Chapters 2 and 3 of Proverbs were very similar in that they both were full of descriptive examples of the benefits of wisdom. Likewise, Solomon still warned us about rejecting wisdom and making poor decisions. I literally enjoyed every single verse of these two chapters, but I’ve selected just a few to highlight and reflect upon here.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. -Proverbs 2:11 (NIV)
I remember receiving many talks about the importance of discretion when I was an undergraduate. Because college was a completely different world with much more freedom than high school, there were so many opportunities to steer away from the path that God paved for me. Recognizing the tricks of the enemy was so important. Discretion helps us to see things for what they are and understanding helps us to anticipate the consequences of them so that we make sound decisions.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
I often refer to these verses when I’m dealing with things that just do not make sense to me. Knowing that God’s way is always the right way helps me to eliminate confusion. I’ve heard people try to twist this passage to mask deception and confusion. Those who truly understand what Solomon is saying here will understand that the passage means just the opposite. When you do not understand something or someone in your life, simplify things and protect yourself by going to the Source. Seek God for direction. Pray, read His word, fellowship with Him, and act in a way that is in accordance with His will for you. You just can’t fail with God.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. -Proverbs 3: 13-14 (NIV)
In a world that displays foolish behavior like a badge of honor and praises materialism instead of holiness, this passage is a necessary reminder of what is really important. God has made some promises to us so we don’t have to give in to what the world seems to require. We don’t have to sell our souls to live rich, full lives. If we seek God’s wisdom and use the insight that comes only from Him, we will be richly blessed in a way that means more than any amount of money.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. -Proverbs 3:27-28
God is one of love and service. If you truly want to understand Him, you will need to behave in a way that models His behavior. If you see someone in need, it is wise to help them if you are able. Your hand is God’s hand to them. He uses His children to bless others in the kingdom. It is wise to willingly and gladly assist in that effort.
If you’re keeping up with the challenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts or favorite verses. Comment here, on Twitter: SmilingByFaith, or on Instagram: SmilingByFaith.