Summary: This is a verse by verse look at chapter 25.
We will now look at chapter 25.
1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed. Proverbs 25:1 (NASB)
Hezekiah's story is told in 2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32; and Isaiah 36-39. He was one of the few kings of Judah who honored the Lord. By contrast, his father, Ahaz, actually nailed the Temple door shut. Hezekiah restored the Temple, destroyed idol worship centers, and earned the respect of surrounding nations, many of whom brought gifts to God because of him. It is not surprising that Hezekiah had these proverbs copied and read, for "in all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God's laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful".
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NASB)
Matthew Henry says of this verse:
"God needs not search into anything; nothing can be hid from him. But it is the honor of rulers to search out matters, to bring to light hidden works of darkness."
3 As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the heart of kings is unsearchable. Proverbs 25:3 (NASB)
Do we truly understand all that is going on in the government? It would be almost impossible to understand it all. It would be as difficult as understanding the heavens or the depths of the earth.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; Proverbs 25:4 (NASB)
Silver must be passed through the fire to make it pure. A silver smith cannot make a pure vessel without pure silver.
5 Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness. Proverbs 25:5 (NASB)
Clarke has said of this verse:
"You cannot have a pure silver vessel till you have purified the silver; and no nation can have a king - a public blessing till the wicked - all bad counselors, wicked and interested ministers, and sycophants - are banished from the court and cabinet. When the wise and good only are the king’s ministers and advisers, then the throne will be established in righteousness, and his administration be a universal blessing."
6 Do not claim honor in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of great men; 7 For it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here," Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. Proverbs 25:6-7 (NASB)
The pushing and shoving - boastful temper - is, in the long run, suicidal. It is wiser as well as nobler to take the lower place at first in humility, than to take it afterward with shame.
Remember the parable in Luke 14:8-10:
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:8-11 (NASB)