In the third chapter there is a continual thought on heavenly wisdom. That is what we need to seek for and search after. Because it will bring glory to our Maker and blessings all around us.
In our world there remains a constant battle between earthy and heavenly wisdom. A continual battle. Everyday. This battle is a battle that is fought in our minds.
Our minds is the place where these things happen.
That is why we need to bring our thinking and our minds into captivity to Christ.
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
With these words we understand that we are in a continual fight in our minds. And these thoughts in our minds need to be brought into captivity to Christ.
We also read in Rom. 12: 1- 2 that our minds need to be transformed. All this shows that we need to seek the heavenly wisdom in order to be pleasing to Him.
He has given us His word so that we might understand that heavenly wisdom.
And the sad part is that this battle is going on even in the church and that is so sad.
In the second chapter we saw that Gods wisdom is a guard, among others, to them that leave the way of truth. (2: 13a)
How sad it is when brothers and sisters do leave the faith.
See, in the churches we need one another. There is enough hardship in this world that we should not need to deal with it in the church, but even in the church evil is at work and we need to stand guard in these matters. The battle is on, but God has promised.
In vers 1 we see that we are not to “forget” this heavenly wisdom.
We as people seem to forget easily and we always need to be reminded of timeless principles.
Peter wrote it in his epistle too.
The human mind is a precious gift that we have been given from God. It works wonderfully, but we always tend to forget about good things, especially good things!!
So, we need constant reminders of what is good and let it have a place in our hearts.
In our minds and then in our hearts. (Rom. 12: 1- 2)
That is why we should not forsake the assembly of ourselves together. (Hebr. 10: 24, 25)
That is where we are stirred up to do what is lovely and to do good works.
That is why we should not forsake out daily studies in the precious word of God. That is why prayer is to be a daily principle in life.
We are to make His words our meditation. So, like David we need to make His word our meditation day and night. (Psalm 119: 97, 99)
Take note also of the fact that the heart is the place where the commands of God are to be.
The heart is the place that God is after in our lives. That is why in the next chapter we find the words: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life”. (4: 23) In our relationship with God it is all about our heart.
That is why Jesus said the words: “Blessed are the pure in heart”. (Matt. 5: 8)
When we do not forget the law of the Lord, God promises us length of days, a long life and peace will be added to us. A three-fold promise is given to us when we continually seek after His will.
Now we ask the question: Who does not want that? And it is right at your feet!!!
Why do we not take it? We all want length of days, a long life and peace added to us. We all do. But these things only come when we seek “His wisdom”. And His wisdom is in stark contrast with wordly wisdom. There is a great gulf between the two.
Just read the sermon on the mount and you will see for yourself. (Matt. 5- 7)
Length of days and a long life are concepts that are running deep in the book of Proverbs and it has always to do with a long life on the earth. (Ex. 20: 12)
So, when we seek this heavenly wisdom it will give us a long life, length of days and peace in our lives here on this earth.
Also added to this is “peace” will be ours when we seek this heavenly wisdom.
So, we should not “forget” His law, for it will only bring us good things in life. It will bring us Gods best. He wants to share with us from the deep fountains of His goodness and care.
These are wonderful verses. We have all learned that we have sinned against God and against one another, so we all need grace. Even when we are Christians we are not perfect and are in need of grace.
The writer says that mercy and truth needs to be around our neck, but not only that, it also needs to be on the tablet of “our heart”. So, not just on the outside but even more on the inside. Christians are first “inside” kind of people with an outpouring towards the “outside”.
When mercy and truth are deeply embedded in our hearts it will give us favor and high esteem in the sight of both God and man. Mercy and truth are principles that we all need and even more, that we all need to be able to give in abundance.
We sin against one another and we all need to be dealt with in truthful ways. We all need forgiveness at times, we all do.
Mercy: H2617 chêsêd
kindness; by implication (towards God) piety; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof, or (subjectively) beauty: - favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity
Truth: H571 'emeth
Contracted from H539; stability; figuratively certainty, truth, trustworthiness: - assured (-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity.
Wow, how wonderful. We all want to be dealt with in mercy, that is in a kind and loving way and that is what we need to extent to others.
Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Loving others as we love ourselves remains the answer in life. First off all in the church and after that to all man.
Often in life we are able for ourselves to make softening reasons as to our actions.
See, if we all could place the same softening reasoning that we place on ourselves on others then we would do well.
We a need mercy in our lives, however, we also need truth.
Truth is the principle that sets us free, (Joh. 8: 32) it is what brings us into Christ.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
We need to have this embedded deep in our hearts.
Truth, the covenant with Christ, (Joh. 1: 17) can make us free from sin. There is no other way then to be free from sin. This truth will further serve us in our lives as our compass.
Truth is the concept that keeps us in a relationship with Christ. We need to follow truth. The words of Christ are truth. If we abide in His word we are truly His disciples.
This is the truth of the words of Christ. Only by continuing in the words of Christ will bring us true freedom. Freedom in Christ.
The book of 1 John helps us to understand that fellowship with God is based upon walking in the light, walking in the light is the same as following the truth. (1 John 1: 4- 10)
We need to love the truth. We need to buy it and never sell it!!!!
-2 Tess. 2: 10
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Do you have this love for the truth?? Have you bought it and never sold it??
Let us not deceive ourselves and thereby others!!!
And we ask, do we have this mercy and truth around our neck and in our hearts? It will set you free.
You are the only one who can answer!!!
This is a crucial verse in this book of Proverbs. We need to put “all” our trust in Him and not in ourselves, others, other gods etc.
Our trust needs to be fully in Him.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Trust in the Lord is the place where we need to be, a car needs to be on the road, a boat needs to be on the water, mankind needs to trust in the Lord and not lean on own understanding. We need to acknowledge Him in all that we are and do.
That is the key to open up the door to freedom and peace.
When we look at the book of Collosians we find that there is an ever present danger when it comes to wordly knowledge, the endless philosophies of man, vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Coll. 2: 8)
Only in Christ is full heavenly knowledge.
We are living in that world in which there is a daily danger that we are taken away from the simplicity that we have in Christ. In Him we are complete, in Him we are full.
However, man will always try do deny his maker and consequently His precepts.
-Rom. 1: 20- 32
Self-sufficiency and self-dependence have been the ruin of mankind ever since the fall of Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavour to live independently of God, i.e., to be without God in the world. True religion consists in considering God the fountain of all good, and expecting all good from him.
Do you trust in Him? Is He your only Lord and stronghold in life?
Have you committed your way to Him? Fully and committedly?
We also want to look at the two-fold promise that is given to them that do give their trust to Him.
-It shall be health to thy navel.
-It shall be marrow to thy bones.
A. Health to thy navel.
There is only one other passage where this same word translated “navel” is used.
-Ez. 16: 4
However, there is a verse in Job 40: 16 that might shed light on this too.
When Job talked about Behomoth, he describes this animal as having force in his navel.
The force described is shown to be his power. So, we believe we may see “health to the navel” as symbolic for strenght and force.
B. Marrow to thy bones.
This word translated “marrow” is only used one other time. In this verse it is translated as “drink”.
Hos 2:5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
We can understand from this passage that the strenght of Gomer came from others. She found her “supply” in men.
So we understand that the marrow stands in relation to strenght that comes from another, and in this case that would be God.
Other passages that help us.
Job 21:23 One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.
Job 21:24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.
From this passage we see that it speaks of the fullness and fatness of life which God has supplied to Job.
So, we see that “the navel and the bones” concepts speak of force and fulness.
In full trusting in God there is might and fullness for us. Have you trusted Him in all things??
In this world we have been blessed with possessions. What about them? Whose are they? Possessions are given in our trust. What is the purpose of our possessions?
We need to serve one another with them.
When we look at the nation of Israel, God wanted that they would look after the fatherless, the widows and after less-fortunate.
So God has always looked out for the ones that on the edge of life.
Since we are His new creation and His workmanship we need to follow in His footsteps and we need to look out as He has looked out.
So, what do we need to do with what has been given in our care?
We need to serve one another.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
So we read that we are to be good to all men. Be good to all men.
As God has looked out for us, we need to look out for one another.
The second aspect to all of this is that when we are looking out for others God will fill our barns and the presses will burst with new wine.
All this is a symbolic way of saying that we will be blessed if we bless and give. “Give and it shall be given unto thee”.
(Luke 6: 38)
As children we all need chastening. Chastening is a part of life to make us more mature.
In our spiritual life it becomes all the more important that we recognize this.
But who wants it? Are we ready for this chastening?
See, even when we trust in God with all our hearts, even when we have mercy and truth embedded in our hearts there remains a battle in our minds to follow truth.
So, we often need to be chastened to continue on this road that leads to God.
Let there be no misunderstanding, without holiness we cannot see the Lord!!
(Hebr. 12: 14)
God loves us, He truly loves us and he knows that chastening brings a very good fruit.
It will bring the fruit of a better and more righteous life and that is why God does this. True and committed love will always bring words of correction. True love will bring chastening.
So, what about His chastening? As Christians we will be chastened by our Lord.
He is doing these things for our good. (Hebr. 12: 1- 14)
So, we find that this man who has “all trust” in God, who has “mercy and truth” embedded in his heart and who is chastened by the Lord, the state of this man can truly be called “happy”.
What we see in this is that when we make God our “first and foremost” that we will be truly blessed, not lacking anything.
Happy because this man is on His way to heaven and that remains all that truly counts.
Why should this man be happy? Several reasons are given. 1) The proceeds are better then silver. 2) The gain more then fine gold.
So, the proceeds are better then gold and silver!!!
What has happened to mankind, they are all in search of gold and silver. It is right in front of them, it is within their reach!!!
The wealth that comes with heavenly wisdom are great, it is further described as: 1) She is more precious then rubies, 2) All things that we desire cannot compare to her, 3) Length of days is in her right hand, 4) And in her left hand riches and honour, 5) Her ways are ways of pleasantness, 6) All of her paths are paths of peace, 7) She is a tree of life.
Wow, when we consider all these blessings it is a true blessing in life and that is what God wants to share with us.
When we look at the story of the prodigal son we see that God gives him the best of the best and that is what God wants to do in our lives. He wants to give and share the best of the best.
He did it for Israel (Deut. 28: 1- 14) and He still does it today.
However, it takes the crucifiction of the flesh!! (Gal. 2: 20) it takes to have God and His righteousness first. (Matt. 6: 33)
Are you ready?
God founded this world by the principles that we should seek after. This should tell us something!!!
We read that God founded His creation by 1) wisdom, 2) understanding and 3) knowledge.
Why are these words written?
In the first three chapters there is a continual “push” that we are to seek after heavenly wisdom, heavenly understanding and heavenly knowledge. So, in an effort to prove how great and wonderful the fruits are that come from seeking them the writer shows that creation was found by these principles.
So, the fruits are wonderful and awesome!!!
Another way of encouraging us to seek it!!!! The fruits are wonderful and better to behold!!!
We are not to let go of wisdom. The fruits are wonderful.
Let us seek it with all that we are.
It will mean life and grace (22), it will bring safety and no stumbling to our feet (23), when we lie down we will not be afraid and our sleep will be sweet (24), we do not have to be afraid of sudden terror and of trouble from the wicked (25).
In all these things we see that God wants to stay near to us and He wants to protect us.
The Bible verses that show these principles are to numerous to name, but throughout the Psalms we are continually taught that He is our protection and He is our guard.
In the book of Romans the Apostle taught us that “if God is for us who can be against us”.
Look at the lives of Joseph and Daniel, these were men of God and they were protected.
Look at the life of Mordechai!! He, as a man of God, was protected and cared for.
Where is our faith?? Do you have it, have you cultivated it??
In this world we always have them that are less fortunate. We read in an earlier part of this chapter that God will bless materially and financially the lives of them who seek after heavenly wisdom. So we will be blessed and we are to help others.
Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Take note: The text says: “when it is in your power to do so”. See, God is asking us to do good when we have the opportunity and when we can help. The text shows that we are to be His “people of action”.
We are to do good when we have the opportunity and should never say to come back when we can help the person.
When we are Gods people we are blessed people. God has given Himself to us, we are to give ourselves to one another and to all people.
He further tells us that we are not to devise evil against our neighbour for he dwells with us for “safety's sake”. That means that we are always to do good unto others. We should always seek the best interest of others. That is why they dwell with us.
He further labors the concept that we are not to strive with a man when he has done us no harm. We are to seek one anothers good in this world. Always and ever.
In our lives as children of our heavenly Father we come across all kinds of people. So we come across oppressors. And we are not to envy them.
We are to live in a simple faith in God. We need to live in the knowledge that God cannot bless those that are wicked. God can only bless those that seek heavenly wisdom, heavenly knowledge and heavenly understanding.
“Gods secret counsel is with them”. God blesses His own with the best of the best and the fruits there-off are far beyond what we can comprehend.
The wise will inherit glory.
Why then do we have to envy the oppressors?? Their ways are going down to pit, their end is only disaster. That teaches us that we should always look at the true end of what we are doing.