Bridges on Proverbs 18:1-2
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 18:1-2
 
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1.  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. {Through...: or, He that separateth himself seeketh according to his desire, and intermeddleth in every business} 2.  A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
 
DESIRE is the chariot-wheel of the soul, the spring of energy and delight. The man of business or science is filled with his great object; and through desire he separates himself from all lets and hindrances, that he may intermeddle with its whole range. “This one thing” — saith the man of God — “I do.” (Philippians 3:13.) This one thing is everything with him. He separates himself from all outward hindrances, vain company, trifling amusements or studies, needless engagements, that he may seek and intermeddle with all wisdom. John separated himself in the wilderness,† Paul in Arabia,† our blessed Lord in frequent retirement,† in order to greater concentration in their momentous work. Deeply does the Christian Minister feel the responsibility of this holy separation, that he may “give himself wholly to” his office. (1 Timothy 4:15. 2 Timothy 2:4.) Without it — Christian — thy soul can never prosper. How canst thou intermeddle with the great wisdom of knowing thyself, if thy whole mind be full of this world’s chaff and vanity? There must be a withdrawl, to “commune with thine own heart” and to ask the questions — “Where art thou? What doest thou here?” Much is there to be enquired into and pondered. Everything here calls for our deepest, closest thoughts. We must walk with God in secret, or the enemy will walk with us, and our souls will die. “Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.” (Ezekiel 3:22.) “When thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.” (John 1:48.) Deal much in secrecy, if thou wouldst know “the secret of the Lord.” Like thy Divine Master, thou wilt never be less alone than when alone. (Ib. 16:32.) There is much to be wrought, gained, and enjoyed. Thy most spiritual knowledge, thy richest experience will be found here. Men who live without retirement may be fluent talkers, and accurate preachers. But nothing comes as from a broken and contrite heart. The want of unction paralyses all spiritual impression. No intelligent, self-observant Christian but feels the immense moment of combining holy solitude with active life as the nourishment of his faith, and with it of every Christian grace. Sir M. Hale left this testimony — ‘I have endeavoured to husband this short, uncertain, important talent (time) by dedicating and setting apart some portion of it to prayer and reading of thy word; which I have constantly and peremptorily observed, whatever occasions interposed, or importunity persuaded to the contrary.’†
And then, when we look around us into the infinitely extended field of the Revelation of God, what a world of heavenly wisdom is there to intermeddle with! In the hurry of this world’s atmosphere how little can we apprehend it! And yet such is the field of wonder, that the contemplation of a single point overwhelmed the Apostle with adoring astonishment. (Romans 11:33.) Here are “things which even the angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:12.) The redeemed will be employed throughout eternity in this delighted searching; exploring “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height,” until they be “filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18, 19.) Surely then if we have any desire, we shall separate ourselves from the cloudy atmosphere around us, that we may have fellowship with these happy investigators of the Divine mysteries.
Yet the fool hath no delight in his understanding. All his desire is to pour out his own frivolity, to come abroad from public observation, that his heart may discover itself — an humiliating discovery, indeed, at once of the scantiness of his knowledge and the vanity of his mind.