Proverbs 20:1-7

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Here are brought together the great danger of certain follies on the one hand, and the value of wisdom and fidelity on the other.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler: and whoso erreth thereby is not wise.
The terror of a king is as a lion's roaring; he that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
It is for a man's honor to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will rush in.
The slothful will not plow by reason of the winter: in harvest shall he beg and have nothing.
Counsel in man's heart [is] deep water; and a man of understanding draweth it out.
Most men will proclaim every one his own kindness; but a faithful man who can find?
A righteous one walketh in his integrity: blessed [are] his children after him” (vers. 1-7).
There is no creature of God which has not an important place if used aright. But men blind to His will seek their pleasure heedlessly, and are thus enticed to open sin and grievous hurt. This is eminently the case with wine and strong drink; the one deceives, the other maddens. The warnings are so many and evident on every side, that such as err thereby have only to blame their own folly and self-will.
Rulers are not a terror to good work but to the evil. Nor does the king bear the sword in vain. He is ordained as God's servant, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil. The terror he inspires is therefore as a lion's roar. To provoke his anger is to sin against one's own soul. That again is sheer folly and wrong. Would you then have no fear of an authority so able to punish? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise from it.
Nor is there a more common snare than meddling where we have no business or duty. To this the self-sufficient are prone. Their vanity leads them to accredit others with failure, and themselves with wisdom. They are the men of common sense and of righteousness, if others are more brilliant. Hence in their folly they rush into that strife, from which the right-minded hold aloof to their honor.
But there is also danger from one's own slothfulness, which is exemplified in its paralyzing the ordinary call to labor. It is ordered of God as the rule that plowing time should not be when things grow, and still less when they ripen. But a sluggard finds an excuse for putting off his duty in the cold weather which invites him to strenuous industry. Does he plead the winter against plowing? Then shall he beg in harvest and have nothing.
If there be thus from laziness danger of neglect in the proper season, and from officious vanity whenever a thorny question arises, it all goes to show the worth of intelligence, and the need of taking pains in order to arrive at it. For the truly wise are not superficial; but counsel in their heart is “deep water,” instead of bubbling over on every occasion however slight. And few things mark a man of understanding more than discerning ability to draw it out.
It is the common failing of men to affect a world-wide benevolence, and to cheat themselves into the belief that their talk and tears over the widow and the orphan are real kindness of no ordinary sort. Let us beware of walking in so vain a show, and remember that the word of God raises the question whether the reality is in deed and truth. “A faithful man who shall find?”
Such souls however there are in a world where faith is rare, and most love glory from men rather than glory from God, though the one be as evanescent as it is vain, and the other as everlasting as it is substantial. “The righteous walketh in his integrity: blessed [are] his children after him.” God is a rewarder of them that seek Him out; nor is it only the blessing of a good conscience in his walk, but God does not forget his children after him. So even King David could not but feel toward Chimham, if Barzillai sought nothing for himself.