September 3, 2009

Proverbs 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,

How many times do I forget my Father's teaching? Over and over!

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

This reminded me of Deuteronomy 6:4-8.

4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

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 will make your paths straight.

These verses are so famous. Like John 3:16, I can quote them in a heartbeat, and yet I don't really think I can claim them as my "life" verses. ALL my heart? Lean NOT? ALL ways acknowledge him? No wonder my paths seem crooked sometimes!

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

This is such a good reminder in reading the Proverbs that seems to differentiate between the wise and foolish so clearly. It's not my place to decide I'm wise, but instead observe what defines a wise person and see how my life matches up. (It's been humbling.)

8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;

10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,

12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

Sometimes the Lord's discipline comes through a human that we don't respect, and I think it can cause me to resent quite easily. I need to remember the Lord's rebuke can come from anywhere.

13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,

I feel a little hopeful that this man "finds" and "gains".

14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.

16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;

20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

Verses 19-20 are cool. It shows why God's creation makes scientific sense.

21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;

22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;

24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Right now I am reading Fearless by Max Lucado. Each chapter deals with a different fear. I love that this proverb shows us a way to fall asleep at night...preserve sound judgment and discernment. Those are broad, and we may have to find what that means to each of us. Maybe not watching the nightly news? Maybe not spending $100 at Target because we'll worry about money later? Who knows, but one directly affects the other.

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.

28 Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
when you now have it with you.

This is so good to hear. I must show love to my neighbors.

29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.

30 Do not accuse a man for no reason—
when he has done you no harm.

31 Do not envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways,

32 for the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.

33 The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.

34 He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.

35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools he holds up to shame.

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