Proverbs 23:26


I. IT IS DANGEROUS AND PERNICIOUS. (Vers. 27, 28.) It may be compared to a deep pit or to a narrow and deep well, out of which, if one falls therein, there is no easy escape. Or to a fell robber lying in wait for the unwary and the weak.

II. THE TRUE RESOURCE OF SAFETY. This is in the heart given up to God (ver. 26). If that heart be already polluted, he can wash it and make it clean. But he who yields his heart to the prince of this world becomes the enemy of God and of his eternal wisdom. - J.







My son, give Me thine heart.
I. LOVE PROMPTS THIS REQUEST OF WISDOM.

1. Only love seeks after love. We care not to be loved by those whom we do not love. When God asks human love it is because God is love. It is an instance of infinite condescension that God should say, "My son, give Me thine heart." The Great Benefactor becomes Himself the petitioner. It must be because of the great love of God that He condescends to put Himself into such a position.

2. It can only be supreme love which leads wisdom to seek after the heart of such poor things as we are. Wisdom must be of a most condescending kind. Only infinite love would come a-wooing to such hearts as ours. For what has God to gain? He is too great for us to make Him greater, too good for us to make Him better, too glorious for us to make Him more illustrious. He can gain nothing — we gain everything by the gift. Yet He does gain a son.

II. WISDOM PERSUADES US TO OBEY THIS LOVING REQUEST. To take our hearts and give them up to God is the wisest thing that we can do.

1. Many others crave our hearts, and our hearts will surely go one way or the other. It is well to guard your heart with all the apparatus that wisdom can provide.

2. Wisdom urges to immediate decision, because it is well to have a heart at once occupied and taken up by Christ.

III. LET US BE WISE ENOUGH AT ONCE TO ATTEND TO THIS ADMONITION OF WISDOM. When? At once. How? Freely. Do it thoroughly. You cannot give Christ a piece of a heart, for a heart that is halved is killed.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Here thou art a giver, God the petitioner, thy heart the gift which He claimeth by the name of a son. Once God required offerings and sacrifices which men were unwilling to give, because it was a dear service of God; but now He saith that the heart is more than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices. Thy alms to the poor, thy counsel to the simple, thy inheritance to thy children, thy tribute to Caesar, but thy heart to God. Not a piece of thy heart, not a room in thy heart, but thy heart. Some have a double heart, but God acknowledgeth only one heart. God doth not require the heart as though He required no more but the heart. The heart carrieth the whole man with it. There is much strife for the possession of man's heart. Unless we feel that we owe it to God we shall but give it against our will. The wise man, picking out the heart for God, spake as though he would set out the pleasantest, and fairest, and easiest way to serve Him, without any grudging or toil or weariness. Touch but the first link, all the rest will follow; so set the heart a-going, and it is like the poise of a clock, which turns all the wheels one way. God's requiring the heart showeth that all the things of this world are not worthy of it, or even a piece of it. We should serve God for Himself, and not for ourselves, as he which gives his heart doth all for love. God challengeth the heart by the name of a Son. Therefore now ask your hearts whose they are, and how they are moved with these words. What shall become of hearts when He who craves them now shall judge them hereafter?

(H. Smith.)

I. THE NATURE OF THIS REQUEST. "Heart" is another term for "soul," or the immortal part of man. The soul of man possesses certain powers or faculties, by which he is enabled to reason, judge, remember, choose, determine, and perform all the acts of rationality. To render the heart to God is —

1. To give the understanding to know and contemplate the Divine perfections. The understanding is the leading faculty in the human soul.

2. To offer Him the will. Every man possesses a self-determining power.

3. To surrender the affections to Him. This giving of the heart must be done, in an entire dependence on Divine aid; promptly, cheerfully, entirely, perpetually.

II. THE REASONS FOR COMPLYING WITH THE REQUEST.

1. Gratitude.

2. Fidelity. You have promised to do it, resolved to do it.

3. Justice. Every human being is emphatically the property of the Most High. God is the absolute, unalienable proprietor of all. In demanding your heart He asks for that to which He alone has right.

4. Safety. This depends on being in the holy keeping of God.

5. Self-interest. Here your duty and interest go hand in hand. Inferences:(1) That nothing will be acceptable with God where the heart is withheld.(2) That God uses all conceivable methods to induce men to give Him their hearts.(3) Everything in religion, on the part of man, must be voluntary.

(R. Treffry.)

I. THE HUMAN HEART IS NOT BY NATURE IN GOD'S POSSESSION. This fact is sustained —

1. By man's actions. Man's actions in his unregenerated state prove that his heart is not under the control of the Divine. Man in this condition has no sympathy with the truths, realities, principles, and pleasures of the blessed gospel of God.

2. By the experience of the good of all ages.

3. By the testimony of God's Word.

II. GOD DESIRES POSSESSION OF THE HUMAN HEART. This desire of God —

1. Is founded on judicial ground. It is only right that God should have the heart. We are not our own; He who made us has an inalienable right to all we have and are. "He bought us with the precious blood of Christ."

2. Is founded on filial relation — "My son, give Me thine heart." God and man are near relations; man is the offspring of the Divine.

3. Is founded on God's love to man. God's love to man prompted Him to make this appeal. He desires his heart that He may enlighten it with His Spirit, cleanse it with the blood of His Son.

III. GOD DESIRES A WILLING POSSESSION OF THE HUMAN HEART — "My son, give Me thine heart." God says, "Give Me thine heart" wholly, voluntarily, unreservedly, gratefully, and believingly.

1. That God does not exercise compulsion on man's will — " Give Me thine heart." God recognises man's free agency.

2. The dignity of man recognised by God. Man's consent is necessary.

3. The glory of the Divine character. If God would compel man to serve Him and surrender to Him his heart, his service would not render any glory to God; the service would be void of virtue.

(J. O. Griffiths.)

Take the words as those of a greater than Solomon.

I. WHY DOES GOD MAKE ANY REQUEST OF MAN? God loves a voluntary offering, a willing surrender from such a creature as man. A man is able to disobey. God is pleased when man yields Him a hearty and willing obedience.

II. WHAT IS THE REQUEST GOD MAKES OF MEN. "Give Me thine heart." Heart is another name for the affections, and the affections are as essential a part of every man as his intellect or his will. God says, "Give Me thy supreme love." Here is a demand which few men comply with, which none in their natural state comply with. Men will give God everything except their hearts. This is a request concerning which some people stand in doubt whether they ought to comply with it.

III. WHY DOES GOD MAKE THIS REQUEST OF MAN?

1. Because the heart is the most valuable thing we have.

2. Where the heart is given, everything else will follow.

3. The heart can never be happy until it is given to God. So that God makes this request not for any selfish reason, but in the greatest goodness, and the most God-like loving-kindness.

IV. HOW DOES GOD MAKE THIS REQUEST OF MAN? In various ways. He does it by all the comforts of our present life. He does it by experience of the sorrows of life. In the Cross of Jesus this request is uttered.

(Francis Tucker, B.A.)

Homilist.
I. THE COMMAND.

1. Its nature. "Thy heart" — the centre of thought and life.

2. Its extent. Includes the will, strength, love.

3. Its reasonableness.

II. THE OBSTACLES.

1. Its singularity.

2. The tendency of human nature — to flee from, instead of drawing nigh to Him.

3. The world's temptations.

4. The influence of Satan.

III. ENCOURAGEMENTS.

1. God's love.

2. God's invitation.

3. Our desolate condition.

IV. HELPS.

1. Earnestness.

2. Carefulness.

3. Jealous regard.

4. Prayer, and the means of grace.

(Homilist.)

I. EXPLAIN the text.

1. Men do not naturally give their hearts to God.

2. God will not force us to comply with the demand.

3. To give the heart implies —

(1)That we heartily renounce all that God has forbidden.

(2)A hearty belief in the fulfilment of all the promises.

(3)That we seek and cleave to God constantly as our portion.

II. ENFORCE the text.

1. It is just and right.

2. Our interest requires it.

III. NOW, WHAT ANSWER will you give my Lord to the text?

1. "Oh," say some, "I gave it long since. I am only sorry I did not give it before, and sorry I have so often backslidden in heart; but to whom shall I go?"

2. "Yes," says another, "I desire and endeavour to do it; but what a struggle for life!" Do not despair; lift it up as thou art able, and "if darkness endure for a night, joy shall come in the morning"; the Lord is nigh thee; He can loosen thy heart. Look up — the day of redemption draweth nigh.

3. "Yes," says another — "my heart? Do you desire that? Ask for my money, my tongue, my voice, my feet, my hands, anything and everything but that. It is otherwise engaged." My Master has not left a power in my commission to compromise it; He will not take aught else.

4. "Yes," says another, "by His help I will; it is right. I cannot be safe without, and it is kind He seeks it. But when? Tomorrow — to-night is impossible; in a very short time I will." I doubt thou wilt perish for ever!

(J. Summerfield, M.A.)

I. THE REASON WHY THE SURRENDER OF THE HEART IS INDISPENSABLY REQUIRED.

1. Nothing less is worthy the acceptance of Him who knows the most hidden purposes of the mind.

2. God alone can satisfy the heart.

3. None but God can renew or sanctify the heart, and thereby prepare it for the holiness of heaven.

II. IN WHAT MANNER THIS NECESSARY COMMAND CAN BE COMPLIED WITH.

III. THE HAPPY EFFECTS THAT WILL FOLLOW FROM A PROMPT AND UNIVERSAL OBEDIENCE. The morality of the gospel is founded on the basis of gratitude and the efficacious principle of love to God. A sense of His pardoning love and favour will be the completion of our wishes, the source of our joys, and the very foretaste of heaven.

(John Grose, M.A.)

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY GIVING GOD OUR HEART. "Give Me all thine affections. Let Me be their object, let Me be the centre where they all meet. Give Me thy hope, thy fear, thy joy, thy desire, thy love, thy delight. Hate that which I hate; love what I command; desire what I promise. Rejoice in hope of My favour; fear My wrath; delight to do My will. Let all the powers of thy mind, under the influence of these affections, be given to Me. Let thine understanding be employed in comprehending and admiring My works, and ways; thy conscience in approving and disapproving according to My holy will; thy will in yielding an implicit conformity to Mine; thy memory in retaining the instructions and consolations of My Word."

II. HOW REASONABLE IT IS TO GIVE GOD OUR HEART. If a fellow-creature is entitled to our affections because of his moral excellences, how much more God, who possesses these excellences in infinite perfection!

III. HOW BLESSED IT IS TO GIVE GOD OUR HEART.

IV. HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO GIVE GOD OUR HEART. Without giving the heart to God all our works are only varnished sins, splendid vices, pleasing abominations. And further, it is the giving of the heart to God that prepares us for a better world.

V. HOW WE MAY BE ENABLED TO GIVE GOD OUR HEART.

(Miles Jackson.)

God is to exercise lordship over all the capacities and volitions of the soul; over all our spiritual, moral, and intellectual powers.

I. THE NATURE, EXTENT, AND REASONABLENESS OF THIS COMMAND. It implies a clear and enlightened understanding of the things of God, especially the gospel method of salvation. The command is reasonable in view of the relations of God to us.

II. DIFFICULTIES IN MAKING THIS SURRENDER. Such as affect the young. Temptations of young manhood. Trials and evils of school experience. Entering business. Forms of recreation. Directions:

1. Be in earnest.

2. If you have given God your heart take care what goes in and what comes out of it.

3. Look well to whom beside you give any share of your heart.

4. Beware of carelessness in secret devotion.

5. Keep up attendance on holy ordinances.

(Daniel Moore, M.A.)

(to young men): — The heart is never truly ours until we have given it away. Until we have put it in some hand, or laid it upon some altar, we never fully realise its possession, never feel its power, never know its capacities, never understand how profound are its wants, nor how sublime are its aspirations. No man can live an earnest, social, or spiritual life, and keep his heart unto himself. And sooner or later the heart will be given either to some purpose, or to some object, or to some idol, or to God. Because of this necessity in the heart to belong to some object, the clamour for it is great. The applicants positively throng up the path of life. Fashion is there, and Pleasure is there, and Fame is there, and Knowledge is there, and all that fascination and subtlety and loud-sounding promises can do they import into their appeals. But a voice of tenderness and authority speaks to us from above, "My son, give Me thine heart." This appeals to us by the simple majesty of right. God's right to the heart lies in this —

1. He created that heart. And His request tells us at once of God's right and of man's freedom.

2. He has bestowed, and is bestowing, continually upon it His care. Home and friendships, and the myriad bright hopes of life, testify that we have a Father in our God. God has been watching over your life, arranging with His wisdom and forethought and love the interests of your soul, and for all this care and anxious fatherhood, He asks this return, "My son, give Me thine heart."

3. He has provided redemption for it. We are not our own, we are bought with a price. In asking for the heart God asks for that which controls the life — for your love, your supreme love, your undivided love. God does not want your service without your heart. Reasons why your heart should be given to God now:

(1)Because God alone can justify it.

(2)Because of the ten thousand snares which it will save you.

(3)Because the longer the gift is delayed the less probable is it that it will be ever given at all. Let it be a definite act; on your part a solemn consecration.

(Henry Wonnacott.)

I. THE RELATION. "My son." He speaks here, and not to a stranger — to a son (Ephesians 2:19). A son, not a slave. A son; thou wert not always so (Ephesians 2:1-4, 13; 1 John 3:2). A son; therefore, in a way of gratitude and mutual affection, give thy heart to thy Father.

II. THE MANNER OF YIELDING UP THE HEART TO GOD. It is here expressed by a way of giving.

1. Give it cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7).

2. Presently (2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 4:7).

3. Give it; do not lend it only. Many lend their hearts under a sermon, like those in Ezekiel 33:32. God is pleased to call that a gift which indeed is a debt (Romans 8:12; Romans 12:1).

III. TO WHOM THE HEART MUST BE GIVEN.

1. Not to the creature (Matthew 10:37).

2. Not to the world (2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:15).

3. Not to Satan (Ephesians 2:2).

4. Not to sin (chap. Proverbs 1:10).

5. Give it to Him who gave Himself for thee (Galatians 2:20).

IV. THE GIFT ITSELF. "The heart."

1. Not the outward man only, not the body only: God dwells not so much in these temples as in broken and contrite spirits. He doth not here ask for the shell, but the kernel; not for the casket, but for the jewel.

2. Not in appearance, but in reality.

3. Not a part, but the whole. God is like the true mother (1 Kings 3:26).

4. Give thine heart, i.e., all the powers and faculties of thy soul.To conclude:

1. Because it is His due. He is the maker, the purchaser (1 Corinthians 6:20); the spouse (Hosea 2:19).

2. It is pleasing and acceptable to Him. He asks it; it is all thou canst give Him. It is a comprehensive gift. He that gives the heart will give all things (Romans 8:32).

3. All performances without the heart will be rejected (Amos 5:21, 22).

4. Give thine heart to God: if it be a hard heart, He will make it new (Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:26).

(T. Hannam.)

Would it not be much more natural to reverse the order? First, learn to delight in God's ways, and the more we rejoice in them the more easily we may learn to love Him, to give Him our heart. So it would seem love will grow out of delight. But how wise is God's order! First the heart, then delight. For the second is, in reality, only possible when the first has been accomplished. Thousands strive to find pleasure in the ways of God, but because they have not yet given their heart to Him, because they still go their own ways, and God crosses those ways again and again, they only get as far as to bow their heads in a kind of dull resignation under some Divine visitation; but they never delight in all God's ways; they never attain to a comforting hope which even in dark days does not cast away its confidence, and which has so great a reward. Oh, examine thyself, whence comes it that thou hast so often murmured at God's ways, hast felt thyself hardly dealt with, and couldst not forgive Him that He did not lead thee by another way, that He took this away from thee and left that, when thou wouldst have chosen the contrary? It comes from this — thou hast not given thy whole heart to God! Only when thy heart shall rest in Him, and in His peace, will it be contented with all His dispensations.

(T. Christlieb, D.D.)

Mankind are reasonable creatures, and the religion which God enjoins upon them is a reasonable service. But it has always been found extremely difficult to reason with men upon religious subjects. God here speaks with paternal affection and authority.

I. EXPLAIN THE PRECEPT IN THE TEXT.

1. It implies the exercising of love to God. To love, and to give the heart, signify the same thing.

2. It implies loving God for what He is in Himself. Men may love God for His favours, without loving His true character.

3. It implies loving God supremely. He is the Supreme Being, He possesses supreme natural, and moral excellences; and to love Him for these is to love Him supremely.

II. THE REASONABLENESS OF COMPLYING WITH THIS DIVINE INJUNCTION. Consider —

1. That we are the offspring of God.

2. He is infinitely worthy of the love of all mankind.

3. The conduct, as well as the character, of God makes giving Him our hearts reasonable.

4. This will afford us the highest happiness that we are capable of enjoying.

5. There is really nothing to hinder us from thus giving our hearts. Improvement:(1) It is reasonable that all men should be really religious.(2) Not reasonable to think hardly of God if He rejects services when hearts are withheld.(3) It is reasonable to exhort men to exercise supreme love to God immediately.(4) Every scheme of religion which keeps hearts from God is unreasonable.(5) It is most unreasonable to withdraw hearts from God when they have once been given.

(N. Emmons, D.D.)

The subject to consider is not the giving of your hearts to God, in opposition to hypocrisy and mere devotion, but the giving your hearts, that is, yourselves, to Him, preferably to all other competitors for your affection. Many will be courting your youthful affections, and endeavouring to engage your hearts to them — the world, the flesh, the devil, vain and wicked companions.

I. WHO HAS THE GREATEST CLAIM TO YOUR HEARTS? Consider the equity and reasonableness of the demands of God, your Creator and Redeemer. Contrast with the pretensions of the devil, the world or the flesh.

II. WHERE MAY YOU BESTOW YOUR HEARTS WITH THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE?

1. Suppose that the world and the flesh are able, at present, to make good their specious promises, what will come when the transitory pleasures are passed away?

2. Even with regard to this life, the advantage is far from being so much on their side as they would make you believe. The insinuations that religion will make you unhappy are mere calumnies that stand confuted by a thousand experiences to the contrary. The devil, the world, and the flesh promise you indeed riches, honour, and abundance of pleasures, but they promise what it is not in their power to give.Motives urging to the immediate surrender of the heart to God are —

1. This will be particularly acceptable to God and the Redeemer.

2. It will be singularly comfortable and advantageous to yourselves.

3. If you refuse God your hearts now, perhaps hereafter it will be too late to offer them.

4. Consider what the refusal of your hearts to God implies in it.

5. Think how you will answer your refusal at the great day.

(John Oakes.)

If we would have any of our offerings find favour in the eyes of God our hearts must go with them. It is the heart which is challenged and demanded; withhold that, and you withhold all. The wise man uses the word "heart" in its fullest sense. Sometimes it only denotes some one particular faculty of the soul, the understanding or the will or the affections. Here it includes the whole mind, spirit, and soul. All these the Lord claims. This is a very comprehensive claim. The best way to comply with it is to identify God with everything which will bear contact with Him. Nothing will bear this contact but what He has constructed and ordained. A life thus controlled and regulated would be indeed a blessed and a model life. Nothing could take one whose life was thus regulated by surprise. God demands your heart that He may enlighten, convince, pardon, sanctify, keep, dignify, and save you. We press for this surrender on the ground of right, for your heart belongs to Him who challenges the surrender; on the ground of reason, for your heart was formed for Him who claims it; on the ground of gratitude, for no other has such claims on you. We might press it on the ground of self-interest. God is ready to take possession if you are ready to yield. Then give your heart to Him humbly, believingly, unreservedly, cheerfully, irrevocably.

(A. Mursell.)

(to the young): —

I. WHAT IT MEANS TO GIVE GOD OUR HEARTS.

II. WHY WE SHOULD GIVE OUR HEARTS TO GOD.

1. Because He has the best right to them.

2. Because He can make the best use of them. He can make them new. He can make them clean. He can make them happy.

(R. Newton, D.D.)

(to the young: —

I. GOD ASKING SOMETHING. God who is continually giving to us all, is here asking for something.

II. FROM WHOM HE ASKS IT. Not from any' one great, but from us.

III. WHAT HE ASKS. We could not give Him the things we have, for they are His already. He asks for yourself.

IV. WHY HE ASKS IT. This you may learn from the name He gives you. "My son." You are even by nature precious to God.

( C. A. Salmond, M.A.)

Homilist.
In this text God speaks to man and asks for his heart.

I. THE DIVINE REQUEST.

1. Sincerity. A man is said to be sincere when he engages his heart in any work. And God asks for sincerity. He will not be satisfied with a bare profession.

2. Earnestness. When a man is in earnest about anything we say his heart is in it. So when God asks for the heart He means us to be in earnest. He hates indifference.

3. Entire devotion. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart," etc.

4. Delight. Whatever a man engages his heart in he is said to delight in. Some men set their heart upon earthly things, and find in them their chief delight.

II. THE NATURE OF THE REQUEST. "My son, give Me."

1. It is an affectionate request. All God's wooing breathes forth an air of affectionate regard for the welfare of man.

2. It is a reasonable request.

(Homilist.)

1. It likes to be with the object of its affection.

2. There is the presence of a desire to serve the object of its affection. Love is tireless in ministry. It is always giving itself away.

3. It desires union with its object in thought, if not in body. Love never journeys unaccompanied by love.

4. The chief characteristic of love is its unselfishness. Is your love for God unselfish, or do you love Him only as a means of securing His favour? Your duty is to set yourself to apprehend God. To know Him is to love Him, and your not loving Him shows that you do not know Him. The question which concerns your highest happiness, here and hereafter, is not touching technicalities of creed, of ceremony, of intellectual interpretation of selected passages out of God's Word. The supreme question is, Do you love God?

(W. H. H. Murray.)

Christian Observer.
I. Consider THE QUESTION OF RIGHT AND JUSTICE. God demands you for Himself; the Lord Jesus Christ claims your heart. In opposition to them are ranged sin and Satan, the world and the flesh, the vain, the worldly, and the profligate. Can you hesitate as to the justice of these opposing claims? "Behold," saith God, "My hands have made thee and fashioned thee. My visitation hath since preserved thy soul in life. Thou hast lived on the provisions of My bounty. Thou hast indeed provoked Me with thy sins, yet have I borne with thee. Nay, I have sent My only begotten Son to redeem and save thee." Hear, also, the Lord Jesus Christ urge His claim upon you. "I left the bosom of My Father, and united Myself to flesh and blood, that I might suffer and die for thee, when thou wast lost beyond recovery by any human power." And now what are the pretensions which the devil, the world, and the flesh can make to your affections that will admit for one moment to be set against these powerful claims? What have they done; what can they do for you? They deceive, they ensnare, they corrupt, they defile, they trouble, they ruin you; but they neither will nor can promote your real good.

II. CONSIDER ON WHOM YOU MAY BESTOW THEM WITH THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE. And here I must confess that the world and the flesh have more to say for themselves than under the former head. Right and title they have none at all; but they promise you much in the way of interest and advantage. Under their guidance, they tell you, you will enjoy a life of pleasure and ease, free from the restraints of religion; you will have unbounded liberty of conduct, and withhold your eyes from no joy; whereas religion is an irksome and melancholy service.

1. I will suppose, for the sake of argument, that the world and the flesh are able to make good all their promises. Delightful prospect! Yes, but how long is it to last? You are to enter into another world, and to appear at the bar of God, there to give an account of your conduct. Had you given your hearts to God, He would now have opened the kingdom of heaven to you, and given you a share in its everlasting pleasures. Your choice has been different, and you now reap the fruits of it. Is it, then, worth while to purchase the short-lived pleasures of sin at so dear a rate as this?

2. Supposing, therefore, that the world and the flesh were able to make good those promises by which they estrange your hearts from God, even then it would be the height of madness to listen to them. But this is far from being the case. On the contrary, the ways of religion will be found to be eminently ways of pleasantness, as well as its end peace. There is nothing truly desirable, even in this life which the servants of God are not as likely to partake of as any other persons whatsoever. Religion is friendly to health, and, generally speaking, to reputation. The idea, therefore, that religion tends to make men unhappy is a mere calumny. The truth is, the devil, the world, and the flesh promise you what it is not in their power to give. For even the good things of this life are distributed by the providence of God, and without His leave you cannot enjoy the meanest comfort. But if you give your hearts to God, He will certainly bestow as much of those things upon you as His wisdom knows to be best for you. Since, then, the cause of piety has thus plainly the advantage, you will be inexcusably blind to your own interest if you give not your hearts to God. Thus, if God spare your lives, you will be fitted to be eminently useful in the world; or if you die at an early age, you will be prepared to meet death, and to bid it welcome. Consider what the refusal of your hearts to God implies. You in effect say, "I dislike His service; I disown His title to me; I can place my affections on better objects; I desire to have nothing to do with God." This is the plain language of your conduct.

(Christian Observer.)

And let thine eyes observe My ways
Church of England Magazine.
Observation is the earliest preceptor of infants, and the grown-up man's every-day guide. The infant learns to prattle, and to utter those sounds so endearing to its parents, by hearing those around it repeat them; it observes the sounds, and imitates them. We cannot learn from nature except by observation. She has indeed a voice which speaks loudly and continuously to the ears of all who will listen. She has a school in which all who will may learn. It was observation in Newton which led to the discovery of the laws of gravitation. He observed the apple fall, and reasoned on it. But, had he not observed the falling body, he might never have discovered what is so useful for us to know. It was observation on the part of Galvani's wife which led to the knowledge of galvanism and electricity. She observed the legs of some frogs to twitch, on which her husband was experimenting. She marked the fact and the result was the discovery of that useful and all-pervading agency, electricity. The value of the discovery has of late been more forcibly impressed on us by the successful laying of the Atlantic telegraph, by which distant countries, separated by seas of vast extent and great depth, are brought into almost momentary connection. It was observation which led to the discovery of glass. Sand and flint were accidentally melted together on the seashore, and the result was a transparent substance which we call glass, and which in cold countries like our own is so invaluable in lighting our homes, while the chilly air is kept outside. It was observation on the part of the architect, Smeaton, which led to the successful building of the Eddystone lighthouse. Two buildings had been previously erected on that fatal rock; the one was burnt, and the other blown down. He observed that the form of the oak-tree seemed the strongest in nature. He acted on this, and built the lighthouse after the model of an oak-tree's trunk. Its continuance for so many years proves the truth of his deduction.

(Church of England Magazine.)

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