Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 3

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-35

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 continues to

My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: For length of days, long life, peace, shall they add to thee ( Proverbs 3:1-2 ).

Now these are the three. And we get now into some couplets here. He gives sort of a word, and then he tells you what the result of it will be. And to keep the commandment in your heart, it will grant to you the length of days, long life, peace will they add to thee. Now the next little statement:

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about your neck; write them on the table of your heart ( Proverbs 3:3 ):

What? Mercy and truth.

So will you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man ( Proverbs 3:4 ).

So you see the results of writing the laws of mercy and truth upon your heart.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him ( Proverbs 3:5-6 ),

And the result will be:

he will direct your path ( Proverbs 3:6 ).

How can I know the will of God? A question so often asked. Three steps. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Two: lean not to your own understanding. Three: in all your ways acknowledge Him. The result? He shall direct your path.

Now the next word of exhortation:

Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, depart from evil ( Proverbs 3:7 ).

And the result:

It will be health to thy body, and marrow to thy bones ( Proverbs 3:8 ).

You'll be healthy. "Fear the LORD, depart from evil."

The next exhortation:

Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all of your increase ( Proverbs 3:9 ):

The result:

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses ( Proverbs 3:10 )

That would be the winepresses.

shall burst out with new wine ( Proverbs 3:10 ).

Now there is a basic law, and I'm not talking about the Ten Commandments or the law given by Moses, just a basic law of God as we speak of laws. We speak of laws of nature, or the law of magnetism, the law of gravity, the law of electricity, the various laws of nature. They're just there. We've studied them. We've been able to formulize them and understand them that they work. We don't always know why they work, but we know they work. We know that they are just basic laws of nature that they work. There's a cause and effect.

Now, in the same token there are basic spiritual laws that God has established that have a cause and effect kind of a thing just like any other law that is operating in our natural world around us. And there is a law of God concerning giving. And though we cannot understand exactly how it works, yet it does work. Now, I don't have to understand how electricity works to benefit from electricity. Even so, I don't have to understand how the laws of God work as far as giving to benefit from them.

Now here the law of God is stated, "Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the firstfruits of your increase." I believe that the firstfruits belong to God. The first thing that comes out of my salary or my wages were it ever, is earmarked for the Lord. If I've sold a piece of property, the increase, the firstfruits of it I give to God of the increase. Honoring God with your substance. Now this law is stated throughout the Bible many places and is illustrated in many places.

In Malachi, we read, "Will a man rob God? You say, 'Well, wherein have we robbed God?' And God said, 'In your tithes and in your offerings. Now prove Me and see if I will not pour out unto you a blessing which you cannot contain'" ( Malachi 3:8 , Malachi 3:10 ). God challenges you to test this law. Jesus said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; measured out, pressed down, running over, shall men give unto your bosom" ( Luke 6:38 ). Paul the apostle said that if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly; but if we sow bountifully, we're going to reap bountifully ( 2 Corinthians 9:6 ). "In whatever measure you mete, it's going to be measured to you again" ( Matthew 7:2 ), the law of God.

I cannot tell you how it works. All I can do is affirm for you that it does work. God honors that law of giving. And so here is Solomon exhorting his son, "Honor the Lord with your substance and with the firstfruit of all of your increase." What will the result be? "Your barns will be filled with plenty. Your presses shall burst out with new wine."

The next exhortation is:

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delights ( Proverbs 3:11-12 ).

In Hebrews this passage or this proverb is quoted. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord." Now in Hebrews, he adds, "For He chastens every son that He receives and if a person isn't chastened of the Lord" ( Hebrews 12:6 ). If you can get by with evil, then you better be very concerned. Because if you're a child of God, He's not going to let you get by with evil.

Now a lot of times if we venture into something that we know is wrong and we get caught, then we get real upset with God. "How come they can do it and they can get by with it? I do it and I get caught, you know. Not fair!" If you can do it and get by with it, then you're in a dangerous place. That's an indication you're not a true son of God. God only chastens his sons. So the chastening process of God in my life is always a very comforting process, because at least it proves that I'm His son. He's not going to let me get by with it. Thank You, Father. So, don't despise the chastening of the Lord; don't be weary with His correction. For whom the Lord loveth He corrects."

Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding: For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, the gain is better than gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all of the things that you can desire are not to be compared unto wisdom and understanding ( Proverbs 3:13-15 ).

Oh, that we would really gain wisdom and understanding of God, of God's will, of life.

Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, all of her paths are peace ( Proverbs 3:16-17 ).

Oh, the benefit of rich and the riches that come from wisdom and understanding.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retains her ( Proverbs 3:18 ).

So all of these things that we count as important: pleasantness, peace, life, happiness. These things all come to the person who has gained wisdom and understanding. Now as he extols wisdom and tells of its effects and results.

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace unto thy neck. Then shall you walk in the way safely, and your foot shall not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid: yea, you will lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear [or sudden terror], that comes upon the wicked ( Proverbs 3:19-25 ).

When the day of judgment and terror comes, you don't need to be afraid. You can have that confidence, I'm a child of God.

For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken ( Proverbs 3:26 ).

When the day of calamity comes upon the wicked, we do not need to fear.

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it ( Proverbs 3:27 ).

This is stated by the New Testament also, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, it is evil" ( James 4:17 ). You have the capacity to do good and you fail to do it, that's just as much a sin as some overt act of sin. There are sins of failing to do the right thing, just as there are sins of doing the wrong thing. There are sins of omission, omitting to do that which is right or good.

Say not to your neighbor, Go, and come again to-morrow, and I will give it to you; when it's by your side ( Proverbs 3:28 ).

In other words, don't forestall or put him off.

Devise not evil against your neighbor, seeing that he's dwelling securely by you. Strive not with a man without cause, if he hasn't done you any harm ( Proverbs 3:29-30 ).

Don't go looking for a fight and just getting into trouble.

Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD: but God's secret is with the righteous. The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesses the dwelling place of the just. Surely he scorns the scorners: but he gives grace unto the lowly ( Proverbs 3:31-34 ).

"Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift thee up" ( James 4:10 ). "He that exalteth himself shall be abased; he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" ( Matthew 23:12 ). All of these really come, they're the expression of the same truth. "Surely He scorneth the scorners, but He gives grace to the lowly."

The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools ( Proverbs 3:35 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-3.html. 2014.
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