Proverbs 24:3
By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established;
The Spiritual EdificeR. H. Davies, B.A.Proverbs 24:3-4
The Wise Life-BuilderJ. Parker, D.D.Proverbs 24:3-4
Building with WisdomE. Johnson Proverbs 24:3-6
Wisdom Edifies and InvigoratesE. Johnson Proverbs 24:3-6

How fine a word is "edification," building up, in its moral and Christian uses! Here the image of the house is directly introduced, and may be variously applied.

I. WISDOM THE FOUNDATION OF DOMESTIC STABILITY AND HAPPINESS. (Vers. 3, 4.) The same great principles apply in the least as well as the most important things. Every day brings humble occasions for the practice of the grandest laws, no less in the house, the farm, or the shop, than in the council chamber or on the battle field. "Method is as efficient in the packing of firewood in a shed, or the harvesting of fruits in a cellar, as in Peninsular campaigns or the files of a department of state." Let a man keep the Law, and his way will be strewn with satisfactions. There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount. Comfort and abundance in the home are the certain signs of prudence and sense and action constantly applied.

II. WISDOM THE SOURCE OF MANLY STRENGTH. (Vers. 5, 6.) It was a great man who said, "Knowledge is power." It is not the force of brute strength, but that of spiritual energy, which in the long run rules the world. The illustration of the text is aptly selected from war, where, if anywhere, brute force might be supposed to prevail. Experience shows that it is not so. The complete failures of men like Hannibal and Napoleon show it in one way. Recent wars have illustrated the truth that it is the deliberate and matured designs of the strategist and far-seeing statesman which command success, rather than the "great battalions" on the side of which Providence was said to be. And in another application, sheer force of intellect is often surpassed and outdone by the steady and constant employment of humbler powers. Strength in any form without prudence is like a giant without eyes. Violence and craft may seem the readiest way to wealth; yet experience shows that prudence and piety lead most surely to desirable prosperity. - J.

Through wisdom is an house builded.
The subject is wisdom, with its enlargements of understanding and knowledge — terms probably used to denote the expansions of the master principle, and the ramifications into which it extends, as it sways and develops the faculties of the mind. Distinguish between the "wisdom of this world" and the "wisdom of God." They who embrace the wisdom of God beckon the other wisdom with it. They who embrace the latter usually repel the invitation, and continue their warfare in the pride and scorn of self-satisfied security, which ultimately terminates in their destruction.

I. WISDOM IS THE FOUNDATION ON WHICH A HOUSE MUST BE BUILT. It is the great principle on which all other principles must be founded. But what is this wisdom? Solomon says, "the fear of the Lord." True religion. Consisting, not in a mere external or intellectual acknowledgment of an overruling Deity, much less in any amount of mere intellectual knowledge, but in an actual going to Wisdom as to a personage, not merely in possessing a certain quality or disposition of mind, but in really going to God by faith, and so accepting and following the terms of His covenant that the qualities and dispositions of mind, which manifest the being built on wisdom, spring from that source, coming down from God to man as the gifts of His grace, not going up from man towards God.

II. THE STRENGTH, SUPERSTRUCTURE, AND ORNAMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL EDIFICE. The active duties of our profession are implied in carrying out the obligations and requirements of a true and heart-born faith. Store your minds with knowledge; only see that first of all you possess the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus.

(R. H. Davies, B.A.)

Here evil is contrasted with wisdom: evil throws down, wisdom builds up; evil brings darkness, wisdom brings light. Wisdom is represented as a builder; one who builds with a plan, not merely putting stone upon stone for the sake of building a high tower without purpose or utility, but building a house, signifying arrangement, commodiousness, security, hospitality: a very home that should have in it the elements of a school, the beginning of a sanctuary, and a hint of heaven itself. True building is not to be hurried. Sometimes the builder rests from his labours, that he may give the wall time to settle, lest by overpowering the foundation he bring the work to destruction. True life-building means that plan and a specification has been provided, whereby the work as to its scope and purpose is clearly indicated, and the materials with which the work is to be executed are named one by one, as to their quality and their proportions. It is not to be supposed that men go forth into the open field and begin to build as on the spur of the moment. Every building will speak for itself. If the perpendicular has been broken, if the horizontal line is out of course, if doors and windows are out of proportion, even the fool can see how abortive has been the labours of the builder. Where everything expresses thoughtfulness, experience, and skill, the trained eye will approve the figure of the building, and all men will feel that no encroachment has been made upon the propriety of life. Every duly considered and well-built house comes into existence as if by right; it establishes its own claim to abide among the homes of men. So it is with a heart-house, a life-house, a house representing character and action and purpose; there is nothing violent about the building, and when it is set forth in all its proportions it needs no vindication, for its strength is a defence, and its beauty is an explanation.

(J. Parker, D.D.)

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