In my review of Proverbs by Charles Bridges (which you can read by clicking here), I noted how he weaved the principles in the biblical book of Proverbs into the teaching that occurs throughout the Scripture. In others words, he showed that the wisdom in Proverbs wasn’t just a “stand-alone” wisdom, but integrated into the whole.
In the quotes I’m sharing today, I trust you will get a glimpse of what I mean. The reference in brackets before the quote indicate the Proverb to which Bridges is commenting. I have also linked all of the Scripture references to my friends at Bible Gateway, so you can look them up easily (and I encourage you to do so!).
[Proverbs 1:10-16] “If the temptation prevail, charge it not on God; no—nor on the devil. As the worst he can do, he can only tempt, he cannot force us, to sin. When he has plied us with his utmost power, and most subtle artifice, it is at the choice of our own will, whether we yield or no (see James 1:13-15). The habitual resistance of the will clears us of responsibility (cp. Romans 7:14-17, 19-20, 23). The consent, even if it be not carried out into the act, lays the responsibility at our own door.”
[Proverbs 2:10-11] “The forsaken sin only makes way for some more plausible, but not less deadly passion. The heart, cast into the mold of the Gospel, is the only cover from those snares within and without (Romans 6:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 3:18), which so imperceptibly, yet so fatally, estrange us from God. Never, till the vital principle is implanted, is their mischief discerned. Never, till then, does the heart find its proper object, its true resting-place.”
[Proverbs 3:5-6] “Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction (cp. Ezekiel 18:21-23; Nehemiah 1:11). Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Therefore, take all thy difficulties to be resolved by Him. Be in the habit of going to Him in the first place—before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted, go to God at once. Consider no circumstances too clear to need His direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme.”
[Proverbs 3:11-12] “Faith understands the reasons of the discipline (1 Peter 1:6, 7); acknowledges it as a part of His gracious providence (Deuteronomy 8:2, 15, 16), and the provision of His everlasting covenant (Psalm 89:30-32); waits to see the end of the Lord (James 5:11); and meanwhile draws its main support from the seal of adoption.”
[Proverbs 4:14-17] “To pray not to be led into temptation; yet not to watch, that we enter not into it (Matthew 6:13; 26:41)—is practically to contradict our prayers; to mock our God, by asking for what we do not heartily wish.”
[Proverbs 11:18-19] “Righteousness is the seed; happiness is the harvest. The reward indeed is not from cause, but of consequence; not of debt, but of grace depending upon a free promise; mercifully yet surely linked with Christian perseverance (Ecclesiastes 11:6; Hosea 10:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:7, 8).”
[Proverbs 17:22] “If then, Christian, you believe the Gospel to be ‘glad tidings’ (Luke 1:19; 8:1), show that you believe it, by lighting up your face with a smile.”
[Proverbs 28:13] “The love of sin struggles with the power of conscience. The door of access to God is barred (Psalm 66:18). Christian confidence is clouded (Psalm 32:3, 4); and, unless Sovereign mercy interpose, it must end in the sting of ‘the never-dying worm’ (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:44-48). The covering of the disease precludes the possibility of the cure. Only the penitent confessor can be the pardoned sinner.”
“The best work on the Proverbs. While explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the Word in new lights.” —C.H. Spurgeon, commenting on this book
Proverbs (book review)November 24, 2015 — Craig T. Owens
What’s the difference between a travel agent and a tour guide? A travel agents simply points the way, a tour guide goes on the trip alongside you, pointing out things they’ve seen and experienced firsthand. I love reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible, but this time I read it with Charles Bridges’ book Proverbs as my tour guide.
Charles Bridges was a pastor par excellence who skillfully wove together supporting Scriptures to give a fuller picture of the particular text on which he was teaching. As a result, you are able to see more clearly how individual lines in each of the Proverbs was supported and integrated into other Scriptures, and how it was immediately applicable to daily life.
My only disappointment with this book is that Bridges only offers commentaries on 22 of the Proverbs. But what he does show is brilliant, and it gave me a new light for my own tour of the remaining Proverbs.
Check this book out the next time you would like to read the rich wisdom in the biblical Proverbs.