Today we’re reading Proverbs 3:21-35.
So far our study of Proverbs has not given us many proverbial sayings. Instead, we have a series of commands to seek after wisdom: 1:8-33, 2:1-22, 3:1-10, 3:11-20 and today’s passage, 3:21-35. This is because Solomon saw the benefits of wisdom to all of life. Wisdom:
- gives life (22a)
- makes you look good (22b)
- keeps you safe (v. 23)
- makes you feel secure and at rest (vv. 24-25).
The reason for these benefits is stated in verse 26: “for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.” Solomon wanted his son to be wise because he saw all the benefits to a person’s life that came from wisdom. Remember that wisdom is not a series of useful clichés or deep, profound sayings. Wisdom, according to Solomon is fearing God and living like you do by keeping his commands. The person who seeks God and obeys his word gets everything on that list above, according to Solomon.
In verses 27-35, Solomon described a couple of the ways that wise people live by God’s commands. The first is that the wise should be ready to help and show generosity to those around them (vv. 27-29) and should never plan or do them any harm (vv. 29-30). Furthermore, we should not admire the toughness of the violent man (v. 31) because God is looking for righteous people (v. 32). When a person seeks to live an unrighteous life, God’s justice and his curse is upon him (vv. 32-33a). On the flip side, when a person tries to live a righteous life according to God’s standards of righteousness, God blesses (v. 33) shows favor (v. 34b), and inherits honor.
So think back over your life for the past seven days. Have you tried to take advantage of anyone or have you tried to treat them righteously with all fairness? God’s word states that blessings follow those who live wisely--again, according to God’s standard. So let’s consider our lives. Where are we living a straightforward life that serves others instead of taking advantage of them, God’s blessing and favor is on us. Conversely, when we live unrighteously in our lives, we expose ourselves to God’s disciplining justice. So let’s put on wisdom by learning what God has commanded, thinking about its implication for today, and then let’s seek to live this way for the glory of God and to inherit the promises he made here.