"Through desire a man, having separated himself, intermingles with all wisdom," (Proverbs 18:1).
To have a more accurate knowledge of the foregoing passage, it is beneficially instructive to read it from other contemporary versions and revisions of the Holy Bible:
"A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment," (NKJV).
"The selfish man quarrels against every sound principle of conduct by demanding his own way," (TLB).
Interestingly, the Dake's Annotated Reference Bible gave us the following rather very enlightening and much more sensible marginal rendition, which is totally different from the major thrust of the rest of the modern versions:
"A man seeking wisdom and knowledge will separate himself from all other pursuits, so he can devote himself to his scientific investigations. He becomes a voluntary recluse for the sake of his desires."
Firstly, I see in our opening text a man so dissatisfied with the status quo that he passionately craves a radical break-away from the mainstream establishments and the general societal drift. All of his life, he had been fed on the same diet of deceits. But now, he finally makes up his mind to rebel against the system, (to break away from every known man-made traditions, culture and customs), and to cut loose from all the accepted norms of 'civilized society', in order to pursue the path unknown to others.
Incidentally, this happens to be where many of us are strapped and trapped - right down in the valley of decisions; surrounded with so-called 'earthly comforts' that we wouldn't want to miss for anything else. It is a life of complacency, redundancy and unquestioned, unreasoned contentment; a life of lies and make-beliefs!
However, until we are ready to ask those questions that others dare not ask, we are not ready to break away and break through into our ultimate liberty; and until those questions are correctly and courageously asked, we are not yet adequately prepared to hobnob with intermingled wisdom.
Secondly, I feel a strong sense of pity and empathy for the young man in our text, because, by isolating himself from the mainstream society and from all the 'accepted societal behaviours', he is accused of quarreling with every known sound principles of conduct. He is also considered to be notorious, unpopular, an upstart and a rabble rouser.
Not many of us will be willing to endure or put up with the ugly name callings or derisive comments from our peers and associates.
We all want to be held in high esteem and to be acceptable in the eyes of our fellow peers; but the sure steps that would place us on the path that leads to our God-given destinies must almost always be walked and trudged alone. No one else, (however closely acquainted to us), is permitted to walk along with us on that lonely way that leads into our individual destinies. It is mostly a lone walk even though we are never ever alone, because Jesus is always there for us! Are you ready for that radical departure from the well-established principles of 'sound conduct'?
Thirdly, by venturing into the uncharted and unmapped world of 'unexplored adventures and opportunities', the young man of Proverbs 18:1 learns lessons of wisdom from various angles and strata of life, as well as from different inexplicable phenomena of nature, and he is generously enriched by all the experiences so gained.
While we do not advocate the Don Quixote's impractical, idealist-adventurous lifestyle, we can safely conclude that we all can gain most significantly if we resolutely and stoutly stand up to stir up ourselves to reach out for the distant stars that are waiting to be explored and to be conquered!
Pastor Michael McBuba gave his life to Jesus Christ some twenty-nine years ago.
He is joyfully married to Pastor Christie, and they are blessed with two lovely daughters, Iyanu-Virtue (Foster) and Madeleine-Nkem-Pelum (Biological).
He is an Admin Staff of HSFL, and worships with the RCCG, Lagos.
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