Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.CHAPTER 18 Proverbs of Personal Instruction
There is first a warning against separation produced by desire, that is for gratification and pleasure, and not for a righteous purpose. Such a one becomes an enemy of true wisdom and one who intermeddleth with all wisdom. This proverb finds a New Testament illustration in Alexander the coppersmith, as well as Hymenaeus and Philetus, and Diotrephes of whom John writes in his epistle. A fool foams out his own folly. This proverb in Proverbs 18:2 is illustrated by many of the critics of the Bible. They have no delight in true understanding but their own hearts are laid bare by their mad oppositions to God’s Holy Word.
The fool’s mouth, his lips, the talebearer (whisperer), and the slothful are the themes of the proverbs in Proverbs 18:6-9. Then we read “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe” Proverbs 18:10). The Name (Ha-Shem, in Hebrew) stands for Jehovah Himself. He is the place of refuge, of shelter, protection and safety for all who in faith turn to Him. In Him is our peace and safety. The Hebrew meaning of “is safe” is “set on high.” Even so if we flee to Him and become His, we are exalted in Him, seated in Christ in heavenly places.
Another proverb of solemn meaning is found in Proverbs 18:12. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility. Scripture abounds in illustrations of these two lines. The truth stated here is still being manifested in the lives of men and women. The only place of safety for God’s people is the place in the dust, the place of humility.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” Proverbs 18:21). The Epistle of James (chapter 3) speaks in the same manner of the power of the tongue and its misuse. Evil words will bring evil results. But the tongue speaking the words of life and love, as given in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a power for good, the power of life--and oh! what shall the harvest be in that day!