Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
We have in this Chapter, and in a similar strain, to the former chapter, an exhortation to the study of Wisdom: and both the blessed effects of that study and the sad consequences of the neglect of it, are strikingly set forth.
Proverbs 5:1-6 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.
It forms a delightful feature through the whole of this book of God; that the instructions given in it are all with a view to make the soul wise unto salvation, through the faith that is in Jesus Christ. For as the one great object to which the wise man directs the Whole attention is wisdom, or Christ under the character of wisdom; so the precepts he enjoins are all with an eye to him. I hope the Reader will not have overlooked this distinguishing character in the whole book. It is as if Solomon had said: If, my son, thou attend to wisdom, and art sweetly taught of Jesus, then will all those blessed effects follow, which mark the life of the faithful. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
I desire the Reader to remark with me, the alteration of persons with which this portion of Solomon's discourse begins. In the former it seems to have been his address to a single person, but here it is to more than one. But the instructions are the same, and the motives made use of are the same. Perhaps there is no particular reason for the change, unless it be supposed, which I confess I am not a little inclined to think, that the sacred writer upon many occasions, as he passed on in these discourses, had in view, the person of Christ; and now the people of Christ in him. But whether this be or not, it is always profitable to a child of God to eye Christ in everything as first in priority of order; and then his children, his seed, his church, in him. Psalms 89:1-4.
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
If we read this passage spiritually it will not be the less beautiful afterwards, to take it literally; for in both views there is great loveliness in it. If Jesus be my fountain, and the church saith he is (Song of Solomon 4:15) then from him, and in him, will all my springs be. And in this sense he will be my own: for as I am his by purchase and by gift; so Christ is mine by gift, and by marriage, having betrothed himself to his people forever. Hosea 2:19. And surely such an alliance will induce faithfulness both to the Lord, and to his people. Who takes a more effectual method to observe fidelity in all the departments of chastity, and the several branches of moral life, than the soul that is faithful to Jesus? Dear Lord! be thou to me all I need, and then by thy Spirit and the preventing and restraining influences of thy grace, I shall be following the apostle's maxim both in thinking and in doing, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report. Philippians 4:8.
PRECIOUS Jesus! at the very mention of thy name, how do all lesser objects lose their interest; and what an everlasting security is there found in thee, while living upon thy fulness, and deriving all strength for the practice of every social and religious obligation, in the communications of thy grace! Yes, blessed Lord, the cisterns of my poor soul, which thou hast filled, shall make me love to run to the fountain head, beholding from whence they flow, and how they are supplied continually by thee. And while thou art richly imparting all suited grace from thy fulness, to supply my necessities; gladly will I communicate the joyful tidings around, that the reports of Jesus and his glorious redemption, like rivers of waters in the street, may be circulated in every direction. I will tell to all, as far as my poor stammering tongue can utter, the truth that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And I will proclaim far and near, and in every direction, that he is a fountain open and not sealed, where every poor needy sinner like myself, whose heart is made willing in the day of the Lord's power, may freely come to wash and be made white in the blood of the Lamb; and to take of the water of life freely when the soul is thirsting for Jesus, as the hart for the water brooks. Oh! thou fountain of Jehovah! cause my soul to drink largely of that river whose streams make glad the city of God.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 5 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/proverbs-5.html. 1828.
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9