Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – the Conclusion

Proverbs 3:33-35

“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. The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!” Proverbs 3:33-35 NLT

As we close out the final verses of Proverbs 3, we see that unlike the previous verses there is no command,or exhortation, but a listing of stark consequences to those who honor God and His precepts and those who choose unrighteousness. These are spiritual realities that are also mentioned previously in Proverbs and most notably in Deuteronomy 30, so that we understand that there are consequences to the decisions and choices we make. As Deut.30:19 says so poignantly, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

The Lord not only detests the wicked, but He curses the entire household of the wicked included their dealings and concerns. People who willfully harm are far from the heart of God and bring misfortune not only on themselves but their families. However, God blesses the home, the habitation, of the upright, those who follow Him. This chapter already highlights the benefits of God’s principles and He brings those temporal (physical) and spiritual blessings to the entire households of the upright.

Likewise, those who mock and pridefully scorn God’s precepts and others, bring down the Lord’s scorn on themselves. But again, we see that God extends His abundant grace and favor to those who are humble, who yield to His counsel and serve others. Humility also means that we learn to trust God and seek His help when challenges or uncertainty arise. God extends his grace and blessing to those who trust Him.

The final verse of Proverbs 3 closes with the honor ( and glory) that comes when we operate and align our lives with wisdom and God’s principles. Solomon leaves his audience with the lasting inheritance of favor that wisdom brings that has generational impact. But the foolish, or “self-confident fools” receive a legacy of shame. Because they ridicule or ignore what is right and just, they bring about dishonor and contempt.

Lord, help us to trust in You alone, and help us to embrace all wisdom to learn, act and walk in Your principles, precepts that lead to life, abundance, grace and blessing not only for ourselves, but for our families, neighbors and our communities. Our desire is to honor and please you with our lives always.

Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3- It’s a Heart Thing

Proverbs 3:29-30

“Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:29-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this passage Solomon is going deeper to say that not only do our actions matter ( previous verses) but our motives matter! Heb 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Wisdom prunes and molds our character so we can be transformed in Gods image.

Sometimes we do things for others yet secretly hold resentment against them. Don’t allow thoughts of ill will or revenge get in your heart, especially those closer to you. The scripture uses the word neighbor, because it’s those people that are in our nearby community- it could be our families, friends, classmates, and colleagues at work. These people in our lives trust us, and we shouldn’t betray that trust! Jesus defined neighbor even further in the Good Samaritan parable, saying our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path in need. Our motives toward our neighbor should always be to bless, love, and support.

Additionally, even though we get frustrated sometimes, we shouldn’t take that out on others. My mother used to say, “hurt or unhappy people, hurt other people.” At no time should we instigate a fight with anyone who has not harmed us. Proverbs 16:32 says “He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.

Situations come to test us, and how we respond shows us what is in our hearts. Jer. 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. It causes us, many times through rash emotions, so do many things we later regret. That is why we must meditate on the Word of God to let it penetrate to the core of who we are and let it transform us from the inside out. David prayed in Ps 139 “Search me,God, know my heart: try me, know my thoughts: see if there be any wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting.”

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: Don’t Lose Sight

Proverbs 3:21-26

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.

They keep you safe on your way-

and your feet will not stumble.

You can go to bed without fear;

you will lie down and sleep soundly.

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.” Proverbs 3:21-26 NLT

When I read this passage a few weeks ago, it was like I had seen it for the first time and I wrote it down in my notes exactly like I did above. It was like reading the back of a medicine box of all cures and symptom relief that comes from taking the medicine. Wisdom relieves/ treats anxiety, stabilizes your footing, promotes good sleep, and utmost wellbeing in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Having just described the invaluable, incomparable and foundational attributes of wisdom, understanding & knowledge in previous verses, Solomon exhorts us to keep them in our sight, very close around our necks as we would anything of precious value. They are an adornment in that they beautify and enhance also.

There has been so much fear mongering in the culture these days that have caused so much fear and unease across the world. But Common sense and discernment have keeping power, like a preservative, life jacket/ or life line that rock climbers use. They keep you safe and keep your you from tripping over things life may bring in your path.

Being rooted in God’s safety brings sweet rest – the ability to not only to get to sleep, but to stay asleep soundly. There is no need to be on edge, because we are established in God’s principles, rather than focusing on circumstances. Likewise, WHEN ( not if) challenging times come suddenly or the wicked do terrible things, we don’t have to fear at all because, the Lord is our security and He will keep us ( our foot) from being ensnared or stumbling. I’m also reminded of Ps 91:12, when God sends His angles to hold us up, so our foot will not “get dashed” on a stone.

Biblical references to feet often signify whether life choices were made with sound contemplation and discernment. People walked everywhere, so it was the primary means of transportation. Terrain and pathways were very important and God often references His Word and His wisdom of not only illuminating the right path, but also providing a stable foundation on sometimes rocky terrain.

Lord, thank you for your divine protection, security and direction as we go about our days. Help us to always keep your principles “front and center” so that we can walk daily in calm, confident assurance an trust in You.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: The Creative Force

Proverbs 3:19-20

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This passage really provoked me as it clearly illustrates the preeminence of Wisdom, which the Lord himself used to lay the foundations of the earth. Prior to these verses, Solomon compares wisdom to man’s earthly values (riches etc), but here, wisdom is presented as God’s divine creative instrument to establish the world. Additionally, by the Lord’s Understanding and His knowledge, God hones, shapes and molds the heavens and the waters ( below and above).

Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are creative elements we can use to speak life, give form and resources to whatever is needed. This passage infers both Genesis when God created the earth and John 1:1 when Jesus is the Word of God made flesh from the beginning. These attributes are part of who God is and this same wisdom that provides direction, brings wealth etc, is also the same that created the universe. As we walk in wisdom, we become one with God’s creation, and have access to the creative dynamic power of God and His divine design. Meditate on this awesome principle!

wisdom #understanding #knowledge #creative #foundation

Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3: Oh, what JOY

Proverbs 3:13

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s all about Joy this beautiful Monday morning. I’m focused on just this one verse because JOY is the byproduct of wisdom. Joyful meaning FULL of JOY- Completely filled with well-being and happiness.

It comes when we:
1 – Find Wisdom
2 – Gain Understanding

Most of the time we have to look for something in order to find something. Very rarely does something just fall in our laps, but to find anything, even wisdom, we have to look or ask for it.


When we are looking/seeking, God wants our wholehearted attention as mentioned earlier in Proverbs. We must seek Him and His wisdom with our whole hearts. ( Jer. 29:13) When we ask Him for wisdom, James 1:5-6 says we are to ask boldly in faith, nothing wavering, and He will generously give it to us.

We gain understanding as we get and apply God’s wisdom. Proverbs 2:1-3 tells us to apply our hearts, concentrate on understanding, cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Finding wisdom and gaining understanding is not passive, but takes intentional, consistent effort. But in acquiring wisdom and understanding, we experience deep abiding joy that makes everything worthwhile. Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit and it is something that God desires us to always have in abundance!

When we have joy, we also have strength! The Joy of the Lord is our strength! When we have joy, we don’t mind working hard and it helps us endure seeming impossible tasks. The Bible tells us that Jesus endured the cross when He thought about the Joy of reconciling us back to Him. God wants us to have abundant unspeakable joy!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Wisdom Fruit- Journey in Proverbs 3: Discipline

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV

Many of us have heard our parents say this hurts me more than it hurts you when we have been grounded or disciplined or I’m doing this for your own good. I didn’t always believe it back then, but as a parent I know how true it is.

One again, this passage begins with an endearing salutation “My child, or my son”a very personal relational call from a beloved parent or mentor that reveals Gods heart toward us even when discipline comes. This underscores the importance of cultivating that personal intimate relationship with God.

It continues to tell us to not despise or reject the Lord’s “chastening” or correction by punishment/ discipline AND don’t get upset, impatient or hate when God corrects you. That is hard and nobody likes it! I remember having to keep my hand out when that ruler came down on my hand. It was hard not to pull away, because it hurt! Who signs up for that anyway. But it was an effective deterrent.

God then explicitly reinforces His love for us through His discipline as a Father who corrects his child who he delights in. Because God is so committed to our wellbeing, He will put roadblocks, allow us to fail, and deter us from detrimental decisions, habits that hinder or distract from our purpose. Our true close friends do the same, “faithful are the wounds of friend” – they will risk your anger, and tell you when you are going off course. Indifference means that there is no personal investment of time or value.

When these uncomfortable times of discipline come, view from the lens of Gods love.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: Healing & Strength

Proverbs 3:7-8

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

This made me chuckle a bit, because it seems to say, don’t get the Big Head, thinking you’re all that. We often hear “ Hype yourself!” But I think every now and then we get carried away. It’s okay to feel pride in accomplishment, but sometimes we believe that we did it on our own. We may fall into self-reliance or conceit, thinking we don’t need God. One commentary (Barnes) noted “The great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it.” Staying humble keeps us teachable .

I.N.S.T.E.A.D

We are to Fear the Lord, with reverent awe and obedience. When we turn and see God in His omnipotence and greatness, we can’t help but feel how small we are. We can then turn away( and stay away) from evil.

The benefits of this is Healing! Can you imagine that when we resist self reliance, fear and worship our awesome God, we will have physical healing for our bodies and strength! Our own reservoir of strength can get quickly depleted when we do things on our own or in our own strength. When I’m feeling tired and worn down, I always know that I have not giving something over to God or tried to fix something with my own intellect. But God wants us to turn to Him and his unlimited regenerative power and strength will sustain us.

What a great promise from God!

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3- Trust & Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Prov 3:5-6 NLT

This scripture was my mother’s favorite verses and whenever I read it, I hear it in her voice and it centers me- a soothing balm to my soul.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust is built on interaction & relationship -It is not transactional. Spending time with God in prayer, reading / studying the Word, and fellowship all help us to know Him and built trust in Him. The amplified Bible says it this way, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord” He is Our Father!

But the verse continues with ALL your heart. That’s ALL, withholding nothing. God seems to know our tendency to be distracted or unfocused, to not commit fully. But He wants our full attention. David prayed in Ps 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Unite my heart, make it whole so that I can wholly honor Your name, I God.

Then it says, do not rely, depend, lean on or trust in your own insight or understanding. We must heartily resist that independent streak to do things in our own strength, or through our own filter or perspective. It’s one of those instructions that say “Do this AND STOP doing that.” God wants to liberate us from our limited understanding to focus on His limitless opportunities.

Seek His will in ALL you do – again that means everything- especially those things that you really don’t want input on. lol. And He WILL show the path to take. This is a promise from God! As we seek His wisdom in the affairs of life, He will show us what to do, and where to go. Isaiah 30:21 makes it more explicit “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”

Help us, O Lord, to trust You with our full attention and heart and not trust in our limited understanding. Help us to seek us in everything we do, knowing that You will direct, lead, guide us and show us what to do.

Wisdom Fruit: Daily Journey in Proverbs 3: Keep it Close

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” Proverbs 3:3 KJV

God’s word is constantly reminding us to Remember! He knows our tendency to forget things quickly. Prov 3:3 tells us NEVER let loyalty (truth) and kindness ( mercy/faithfulness) leave you. These attributes are so important to God because they are integral parts of His character.

Truth/ Loyalty

There is no hypocrisy, deceit or falsehood in God, and we must earnestly cultivate loyalty, allegiance, truth, faithfulness in our lives. Truth is so fundamental- essential that Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 ““I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Another scripture says, it is impossible for God to lie. This steadfastness and strong ethical compass is what Soloman is exhorting in this passage, to “stay true” and remain faithful to God’s principles.

Mercy/ Kindness

God is a merciful and kind, and prioritizes those attributes in our lives. As my Pastor so frequently taught recently, when Moses asked God to show His glory, God said “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will have mercy .”” Exodus 33:19 God’s mercy is His glory. As He is, so shall we be.

Solomon then exhorts to tie them ( truth/loyalty and kindness/mercy) around your neck” and write them deep in your heart as a reminder. This is not an alarm clock reminder, but kept in close proximity so that you never forget. It’s s hard to ignore something tied around your neck, or placed deep in your heart.

This exhortation to remember or “never forget“ by any means necessary echoes Moses’ exhortation to the people just after the 10 commandment were given to commit themselves to learning and obeying the commandments. He says in Deut. 6:6-7, commit them to your hearts, teach them to your children, talk about them at home and on the road, in the morning and bedtime. Tie them to your hands and put on your forehead as a reminder. This sounds extreme and it is!

These attributes of loyalty and kindness are the basis of strong relationships. We should earnestly pray to remember and practice these things that are so very close to the heart of God and His very nature: Prov 3:4 says THEN we will find favor with both God and people, and earn a good reputation. The benefit and fruit of favor and reputation are just the icing on the cake.

Dear Lord,

Help us to do whatever it takes to keep loyalty and kindness deep in our hearts and bind to our necks so that all that we do and say are guided by these divinely inspired characteristics. Have Your way in our lives, in Jesus name.

#wisdom #truth #loyalty #mercy #kindness

Wisdom Fruit: A Daily Journey in Proverbs 3- Never Forget

Proverbs 3:1-2

Good morning June!
Wisdom Fruit : Daily Journey in the rich verses of Proverbs 3

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.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been studying Proverbs 3 for a few weeks now, and God led me to pray this chapter for the month of June. I felt led to share this journey with all of you with a daily exhortation from the chapter.

It’s Personal: The first verse in this chapter starts off with a personal salutation, “my son” or “my child” which means a close relationship from a father or beloved teacher. This is more of an exhortation and impartation… so lean in closer.

Never Forget my teachings,the things I have taught you. This is an urgent, deliberate, very important admonishment which commands our attention to go back and study the instructions he has given.

The verse instructs further- Keep ( store) them in your heart. Remember when we used to say we “know by heart” certain things like the pledge of allegiance, lyrics or other information we which we committed to memory. We rehearsed and repeated it over and over til we could recall it on demand without referring to the source document.

This is what Soloman is saying: Commit to my teachings on wisdom hidden in your hearts and you will enjoy the fruit of:
1- A long life: we will live many years
2- A satisfying and prosperous life

What is the benefit of a long life if it is not satisfying or fulfilling. God’s principles help us make wise decisions that help us enjoy and prolong our lives.

It’s also helps us resist sin as noted in Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in that I might not sin against thee.

Remember:
• It’s Personal
• Never Forget Gods principles
• Store in Your Heart
• Long and satisfying Life