Bridges on Proverbs 20:5
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 20:5
 
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5.  Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
 
The depths in the heart of man are not easily fathomed. Often are they the subtilty of evil.† David was duped by the smooth promises of Saul,† and afterwards by the religious hypocrisy of his ungodly son.† The counsel of Daniel’s enemies was too deep for Darius to see the bottom of it.† The counsel of Herod probably blinded the wise men as to his real intentions.† And yet a man of understanding will often draw out the subtle counsel, and set it in its true light. David described the deep counsels of his enemies, as one who had penetrated the bottom.† Job accurately discovered the true, but indirect, counsel of his mistaken friends. (Job 21:27, 28.) Paul drew out the secret counsel of selfishness in the schismatical preachers of the gospel. (Philippians 1:15.)
But let us look at the bright side. Observe a man of God, instructed by God. Natural sagacity of intellect is deepened and enlarged by spiritual light. His mind is enriched with the fruits of scriptural study and meditation. Here are the deep waters of heavenly counsel.† The talkative professor in his superficial judgment sees nothing. But a man of understanding will discover and draw out valuable instruction. The Queen of Sheba thus drew out from the wise man’s capacious well deep and wholesome water. (1 Kings 10:1-7.) Often, however, men of comprehensive mind have little sympathy with general society. We may be in contact with them, without consciousness of their worth. The waters are deep; but there is no bubbling up. Yet a well-directed excitement will draw out flowing water from the well-spring of wisdom. And often the intercourse, hitherto lost, with a godly and experienced minister, or a soundly-instructed Christian, becomes most precious — “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.” (Chapter 13:20.) But above all is to be prized familiarity with the deep waters of the counsel of God. Say not — “I have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.” (John 4:11.) A thinking habit in the exercise of prayer will enable you “with joy to draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3.) Nay — will it not bring into your own soul “a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life”? (John 4:14.)