Thursday, March 03, 2011

31 Days of Wisdom: Proverbs 3

Please visit the link below if you would like to read through Proverbs 3 before continuing.

Disclaimer: This is a personal journey of discovery for me. I am not claiming any special wisdom or exposition of my own, only sharing how 31 days of wisdom affect me and stir my spirit. I highly suggest, no matter who is speaking or sharing, that you check their words against the words of Scripture.

Proverbs 3

Hold tight to good things. (3:1-4)

Solomon says to hold on to his teaching, to keep his commands in my heart. They will give me a long life, peace and prosperity. Hold on to love and faithfulness. Keep them close. In fact, write them on my heart. They will bring me favor and a good name with God AND man.

It’s so simple and the promises are so clear. Why do I make it so difficult? How quickly I forget.

Trust in the Lord (3:5-6)

Again, a simple concept with clear cut rewards.

“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”.

What is it in this human brain of mine that fights such beautiful simplicity? All I have to do is trust the Lord and be obedient and He will guide my way, but so often I behave as if I know better. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance” (1:5).

There is a connection between the physical and the spiritual (3:7-8)

“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”.

Solomon tells us there is a connection between our physical and spiritual conditions. Am I sick? What is the Lord trying to teach me? Am I physically sick because I am in sin? It is not always the case that sickness is directly related to sin, but it’s a good question to ask. If I am fighting something perpetually, it’s a good idea to step back and check my spiritual condition as well as my physical condition.

Honor God with the Tithe (3:9-10)

It is counter-intuitive, by the world’s standards, to find blessing by giving away wealth. But, the Lord says that if I honor Him by giving the first fruits of what I earn, He will bless me. It feels strange to think of this cause and effect relationship, but in one way or another it is true because the Lord says so. It is not the wisdom of the world, but the Lord tells us that His wisdom is foolishness to us. I need to stand strong on what He says is true and not be swayed by the “wisdom” of this world.

Discipline = Love (3:11-12)

This is another principle that doesn’t seem to make sense. How can it be that causing someone pain, disciplining them, is actually a sign of deep affection? “The Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son He delights in”. He wants what’s best for us, and He actually knows what that is better than we could ever imagine. He created us and fitted us for His purpose. When we step off of the path, we put ourselves in danger. It is through discipline that He brings us back to safety. Just as the shepherd must break the legs of the sheep who continues to wander off, so must the Lord sometimes be harsh with us for our own good.

The Blessings and Value of Wisdom (3:13-26)

I am blessed if I find wisdom and gain understanding.

Wisdom is more profitable and valuable than gold and silver, more precious than rubies.

Nothing compares with wisdom. Nothing.

Long life, peace, respect, and sweet sleep are in the hands of wisdom.

The very foundations of the world are rooted in wisdom.

Be generous and a good and honest citizen (3:27-31)

Be generous with what you have. Be quick to reward, quick to praise those who have earned it. Don’t hold out on people when it is in your power to give. Honor and respect the trust someone places in you; it is a valuable gift. Be fair. Do not lie against one who is innocent. Do not choose to be like the violent even if it seems they are rewarded for their deeds.

The Rewards (3:32-35)

Of the wicked

The Lord detests the wicked, curses them, mocks them and puts them to shame.

Of the righteous

The Lord confides in them, blesses them, favors them, and honors them.

Dear Father of Wisdom,

Hide these words in my heart that I may trust in You. You have proven Yourself over and over again. Generations upon generations have known Your faithfulness. Write it on my heart, Dear God. Teach me to be obedient. Remind me of Your promises and Your faithful, unfailing love.


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