James Nisbet Commentary - Proverbs 5:21 - 5:21

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James Nisbet Commentary - Proverbs 5:21 - 5:21

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘The level path of life … He maketh level all his paths.’

Pro_5:6; Pro_5:21 (R.V.).

I. It is a remarkable expression—‘the level path of life’; and there is great comfort in knowing that God is ever before us, levelling our pathway, taking insurmountable obstacles out of the way, so that our feet do not stumble.

II. It may be that you are facing a great mountain range of difficulty.—Before you obstacles, apparently insuperable, rear themselves like a giant wall to heaven. When you cross the Jordan there is also a Jericho, which appears to bar all further advance, and your heart fails. But you are bidden to believe that there is a level path right through those mighty barriers; a pass, as it is called. The walking there is easy and pleasant if only you will let yourself be led to it. God has made it, but you must find it. How we dread the thought of those steep cliffs! It seems as though we could never climb them; but if we would only look at the Lord instead of at the hills, if we would look above the hills to Jehovah, we should be able to rest in sure faith that He would show us the level path of life.

III. Your path is not level, but full of boulders, which have rolled down upon and choked it.—But may this not be partly due to your mistakes or sins, to your wilfulness and self-dependence? There are sorrows and trials in all lives, but these need not obstruct our progress. The text surely refers to those difficulties which threaten us with their arrest, putting barriers in our way. These would be levelled if we gave the direction of our lives more absolutely into God’s hands. When Peter reached the iron gate he found it open; when the women reached the sepulchre door they found the stone gone.


‘The stability of a country depends wholly upon its home-life. So long as the homes are pure and God-fearing, it is impossible that its freedom or influence should be permanently obscured. Our strength is not in our arms, or ships, but in the purity of our manners, the elevation of the domestic ideal. Hence this book, which is the vade-mecum of a strong, sweet life, is so emphatic in denouncing impurity. Oh, that young men would lay this chapter to heart!’