. We rapidly approach a brink over which no enemy can follow us." But evil, being purely negative, a zero, the absence of internal power and virtue, has but an illusory existence, and quickly passes sway.

IV. BASE JOY TURNED INTO SHAME. (Vers. 17, 19.) He who rejoices in the trouble of another, his own trouble stands behind the door. Why should he fear who takes his post with Omnipotence at his back?

"Souls that of God's own good life partake He loves as his own self: dear as his eye They are to him; he'll never them forsake. When they shall die, then God himself shall die; They live - they live in blest eternity." The tyrant and his victim are made to change sides. The "wrath" which seems expressed in the calamities of the latter is transformed into the revelation of an "everlasting kindness," while terror strikes the heart of him who sought to infuse it into his foe (compare R. Browning's striking poem, 'Instans Tyrannus'). - J.

So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul.
I. It is WHOLESOME. "My son, eat thou honey, because it is good." Honey was one of the choice productions of Canaan. It was used by its inhabitants as an article of diet; it was not only delicious to the palate, but strengthening to the frame. Divine knowledge is the aliment for man's spiritual nature; without it there is no moral strength; our faculties require God Himself to feed upon. Without God it starves. He is the food of the intellect, the affections, the imagination, the conscience.

II. It is DELECTABLE. "And the honeycomb, which is sweet to the taste." God's goodness in nature appears in this as well as in all other things: that the provisions essential to man's strength He has made palatable to the taste. Honey is not only strengthening, but "sweet." The pleasures of spiritual knowledge are of the most exquisite kind.

III. It is SATISFYING. "When thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off." There shall be a reward. Goodness is its own reward, and the reward is equal to the highest "expectation."

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

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