Proverbs 21:30
No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel can prevail against the LORD.
The Vanity of Attempting to Oppose GodJ. Saurin.Proverbs 21:30
The Just Judgments of the EternalE. Johnson Proverbs 21:27-31
The Achievements and Limitations of WisdomE. Johnson Proverbs 21:29-31

Proverbs 21:29-31 (with ver. Proverbs 21:22)
There is great virtue in wisdom; Solomon never wearies of praising it. Here he adds another commendation, but he calls attention to a boundary beyond which it may not pass.

I. THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF WISDOM. "A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty," etc. (ver. 22). How often have men stood behind their strong ramparts - not of stone or rock only - and looked down with complacent contempt upon the despised adversaries outside and below them; but when the shock of the battle came they found, to their dismay, that wisdom is stronger than all defences that could be raised, and that it can cast down the confidence of the proud! It is not only the city which is built of brick or stone which is at the command of the truly wise; it is also the city of falsehood and of error; it is the city of oppression and of wrong; it. is also the city of knowledge and of truth. However hard to win may be its walls, the wise man - who is the man of rectitude, of unselfishness, of purity, of diligence, of earnestness, of patience, of devotion - will strive and toil until he stands within the citadel.

II. ONE OF ITS CHIEF CHARACTERISTICS. On the one hand, a wicked (who is an unwise) man "hardeneth his face." He may be proved to be in the wrong; he may be suffering seriously for his folly; but he will not change his course. He is obstinate, perverse, proud; he will go on his way, come what will. But, on the other hand, the upright (who is the wise) man directeth (or rather, considereth) his way. Even when he is right, and things are profitable and promising with him, he is often pondering his path, looking to his chart, carefully considering whether he is moving on in the right direction. But when he has been induced to wander into some byway, and when he is admonished either by God's providence or by man's fidelity, then he seriously considers his way, and, if he finds that he has erred, he immediately retraces his steps, until he is found again in the King's highway. The habit of considering is one of the clearest marks of wisdom.


1. It cannot succeed against God (ver. 30). Good men and true, who are within the kingdom of Christ, may put forth all their mental powers and moral energies to bring about that which God has condemned; they have watched and thought and striven for the cause which has not been, as they imagined, the cause of Christ, and they have hopelessly failed. History will supply abundant illustrations.

2. It cannot succeed without God (ver. 31). Equip your cavalry, arm your infantry, and collect your artillery for the day of battle; bring forth your most experienced general, who will be ready with his most brilliant tactics; still the issue will not be determined thus. There may arise a sudden unaccountable panic; there may be a movement made by the enemy's captain wholly unexpected and practically irresistible; there are forces at work on the great battlefield of the world against which no military skill can provide. God is present there. He can act upon the mind of one man or of many men in such wise that the battle will not be to the strong, the victory not be to the seasoned troops and the confident commander. Without God's consent, without his blessing, any battle on any field whatever, military or moral, must be lost. - C.

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.
One of the most formidable methods of attacking religion is to exhibit it as a contrivance fit for narrow geniuses and mean souls. One of the most proper means to establish irreligion is to represent it as suited to great and generous minds.

I. CONSIDER THE TEXT IS REGARD TO WORLDLY GRANDEUR. We sometimes see those who are called grandees in the world resist God, pretend to compel Him by superior force, or by greater knowledge. How often is grandeur even now in our times a patent for insolence against God!

II. WORLDLY POLICY IS A SECOND OBSTACLE WHICH SOME MEN SET AGAINST THE LAWS OF HEAVEN. We sometimes see men forget that they are Christians, when they deliberate on the public good.

III. THE VOLUPTUOUS RESIST GOD. One of the most inviolable laws of God is, that felicity should be the reward of virtue, and misery the punishment of vice. What does a voluptuous man oppose against the execution of this law? Noise, company, diversions, the refinements of lasciviousness. Examine the system of the voluptuary at the bar of reason, and at the bar of conscience. Consider it in the declining time of life, and in view of death and punishment.

IV. A STOICAL OBSTINACY IS AN OBSTACLE WHICH SOME PLACE AGAINST THE PURPOSES OF GOD. Hath Zeno any disciples now? Yes, there are yet people who, under another name, maintain the same sentiments, affect an unshaken firmness, and glory in preserving their tranquillity under all the extremes of fortune.

(J. Saurin.).

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