22 May, 2018

Proverbs 18:22—“Whoso findeth a wife … obtaineth favour of the Lord”

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord (Prov. 18:22).


Q. 1. “The elect are not the only ones throughout history who find wives (or husbands), but also the reprobate. Does not this text tell us that even the reprobate ‘obtaineth favour (i.e. grace) of the Lord’ when they, likewise, ‘findeth a wife’?"

Proverbs is a book of instruction by a godly father to his covenant child. The meaning of the proverb in chapter 18 is that a covenant young man finds a good thing when he finds a wife, who also fears God. Elsewhere, Proverbs warns that a godly young man can also find himself married to a woman, marriage with whom is so miserable that he could better dwell alone on the roof of his house. In general, the proverb teaches that marriage is a good thing for the covenant young people. Marriage is a good institution of God. The proverb condemns the popular attitude that marriage has so many responsibilities and burdens that it is better to live a single life. (Prof. David J. Engelsma, 22/05/2018)

So, maybe Proverbs 18:22 also teaches salvation by marrying?—some unbeliever marries a wife and then “obtaineth favour” from God … So much for faith alone! Maybe Henry VIII was incredibly blessed then? Or some of the Muslim leaders with their harems?
But what if the unbeliever’s wife is a Jezebel? Or what if she is a nagger and the Scripture says that he’d be better living on the roof of his house to get away from her constant dripping? Or what if a man marries a woman who turns out to be a whore (e.g., Prov. 7)?
Proverbs 18:22 occurs in a book addressed to believers, especially referred to as God’s “sons.” This is the context. The book deals with wisdom which is found in Christ alone (Prov. 8). God’s sons, the wise, are blessed when they find a wife (Prov. 31). The reprobate wicked are cursed in their “houses,” even if they have wealthy wives with nice clothes who have won 27 beauty competitions (Prov. 3:33).
What about children too? The unbeliever has children and this is their “reward” and “heritage” from the Lord for the parents are blessed (Ps. 127:3, 5). Who cannot understand that Psalm 127 is a song of the Lord, sung by God's children and referring to the community of faith? (Anon.)

Check out the following sermons on this particular text:

Finding a Godly Wife” (Prov. 18:22) (Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma)

The Blessedness of Finding a Wife” (Prov. 31; 18:22) (Rev. Rodney Kleyn)

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