As I worked my way through Proverbs 3, I tried to boil it down to a few lessons that I would want my son (and all of my children) to never, ever forget. I share those lessons with you now:
1. Never stop imitating the character of God.
- Two words used here—“lovingkindness”—an attribute of God used repeatedly in Psalm 136. It means covenant faithfulness, kindness, mercy, compassion. It is used in Prov. 16:6 to refer to that which atones for sin. I want my children to remember and to never forsake being merciful and kind to other people. I want them to imitate the character of God in this way. Notice how he says, “ let not mercy and truth forsake you”—that refers to mercy and truth leaving town—moving away—checking out. Never let those things check out. It is easy for them to check out!
- “truth”– here’s how I understand this—compassion for men, passion for the truth. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.
- Bind them and write them- that is, to adorn yourself with them. Put them around your neck, a figure of speech to speak of these things becoming part of your life. This is what will make your beautiful. Always be on the lookout for these things. Look at the mirror often!
2. Find your security in your confidence in the Lord—not in yourself.
- Trust- confidence—that which provides a sense of security and safety. Who? In the Lord. That is the place and person of our security. The One who is the Maker of the heavens and the earth, our shield, light, salvation, shepherd. Look at the Psalms. And it is a call for whole-hearted trust—notice. “all your heart” and later “all your ways”.
- We can easily forget and forsake this. How? I might want to find my security in those things that I can see, like myself. “lean on your own understanding”—trust in your own comprehension or discernment of things. A good picture of this can be found in 1 Kings 3:7-9. Look at Jeremiah 9:23-24.
- Prepare your heart to trust. How? Prov. 22:17-19.
- Acknowledge God- that is in every thing, all your ways—when it is easy and not so easy, good and bad, old and young, home and work, school and play. Learn about Him, intimately know Him. His character, attributes, abilities, what he loves and hates, His will, His heart, grow in your knowledge of Him. One commentator said, “it is not a mere theoretic acknowledgment that is meant, but earnest penetrating cognizance, engaging the whole man” (Keil, p. 63).
- The world says get to know and love yourself, god says get to know and love Him.
- Direct your paths: make them straight, take the obstacles out of the way—He will make your life pleasing to Him!
3. Don’t think that you know everything there is to know.
- Wise in your own eyes: Understand that true wisdom does not come from man but from God (2:6). Look at Rom. 12:16 where Paul references this same phrase. A call for holy submission to the sovereign God.
- Solomon, of all people, knows the perils of high-mindedness! We also know the dangers of this! “I know…!”
- Instead—fear the Lord and depart from evil.
- Is there some instance in your life right now that you are “wise in your own eyes”? Haven’t sought the Lord or submitted to the council of godly men?
- Why? Physical well-being, spiritual growth.
4. Honor the Lord with your possessions.
- Give priority to the Lord: Honor the Lord—give Him the proper place in terms of what you call your own. It is all His! How? Recognize Him, gratitude, thanksgiving, and give to Him.
- Giving is not to be viewed as an “investment” in God but rather as honoring Him.
- Firstfruits- first and best, look at Malachai 3:6-8.
- Of all!
- 1 Sam. 2:30- honor God and He will honor you!