A good man obtains favor of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
I. THE RELATION OF THE MAN OF WISDOM TO GOD. He is in favour with God, whereas the man of unwisdom is condemned of God (ver. 2). The ethics of Proverbs is most deeply religious. All moral obligations derive from the Creator, and the foundation of wisdom is over and over again stated to be in the fear of the Lord. Many a moral teacher fails because he tries to induce men to act right without first setting their hearts right.
II. THE TRAITS OF CHARACTER BELONGING TO THE WISE MAN ARE SET FORTH PARTIALLY HERE.
1. He is truthful.
2. He is receptive.
3. He has good practical judgment.
4. He is industrious.
5. He is kind-hearted.
III. THE WISE MAN IN HIS RELATIONS WITH OTHER MEN IS HERE SET FORTH.
1. He has honour from others. That man only has true honour whose name is honestly revered. Such reverence comes only to that nobility of character whose spring is in that heart-wisdom which consists in the fear of the Lord.
2. Such a character brings honour to others.
3. Such a man is safe from embroilments with others. A man without principle is always getting into troubles from which the righteous escape.
IV. THE RESULTS TO HIMSELF OF THE WISDOM OF THE GOOD MAN.
1. The wise man has a return for his devotion to that which is good. Satisfaction is dealt out to him.
2. In this passage the character of the result is described.
3. Stability is specially noted as one of the rewards of the good.
(D. J. Burrell.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.