Proverbs 3: Do Not Forget
August 3, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This chapter begins with an exhortation to not forget the teaching of God’s Word. They will “bring you peace and prosperity” (3:1). The question that immediately follows that proposition is naturally, “Why should I not forget?” or “What particular benefit does holding onto God’s Word give?”
And so, the rest of the chapter describes such benefits in more detail, as they attach to teachings found in this part of God’s Word. [Note: all these propositions and results are in the context of “how things work in general terms most of the time.” There are exceptions to these rules because we live in a fallen world where there is sickness and suffering.]
(Verses 3-4) First of all, “let love and faithfulness never leave you.” There is a balance to both love and faithfulness being urged. Why is this important? With these two you will have favor in the eyes of God and people. Love without faithfulness can descend to mere sentimentality; faithfulness without love can become mere stoic determination. Together, they are a magnetic force for good.
(Verses 5-8) Second, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” To this positive is added a negative: “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” What is being urged here is a posture of going with what God says, even when what he says seems to run counter to what you think or what you want. What will this do? “This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Strange as it may seem, there is actually a connection between healthy spirituality and healthy physicality.
(Verses 9-10) Third, “Honor the Lord with all your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” This is calling us to generosity towards God and his kingdom. The result? “Then your barns will be filled to overflowing.” Most of the time, though not all of the time, a generous person finds that God gives them more out of which they can be yet more generous. If you are struggling with your finances, start by tithing.
(Verses 11-12) Fourth, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline.” This is urging us to accept it when God disciplines us for sin. We all sin. We all will be and have been disciplined by God. When that happens, accept it as discipline from a loving heavenly Father.
(Verses 13-26) Then this chapter enters into a lengthy celebration of the benefits of listening to this kind of wisdom. Read these benefits. Let them urge you to take God’s Word to heart, trust it, and follow God diligently by the power of his Spirit.
(Verses 27-28) Fifth, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due.” This is urging us to do the good thing that is before as soon as we realize that we can and should do it.
(Verses 29-30) Sixth, “Do not plot harm against your neighbor.” This is urging us to love our neighbor by avoiding planning to do bad things to our neighbor.
(Verses 31-35) Seventh, “Do not envy the wicked or choose any of their ways.” Why? “The wise inherit honor but fools get only shame.”
With all these instructions and benefits in mind, therefore, listen attentively to and do not forget God’s Word!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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