God needs not search into any thing; nothing can be hid from him. But it is the honour of rulers to search out matters, to bring to light hidden works of darkness.
Verses 4, 5
For a prince to suppress vice, and reform his people, is the best way to support his government.
Verses 6, 7
Religion teaches us humility and self-denial. He who has seen the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus, will feel his own unworthiness.
To be hasty in beginning strife, will bring into difficulties. War must at length end, and might better be prevented. It is so in private quarrels; do all thou canst to settle the matter.
Verses 11, 12
A word of counsel, or reproof, rightly spoken, is especially beautiful, as fine fruit becomes still more beautiful in silver baskets.
See what ought to be the aim of him that is trusted with any business; to be faithful. A faithful minister, Christ's messenger, should be thus acceptable to us.
He who pretends to have received or given that which he never had, is like the morning cloud, that disappoints those who look for rain.
Be patient to bear a present hurt. Be mild to speak without passion; for persuasive language is the most effectual to prevail over the hardened mind.
God has given us leave to use grateful things, but we are cautioned against excess.
We cannot be upon good terms with our neighbours, without discretion as well as sincerity. How much better a Friend is God than any other friend! The oftener we come to him, the more welcome.
A false testimony is dangerous in every thing.
Confidence in an unfaithful man is painful and vexatious; when we put any stress on him, he not only fails, but makes us feel for it.
We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by endeavouring to make them merry.
Verses 21, 22
The precept to love even our enemies is an Old Testament commandment. Our Saviour has shown his own great example in loving us when we were enemies.
Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. Sin, if it receives any check, becomes cowardly.
It is better to be alone, than to be joined to one who is a hinderance to the comfort of life.
Heaven is a country afar off; how refreshing is good news from thence, in the everlasting gospel, which signifies glad tidings, and in the witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are God's children!
When the righteous are led into sin, it is as hurtful as if the public fountains were poisoned.
We must be, through grace, dead to the pleasures of sense, and also to the praises of men.
The man who has no command over his anger, is easily robbed of peace. Let us give up ourselves to the Lord, and pray him to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes.