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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
Proverbs 3

 

 

Verse 6

THE GRACE OF HUMILITY

‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’

Proverbs 3:6

A characteristic of the Old Testament Scriptures, which results from the genius of the Hebrew language, is specially observable in the Book of Proverbs. Instead of the copious, versatile, precise, and in so many respects unrivalled, instrument which the Greek wields when expressing his thought, the Hebrew writer has at command a language possessing by comparison only a few and simple words. But of these, many are words of the widest range and applicability.

I. Not long since the question was discussed, whether a virtue can ever die.—Certainly particular relative excellences do characterise particular races, epochs, stages of social progress. They appear; they shine forth; they wane and fall back into obscurity; they vanish outright. But if practical applications may vary, imperishable principles must live. The opinion which views intellectual submission as a dead virtue, could hardly ascribe any strong vitality to the grace of humility. If humility is dying out, this is because the idea of God has been impoverished or impaired in the thought of our day. Humility is but the sincere acknowledgment in thought, in language, in action, of the first and most commanding of all facts; it is the sincere acknowledgment of God.

II. Theoretically speaking, humility must of course be right.—But look, you say, to its practical effect. Does it interfere more or less with activity and success in life? Is it secretly hostile to the claims and efforts of vigorous and cultivated intellect? After all, what is humility? Humility is not a want of enterprise, a subtle resource of idleness. The force which is apparently forfeited by the destruction of self-reliance in the character is more than recovered when the soul rests in perfect trustfulness on the strong arm of God. The Christian’s humility is in reality the cause of his mental energy.

III. Humility is indispensable to the true life of the soul.

Canon Liddon.

Illustration

‘We should take God for the guide of our life. None of us can take care of ourselves. A young man said boastfully, “I am my own master.” “Do you know what a grave responsibility you have assumed?” asked a friend. No man is wise enough to undertake the direction of his own or any other person’s life. Young people need much advice—they should have an older friend, who knows life and can give them good counsel. Bad advice has wrecked many a destiny. Here we are told that we may have the Lord for our confidential friend, acknowledging Him in all our ways, and then receiving His direction at every point. We may trust His counsel, for He never advises any one wrongly.’

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Proverbs 3:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/proverbs-3.html. 1876.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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