A marked change in style. The continuous exhortation is replaced by a series of maxims.
From them to whom it is due - literally, as in the margin. The precept expresses the great Scriptural thought that the so-called possession of wealth is but a stewardship; that the true owners of what we call our own are those to whom, with it, we may do good. Not to relieve them is a breach of trust.
Procrastination is especially fatal to the giving impulse. The Septuagint adds the caution: “for thou knowest not what the morrow will bring forth.”
A protest against the tendency to worship success, to think the lot of the “man of violence” enviable, and therefore to be chosen.
The true nature of such success. That which people admire is an abomination to Yahweh. His “secret,” i. e., His close, intimate communion as of “friend with friend,” is with the righteous.
The thought, like that which appears in Zechariah 5:3-4, and pervades the tragedies of Greek drama, is of a curse, an Ate, dwelling in a house from generation to generation, the source of ever-recurring woes. There is, possibly, a contrast between the “house” or “palace” of the rich oppressor and the lowly shepherd‘s hut, the “sheep-cote” 2 Samuel 7:8 ennobled only by its upright inhabitants.
Surely - Better, If he scorneth the scorners, i. e., Divine scorn of evil is the complement, and, as it were, the condition, of divine bounty to the lowly (compare the marginal reference and the Proverbs 1:26 note).
The margin conveys the thought that “fools” glory in that which is indeed their shame. Others take the clause as meaning “every fool takes up shame,” i. e., gains nothing but that.
The servants of God are obliged to be more or less connected with the worldly by business transactions, but they should buy and sell with a realization that the eye of God is upon them. No false balances or deceitful weights are to be used, for these are an abomination to the Lord. In every business transaction a Christian will be just what he wants his brethren to think he is. His course of action is guided by underlying principles. He does not scheme, therefore, he has nothing to conceal, nothing to gloss over. He may be criticized, he may be tested, but his unbending integrity will shine forth like pure gold. He is a blessing to all connected with him, for his word is trustworthy. He is a man who will not take an advantage of his neighbor. He is a friend and benefactor to all, and his fellow men put confidence in his counsel.... TDG 337.2Read in context »
Satan is rallying his forces to contend with the advancing work. He would bring reproach upon the work of God by setting brother against brother, and bringing in the elements of suspicion and evil surmising. I am bidden to say to our people, “Do not devise evil one against another. Do not cherish unbelief in your hearts. Do not harbor suspicion against your brethren and sisters.” This is one of the most successful ways in which Satan works to alienate the hearts of those who should be doing God's service. Spend much time in earnest prayer for your individual selves. Talk and act as if in the presence of God.... UL 114.2Read in context »