I sure am enjoying the 4th of July weekend so far! Are you? My husband and I enjoy fellowship a lot with people from our church. We did that today for lunch and dinner. I hope that you enjoy celebrating our nation’s Independence as well as take an opportunity to study a month of wisdom from Proverbs-Chapter 3.
Proverbs Chapter 3 begins with Solomon again telling his child to not forget what he has taught them. You will see that in Proverbs, children are told to do or not do something, and then there are consequences. So, in the first four verses, they are Told:
- Never forget things they were taught
- Store commands in your heart
- Never let loyalty and kindness leave you
- Tie them around your neck as a reminder(things taught)
- Write them deep in your heart
Now, here are the Consequences:
- If you do these things, you will live many years
- Your life will be satisfying
- You will find favor with both God and people
- You will earn a good reputation
Now, Verses 5-6 are very well-known verses!
Trust in the Lord will all your heart; do not depend on our own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT
Often, we do depend on our own understanding, don’t we? But, verse 5 says to Trust in the Lord with all our heart! When we seek Him and trust Him, instead of ourselves, He will show you the direction He knows best for us! Verse 7 then says to “not be impressed with our own wisdom.” In our own sinful nature, we tend to go with what we think is best. We rely too heavily on ourselves, instead of respecting the Lord, and turning away from evil. Another consequence- healing for our body and strength for our bones. Question: Will we still get ill, have health problems? Why
Honor Him with Our Wealth
Verses 9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth, and with the best part of what we produce(firstfruits). Consequence-then He will fill our barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. Question: Many people believe in the prosperity gospel. This says that if we do everything God’s way, we will have success, lots of money, etc. Is this what God is saying though in these verses? Why or Why not?
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom He delights.Proverbs 3:11-12, NLT
Hebrews 12:5-11 is another passage in the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, that speaks to this point as well. Our heavenly Father chastens us because He loves us. He wouldn’t do that if we were illegitimate children. He also says, to not make light of it. Treat it seriously! He is truly doing His correcting for OUR GOOD!
Verse 11 in Hebrews 12 states that NO discipline is enjoyable while it is going on, but afterwards, there will be a peaceful harvest(good consequences). Good Consequences is what He wants for us! He will use difficult circumstances to get our attention though! This reminds me of the song by Chris Tomlin called “Good Father”.
Verses 13-20 These verses speak of when wisdom was created. The value placed on wisdom is more profitable than silver, wages are better than gold, more precious than rubies. Nothing we desire can be compared to wisdom. Long life, riches and honor, delightful paths, happiness, tree of life to those who embrace wisdom. God used wisdom from the very beginning when He created everything we see, in all the earth!
Solomon Talks to His Children Again
- Don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment
- Hang on to them!
- They will refresh your soul
- Like jewels on a necklace,they will keep you safe on your way
- Your feet will not stumble
- Go to bed without fear
- You will lie down and sleep soundly
- No need to be afraid of sudden disaster, or destruction
- Because the Lord is your security
- He will keep your foot from being trapped.
Treat Your Neighbor Well
How to treat people! Don’t withhold good from people who deserve it, when it is something we are able to do to help them. This part of the passage specifically mentions our neighbor. Do what you can to help your neighbor. Don’t procrastinate and make excuses for why you don’t want to help them. Also, Don’t cause harm and start fights (especially when no one has caused trouble for us) and don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. We have seen a lot of violence in the last year especially, across our country. This is detestable to the Lord! Stay away from it!
The Lord curses the house of the wicked, BUT blesses the home of the upright(those with integrity, righteous)He mocks those who mock,BUT He is gracious to the humble. The wise inherit honor, BUT fools are put to shame.
Question: So, where do you want to be, who do you want to associate yourself with? How do you want God to think of you?