"A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished." Proverbs 22:3
Noah, warned of God, prepared an ark to the saving of his household. Lot, admonished by the angels, fled out of Sodom. So there is a fleeing from the wrath to come. How careless, how secure, and unconcerned are we until quickened with spiritual life! Solomon speaks of those who sleep on the top of a mast, where one jerk of the wave, or one turn of the sleeper may precipitate him into the foaming ocean. God"s anger is gathering against a wicked world. Who will escape this fearful storm of eternal, unmitigated wrath? Those who flee to Jesus. Who flee to Jesus? Those only who feel their need of him. How are they made to feel their need of him? By the flashes of God"s anger. Whence issue these flashes? Out of the thunder-cloud of God"s holy law—the revelation which he has made of his anger against transgressors. How necessary then to feel the application of the law to the conscience, to experience what Job calls, "the terrors of God," that Jesus Christ, who is a "covert from the tempest," may be seen and fled unto! It is like the warning given in Egypt of the grievous hail—"He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses—and he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field" ( Exodus 9:20-21). Faith credits what unbelief derides. As is their nature and operation, so is their end. Faith ends in salvation; unbelief in perdition.
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15
We profess to believe in an Almighty, All-present, All-seeing God; and we would be highly offended if a person said to us, "You do not believe that God sees everything, that he is everywhere present, that he is an Almighty Jehovah;" we would almost think that he was taking us for an atheist. And yet practical atheists we daily prove ourselves to be. For instance, we profess to believe that God sees everything, and yet we are plotting and planning as though he saw nothing. We profess to know that God can do everything, and yet we are always cutting out schemes, and carving out contrivances, as though he were like the gods of the heathen, looking on and taking no notice. We profess to believe that God is everywhere present to relieve every difficulty and bring his people out of every trial, and yet when we get into the difficulty and into the trial, we speak, think, and act as though there were no such omnipresent God, who knows the circumstances of the case, and can stretch forth his hand to bring us out of it.
Thus the Lord is obliged, (to speak with all reverence,) to thrust us into trials and afflictions, because we are such blind fools, that we cannot learn what a God we have to deal with, until we come experimentally into those spots of difficulty and trial, out of which none but such a God can deliver us.
This, then, is one reason why the Lord often plunges his people so deeply into a sense of sin; it is to show them what a wonderful salvation from the guilt, filth, and power of sin there is in the Person, blood, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. For the same reason, also, they walk in such scenes of temptation; it is in order to show them what a wonder-working God he is in bringing them out.
This, also, is the reason why many of them are so harassed and plagued; it is that they may not live and act as though there were no God to go to, no Almighty Friend to consult, no kind Jesus to rest their weary heads upon; it is in order to teach them experimentally and inwardly those lessons of grace and truth which they never would know until the Lord, as it were, thus compels them to learn, and actually forces them to believe what they profess to believe.
Such pains is he obliged to take with us; such poor scholars, such dull creatures we are. In order, then, to teach us what a God he Isaiah, what a merciful and compassionate High Priest; in order to open up the heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths of his love, he is compelled to treat, at times, his people very roughly, and handle them very sharply; he is obliged to make very great use of his rod, because he sees that "foolishness is so bound up in the hearts" of his children that nothing but the repeated "rod of correction will ever drive it far from them."
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Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Proverbs 22". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany