"We should not have anticipated this thought, but all
experience shows that it is fundamentally true. Men have often found that all
their attempts to understand the laws of Nature have only opened up a vista of
increased complexity. Last century the materialists were in the ascendant and
for a time imagined that they were on the point of explaining everything. Now
they are discredited and it is acknowledged that the universe is far more
mysterious than our forefathers ever imagined. Last century the food experts
thought that they knew all about the subject of nutrition; then, through the
practical failure of their theories, vitamins were discovered, and now experts
who certainly know far more than their predecessors, admit as Mr. Eustace Miles
once wrote: 'We really know very little about the matter.' At one time the
ductless glands of the body were regarded as useless, now they are found to be
so mysteriously important that some investigators have claimed that they are
"As in Nature so in the written Word, God has concealed things
and has called upon His servants to exercise their minds in searching for the
treasures of divine wisdom. It has always been 'line upon line, precept upon
precept, here a little and there a little.' Faithful men and women try to put
the littles together and in the process find the mental exercise which brings
their minds nearer to God" (PrPr).
"The Bible is the Word of God. Inspired men wrote as God gave
them the message. The word of God is perfect. There are no mistakes in it, and
it has been preserved for thousands of years and translated into our native
languages so that we are able to read the message God had given us. But it is
more than just a message from God to man -- it is an invitation to become part
of the family of God and to live with Him through eternity. Every page and every
letter of this amazing book is there for a reason; it carries the signature of
God. All the way through the Bible are patterns, types and prophecies that God
has hidden from plain view and urges us to search out. The whole message of the
Bible can be seen in what seem like simple stories in the text. Even lists of
people's ancestors can tell their own incredible story if we just take the time
to search out the jewels that God has hidden. Show your worth, honour and glory
by searching his word today" (RP).
Faith as gold that has been refined: 1Pe 1:7; Lam 4:1,2. Cp
Mal 3:8; Lev 6:28; 2Co 4:10,11.
Take the lowest place: Luk 14:8-10; cp Mat 23:12.
DO NOT BRING HASTILY TO COURT: Be careful, like a king
going to war: Luk 14:31.
APTLY SPOKEN: "Revolving around", or "encircling".
Making the word of God the center of one's life, around which everything
revolves. Cp idea of cherubim/chariot wheels.
APPLES OF GOLD IN SETTINGS OF SILVER: Prob carvings of
fruit in gold, in settings of silver.
APPLES: The Heb "tappuwach" is prob derived from the
Hebrew root meaning "scent, breath" which is related to the Arabic root meaning
"fragrant scent" (HAL). Hence, the term ref to a fruit with a fragrant scent.
The term occurs 4 times in Song (Song 2:3,5; 7:8; 8:5) and twice outside (Pro
25:11; Joe 1:12). It may ref to "apples" or "apricots" -- known esp for their
fragrance. "...Sometimes associated with the 'apple' tree, but while
domesticated apple trees are now found in Israel, wild specimens are not
believed to have grown there in biblical times since it is a tree native to the
northern hemisphere. Apricots, however, grow in warmer climes and are native to
China; they have long been abundant in Israel and most prob were introduced in
Bible times. Apricots in Cyprus are still known as 'golden apples' [poss ref to
Pro 25:11?]" (ABD).
Seasons controlled by God (Gen 8:21,22), as a token of God's
plan for the earth.
COOLNESS: Refreshing: v 25.
MESSENGER: Or angel: Rev 3:15.
"There is no incongruity in these apparently opposing
thoughts. The gentle and reasonable answer to angry declamation will calm the
storm. The fire of anger will die down for lack of fuel, or the irate man will
make an effort to calm himself for very shame. At the same time the reasonable
appeal, gently stated, will sometime prevail even against ossified
determination" (PrPr). See Lesson, Prov and strife.
"The fact is that most men judge the value of an argument from
the wrong side. They appraise the efforts of their spokesman by their own
reactions instead of trying to determine what the effect will be in the opposite
camp. It may be pleasant to hear vigorous and emphatic declamation in the
presentation of ideas that we hold. It may be even pleasanter to hear biting
sarcasm at the expense of those who hold doctrines that we repudiate. On the
other hand, it may seem disappointing to hear our cherished beliefs presented in
mild and temperate language, or to hear a perfectly fair and sympathetic review
of that which we detest. If, however, we desire to persuade men and to turn them
from darkness to light, the exercise of a little imagination ought to teach us
that the declamation and the sarcasm are worse than useless, while the
sympathetic understanding will pave the way for conversion and the mildly stated
argument will linger in the memory and be a moving force long after the dust of
controversy has cleared away. It is the soft answer that breaketh the bone"
ON HIS HEAD: Where brazier might be carried when going
to a neighbor's house to borrow a fire (Str Scr 32). Heaping burning coals on
your enemy's head figuratively describes doing good that results in the
conviction and shame of the enemy. The expression alludes to the old custom of
carrying burning coals in a pan. When one's fire went out at home, a person
would have to go to a neighbor and request hot coals that he or she would then
carry home on the head. Carrying the coals involved some danger, discomfort, and
uneasiness for the person carrying them. Nevertheless they were the evidence of
the neighbor's love. Likewise the person who receives good for evil feels
uncomfortable because of his neighbor's love. This guilt may convict the
wrongdoer of his or her ways in a gentle manner.
SELF-CONTROL: "One of the best business exhortations I
ever read was on the subject of habits. It was not merely a condemnation of bad
habits on the lines of ordinary moral maxims. It pointed out that habits of many
kinds may be developed; and the subconscious powers of the brain furnish us with
a whole army of servants, which may be so well trained as to become most
efficient helps, or so mismanaged as to become our masters. Cultivate good
habits, and the higher part of the brain is left free to perform the work which
it alone can accomplish. The right thing is done at the right time as a matter
of routine, regular duties are performed with the same instinctive certainty
that calls us to the breakfast table in the morning, and the higher part of the
brain is able to devote itself more thoroughly to the realm of pure thought"