Scriptures

Proverbs 3

Introduction

In today’s society scientists have come up with many miracle cures for all sorts of diseases. They found a miracle cure for heart disease and they reckon that in a few years’ time no one should ever die of heart failure.

Cloning is becoming very popular and it seems that the world is looking for immortality. People go on diets and exercise to try and prolong their lives.

Why does the world do this? Because nobody wants to die, they want to live forever. Let’s see what Solomon says about how to live a long life.

Benefits Of Wisdom

‘My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.’ Proverbs 3:1-10

God has always promised if we live wisely, our life will be lengthened, Psalm 91:14-16.

‘For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.’ Proverbs 3:2

There are two conditions for true human growth, finding favour with God and man, Luke 2:52.

‘Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.’ Proverbs 3:4

Solomon says nine things about how to get long life.

1. Do not forget God’s teaching.

2. Keep His commands in your heart.

3. Keep love and faithfulness near you all the
time.

a. Bind them around your neck.

b. Write them on the tablet of your heart.

4. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

5. Lean not on your own understanding.

6. In all your ways acknowledge him.

7. Do not be wise in your own
eyes.

8. Fear the Lord and shun evil.

9. Honour the Lord with your wealth.

It’s all about focus and keeping life in its proper context, it’s about recognising there is a God and living our life out of respect for God. It’s about keeping God in His proper place. Why is the world an ugly place sometimes?

1. The world doesn’t want to acknowledge there is a God.

2. It doesn’t want to obey His commands.

3. It has forgotten how to love.

4. It relies on its own understanding.

5. It trusts no one.

6. The world thinks it is wise.

7. People like to honour themselves with their new cars and houses etc.

If there is one material thing you could possess in this world what would it be? A car, house, etc. What is a new car worth? What is a new house worth? They are worth nothing compared to the wisdom of knowing God.

‘My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.’ Proverbs 3:11-18

Solomon says that discipline is a gift from God, but sometimes it’s hard to find any wisdom in discipline. Imagine telling kids that there is good to be found when their parents rebuke them! Job 5:17.

We need to remember that when God rebukes or disciplines us, it’s because He loves us, Hebrews 12:5-11. In Revelation 3 when Jesus is talking about the church that meets in Laodicea. He says that they are lukewarm, wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. And He tells them in verse 19, ‘Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.’

He rebukes us because He loves us and it’s for our own good. We can see the wisdom in God rebuking us because we can see past the rebuke and see His love and concern for us. It stops us from getting into even more danger and falling further and further away from Him.

‘Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.’ Proverbs 3:13

He says when we begin to understand wisdom, we will discover that is more profitable than silver or gold; it’s more precious than rubies, Proverbs 8:35. Solomon says there is nothing compared to wisdom, nothing. She has long life in one hand and riches and honour in the other. If we live our lives wisely, we will live our lives in peace with God.

Wisdom is the tree of life, if you hold on to her, Proverbs 11:30 / Proverbs 13:12 / Proverbs 15:4.

‘She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.’ Proverbs 3:18

When we accept and respect who God is and trust in Him and His ways and obey His commands then we will be a people who will be blessed. Solomon tells us if you want a picture of wisdom in action then just look at creation. Look at the world you are living in.

‘By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.’ Proverbs 3:19-20

Just think about creation, Genesis 1. Who can understand how the earth truly works? Everything God created was created in a specific order, Job 36:26-33. Can anyone really understand how God does these things? Psalm 33:6 / John 1:3-4. Our God is an awesome God.

Do you ever worry about all the evil that is going on in the world? Does the threat of terrorism keep you awake all night? When we walk in the ways of wisdom and keep God and His commands in our sight that will give us peace.

‘My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.’ Proverbs 3:21-26

If you had something valuable, would you just leave it lying around the house? No, you would guard it and keep it safe and watch it all the time, that’s what Solomon is saying here. Keep your eye on wisdom and don’t let it out of your sight, it’s about God protecting us again.

And notice where are confidence is, it’s not in ourselves but in the Lord. And then Solomon tells us things we have not to do.

‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbour, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason—when they have done you no harm. Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the LORD detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favour to the humble and oppressed. The wise inherit honour, but fools get only shame.’ Proverbs 3:27-35

He tells us five things we need to avoid.

1. There needs to be a willingness to help those who deserve it, Mark 12:43-13:1.

‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.’ Proverbs 3:27

2. If you can help someone today, then do it today, James 2:15-17.

‘Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’— when you already have it with you.’ Proverbs 3:28

3. You can’t walk in God’s peace and then falsely cause trouble for your neighbour.

‘Do not plot harm against your neighbour, who lives trustfully near you.’ Proverbs 3:29

4. Don’t falsely accuse someone, Matthew 18:15-16 / Luke 17:3.

‘Do not accuse anyone for no reason—when they have done you no harm.’ Proverbs 3:30

5. Don’t go getting jealous of a man who does evil things, Psalm 37:1-2.

‘Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.’ Proverbs 3:31

Why not? Because those people are cursed but you are blessed. He mocks those people but gives grace to those who are humble, 1 Peter 5:5. The wise inherit honour but fools lift up shame.

‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.’ 1 Peter 1:3-4

Go To Proverbs 4

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."

Romans 12:1

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