Some assorted proverbs to think on today:
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
(Proverbs 18:10 NIV)
Solomon, likely hearing stories from his father David, reminds us that the Lord is our strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), our protector (Psalm 121). David’s faith in the Lord was what carried him through the hard times, when the enemy seemed to be closing in on him. David referred to God as refuge to run to when he needed protection (Psalm 9:9, 46:1, 61:3, 62:7).
“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it a wall too high to scale.”
(Proverbs 18:11 NIV)
Verse 11 is the opposite of verse 10. The rich believe their money is their protection. They have no need for God, or for His hand of protection. Solomon says their belief is only in their minds, in their imaginations. Solomon wrote this proverb to be a contrast to verse 10, where God is the only place of real refuge and protection we can depend on.
“The human spirit can endure in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
(Proverbs 18:14 NIV)
Solomon uses this proverb to describe depression and its effect on us. He says that when we get sick (for example, cold, virus, flu, etc.) we may feel bad, but we draw upon our will to live and get better. On the other hand, when we are depressed, it is as if our will to live has been damaged (smashed, crushed, broken).
The good news is that we have a Savior who understands our hurts and our depression, having experienced them first-hand, for He endured them all on the cross of Calvary for our sake. Through the cross, we can have healing and hope and be used by the Lord for His kingdom and His glory.
“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.”
(Proverbs 18:19 NIV)
The word “brother” here is generic, not specific. In other words, the term “brother” could include a sibling, but more generally, it speaks about a close friend. Solomon’s point is that strife between close friends causes separation. By comparison, Solomon is saying that it is easier to break into a walled city than to win back the heart of a friend that we’ve offended.
So what’s the faith lesson here? Be careful with our thoughts and words and actions. And reconcile with those whom we have offended or wronged, don’t let the situation escalate.
“He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.”
(Proverbs 18:22 NIV)
Solomon recognizes the value of a godly wife. Solomon remembers God’s original design before the fall of mankind (Genesis 2:18), and also understands the importance of the commitment of marriage to one another. Solomon implies that both husband and wife are committed to the Lord first, and then to each other. Solomon reminds us that marriage of two people committed to the Lord is a gift from the very hand of God.