It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
God has infinite wisdom of all things. He gloriously acts without revealing His purpose, seeking counsel, or exposing matters to public scrutiny. Kings are much different. Since they understand very little in comparison, they should act only after diligent examination and deliberate consideration. It would be folly for them to act in an arbitrary way, pretending to be wise as God. All human authorities should follow their prudent example.
The world moves according to God’s secret will, of which you know little (Deut 29:29). He does not seek counsel or reveal these matters (Job 26:14; Rom 11:33), and there are many such things with Him (Job 23:14; Ps 139:17-18). Only by revelation of Scripture and passage of time can you learn this will. But you have been given His revealed will, the Bible, by which you are to govern your life and verify all decisions (Deut 29:29).
The LORD deals privately with men, in their souls, and only rarely exposes them to the judgment of others. He often afflicts men in their beds and chastens them in their thoughts (Job 33:14-33). He told Abimelech during the night not to touch Sarah (Gen 20:3), and He told Laban to be gentle with Jacob (Gen 31:24). David knew how to use these private times with the Lord (Ps 4:4; 42:8; 63:6; 77:6; 119:147-148; 139:17-18).
God forgives you daily, of sins large and small, without exposing them to any. For this you should be very thankful, and you should also see His great glory in such gracious concealment. When you have opportunity to overlook and conceal personal offences against you, it is also your glory (Pr 17:9; 19:11). But it is your duty, with the authority He may have given you in a particular office or role, to search out matters and deal with them prudently according to the wisdom of Scripture.
A noble king must gather all the facts, call wise counselors, examine witnesses, review precedents, consider consequences, and deliberate before drawing a conclusion and making a judgment. Solomon did very wisely in dealing with the two harlots (I Kings 3:9-28). Ahasuerus did so regarding Vashti’s rebellion (Esther 1:12-21), but he failed when he hastily approved Haman’s personal vendetta against the Jews (Esther 3:8-15).
God told Moses how authorities should deal with hearsay (Deut 13:12-18). They should inquire about it, make search, and ask diligently. If their investigation showed the matter to be true and certain, then they were to execute the appropriate judgment. The same procedure was to be followed in matters of conflicting testimony (Deut 19:15-21). Job, the perfect and righteous man that he was, followed this godly procedure (Job 29:16).
Every authority should copy this noble king. Parents should search out matters regarding their children. Children do not have rights; they have responsibilities and privileges. If there is reason to be suspicious, or even if there is not, wise parents will make diligent inquisition and search to confirm or convict. A sin nipped in the bud, before it is a full grown poisonous plant, is much easier to correct for both parent and child.
The father who does not search out things, but hides his head in the sand, is no father worthy of the name. And He will be brought to painful shame (Pr 29:15,17). The father who believes all that he hears without careful investigation exalts simplicity (Pr 14:15). David foolishly let Adonijah go far in rebellion without questioning him, and it cost him his life (I Kgs 1:6; 2:10-25). Let every father reading this proverb be a noble inquisitor.
The purpose and wisdom of human rulers is to examine all matters carefully, in order to properly rule and protect their subjects. God never intended careless and/or overbearing rule when He ordained the five spheres of human authority. Rule was not given for the pleasure of the one reigning, but for the protection and perfection of those under the authority. Righteous Job even considered the contentions of his servants (Job 31:13-15).
It is this honorable aspect of Christian authority that every magistrate, master, father, husband, and pastor should also include in the discharge of their office. While the degree of service to those under authority varies from position to position, it is an important part of using your God-given authority in a holy way. For example, masters rule in employment situations for the profit of the company and themselves, but they are also obligated to use that circumstance and situation equitably and fairly (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1).
The Lord Jesus Christ operates at a level you cannot even explain. He divides between the joints and the marrow and between the soul and the spirit (Heb 4:12-14). All things are naked and opened to Him, but He Himself dwells in a light that no man can approach unto (I Tim 6:16). He searches your reins and heart (Rev 2:23). Rather than have Him discover your secret sins while trying to hide them, open your heart before Him and beg Him to make merciful and helpful examination (Job 34:31-32; Ps 26:2; 139:23-24).
Free Daily Proverbs Commentary Email