We’re at the end of Proverbs 3! Its very clear how much God is helping us as we memorize this chapter. It wouldn’t be happening without him.
“My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Wear them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor 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 acknowledge 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. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruit of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My child, do not detest the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke for the Lord disciplines those he loves. As a father, the daughter he delights in.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies. Nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways and all of her paths are peace. She is the tree of life to those who embrace her. Those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
By wisdom, the Lord laid the earth’s foundations. By understanding, he set the heavens in place. And by his knowledge, the deeps are divided and the clouds let drop their dew.
My child, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. They will be life to 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 the sudden disaster or ruin that overtakes the wicked for the Lord is your confidence and he will keep your foot from being snared.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor, ‘ Come back later, I will have it tomorrow’, when you now have it with you.
Thank you, God! Here are a couple more ‘do nots’:
“Do not plot harm against your neighbor who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse a man for no reason when he has done you no wrong.
Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways for the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.”
We would probably say that all of these are pretty obvious. We shouldn’t do them. And we might think we don’t do them.
But do we ever think someone is saying something bad about us and then we find out later that they never said that? Do we ever get upset by something we think someone else is doing to us and then we find out later they never did it? Are we accusing people who never did us any harm?
And do we ever envy rich people who seem to have it all…..even though we know that some of those rich people got their wealth in unscrupulous ways?
We learned in Proverbs 2 that perverse really means stubborn, unhelpful or uncooperative. Do any of these words describe us in some situations?
Oh, yeah. God is talking straight at us in these verses.
Are we listening?
Please open our ears, Abba Father.