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: Journey in Proverbs 3 – No Oppression

Proverbs 3:31-32

Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/pro.3.31-32.nlt.

This is a relevant word for today, as our culture is shaped and influenced by violence. It has even seeped into theology, because of scriptures taken out of context. But this passage makes it very clear that God does not condone (He despises) violent people, calling them wicked and detestable. The Bible also refers to violent people as oppressors and perverse. does mince words.

Why would anyone “envy” a violent person or copy their ways? Well, throughout history and. especially today, society rewards violent and oppressive regimes. They gain power by cruelty, deviance, unethical or conniving ways and use similar tactics to stay in power. That power is what many people envy, and they may be tempted to use similar tactics to gain / maintain power. This passage is a direct appeal to our hearts to not envy these people or to copy, mimic or follow any attributes or ways of oppressive violent people. When we embrace violence and violent oppressive tactics, we are not operating in wisdom or faith in God.

It is wonderful that the verse ends with God extending His friendship & deeper relationship with those who follow Him and His ways. That friendship is also called a confidently communion and sweet counsel. He invites us into closer counsel with Him as we walk in His precepts.

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 – Do it NOW

Proverbs 3:27-28

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.””
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If I could sum of this passage, it would be, if you have the power to give, help, or support someone, DO IT NOW! It commands us to not deny helping someone when we can, but also don’t delay to help someone when you can do it today.

It is clearly the heart of God and a key attribute of wisdom to be responsive to needs of others. Earlier in this chapter, it talks about honoring God with our wealth and increase. He gives to us so we can give to others – WITHOUT DELAY.

All of the preceding verses focus on how wisdom benefits us, and now it shifts to how we should benefit others. Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, common sense and discernment should especially govern how we interact with other people. “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT scriptural. “Pull yourself us by your own bootstraps” is not scriptural – especially when folks don’t even have boots. We serve a generous God, who lavishly pours out His blessings on us, and with an open hand we are to release those blessings to others.

May God’s wisdom propel us to be urgently responsive to the needs of others, especially our neighbors , family and those in close proximity to us. Lord, remove the barriers of selfishness, lack, judgement, so that we truly came be conduits + vessels of grace, blessing to a world that desperately needs You.

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 : Incomparable

Proverbs 3:14-15

Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Proverbs 3:14-15 NLT

Nothing Compares to Wisdom

These verses are often paired with the previous verse which declares the joy that accompanies wisdom and understanding. The benefits of wisdom are beyond any tangible thing of value: more profitable than silver, more wages than gold, and is more precious, valuable than rare jewels.

It is interesting that Solomon uses business or trade terminology in this passage to compare the value of wisdom i.e. profit, wages and other versions of the Bible use additional terms like merchandise, gain, and proceeds. “Trading” in wisdom yields far more consistent profitable return on investment than precious metals or jewels. Solomon is directly appealing to man’s desire and conquest in search of wealth and power. He emphatically says nothing we desire can compare with wisdom.

Solomon knew what he is talking about as one of the wisest and richest men/ rulers at that time. He knew the value of Godly wisdom early on, when God told him he could have anything he wanted and Solomon requested if God wisdom to rule. God honored that wish so much that He gave Solomon everything else also- riches, favor, prestige. Wisdom never disappoints and nothing we desire can compare.

As Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”. God wants to blow our minds and take the limited off!

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: A Journey in Proverbs 3 – Honor & Wealth

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” Prov. 3:9-10 NLT

Ever since Jesus told the rich young ruler to SELL everything and give it away, people’s first reaction to this verse is to clutch their wallets tighter. That instruction was just for the rich young ruler and God was identifying where his heart really was. Where your treasure is your heart is also, which tells us that how we behave around finances really shows us the state of our hearts. Ouch!

What does it mean to Honor the Lord with your wealth?

It first means realizing that God gave you the wealth in the first place. In fact, the Lord specifically tells us to remember that fact in Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” We thank God for His continuous provision in our lives and for empowering us to accumulate not only what we need but to help others.

Secondly, we honor God by seeking His guidance in how we should manage that wealth. The latter part of that verse is even more specific, that we should honor God not only with wealth but also with the BEST part of everything we produce. He is talking both accumulated wealth and the continuous income or increase that we receive. God modeled that for us in giving us the precious thing He had, His son Jesus.

When we do this we are showing God and reinforcing in our hearts that we trust Him as directed earlier in Prov. 3:5. God is the ultimate financial advisor. When we give Him the reigns of our wealth, He shows us where to give to have the highest impact. We are conduits of God’s Grace, resources, power and love to others.

THEN, watch this, God will fill our BARNS with grain and our VATS will overflow with good wine. We often see the verse or phrase, “Fill my CUP Lord” or in Psalms 23, “ my cup running over”, but as we honor God with our wealth and increase, this stewardship multiplies it in greater measure. That cup is transformed into very large containers He fills with grain with sustaining power for years and very large tanks overflowing of good quality, valuable wine. Good stewardship brings increase.

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