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There are eight expressions in these first four verses: I want you to notice two in each verse. Verse 1, receive-hide; verse 2, incline-apply; verse 3, criest after-liftest up thy voice for; verse 4, seekest-searchest.
You know what it is to receive. There are two conditions only; a giver with something to give, and a receiver willing to receive. We shall see who these are. When you have received the word of God hide it. (Illustration. The parable of the sower—the seed fell into good ground; that is, .ploughed or prepared; but upon the wayside; hard, trodden ground. We hide what we value, and are careless about what we do not. David said: “Thy word have I hid in my heart.” See also Luke ii. 19.)
If eived and hidden, or treasured; the ear will be inclined, and the heart applied; the two avenues of good or evil, in all of us, will be reached by wisdom and understanding. Everything depends on whether these two avenues are kept carefully guarded, the door shut to evil, and open to good; or left carelessly swinging on their hinges, for whatever comes to enter.
Now there comes an ascending scale of earnestness. If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, &c. Do men value silver ?
It was so plenteous in Solomon's day, that it was nothing accounted of (1 Kings x. 21), but he knew men generally sought it eagerly enough.
I have read that the silver mine of Potosi was accidentally discovered by a poor Indian, who had grasped a bush to help him in his descent over a precipice. The bush gave way with his weight, but at its root he noticed some white shining dust,
and it proved a rich vein of silver. He tried to keep his good fortune to himself, but his sudden wealth excited the covetousness of others; his secret was discovered, and cost him his life.
How many thousands of men have died in their pursuit of silver and gold. Solomon may well say, is seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures." He had seen perhaps the strained eyes and anxious looks of the diamond seeker. It is said that the men engaged in the search for diamonds are eagerly watched the whole time by those who employ them; and even then they sometimes manage to throw the coveted gems into their mouths, while stooping over their work. Many a good find has cost a man his life, and made another man a murderer.
Well, these are the illustrations of what Solomon longs to see awakened in his son, and I long to see awakened in you; and God would see in all of us. The reward is (ver. 5), “Then
. shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Verse 6, “For the
“ Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
This is the point—the Lord giveth. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, “if thou knewest the gift of God.” It was the first time she had ever heard that God was a giver.
She knew He commanded, and demanded; but not that He was a giving God, who gave His only-begotten Son. Who gives “to him that is athirst of the water of life freely." All is for the one who will simply and humbly receive from God. Sound wisdom (ver. 7), a buckler or shield-a defence—a kept path-a preserved way_righteousness-judgment -equity-yea! every good path. The principle
was always the same. 66 He filleth the hungry with good things; the rich he sendeth empty away. “ To him that hath shall be given."
STUDY OF WORDS USED IN SCRIPTURE.
I PROPOSE to consider, as the Lord shall enable me, the words used for master," as a companion study to the words used for servant."
The first word is despotees, from which we obtain our English word “ despot.” This is now only used in a bad sense, but that is, perhaps, because man has made a bad use of his authority. The Greek word implies sovereign lord, and is applied to God Himself; we are His subjects. It is used in this sense in Luke ii. 29; Acts iv. 24; 2 Peter ii. 1; Jude 4; Revelation vi. 10, translated “Lord;” and in 2 Timothy ii. 21, where it is
master. In 1 Timothy vi. 1, 2; Titus ii. 9; 1 Peter ii. 18, it applies to human masters or owners of slaves. Perhaps “master” is the best word, in
. the sense of one who has authority over us- —the one to whom we belong.
2. Didaskalos. This is from didasko, to teach, and is “master” only in the sense of “schoolmaster.” Perhaps " teacher" is the best word we have. It is so translated in every place in the Acts and the Epistles except James iii. 1, where “ teachers' would be the best word. In the Gospels it is uniformly translated "master,” except “doctors” in Luke ii. 46, and “teacher” in John iii. 2. To preserve its sense, it would be better 6 teacher” throughout.
3. Epistatees. This is from episteemi, to stand
near or over.
It is used in the Septuagint for president or overseer.
It is used in the New Testament only by Luke, and only in reference to our Lord, and may be taken as a term of respect and perhaps acknowledgment of authority. It occurs Luke v. 5; viii. 24, 45; ix. 33, 49; xvii. 13. 4. Katheegeetees. This signifies a guide in the
" way;" and hence a guide, leader, or instructor. It occurs only in Matthew xxiii. 8, 10. called Rabbi; for one is your leader, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. Neither be ye called leaders; for one is your leader, even Christ." In verse 8 several of the manuscripts read didaskalos as above.
66 Be not ye
5. Kurios. This is the word commonly translated “ Lord,” and is used as a term of respect, as we say “ sir,” and as a servant addresses his master. It is also used for the name of Jehovah, and is constantly applied to our Lord. In the Gospels it is in places a difficulty as to whether it should be translated "sir," as a mark of common respect to. Christ, or "Lord,” as owning His lordship. Thus the woman of Samaria is represented as saying 66 sir” to Christ before she knew who He was. As to John viii. 11, “ sir,” would seem more the meaning of the woman, than “ Lord.” Each case must be judged of by the context as to what was the intention of the person who used the term. In Ephesians vi. 5, 9; Colossians iii. 22; iv. 1, the same term is used respecting earthly masters; and in 1 Peter iii. 6, Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. It is also the word used in Lord of
6 lords.” (Rev. xix. 16.) It is not merely respect, but includes authority.
6. Rabbi. This is the Greek and Hebrew word untranslated. John i. 38 explains the meaning of
the term : “ They said unto him, Rabbi; which is
: to say, being interpreted, Master” (didaskalos, teacher); only that the word implies more than “teacher," and supposes obedience rendered as to a master. It is translated “master” in Matthew xxvi. 25, 49; Mark ix. 5; xi. 21; xiv. 45; John iv. 31; ix. 2 ; xi. 8. Elsewhere it is “ Rabbi."
Now to gather up the instruction, let us notice that God has placed Christ in a place of authority. 66 He hath made that same Jesus both Lord [kurios] and Christ” (Acts ii. 36); and the term “Lord" requires obedience: “Why call ye me Lord, Lord [kurios], and do not the things which I say?" (Luke vi. 46.) “Ye call me master
I [didaskalos], and Lord [kurios]; and ye say well, for so I am. (John xiii. 13.) Let us not own it in words only, but let it be in deed and in truth.
This is the happy privilege now of those that believe ; but there is a day coming when God will make all own the Lordship of Jesus. He has decreed 6 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord [kurios], to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. ii. 10, 11.) He is their master in another sense. 2 Peter ii. 1 speaks of some who deny the Lord [despotees] that bought them ; and Jude 4, of those who deny the only Lord [despotees] God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is not their Lord (kurios), but He is their master (despotees). He is both to us; but because by grace we bow to Him as Lord, we rejoice that He is also our master, and indeed our teacher (didaskalos) too.