The sacred writer in this chapter, is still prosecuting the proverbial method of instruction, and adopting various figures for conveying divine truths.
Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
The man that looks into the situation of men and things respecting human instability, will discover the beauty of this divine precept. James 4:13. Christ hath given an important precept on this very ground. Matthew 6:34.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
Amidst several beauties in those verses, I beg the Reader not to overlook that one of a man's own friend, and our Father's friend, and the neighbour that is near. For what friend like Christ, beloved of the Father? And who so near or dear among the neighbourhoods of life, as Jesus? Boaz said, in reference to this, There is a kinsman nearer than I. Ruth 3:12. And so might every son and daughter of Adam say, when referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. For by marrying our nature and taking a portion of that nature into himself; He is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. Ephesians 5:30.
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not forever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
There are many charming things spoken of through these verses, and which, if explained upon gospel principles, have a gracious tendency. But it will be better for the Reader to have them opened to his understanding by the Holy Ghost, whose infallible teaching will secure from the possibility of error. Jesus hath said concerning him, that he shall guide into all truth: and it is he which shall take of the things of Jesus and shew unto his people. John 16:13-14.
WHAT the wise man hath said in the close of this chapter, of the diligence of looking well to the state of the flock, and the care of the herds, may well be construed into the diligence every man ought to have to the care of the soul, and to know the state in which he stands before God. Tell me, (saith the church upon this momentous subject) tell me, 0 thou, whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, Where thou makest thy flocks to rest at noon. For why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? We never can be too solicitous on points of this nature. Where Jesus feeds; what he feeds with; and how we are growing up in the nurture and sustenance of the spiritual life. Reader! is Jesus your Shepherd? Doth he, who sits in the midst of the throne, and feeds the church above, feed you in this wilderness state below? Is he the bread of God and the bread of life to your soul? Are the lambs for thy clothing, and the goats the price of the field. In other words, art thou clothed with the garment of salvation wrought out by the Lamb of God? And dost thou eat of the paschal Lamb, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed? Oh! for grace to feed upon Christ! and to hear him say; Take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you! Eat, 0 friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, 0 beloved!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 27". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Lent