Proverbs 3: Online Bible lessons

Welcome to the online meeting everyone and looking forward to sharing some thoughts and lessons in relation to Proverbs 3.

In Proverbs 3 we read at the start in verse 1 and 2:

Proverbs 3:1-2  1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:  2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

God reminds us through Solomon’s words here that we are not to forget the Law or rather the directions God gives us. We must let our hearts or our ‘Inner Person’ or conscience be diligent in keeping such a command.

For if we do such we shall receive in return what is rendered a ‘tolerance’ and ‘years of living’. Not only this but also laid down for us then is a sense of completeness.

For drawing out the meaning from these verses my friends I have after each set of verses given a literal translation. This will really help the flow of our understanding without needing to pull out all the Hebrew pronunciations.

In doing so we see that these 2 verses remind us to always keep God’s directions in the forefront of our mind daily. We must let these directions he gives us affect our very sense of being. And in doing so the natural and deserved rewards for sticking to God’s statutes is a long life of tolerance and wonderful completeness. Obviously as erring believers sometimes we cannot expect to retain this objectivity always. Nevertheless we are reminded of the true rewards such an outlook can render.

Verse 3 to 5 read:

Proverbs 3:3-5   3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:  4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.  5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Let us not forget how to be kind and truthful. In fact we are told here we have to wear them as a necklace. That’s right. Adorn ourselves with such beauty. And the best thing about a necklace in this regard of course is that other’s get to see such magnificence. Not of course that this glorifies us, rather our Heavenly Father whom we worship. This reminds us, too does it not, of when Christ talks about ‘clothing’ ourselves too with righteousness.

It also tells us to permanently record these things on the tablet for our heart, or inner person. So these thoughts and actions need to be recorded on our conscience and feelings. They must be a permanent part of everyday.

This of course reminds me too of the classic locket your mother or grandmother would often wear around their neck. It was attached to their necklace and would hang down next to their actual heart. Often too the locket would be shaped like a heart and could be opened up to see something recorded permanently inside. Whether it be a poem or a photo of a loved one. Who knows maybe this is where the original idea came from for such a design. We should have our spiritual locket on everyday and inside it should be permanently recorded the directions our Heavenly Father has given us.

For then if we do this, it goes on, we should find favour and prudence in the eyes of God and mankind.

So we shall therefore find that not only our Heavenly Father loves to see his words in action but even mankind can see the results. Our words and actions become obvious to all we meet that our calling is clear and wonderful. Let us try hard to achieve this too my friends.

We must therefore as it says, trust Yahweh in all things and not to rely on our own discernment. For we know that human discernment is really non existent. For humanity itself is only ever into benefiting itself and never others. We must trust in our

Father-Manifest that his judgments and directions are gracious and perfect.

Verses 6-8 read:

Proverbs 3:6-8  6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Verse 6 is better rendered as this. ‘That in the journey to know our Heavenly Father he will help straighten our paths.’

Our God will help to direct us because we seek to know him. To understand him. To see what makes him tick. What energies emanate from such a perfect character. I don’t know about you my friends but this journey is one I really, really want to stay on. Just the idea of starting to truly know our Majestic Creator has me yearning for more.

We must not pretend we have wisdom of ourselves, but we must revere our Father in all things and leave ‘calamity’ behind. The word evil in verse 7 is better rendered ‘calamity’. And in fact because it is rendered now correctly we see why it’s best to follow God anyway. Because the only alternative is disaster or calamity.

Well this means that even by default God wins this argument. But of course we choose our relationship with our Father purposely because we know him and love him.

Now in verse 8 it talks about health to our navel and marrow to our bones. Well lets see if we can translate this a little better.

‘It shall be healing for our umbilical cord and a drink for the essence of ourselves.’

Now this almost clears things up. We know as a pre-natal we all had efficiently working umbilical cords which were our one and only means of gaining nutrition from our mother. Without it we would never even begin to grow.

It also mention here that it a drink for the essence of who we are.

Our Heavenly Father it must be remembered in a real sense is both our parents. Not only did he create us but apart from his physical appearance he is both man and women in attribute. He cannot create something that is outside of his understanding. God did not create sin but he did create Adam and Eve.

Suffice to say that the point I am making is God has a mothering role as well as a fathering role. And in doing so nurtures us by feeding us spiritually through our umbilical cord. He is the one that feeds us truly each day on what we need to live. He is the vitamins for our spirituality, as the world is the junk food for our spirituality.

Not only does God give us the only true life sustaining food he also gives us drink. Drink for the very essence of our spiritual body. He knows our every detailed need for the growth of our deep spiritual character. The real depth of person inside. The parts that hold the secrets and fears and troubles we never want to divulge. Well our Heavenly Father sustains these internal needs and helps is grow daily.

So God is frankly telling us the value of his directions.

God can’t overemphasize how important it is to shun our disastrous human ambitions and take on Godly Character by reverence and understanding. By letting him feed our innermost parts and needs with the eternal surplus that he has. What’s more it’s pure vitamins for our spiritual needs. Great encouragement for all of us, isn’t it?

Verse 9 and 10 read:

Proverbs 3:9-10  9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:  10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Yahweh wants us to honour and give to him of our abilities and talents. All that we can produce and anything we can do for him he wants the first and best. Just as Christ came as an unblemished lamb to be slaughtered God wants our best sacrifice for him and his honour.

Of course this means our time and efforts are to always, always be prioritized for Yahweh in everything we think and do.

So what happens if we do this?  Well for this small act of worship on our behalf we get our whole storehouse filled with many things that we need. Not only is the emphasis on many things but also the best new things. The ‘new wine’ it speaks of in verse 10 is the best of the best wine. The elitist of all.

So God shall bless us spiritually and also no doubt physically with the best investment we ever made. So how could we not jump at such an opportunity my friends?

But I do think this investment needs to be tempered with the reality of how and when God gives. Hence the next 2 verses….

Proverbs 3:11-12  11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:  12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Let us not reject God’s discipline and let us not be grieved by his rebuke. For whom Yahweh loves he wants to prove themselves, just as Daddy wants to prove to his Son or Daughter how much he is pleased by them.

Well these translations seem a mouthful but they are nonetheless accurate.

So in conjunction with the previous verses in which God tells us how much he will bless us for our small investment, he also explains a clause.

God says he will correct us because he loves as. He loves us so much that in order for us to not slip sidewards of the railing he chastises us when the need arises. Not for his sake but for our sake and our growth. God does this so we can prove ourselves to him. And in doing so we recognize our constant need for him and this pleases our Heavenly Father immensely.

It really is interesting to see the insight God has into out wayward Characters and what we need to keep us ontrack. He is even more pleased of course when we recognize this as his deliberate ploy to save us from ourselves.

Verses 13-18 next, gives us a brief list of advantages of following wisdom and understanding

Proverbs 3:13-18   13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.  16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.  17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

To start to understand the wisdom of God is more profitable than money or gold. It is more valuable than precious stones. And the greatest delight you could possibly imagine cannot be compared to such wisdom as this. For life eternal is in her right hand and the wealth of Glory in her left. Wisdom gives you a journey of delight and even her road itself makes you feel complete. Wisdom is the Tree of Life to be strengthened by, and any who wish to make progress in life need to hold her tight.

I don’t think any more translation of these verses are needed than this. We can see how invaluable the wisdom of Godly understanding can be. Nothing material can come near her in comparison. By following these precepts through God’s grace we can see life eternal and much glory therein. In fact as verse 17 describes even the journey itself to wisdom is pure delight. Just being on the road to find wisdom is wonderful.

I think maybe verse 18 Adam and Eve needed to read in relation to the Tree of Life. If only they had partaken wisely of this Tree, things may have been different. However we are each responsible for our own decisions and looking back at past mistakes we realize that the Tree of Life would invariably hold much Wisdom and we need to avail ourselves of this fruit often. Let us all munch daily from this Tree of Life and Wisdom my friends.

Proverbs 3:19-20  19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.  20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

This verse really gives us an understanding of the power of God’s own Wisdom and Understanding. For this is the very power itself by which God created the earth and sky and the oceans and rain. You see we as humans see what we do and who we are as different. We can divorce ourselves from the actions we meant and those we didn’t. To God this is not possible. God is Truth, Creation, Wisdom, Love, Care and Glory all in one. There is do divergence from who he is and what he does and says. There is only continuity with God. This is something we need to aspire to. To live by the words we know and speak of . To use God’s spiritual inspiration to manifest his name on earth through our words and deeds. God speaks and it happens. Maybe we should examine everything that we say and think and see if we would like what we say instantly created?? Maybe not hey! I think this is a good lesson for all of us.

Verses 21-24 read:

Proverbs 3:21-26  21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:  22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.  23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.  24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.  25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.  26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Let us not let Wisdom stray from our sight. Let us keep Wisdom and Purpose alive. It shall be life for our very being, and look favourble on our neck. We shall then have safe journey without any mishaps. When you sleep it won’t be in fear, for now you will have a very pleasurable sleep instead. Do not be afraid of terror or the ravages of criminals when they come. For Yahweh is our flank and shall guard us from being captured.

Surely my friends if we make Wisdom and Understanding God our Purpose then indeed our Purpose itself will become Wisdom. If we put it on we become it. It shall invigorate every part of our waking hour my friends. Not only that but as we mentioned before we can then hang it around our neck like a locket. Others will see and begin to ask us questions about such a glorious thing. Now that would be fantastic would it not?!

Our spiritual journey in life will be safe and we won’t be in fear always and having terrible sleep. I don’t know about you my friends but I would love better sleep than I get.

I think also that verse 25 is very apt currently as well. To not be afraid of terror from criminals. With the epidemic of Terror all around the world at the moment my friends I think this is wonderfully uplifting.

Then it reads Yahweh is our confidence or better rendered flank. Well the flanks run down each side of our bodies and without them it would be impossible to keep standing. So Solomon in no uncertain terms tells us not to be worried by these Terror threats for God is the one who keeps us supported and upright. So he will not let us be captured by the would be physical or spiritual Terrorist. What wonderful news in this day and age my friends.

We have all these wonderful gifts my friends but as usual this is tempered with our responsibilities God wants us to persist with. Such as the verses following from verse 27-31….

Proverbs 3:27-31  27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.  29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.  30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.  31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Do not deny good things from those who would own such. Don’t say to any person,

‘come back tomorrow and I will help you then’, when you can in fact help them right now! Do not entrap any person especially when they trust you. Do not strive to cause contention with anyone, specially when they haven’t meant any harm. Do not be jealous of mankind, choose none of his paths.

We must as a community and family members of God remember to consider all we do and also what we don’t do. If we are able to give good things to those who want such let us do so. If we can help out in our meetings or activities don’t put it off. Let us help. As a True Christian Community also we too often notice someone who could be doing wrong and before approaching them with help we gossip or cause them harm when they don’t expect such. This is very wrong my friends and if someone is not expecting our interference at all we should be at least trying to help when we do interfere, not gossip and harm. Untold damage has been done over the years because we as a community forget that we all have our shortcomings and all of us need support.

This is an important lesson we can learn from Solomon I believe.

I think the last comment Solomon makes in regards to mankind should be obvious to us. There is nothing at all to be jealous of in regards to mankind and his materialism. He might seem to have it all but if you merely scratch the surface you soon find out he doesn’t. His path only leads one way. To greed and death.

Sometimes I think we need to remember this before we ogle at all the shiny objects around us, wishing we had just a few of them. Let us keep our priorities straight with Gods value system even though our own temptations sometimes can get the better of us.

Verse 32 -35 are the final verses. Here we see 4 verses of comparison which Solomon often does in his writings. The Good and Evil comparison.

Proverbs 3:32-35  32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.  33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.  34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.  35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Anything off track is disgusting to Yahweh, for his counsel is with the path of the straight. The curse of Yahweh is in the criminals house, but he blesses the pastures of the righteous. God mocks the scorners, but gives favour to the humble. The wise shall possess glory but disgrace shall be the most fools attain.

Solomon puts these words quite hard and fast and sometimes I think we need it that way. If we willingly flounder off track God detests it, if we try hard to stay ontrack his counseling is there for all our needs. I think in verse 33 in regards to ‘housing’ is interesting. The Hebrew for the word house for the wicked is pretty much a house or family reside. However the habitation for the just is one that indicates  a pen or pasture in which a flock is looked after. Not only does it tell us that the wicked live in a permanent house the indication is that he will also die with it. But rather those who know they live in a temporary pasture or pen can indeed look for better things to come. Remember my friends we are only staying in the world with ‘no fixed address’ as such. We know that with Christ’s soon return it will be up anchors for us. I think this difference in meanings here is quite significant.

God laughs at those who have ago at him and his ways. He knows as we do he will certainly have the last laugh. Humans are as grass that withers and as each generation passes the world fills up with more dead than living. God knows who wins this battle and this is our invitation, is it not?

We shall in the final verse, verse 35 possess a permanent glory. Of course it won’t be ours as such but it will be part of God’s glory. And this is the point of ‘Yahweh’ is it not. He who will be manifest. And we shall be.  We shall become part of his Glory and dwell with him in the last place on earth we will ever need and will ever be. God’s glorious Kingdom set up by his Son. Set up 2 thousand years ago with his life long sacrifice that ended with a bang. And boy we’ve been feeling the aftershocks ever since.

We pause now don’t we to remember how we got the chance we did. How that Wisdom is God as God is Love. And by this Wisdom and Love, he created the whole earth so he could provide his willing Son to reveal his Godly Character.

Let us love our Heavenly Father all the more for this. Let us know her that we may know him. Let us know Wisdom to know Yahweh.

For we live in him and therefore he lives in us.