When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, And with dishonor comes
scorn. Proverbs 18:3
The wicked man mentioned here is one who is guilty of doing a wrong - thus a criminal or a transgressor. This is a man who has sinned against others in what he has done. We are told in this proverb that when this kind of man comes - contempt also comes. The contempt mentoined here is an attitude of disrespect and scron towards him. Thus when the wicked man comes around there is also disrespect and scorn. There is something about someone who breaks the law - who disregards what is right - that brings about a response of scorn and disgust. Look at the recent events surrounding Tiger Woods. He was viewed as a man of great integrity and honor until it became known that he was having multiple affairs. Suddenly all the respect turned to scorn. This is how a wicked man - a law breaker is received.
The rest of the proverb tells us that with dishonor comes scorn. Dishonor here refers to something disgraceful and full of shame. When this kind of thing comes, then scorn comes as well. This word means a reproach, a taunting - usually hurled at an enemy or someone who is ungodly. The wicked may be able to hide many of their actions for a time - but eventually things will come to light. When they do - then comes the contempt, the shame, the disgrace, and the scorn and reproach. It is better to walk with the Lord and keep to His paths and ways - than to face the reward of the wicked - contempt and scorn.
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. Proverbs 18:19
Here is a proverb that is not difficult to understand, nor is it hard for us to see the ramifications of it in our everyday lives. We've all been in a situation where either we have offended someone, or we've been the offended party. We also all know how difficult it can be to remedy those situations. Therefore today's proverb just helps us see it in a word picture that is very descriptive and instructional.
The brother who is offended is harder to be won back to us than a strong city. The literal Hebrew here of the "strong city" is a walled city. To understand this we have to go back to days before there were air forces or artillery shells that could level a wall or a house. In those days a high, strong wall around a city was a formidible defense. When an army went within such a walled city, it was going to be very difficult to defeat them. The victorious strategy in these circumstances would involve a long seige of the city. It would involve starving the people until their ability to resist would be broken. It would also involve a final assault on the wall and the gates where they would be broken through - then the victory was assured. But such a seige might take months - and some of the more famous ones took even longer than a year. Therefore, when a brother is offended - he becomes like that walled city to our attempts to gain his trust and friendship again. That is why Proverbs 17:14
warns us that the beginning of a quarrel is like breaching a dam - therefore abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. Abandon your offensive actions and words - because if they come to the point of greatly offending someone, it will be very difficult to remedy the situation.
The second statement speaks of the bars of a citadel. The citadel was the place, usually at the center of the city where a large fortified tower was. It usually was high and barred. It had large stores of food and weapons for a last stand. If all else failed, the last people of the city would go here to try to make a last ditch stand against those who had breached the walls of the city. It was usually the place they would go to fight to the death - to the very last man.
Here is the picture shown to us about offending a brother. It is the one that warns us against having contentions, fights if you will, with a brother. Thus, we have MORE than just high walls to scale to overcome the problem of our brother being offended. We have to deal with the fact that even after we've breached the walls - they may retreat to the citadel to resist us to the bitter end. What a reminded to do all we can to be kind and gentle, loving and gracious, and patient and longsuffering in our dealings with our brothers. Too many don't practice such things and wind up seriously offending someone with their words or their actions. They don't think about the back end of such actions and choices. They don't consider how difficult this is going to be to fix. They don't see the walls being erected and the citadel of the heart being fortified against them. They are blind to all this - and blunder on in their offensive statements and actions. They are not wise in quickly diffusing arguments and abandoning quarrels. The sad result is broken relationships and long term bitterness in their familiies and with former friends.
Be wise, dear brothers and sisters, and see the value of being gracious and kind when you face a difficult relational situation. See the value of a long-term relationship with the other person rather than just wanting to win that particular argument. Realize that confrontation - even biblical, godly confrontation is something that needs to be approached in love - speaking in love - and acting in love. That may require hard words - but it seeks to avoid hard feelings. It helps us to enter into the problem with our eyes wide open not just to what we want solved, but even more importantly to the person with whom we want to solve them. We never need to forget that we work with people and want them to know two things more than anythinig else. Those two things are that God loves them and that no matter what the problem is - the answer ultimately will involve God's grace. With this is mind we need to respond both lovingly and graciously in all we say and do. That way we won't have to face a lengthy love siege in order to win back our brother.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
"It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him." These were the words of God in the garden before the Lord made Eve. This is why it is a good thing - and by the way, a God thing, that a man get married and find a wife. When he finds one - he has found a good thing - and has obtained favor from God. What I find interesting though about this proverb is that it does not say, "He who finds a good wife finds a good thing." Many would like for this passage to say this - but it does not. Let's look at this then for a few moments today to obtain wisdom on the favor God gives us when giving us a wife.
The Hebrew word for "finds" in this opening sentence is "masa" which means not just to find, but also to obtain. The word means mor than just stumbling upon something. The idea of finding here means that someone is searching for something. In this case what the man is searching for is a wife from the Lord. That is the key here. When he obtains one - it is a very good thing he has gotten. Think about the kind of wife God would have us have - especially if we find one that is according to wisdom. This woman would be of the Proverbs 31
kind - she would be a godly woman - and one who delights in her biblical role. This is why finding her is a good thing! Since good here means something beneficial - something that makes us happy, glad, and joyful - this is a lady that came to us from God as His provision for a wife.
When I consider this favor from God (Which is what we learn this lady is to her husband) I think of the way that one of my sons went about seeking a wife from God. The first thing he did was learn how to be satisfied with God - and with seeking God's ultimate purpose and plan for his life. As he did this, he learned not only about the gospel - but about the kind of woman God wanted to give him. He searched out the Scriptures to learn what kind of woman that God wanted for him, knowing that God's will would be the very best for him. In time he had a list of character traits he desired in a wife - and had also learned a list of character traits that God wanted him to have as a husband and father. As he sought the Lord for the grace to become this kind of man - he also sought Him for grace to be joined to this kind of woman. He is married now - and I can tell you that when you do things God's ways - God blesses wonderfully. I could not have hand picked a more godly, wonderful lady than the one that God gave to him. Watching the two of them walk together through life is one of my greatest joys.
But before I leave this proverb, I think I also need to address the other end of this blessing as well. Some marry in a way that is not so wise. They may read this proverb and decide that they were not blessed in having a wife. They may see their wife as a curse rather than a blessing. But, contrary to what they think, this lady in their life is a blessing from God. There may have to be some discipline - and some character development - but the fact that this woman is a blessing is nonetheless a fact.
A wife is a blessing in that she rescues us from being selfish and self-centered. A wife is a blessing in that her femininity helps to break off the harsh edges of masculinity that need work. A wife is a blessing in that she is a provision for our sexual needs - so that we will not turn to pornography or to fornication. A wife is a blessing in that she is there to be a companion in our journey through life. Whether you fully access these blessings and many more may not be nearly as much a problem with her as it is a problem with you! We are so quick to adopt the view of the world and "blame the old lady." But God gave you your wife so that by your example and your choice you would lead her. When you do not - things don't work so well. So a wife is also a barometer of your walk with God. If you are living selflessly and for the will of God, you will most likely have a happy wife and a good marriage. But if you want a woman to be at your beckon-call and to do and be for you everything you want . . . well, you didn't want a wife - you wanted a slave. God meant to give you a wife - and that is for your benefit . . . and your sanctification and maturity. This is why no matter what kind of wife you received from God - she is a good thing - and you have received favor. You may just need to have your eyes opened so that you can see her that way. And I can promise you by the Word of the Lord - that if your eyes are opened to see this beautiful lady God has given you the way you should - you will see her as His glorious blessing to you!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
What is the most powerful part of the human body? Contrary to what some may think, the tongue is considered the most powerful part of the human body according to what we see written in the Scriptures. Here we read that it has the power of death and life. Elsewhere we see that the words that come from it can injure like the thrusts of a sword. James has what is probably the most powerful commentary on the power of the tongue in chapter three of his letter.
"So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison." (James 3:5-8)
James warns us of the very powerful, and potentially very destructive power of the tongue. We can bless or curse with it. A carelessly spoken word like a carelessly thrown match can set an entire forest on fire. But the word can set a life - and indeed a whole group of lives on fire with gossip and slander. Therefore we would be very wise in being very careful with how we let our tongue's loose in the world. It would also be wise of us to heed the admonition given by Paul to the Ephesians when he said, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." (Ephesians 4:29)
Those who love this power of the tongue, are warned that they will eat of its fruit. Consider the man who destroys others with his words. He writes and speaks so as to destroy his political opponents - and loves the power that this brings to him. He does so until the day another more silver-tongued than him uses this same power to dismember him in the public eye. The power of the tongue is intoxicating - but it is also explosive and very dangerous if not used under the direction of Holy Spirit. But when used in this way - the tongue is not something whcih brings death - but rather a tool in God's hand to bring life and life abundantly!
The tongue is also the instrument in God's hands to bring the gospel to others. "How blessed are the feet of those who bring good news," is the delightful refrain for those who speak forth the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our tongues can share the gospel with others and be that aroma of life to life as they are born again by the power and mercies of God. We have the glorious opportunity to speak life every day! So, as we look at this proverb may we both fear and rejoice - may we be both overjoyed and cautious - may we both be silent and vociferous. May we see the destructive power of the tongue and shun it completely - and - may we see the life-giving power of the tongue and joyeously share the good news with total abandon.
With the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with
the product of his lips. Proverbs 18:20
Here we have a proverb that mixes metaphors. As a result it could be confusing to some. But a closer examination gives us a wonderful instruction about what our mouths and words bring to us. The mixed metaphors walk between what is coming out of our mouths and lips - and what we receive as a result.
Much of our struggle to understand this passage is solved when we look at the Hebrew concept of the belly or stomach. This word is used early in this proverb, "With the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach
will be satisfied." The word for "stomach" is "beten" which means belly, womb, stomach - but also was used figuratively of the inmost part of man, the place where thoughts were treasured - or - where the inner spiritual self was expressed or satisfied. In Job 32:17-20 Elihu spoke like this. He said, "I too will answer my share, I also will tell my opinion. "For I am full of words; The spirit within me constrains me. "Behold, my belly is like unvented wine, Like new wineskins it is about to burst. "Let me speak that I may get relief; Let me open my lips and answer." Note how Elihu spoke of his belly as he would his heart and spirit. The only thing that gave him relief was to speak and open his lips with an answer to all he heard from Job and his three friends. This is what Solomon speaks of as he says that from the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach will be satisfied. Here the stomach refers to the inner workings of his inner spiritual life.
What is said here is that how we speak to others will in great measure help determine what we ourselves are going to be receiving. This is not name it and claim it talk - saying that whatever we say in God's name we can have - claiming it all from Him. This instead speaks of a way that we are either blessed or not by how we speak to others. Speak kindness and lovingly toward others and you will find that what you will receive is reciprocal kindness and love. You will be satisified with what comes back upon you. Speak graciously toward those around you - and graciousness will most likely be what you receive. But if you speak out bitter, resentful, and hurtful words - do not be shocked to see that others will speak in a like manner to you.
Our mouths can pave the road of our lives with smooth pavement - or with large rocks. It all depends on how we speak. Speak kindly - and most often those around you will love you and appreciate what you say and how you live. Speak in an ungodly fashion, with harsh, unkind words - and you will have spiritual heartburn. Others will react badly at your evil words and will grant you what you've given to them. Much of the reaction of others to what we say can be gauged by how we say it. Some can even bring bad news - yet because of the spirit in which it is brought the recipient does not react badly. Come with harshness and you will be resented or even cursed by the one who has received it.
Remember that it is out of the abundance of our heart that our mouth speaks. Therefore guard your heart closely - because it is the gate-keeper of your mouth. If you wait to speak and think first - you will speak words that are far less incindiary. They will also be words that are treasured by those who hear them. May God always remind us that the right kind of words - spoken in the right spirit - offered for the right motives - will bless others - and will be the souce of much joy. May we become men and women of such wisdom and such words.
The cast lot puts an end to strife and decides between the mighty ones. Proverbs 18:18
How can casting a lot actually help people make decisions? This is akin to making a major decision by drawing straws! Are we going to make a decision concerning justice by seeing who gets the short straw? This seems ludicrous by normal standards - yet for those who know God and who trust His sovereignty and ability to control all providential history - this is not too far a stretch.
Today's proverb is not about making all your decisions in life. It is about a situation where there is strife - and where there is disagreement between what the Bible calls - "mighty ones." So we see that this is not speaking of every decision we make, but rather ones where there is disagreement between people who are either fighting with each other or who are very powerful. The first group needs the lot because their anger is keeping them from thinking rationally or wisely. The second may be so powerful that they do not have anyone else influential enough to deal with their problem. In both cases this would refer to those who know the Lord and trust Him to deal in their situation. The lost and the ungodly would just scoff at something like this - yet even in their case such a trusting practice would yield the right decision. When you read this you might wonder if I've lost my mind. How could I trust something as random as casting a lot to make a "right" decision?
The meat of this proverb lies in your understanding of Who is in charge of all matters of providence. It also lies in whether you believe in random chance or not when it comes to the affairs of men. The Christian knows that God is ultimately sovereign over all things - including what happens when you cast a lot. His superceding, divine providence rules over everything. Therefore when two people are too blinded by strife to decide a matter - they can submit to the lot for a decision from God. When two mighty men are struggling with a decision they can trust that God will direct them properly by surrendering to His divine choice in the matter of the lot.
Think about this for a moment if you are still incredulous about the lot making decisions. God found Achan among all the millions of Israel with the lot. When he had stolen something from Jericho that had been devoted to destruction, he hid it from God and from the entire congregation. Yet God, when He needed to "out" Achan - did so by having lots drawn to find him. Consider Jonathan, who did not realize he had sinned against his father's vow to God. But when he needed to be singled out - God did so by casting lots. How did the Lord do this? He did it by being a God Who is omniscient - Who knows all things that are known - or can ever be known. He is also a God who is omnipotent - Whose power can do all things. Therefore we can trust Him - even when trusting Him means appealing to His providence - even in drawing lots. Ultimately it is a trust in His ability to work all things for His glory and our good.
It is wise for those locked in strife and conflict to turn to God with their troubles. Even if these troubles seem unanswerable, God can provide the answer for them. Drawing lots to make a decision in what seems to be an unanswerable circumstance is very wise - because it trusts God to end the strife and the problem for His glory. Continuing in these things will not glorify God. Therefore a decision needs to be made. If both parties will trust Him - they will watch as God puts an end to the difficulty - and those who see it will be amazed at the way God's people will put aside their difficulties for the ultimate gain of even His providential direction. That is trusting God.
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17
Today we will see a proverb that gives us wisdom when it comes to hearing the case of someone who is seeking to convince us of something. It is also a day when we will see where our forefathers learned about the wisdom of cross-examination in a court of law. We hear people say that we are a godly nation founded upon biblical principles. I can imagine that the average person would have to think at some point where they could see these biblical principles in black and white. Here in Proverbs 18:17 we see such an example.
This proverb probably was spoken to those who had to deal with legal issues - matters of justice in a community. They were warned that when a court case ensues, there is a normal tendency in all of us to believe the things we are told by someone. This is especially the case when we have someone who is "pleading" their case with us. This is someone who is passionate about what they are saying. It is also someone, at times, who is facing a very real loss of money or even freedom if they lose. In some severe cases it can even be that the one pleading his case may forfeit his life. Therefore we are dealing with someone who will make a very impassioned plea.
If the truth were known (and I guess now it is), I tend to be someone who believes what is said to me. Early in my life as an adult, I was somewhat of an easy target for those who wanted to deceive me or take advantage of me. Growing up with my father I saw a man whose word was his bond. As I got older, I was shocked to learn this was not always the case with people. Therefore needed the wisdom shared here in Proverbs 18:17. I needed to examine the person before me - and not always just accept what they say as the truth.
The fact is that we live in a fallen world - which means that not everyone is honest, forthright, and has integrity. Believe it or not - and I did not at first - some people will lie to your face to steal from you. They intend to deceive you, take your money, take your stuff, and can have a straight face as they weave their lies they tell you in the process.
This is why we need to cross-examine what folks say to us. Please do not take this as a call to be jaded and think everyone is on the take. There are many who I do not even have to question. Their integrity is not suspect. But with someone I do not know - or - someone who has serious character deficits - I need to be wise and ask questions.
I am a pastor - and as such have people who come to ask me for money to help in various situations. Early in ministry I'd get taken about 98% of the time. This was because I'd believe every word they'd say as they "plead" their case with me. Now, I've learned to ask questions. I've also learned to ask for phone numbers and people who can verify their story. This had led to a huge drop in the number of times I've been taken.
God wants us to love people - and be people who tend to believe others. But . . . He also wants us to be wise as serpents as well as innocent as doves. That requires some basic cross-examination of others. We do it in court because we need to have evidence of the truth - not just statements. By doing this the facts in a case become much clearer over time. Does this always insure a perfect outcome? No, but it does at least help us to be wise and understanding about the nature of people - and about how we need to respond to their requests and problems.
A man's gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16
When one appears before great men, there is a wonderful Asian practice of coming with a gift. This can be construed as a bribe to some - but that is not how those in Asian culture view it. They view it as wise and right to bring a gift with you when you come to see someone - and - the greater the person, the more important the gift. Over the years I have had the privilege and honor to pastor several Chinese and Japanese Christians. One thing I have seen in their actions is that they will bring me a gift when they come to see me. For me this is a precious thing - and it is also humbling. Their gifts are never something casual or thoughtless. They always take the time to consider what I might enjoy - and they delight in giving it.
This proverb is trying to get us to see the value in being generous with others. We will never be the poorer for genuinely giving gifts of love and respect to others. We will also benefit from seeing the value of letting those in important positions know that we both respect them and value what they can contribute to our lives. This is why we read that this gift will both make room for us and bring us before great men.
An example of this was how the Queen of Sheba came before Solomon. She sought an audience with the king. When she came she brought a huge gift - involving spices, a special type of wood, and other very valuable items. She came with these things to receive Solomon's wisdom - and to see this great king of which she had heard. What is interesting is the practice of the noble men and women who receive such people who come with thoughtful gifts. Solomon first answered all her questions - leaving her breathless as she heard him and saw his court. But we read at the close of the passage that she left receiving more than she had given. The kings and rulers of the East were given to their liberality in response to the graciousness of others. The Queen of Sheba left with more than she gave. This is a type as well for us of how we come before God. We may come giving liberally - but we leave far wealthier than we came. We receive the graciousness of our Lord and King - and the level of blessing which He can grant. That, dear friends is amazing - but often that kind of display is reserved for those who first show respect, honor, and an open hand in how they give to the Lord of all. May our level of giving never hinder us from blessing, but release it gloriously into our lives.
The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
The search for knowledge is an interesting thing to look at in the Scriptures - as well as in the world. The world wants knowledge - but it is a different kind of knowledge from a different source. The knowledge that he world desires is what is called worldly knowledge. It is a knowledge that ignores God's Word - and is in opposition to it. It is knowledge that denies God's existance as creator - denies the moral realities of the world - and encourages man to continue to live independently from God.
The knowledge that is encouraged here in Proverbs is that which is gained by not only knowing God and His Word, but also being able to take what you know and use it to guide you in making decisions and in pleasing God in every situation that you face in life. We see here that the mind of the prudent acquires knowledge. Mind here refers to our thinking and reasoning - but it affects the heart and the core values that guide our decision making. The wise man mentioned here is the one whose mind and heart is prudent. What is meant by this is that he is constantly seeking the ability to look at two things and see the difference between them. He is a discerning man who does not take everything at face value. He looks into things so that he may acquire knowledge before he makes decisions - or even decides how to view something in life. If there is any way that this man can get knowledge in this way - he is trying to acquire it. This word, acquire speaks of purchasing something in order to possess it. This man wants knowledge - and he will pay whatever cost there is to get it. When you read ths do not think of money - but think of time, study, and diligence in seeking and knowing the Word of God. It is often costly in time and effort to get the kind of knowledge that yields discernment as well. You just cannot open and book and get it. It comes by knowing the Word in a way that helps us to see things as God sees them.
The wise man also tunes his ears to seek knowledge. Note here that we move from our minds to our ears. What is different about this word is that it is saying something far more than just listening with our physical hearing. The New Testament often uses the phrase, "hear what the Spirit is saying." That means being able to hear with far more than just our physical ears. It speaks of the ability to hear God. The word seek emphasizes it even more. This is the Hebrew Word that speaks of seeking God's presence. Daniel 9:3
speaks of this kind of seeking when we read of Daniel doing the following. "So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by
prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes." When we "seek" for knowledge we are giving our attention to it. We are praying and crying out to God to give us His knowledge and His heart for things. At times this involves even fasting and special concern for gaining the knowledge that God has for us.
Knowledge is important for the man wanting to be wise. It will involve reading and study like all other forms of knowledge, but it will require more. It will require that we have a heart for God - and desire a spiritual knowledge that God gives us from His Word. But the reward for such a search is that we wil be able to walk through life being able to discern what to do and how to do it in a number of situations. We will have a discernment that will allow us to see beyond surface issues and get to the very heart of a decision or a response to others. the place you se this the best is in the life of Jesus. His knowledge of the Word and of His Father's heart gave Him the ability to cut through any kind of lie or misinformation. He truly could answer not just the question of a man - but the heart and motive behind it. That is the wonderful discernment that comes with the knowledge God gives us as we seek it and Him diligently.
The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for
a broken spirit who can bear it? Proverbs 18:14
There are two kinds of sickness that can come upon us. One is a sickness that we can endure and bear - but there is a second type mentioned in the Scripture that is impossible to bear without the work and grace of God being upon us.
We are told that the spirit of a man can endure his sickness. This sickness mentioned here is the word used for various illnesses that come upon us due to the face that we live in a fallen world. The entrance of sin into our world ruined it. It also introduced sickness and death into our world as well. But a man's spirit can help him endure his sickness. I am about to share something that will cause some to react badly. If we live in this world, we are going to face illness and sickness. Because of the fall of man and the entrance of sin into our world - sickness also came into it as well. What I mean by this is NOT that anyone who is sick must have sinned. That is false doctrine. But what I do mean is that when sin entered the human race - death did as well. Now all things are running down - aging - and generally falling apart. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that things are moving from order to disorder. That is true in our very makeup itself. Our cells are breaking down - our DNA is liable to mutation (which is never good) - and we will slowly fall apart until we physically die. This is fact. Those who think we can go through all of life simply confessing divine health - and therefore never having to be sick or adversely affected by the degeneration of our world or ourselves are sadly mistaken. They to will die due to the sin of man.
Now, before I completely depress you, let me return to our proverb today. Our spirit can help us endure sickness. There is an inner strength that is granted to us in our spirit that helps us deal with the fact that we are human. We will make it through sickness. I've seen the extreme of this in believers who glorify God in the midst of terminal illnesses. There is something so alive and strong in them - even in the midst of their last days. They conquer death - even as they face it. That is the power of God working in our spirits.
But the Proverb does warn of a second sickness that is unbearable to the human condition. "But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?" The word for broken here is so telling. It does not refer to what we experience at the end of a romance - the famous broken heart of romantic movies and novels. This broken spirit is one that is stricken and scouraged. It refers to more than just suffering. It refers to when we come to see that everything we can live for in this life means nothing. It is the brokenness that God actually seeks to bring us to in life. It is a brokenness that cannot be cured with more stuff or more power. It won't be solved by a new romance - or another boyfriend or girlfriend. This brokenness goes to the very depths of our spirit. It is God telling us that we cannot be self-repaired. We need Him. That is why the wise man poses the question, "Who can bear it?" No one can - except he turn to God. Only He can reach to the very core of our deadness and cause our spirit to come alive. This work He does by the Spirit of God as He applies the gospel of Jesus Christ to our broken condition. Then we find ourselves fixed - and actually far more than fixed. We are reborn - and our spirit comes alive as the Holy Spirit grants us the very life of God.
The wise man knows as he sees and endures the sicknesses of this present world that something is terribly wrong with this world. The death that reigns over this present world points us to a much deeper death that reigns over our souls. This brokenness of spirit can only be repaired by God. He has given the cure in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And . . . a wise man knows to turn to God for His ultimate remedy for a broken spirit.