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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 24

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Chapter 24

Again, he continues in twenty-four in putting them together in couplets or in phrases.

Be not envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief ( Proverbs 24:1-2 ).

The next one.

Through wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all pleasant riches ( Proverbs 24:3-4 ).

Wisdom and knowledge, the value of them.

A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increases strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate ( Proverbs 24:5-7 ).

The gate was always the place of judgment.

He that devises to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men ( Proverbs 24:8-9 ).

Now we have some more that are... no, not yet.

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If you say, Behold, we knew it not ( Proverbs 24:11-12 );

In other words, if you fail to help someone when you have the capacity to do it, if you do it not, if you say, "Behold, I didn't know."

doth not he that pondereth the heart considereth it? and he that keeps the soul, does he not know it? and shall not he render every man according to his works? ( Proverbs 24:12-13 )

You know, you can't beg off your responsibility because God knows your heart. God knows what's in your mind. And you may try to excuse your actions. "Oh, I didn't know." But yet God is going to ponder your heart. God knows what's in your mind. And God will render to every man according to his works.

My son, eat honey, because it's good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to your taste: and so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto your soul: when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and the expectation shall not be cut off ( Proverbs 24:13-14 ).

How sweet is a nugget of truth. How sweet it is to get understanding from the Lord on a particular thing. It's just as sweet as honey into your mouth, there is a sweetness in your soul when you gain knowledge and wisdom.

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, but he will rise up again: but the wicked will fall into mischief ( Proverbs 24:15-16 ).

We may fall, but thank God we rise again. I've often said there isn't any great evil in falling unless you just lie there. Everybody stumbles. Everybody falls. None of us are perfect, and God knows that we're not perfect. He knows our frame, that we're but dust. We usually expect more out of ourselves than God expects. And we're usually harder on ourselves than God is. We get so disappointed when we have fallen. We get so disappointed when we have failed. It doesn't disappoint God at all. He knew all the time we were going to stumble. It was just I was expecting more out of myself than God is. And God doesn't judge or condemn when you stumble. It's only when you lie there. God understands. He has great patience with us. Even as you have great patience in teaching your child to walk.

You expect your child to stumble. You expect your child to fall. Oh, of course, you will do your best to keep your child from falling. But there are those times when the child is learning to walk and he falls. Now a wise parent won't get all excited and scream and run over and say, "Oh, are you all right?" He just says, "Well, get up now. Try again." If you show all fear and excitement, then the child will get excited and start to cry and get discouraged. But you say, "Well, that was great! You did real well. You took five steps before you stumbled. That's good." And you encourage the child to go again.

Now God is teaching us to walk and we stumble. And we get all discouraged. "I tried so hard. Failed again." And God is saying, "Hey, that was a good try. Let's go at it again. Now here's where you made your mistake. You got your eyes off of Me. You got them on the way, that's when you began to sink." And the Lord picks us up, dusts us off, and sets us up again. He's so patient with us. He's so understanding with us. And if the righteous falls seven times, he's going to rise again.

Now here's a hard one:

Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turns away his wrath from him ( Proverbs 24:17-18 ).

Now that's not too good a motivation not to rejoice. If you rejoice, God may take it off. So don't rejoice and let God just continue to whip him.

Fret not thyself because of evil men ( Proverbs 24:19 ),

You remember Psalms 37:1-40 , it seems like this is probably something that Solomon picked up from his father David. "Fret not thyself," David said, "for evildoers, for they shall be cut off" ( Psalms 37:1-2 ). Now, "Fret not thyself because of evil men."

neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out ( Proverbs 24:19-20 ).

Don't be envious of them. They're going to be cut off.

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knows the ruin of them both? These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith to the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that gives a right answer. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build your house. Now be not a witness against your neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he has done to me: I will render to the man according to his work ( Proverbs 24:21-29 ).

Don't say that. That's so often. "I'm going to do to him what he did to me. Boy, as we grew up as kids. Always. I just did to him what he did to me, you know." God said don't say that. "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, I will repay" ( Romans 12:19 ).

Now from thirty on we have ode to the slothful man.

I went to the field of a slothful, and by the vineyard of the man who is void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall was broken down ( Proverbs 24:30-31 ).

Now you that have been over into the land, you can picture this. All of those stone walls that are around the vineyards and all, and they are set usually in such neat order. But the slothful man, the stone wall is broken down.

Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and I received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: And so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as an armed man ( Proverbs 24:32-34 ).

A lesson from the slothful. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 24". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-24.html. 2014.
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