These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
I. The Bible does not prohibit pleasure. What the Bible forbids is excess in the use of pleasure, untimely pleasures, and pleasures that arise from sin or that lead to sin.
II. In prohibiting such pleasures, the Bible proceeds upon a principle of benevolence.
III. The principle is benevolent because it accords with the constitution of our nature. There is a point at which pleasure becomes pain. It is the law of our being that if pleasure is to remain pleasure, it must be enjoyed moderately and intermittently.
Parker, City Temple vol i., p. 11.
I. I hold that pleasure is a necessity of our nature, that we are made to enjoy, and that the goodness of God, which hath made our complex constitution, our many-sided manhood, so marvellously capable of pleasure, hath made bountiful provision for full satisfaction and delight, In all true physical delights, then, the Christian finds honey; and to him the good God says, "Hast thou found honey? Eat it."
II. But man's physical being is only a portion of his noble and superior constitution. As with the physical, so with the intellectual, the Christian's capability runs on all fours with that of the unbeliever in the direction of any mental honey of pleasure and delight that can be found; and the royalty of mind is at least as kingly and imperial when it bends before the crowned Christ as when reason binds the lordly symbol round its own presumptuous brow.
III. There is the moral and spiritual man, whose existence cannot be ignored. Nobody will dispute that there is honey in doing right, that there is pleasure in goodness and truth, and that, unless the conscience is utterly dead, there is a bitterness in doing wrong. There is nothing in religion that can deprive us of all the real enjoyment, the true pleasure, the satisfying honey, the rational delights, which are possible to anybody in all God's wide world.
J. Jackson Wray, Light from the Old Lamp, p. 171.
References: Proverbs 25:17.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. vi., p. 59. Proverbs 25:21, Proverbs 25:22.—New Manual of Sunday-school Addresses, p. 35; W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 323. Proverbs 25:23.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii, p. 41.
Proverbs 25:25I. Heaven is the "far country" to us poor children of the earth today. (1) It is a far country possibly as measured by distance. (2) It is a far country more especially from the fact that it is far away beyond our comprehension. Even the aid of revelation does but give us dim glimpses of its distant splendours, does but cast a faint aurora glow on the far horizon; and that is for the most part dashed and dimmed by the fogs of time and sense. (3) Heaven is a far country because we are by nature so disqualified from inhabiting it. The distance is measured by the unfitness of the case.
II. From this far country good news has come. (1) We delight to hear from a far country when it contains those who are near and dear to us. In the far country of which I speak, there is not one of us that has not interests of this kind: parents, partners, families, friends, all housed and homed, all settled and thrifty, all dwelling in this far, far country beyond the sea. (2) News from a far country is profoundly interesting and acceptable if it be a country in which we intend to live by-and-bye. You are all intending to emigrate to heaven. Surely, then, news of this far country, brought to you from the far country direct, should be to you as cold waters to a thirsty soul.
J. Jackson Wray, Light from the Old Lamp, p. 127.
References: Proverbs 25:25.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 401; Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 190; Homiletic Magazine, vol. viii., p. 14. Proverbs 25:27.—W. H. Jackson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii., p. 179. Proverbs 26:1-11.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. iii., p. 185. Proverbs 26:4, Proverbs 26:5.—J. N. Norton, Every Sunday, p. 461. Proverbs 26:11.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 2nd series, p. 328. Proverbs 26:12-28.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. iii., p. 198.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.