Thanks for continuing to read along, I’m praying for you. In chapter 3 we find one of the most popular verses in the bible and one we should definitely memorize: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Chapter 3 is about the Further Benefits of Wisdom. It’s broken down into five parts:
1 . God’s Word will Guide Us (3:1–4 & 5–8),
The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it.
Leaning has the sense of putting your whole weight on something, resting on and trusting in that person or thing. When we have an important decision to make, we sometimes feel that we can’t trust anyone — not even God. But God knows what is best for us. He is a better judge of what we want than even we are! We must trust him completely in every choice we make. We should not omit careful thinking or belittle our God-given ability to reason; but we should not trust our own ideas to the exclusion of all others. We must not be wise in our own eyes. We should always be willing to listen to and be corrected by God’s Word and wise counselors. Bring your decisions to God in prayer; use the Bible as your guide; and then follow God’s leading. He will make our paths straight by both guiding and protecting us.
2. God’s Portion of Income Should be Returned to Him ( 9-10)
There’s no such thing as “spiritual” and “material” in the Christian life, for everything comes from God and belongs to God. The Old Testament Jews brought the Lord the first born of their flocks (Ex. 13:1-2) and the first fruits of their fields (Lev. 23:9-14), and in this way acknowledged His goodness and sovereignty.
Many people give God their leftovers. If they can afford to donate anything, they do so. These people may be sincere and contribute willingly, but their attitude is nonetheless backward. It is better to give God the first part of our income. This demonstrates that God, not possessions, has first place in our lives and that our resources belong to him (we are only managers of God’s resources). Giving to God first helps us conquer greed, helps us properly manage God’s resources, and opens us up to receive God’s special blessings.
If we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, we don’t really trust the Lord. Of course, our tithes and offerings aren’t “payment” for His blessings; rather, they’re evidence of our faith and obedience. Giving is heart preparation for what God wants to say to us and do for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).
3. God’s Love can bring Discipline ( 3:11-12)
Discipline is a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters mature in godly character (Heb. 12:1-11). God disciplines us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child. He acts in love and His purpose is that we might become more holy and less selfish (Heb. 12:10). Sometimes He disciplines because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He does to keep us from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing. No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines in love (Deut. 8:2-5).
4. God’s Blessings are to be Enjoyed (vv. 13-35)
When we trust and obey, God will direct our path into the blessings He has planned for us; the first of these blessings is the true wealth that comes from wisdom (vv. 13-18). Some people know the price of everything but the value of nothing; consequently, they make unwise choices. It’s good to have the things money can buy, provided you don’t lose the things money can’t buy. What good is an expensive house if there’s no happy home within it? Happiness, pleasantness, and peace aren’t the guaranteed by-products of financial success, but they are guaranteed to the person who lives by God’s wisdom.
Another blessing is enjoying God’s creation (Prov. 3:19-20). The wisdom of God brought everything into being (8:22ff), People in the so-called “New Age” movement try to be “at one” with creation, but they’re doomed to fail because they reject the wisdom of God. Christians who live by God’s wisdom will be good stewards of His creation and will enjoy his creation at the same time.
A third blessing is God’s daily care (3:21-26). Because God directs our path, He is able to protect our path. The Lord isn’t obligated to protect His children when they willfully go their own way. They’re only tempting Him, and that’s a dangerous thing to do. When you surrender yourself to God, every part of your body belongs to Him and will be protected by Him. He will help you keep your eyes from wandering (v. 21), your neck from turning your face away from God’s path (vv. 22; see Luke 9:53), your feet walking on the right path (Prov. 3:23, 26), and even your sleep will be sweet (v. 24). If something frightening suddenly happens, you won’t be afraid (v. 25; see Pss. 112:7; 121:3-6), because the Lord is protecting you.
5. God’s People need to care for Others (3:27-35 )
God’s people will be kind to their neighbors and live peaceably with them (vv. 27-30), doing their best to avoid unnecessary disagreements (Rom. 12:18). After all, if we truly love God, we will love our neighbor as we would want him to love us.
On the other hand, if our neighbor is a critical person who puts down our faith (Prov. 3:31-35), the Lord will guide us in letting our light shine and His love show so that we will influence him but he won’t lead us astray. It’s possible to have a godly home in the midst of an ungodly neighborhood, for God “blesses the home of the righteous” (v. 33, ). We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and one dedicated believer in a neighborhood can make a difference.
Until tomorrow, Darrell