Reject Pride – Receive Grace

In Your Bible: Proverbs 3: 34,35

Solomon declares that mockers of sin or those who reject the Word are considered as fools by the Lord! A more current understanding here is these people are prideful – full of pride. God resists the proud, those with arrogance or a pharisaical spirit. Praise God, grace is imparted to the humble believer.

Reject Pride

He mocks proud mockers
 but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
The wise inherit honor,
 but fools get only shame (Proverbs 3:34,35 NIV).

Don’t be confused. Believers are to be confident (but not proud) of their position in Christ. They know they in are secure hands. Our inheritance is being part of God’s family, grafted in through Christ Jesus. It’s truly a wonderful thing. Selah.

Receive Grace

Grace sanctifies, justifies, pardons, and adopts. These pure gifts for believers come without any merit motive, or condition on our part. God gives them liberally. *

What a contrast Solomon shows. Honor is given for the wise [trustworthy and dedicated believer] but fools [the proud and mockers] receive only shame. Believers have chosen the best and the right path in God’s eyes. Grace is imparted to the humble believer.

Prayer: Father, you are so generous with your love and grace. Thank you. Each day I take joy in praising You.

*John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Proverbs 3:34,35, at biblehub.com

 

Private Counsel

In Your Bible: Proverbs 3:32

Solomon continues warnings against the perverse man who walks in sinful a path. The warning is also for people who try to divert you from a righteous path of living for God. The good news is that believers who remain steadfast in character are rewarded with His intimate counsel.

A Warning

For the devious are repulsive to the Lord;
But His private counsel is with the upright
[those with spiritual integrity and moral courage].
Proverbs 3:22 AMP

The writer of Proverbs often uses the words devious or crafty or cunning as a warning to be aware of being drawn away from God’s ways. Too often we miss this warning! What is a believer to do? Remain of upright integrity! This is a condition for a good life with God. The Lord actually hates deviousness!

Solomon uses the words private counsel, it’s also said to be secret counsel, which holds great meaning for believers. Here we see how the Lord loves to communicate with us, even at our side. This is the secret for our inner man. Selah.

We need to heed the fear the Lord. Remain in awe of the Lord God Almighty.

The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning (Psalm 25:14 AMP).

Integrity Rewarded

The writer of Proverbs tells the believer that upright integrity is rewarded in an amazing manner! The Lord honors spiritual integrity with private counsel! What more incentive is there than God’s intimate advice whenever we ask:

 Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish (Jeremiah 33:3 AMP).

God talks to the righteous—believers who remain steadfast in character—and they are rewarded with His intimate council.

Prayer: Father, your promises written by Solomon guide me to embrace spiritual integrity, and good moral courage.

Acts of Stewardship

In Your Bible: Proverbs 3:27, 28

Proverbs contains many wise sayings, often as one or two verses (couplets). These sayings may not be grouped together, which makes reading them seem choppy and difficult to grasp. My goal is to select key verses, clarify some of the content and see parallel scriptures. Let’s glean God’s message in Proverbs.

Be Generous

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due [its rightful recipients],
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,” 
When you have it with you (Proverbs 3:27, 28 AMP).

Stewardship should be guided by the Holy Spirit. Some versions associate Proverbs 3:27, 28 only with giving money, but the context is much larger. It could be in the form of helping, comforting with a word, or spending time with a person who needs it. It’s our readiness and willingness to help others.

God’s Perspective

As believers we are to follow the teaching of Christ. As an example, do justly, love mercy, walk humbly and hold on to things loosely (see also Micah 6:8). The Apostle Paul said it too:

So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers) from Galatians 6:10 Amplified Bible (AMP).

Divine favor is shown to the humble believer who looks at things from God’s perspective. Let’s glean God’s message in Proverbs.

Prayer: Father, what a message you reveal when you ask to watch for ways to help others. Thank you, help me listen for your Spirit and follow your lead.

Discipline of the Lord

In Your Bible: Proverbs 3: 11,12

As the Israelites wandered in the desert, they received harsh discipline from God for disobedience. Moses also taught that obedience would be rewarded with blessings. In a milder tone, Solomon said, “Do not do this” and “Do this.” The frequency of the “Do not do this” could make the proverbs difficult to take in.

However, whether it is from Moses, Solomon, or Jesus our Lord, lessons on obedience are words we need to heed.

Discipline is Necessary

Solomon, teaches believers that we learn from the discipline or correction God brings—and he will bring it! We must be wise in God’s ways. Solomon uses endearing words on this subject we often would rather not face. However, the writer of Proverbs speaks to us [lovingly] as children.

Discipline Shows God’s Love

What is the purpose of discipline or correction? Solomon tells us in succinct wording — it shows God loves us and even delights in us. Through correcting what we do, he allows us to make our ways more like his. If we are not corrected, we could assume that we are on our own. A dangerous place to be.

Commentators * relate that Proverbs is a wonderful departure from the Deuteronomy 28 account where Moses harshly confronts the Israelite nation for their actions of disobedience. Solomon confronts disobedience sternly yet with compassion.

Solomon uses the word “son” to show our relationship with God is endearing. It’s intended to be corrective — not punishment from God. However, all God’s children must, without exception, submit to God’s discipline.

My son, do not reject or take lightly the discipline of the Lord [learn from your mistakes and the testing that comes from His correction through discipline];
Nor despise His rebuke,
For those whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights (Proverbs 3:11,12 AMP).

What an amazing progression from Moses, Solomon, and to Jesus our Lord—lessons on obedience are words we need to heed.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing me the purpose of obedience. I know these commands give opportunity for me to continue to receive your love—especially when I need correction.

* Matthew Henry, Commentary, Proverbs 3:11,12, biblehub.com.