Proverbs 18:1 – “Through desire [greed; lust] a man, having separated himself [estranged from God or man], seeketh [driven by self-gratification] and intermeddleth [quarrels; rages; exposes himself] with all wisdom [wise instruction; sound judgment].”
Reading Proverbs 18:1 brings to mind the picture of a father struggling with a prodigal daughter or son (Luke 15:11-27). The story is all too familiar; a child grows up in a home where he enjoys all his loving parents have provided; however, rather than having a heart of gratitude, the child becomes resentful and demanding. His self-indulgent appetite is never satisfied and his sinful attitudes become a barrier to the love and affection of his parents. He is estranged from God and loved ones. Giving rein to sinful lust and passions, he rages against his parents’ counsel and attempts to call him back from his path of destruction.
Notice that it is “desire” that has come between him and God. It is his demand for self-gratification that ignites the conflict between him and his loved ones. He attacks the authorities in his life, blind or calloused to the reality that his sinful lusts have driven the wedge between he and his parents.
Lesson: The nature of sin puts a man at odds with wisdom and instruction. Solomon writes:
“A fool hath no delight [desire or pleasure] in understanding [reason; discretion], but that his heart [mind; thoughts; seat of understanding] may discover [uncover; strip; denude] itself.” (Proverbs 18:2)
A fool is bullheaded and headstrong; driven by greed and lust, lacking discretion. Author Derek Kidner writes, “The double trouble of the fool is his ‘closed mind’ and ‘open mouth.’” (Derek Kidner, The Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary, p. 127).
Pause and ponder what manner of man or woman you have become? Do you value godly wisdom and instruction? Are you guarding your heart and thoughts by choosing friends and acquaintances that love the Lord?
Psalm 1:1-2 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”