Proverbs sometimes delivers its advice in pocket size chunks, rather than full arguments and long reasoning.

In the first part of chapter three we have different pieces of wisdom lined up for us to dwell on and explore.

1 My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; 2 for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.”
Starting off we have a command to obey the writer’s law, and a promise for long life and peace if we do so. God’s law may be impossible to keep completely, but if we attempt to keep it, the writer says we will be blessed by God anyway. It is that good. Mind you, don’t rely on it for your salvation. Trust Jesus for that.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 and so find favour and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
The symbolism here of hanging mercy and truth on one’s neck and carving them onto one’s heart highlights the importance of these qualities. We need to value showing mercy and telling the truth, because they are attributes of God. It stands to reason that we will find favour in His sight, not to mention other people, if we do so.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
An easy few verses to say, but to them into practice is hard. God’s understanding far outweighs ours, so it makes sense to rely on Him in difficult situations. God is in charge of all our situations so it flows that He will set our way clear if we trust Him.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 it will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”
A real challenge for me is to not be wise in my own eyes! It’s too easy to try to slog through the pit of life on our own terms, rather than acknowledging and fearing God, and with His help, departing from our sins. Ultimately it is better for us to do the latter, so why do we resist so often?


9 Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
All of our possessions belong to God. He made the whole world and lends it out to us to use and prosper in it. Giving back to God is an idea that has continued throughout history and is a practice nowadays. It makes sense to do so and God promises to bless us all the more when we do so.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; 12 for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Often the hardest thing to accept is discipline, even from the God whom we know is loving and good. Know that it is meant for your eternal good, even when it’s not for your current good. Is it strange for you that the God of the heavens and the earth as a loving God (whom we can call Father because of Christ) who cares about our actions and corrects us when we sin? Believe it. Amen

Things to ponder: God is all throughout the Proverbs. Is there a link between seeking wisdom and seeking God?

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