Life is full of challenges and in the midst of those challenges it is very easy to lose hope, but one of the many lessons that Proverbs 3 taught Unity and I, is to make God our reality in the midst of life’s realities. Yesterday, I referred to King Solomon as the wisest man that lived in days, even though that is true , there is another that is truer, Solomon’s wisdom transcends times and seasons. In other words, it is timeless. Below are musings from our meditation on Proverbs 3. Do not forget to like, comment and share. Enjoy 😀
Verse 1&2: My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
Musing: The only way not to forget the teaching of the Lord is to intentionally work on our heart to receive & retain the word. Wrapped inside the Word is: length of days, long life & peace. Why add length of days & long life one may ask, since it is supposed to mean the same thing. It is the very reason Jesus said, Life& life in abundance (Jn. 10:10). Not just long life but full life. This is His plan for our lives
Verse 3: Never let mercy and truth leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
Musing: Mercy & truth, just like God’s Word are slippery virtues (Heb. 2:1), so it is not much of a case of you forsaking them as it is a case of them forsaking you. So, we will all need to guard our hearts enough, bind them on our necks and write them on the tables of our heart so that we will be observant enough to do according to all that He tells us to do
Verse 4: Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Musing: If we commit to doing this, we will find favour with God & man just like Jesus from Luke 2:52.
Verse 5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Musing: Does this scripture read: ‘trust in the Lord with some of your heart and trust in what you understand with the remaining part’? No. He said, we must trust in God with all of our hearts and refuse to rely on our ‘head’ to help us navigate through life. Often times, there will be a lot of uncertainties & anxieties in our journey through life and that is the very reason for faith. What you understand is logic & what God understands is faith and it is very easy to want to conform only to what we can understand but that cannot manage the complexities of life because for every situation, the unseen is usually a greater & controlling part of the seen.
The thing again is, a lot of times, God will not make sense and it will take a level of stupidity to walk with Him. For example at the marriage of Cana, the wine finished and Jesus made a laughable statement, ‘pour water into the vase & draw wine out with a cup’ (Jn. 2:8). That makes no sense to the natural mind but we only need to trust enough as to do whatever He tells us to do. Often times people ‘rely’ on the verifiable facts that they ‘stand on’ to make projections on life now and what is to come. But God is saying no. Just trust me — forget about your history, experiences and know-how and do so with your whole heart and not some part of it. If you do this, the words from your mouth will change, faith will replace fear & anxiety, your total world outlook will change. No matter what may be going on and how things may seem to end by default, God is always able to make all things beautiful. He is the all-powerful God
Verse 6: Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Musing: I can as well say in all departments of your life, acknowledge Him and He shall direct& guide your daily paths to succeed. To acknowledge God is to do everything as to God and not to man (Col. 3:23). It is to reverence Him as the one who has the final say. God is not a gate-crasher and He will not force himself into where He is not welcomed, if He knocks and the door is opened, He comes in, otherwise, He stays out (Rev. 3:20). If you invite Him as not just saviour of your soul but also your health, He will be your personal physician…if you partner with Him as big brother in heaven, He will bless your finances and make you prosper.
With God, we can succeed on all fronts – home front, business, community relations, ministry walk…all areas. He just needs to be acknowledged as Lord in all of these areas. You know, for many, they have accepted Jesus as their saviour and not as their Lord. They accept Jesus’ Lordship over their soul but not their resources of time, money and talent. This ought not to be. If we will see God’s hand in everything, we must put everything in God’s hand. It’s that simple
Verse 7: Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Musing: To be wise by your own calculation is to be religious — this is the most lay way to explain this.
For example, you want to give your tithe and you say, I have to give on my net and not my gross as I had spent on other things and you then start to calculate to the last cent and in your mind you assume you are wise or you switch your tithe to give to beggars by saying, ‘after all it is the same thing’. Such light is great darkness (Mt. 6:23). Tithe is on every increase on you that ‘comes in’/income. You cannot outsmart God as both you and your calculator were all created by God. Just fear the Lord & run away from evil.
You know the thing about self-deceit is, those who advance the ‘rightness’ of their opinion are always sincere and confident even when they are wrong. No one has ever being wrong that didn’t think he was right from the onset. If he knew he was wrong, he would have dropped his position a long time– so he advances it sincerely& confidently in error. That is why we are called to be meek and give some place to the ‘plenty’ that we don’t know — it is wisdom. Only God is all-wise and we need to fear & acknowledge Him when He instructs us.
Some people want to do evil under the cover of darkness, but the thing is that man may not see you but God will certainly see you. Darkness is as daylight to Him (Ps. 139:12).
Verse 8: Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Musing: As we honour him in awe and steer off evil under any guise and by the standards of the Word alone, not just our opinions on any concerned subject matter, He will cause our health to spring forth gracefully all around us.
Verse 9: Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Musing: Part of our acknowledgment of His lordship is to honour Him in our finances also. David said, I shall not give to the Lord that which cost me nothing (2 Sam. 24:24). Wise man. Solomon gave 1,000 burnt offerings and God came down for His sake (2 Chro. 1:6). Substance is different from remnants.
On the flip side, we see Cain giving remnants and His life didn’t end well (Gen. 4:5). He dishonoured God like God was a hungry beggar. The thing is, God has no needs and even if He does, He will not need the wretched pocket of man to meet that need (Ps. 50:12). All our giving in honour of Him is for our own lifting also (1 Sam. 2:30). We must give him the crown of everything we own. Honour Him as Lord in our substance (offerings) & first-fruits (tithe) on all the increase we enjoy which is not limited to salaries/wages alone.
God is not asking us for a grievous demand (1 John 5:3), there is nothing He is demanding of us that He hasn’t also giving us. Jesus was the only Son of His loins, His choice asset and yet He gave Him to us in expectation of nothing other than our souls.
Verse 10: Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
The results of giving is mind blowing because nobody beats God in giving. Whatever we give to Him must return to us in a good measure, pressed-down, shaking together& running-over. As we give in return, He will fill our store houses (bank-accounts) with plenty open up multiple streams of income for us (new wine). All we need is the faith to let go of what is in our hands to share in the much that is in His hands.
Verses 11&12: 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.[b]
God admonishes that we do not despise His disciplining of us neither should we get tired of His correction. For it is the one who a father loves that He corrects, otherwise, He leaves him or her to self-destruct. (Vs 12). Once the Lord gives you over, destruction lurks at the corner and at that point grace an mercy no longer covers such a person (Rom 1:28). Those guys did not deem it fit to acknowledge God and His guidance and God gave them over to a depraved mind to do the things that should not be done — He as it were, shut down their consciences.
What does it mean to despise the chastening of the Lord?
* He speaks and corrects you by His Word and you take it with a pinch of salt. You refuse to take it to heart and think there is grace available to cover our future errors (Rom. 6:1).
Verse 13: Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
Musing: The choice of words here are quite instructive: you FIND wisdom and GET understanding. And the thing is, you only find what you search for & diligently so (Luke 15:8-10). Wisdom is like Gold — not for free or to be seen on the surface of the ground but to be intentionally searched for. Understanding is obtained as we study and drink from the well of knowledge. It is never one-off but comes via a formative process. So we must stay on His Word to draw these value.
Verse 14-16: For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
Musing: Wisdom & understanding in the life of any man is not like some object of decoration but an asset of great profiting. It is more important than silver and the profits from trading it, is much more than gold.
It answers to every department of life including the things money cannot do. One can use wisdom & understanding to trade for money but you cannot use money to procure wisdom. It is superior. Vs 15 says wisdom is more precious than precious metals and nothing in human valuation can come close to its value. From verse 16 we see that long life is in her right hand & riches and honour on her left hand. The riches that comes with wisdom is the blessings of God that adds no sorrow to it but comes with honour that money cannot buy (Prov. 22:1).
Verse 17: She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
Musing: There are many ways in the life of a man but as Prov. 14:12, says, their end are the ways of death. But not wisdom ways. Wisdom ways are those heavenly inspired options that only leads to pleasantness & profiting (Isa. 48:17). These ways are identified by peaceFULNESS — from start to end!
Verse 18: Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
Musing: Wisdom is likened to a tree of life, most likely, the palm-tree type that is full of different products from season to season. Everything we need is locked up in it. It is one thing to have it and another to refuse to allow it slip off (Josh 1:8). Wisdom blesses her host greatly.
Verses 19&20: By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
Musing: The Lord made the earth by wisdom & the heavens by understanding and manages all the elemental interactions of the earth by knowledge — same that we need as the children of God to exercise dominion over every of God’s creation. Knowledge fills every house including that of the earth with goodly & pleasurable treasures (Prov. 24:3)…it is about the science of the earth. As believers if we will be relevant in the on-going scheme of things, we will need to be knowledge workers. It is knowledge that gets the earth going, that’s why the richest nations on the earth like the US are mainly knowledge creators — the one who creates new knowledge that impacts on life & living attracts all the value.
Verses 21&22: My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.
Musing: Wisdom, Knowledge & understanding are invaluable treasures that must be kept at eye’s length @ all times. Vs 22: As long as they remain within reach, they will be life to your soul & grace to your neck.
Verses 23&24: They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.24 You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
Musing: With the grace wisdom adorns us with, we will walk safely & not stumble. Vs 24: by virtue of the ornament of grace around our neck, we will lie down and have sweet sleep…devoid of fear of any kind for He gives His dearly loved sleep (Ps. 127:2), sometimes even in the presence of our enemies.
Verses 25&26: You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Musing: In the face of disasters & the coming destruction on the wicked which is sure, we must resist the temptation to be afraid. God must be our confidence in those and the times are here as a matter of fact. We must be like mount Zion that cannot be moved but abides for ever (Ps. 125:1). What will come will come and it must not be a surprise to us. He will surely keep our foot from giving off the ground to fear (Vs 26).
Verses 27&28: Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. 28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
Musing: Vs 27 & 28: Wisdom says we should not hold back good from people who need it even for a day. People means people, all people…not only those of our faith, even though a preference will be given to the latter (Gal. 6:10). We can’t claim to love God and hate people and in fact, the universe will only work as planned if only we show love to the ‘God that we see’ the same measure of that which we claim we have for the God that we don’t see (I Jn 4:20).
We must be like God who gives to all men liberally and finds no faults (James 1:5). Give now because if you do not, God will get someone else to. Say no to belatedness.
Verse 29: Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
Musing: Those who trust you, expect that you will have their best interest at heart, do not disappoint them because it will destroy your reputation.
Verse 30: Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.
Musing: As we move further in life we must learn to pick our battles wisely. A fight that does not threaten your life and sanity is not worth fighting for. Many have been slowed down in their race in life because they stop to throw stones at the barking dogs. Apply wisdom.
Verses 31&32: Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways.Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
Musing: We must refuse to envy the wicked no matter their status in society. God says in Luke 16:15 that what man may esteem highly is as an abomination before God. A sinner has no value before God, other than His soul. Vs 32: Like Job, He releases His secrets to the bosom of those who fear Him (Job 29:4).
Verses 33&34: The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.The Lord mocks the mockers, but is gracious to the humble.[c]
The wicked does not only draw the wrath of God on His life but also to his household, same way the blessings of God is drawn to the household of the righteous. Vs 34: For the scorners, He will make them objects of ridicule.
Verse 35: The wise inherit honor,but fools are put to shame!
Musing: For the wise, Glory shall be His reward and for fools, shame will always introduce their appearances. May this not be our portion!