Wisdom Written on the Heart
Come into God’s presence today especially aware of his love, and with praise and thanksgiving for all his good gifts.
Read Proverbs 3:1–18
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you find it easy or difficult to trust God in your life choices?
The simple message of the ancient wisdom writers seems to be: trust in God and you will have a successful life; follow his ways and you will prosper. It is expressed in a clear example in our passage today—keep the commandment to tithe and your bank balance will be healthy (9,10). In its simplicity it is the foundation of a life lived to the full, but other wisdom writers—Job especially—pose that tough question: what if I lose everything, even though I have trusted in God? Is there an easy equation between wise living and material prosperity, physical and mental health? The discerning Christian will have to answer “no,” especially if they remember the words of Jesus that “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). We must face this contradiction as squarely as the writer of Job, but without throwing out wisdom’s baby with the murky bathwater of life’s complexities. Following God’s ways, being loyal and faithful (3), and above all living life fully acknowledging him (6) certainly brings greater peace, prosperity where it really counts (14,15; storing up treasure in heaven, Matt. 6:19–21) and a reputation for integrity (4).
These are not the rewards that the foolish seek, but then, we saw yesterday where they lead (2:18).
Is there anything you would not be willing for God to take? Make a choice now to release every area of your life to him.
Lord, give me wisdom to seek You first and to cherish the rewards of faithful discipleship.