Meditation and Prayer Journey – Proverbs 3


Proverbs 3

Scripture

NIV Version,  Message VersionEnglish Standard Version (see the list of related scriptures at the bottom of the ESV page), King James Version

Amplified Version *colors added by me

1MY SON, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;2For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you.

3Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart.(A)

4So shall you find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight [or judgment] of God and man.(B)

5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

7Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil.(C)

8It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.

9Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income;(D)

10So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.(E)

11My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof,(F)

12For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences],

14For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, and the profit of it better than fine gold.

15Skillful and godly [a]Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her.(G)

16Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand are riches and honor.(H)

17Her ways are highways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast.

19The Lord by skillful and godly Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding He has established the heavens.(I)

20By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies distill the dew.

21My son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and godly Wisdom and discretion,

22And they will be life to your inner self, and a gracious ornament to your neck (your outer self).

23Then you will walk in your way securely and in confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble.(J)

24When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.

25Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless],

26For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].

27Withhold not good from those to whom it is due [its rightful owners], when it is in the power of your hand to do it.(K)

28Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come again; and tomorrow I will give it–when you have it with you.(L)

29Do not contrive or dig up or cultivate evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly and confidently beside you.

30Contend not with a man for no reason–when he has done you no wrong.(M)

31Do not resentfully envy and be jealous of an unscrupulous, grasping man, and choose none of his ways.(N)

32For the perverse are an abomination [extremely disgusting and detestable] to the Lord; but His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him).(O)

33The curse of the Lord is in and on the house of the wicked, but He declares blessed (joyful and favored with blessings) the home of the just and consistently righteous.(P)

34Though He scoffs at the scoffers and scorns the scorners, yet He gives His undeserved favor to the low [in rank], the humble, and the afflicted.(Q)

35The wise shall inherit glory (all honor and good) but shame is the highest rank conferred on [self-confident] fools.(R

* NOTE: Other views expressed by those whose materials has been referenced here, do not necessarily reflect this author’s personal views.

Further Study

Devotional | Dying to Self | Ryan Fast Proverbs 3:1-2

Proverb-A-Day: Chapter 3

Independent of God? Proverbs 3 Dave Geisler

Multi Media

The Book of Proverbs as narrated by Max McLean – Proverbs 3

Trust Video – Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:1-2 Singers: Pastor Patrick Cho and Christine Cho

STUDIES ON PROVERBS Exposition: Proverbs

Key Words*

Peace (KJV) /Prosperity (NIV) – Today’s definition of peace is: harmonious relations; freedom from disputes.  The definition of prosperity is: the state of flourishing, thriving, success, or good fortune. But the original word used seems to me to be a little deeper than that. H7965 shâlôm – [root H7999]; safe, that is, (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace.

Mercy (KJV) / Love (NIV) – When we think of mercy, especially as Christians, I think the meaning we tend to think of is: leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice. But the original word meant something given with no regard to whether it is deserved, or whether we are administering justice. The NIV translation is much more closely related to the original word. But I like the AMP version best as it says, “mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness]. H2617 chêsêd – [root H2616]; kindness; …  favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

Truth (KJV) / Faithfulness (NIV) – Once again, there is much lost in using one or the other word. The AMP says, “truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood]. H571 ’emeth – stability; figuratively certainty, truth, trustworthiness: – assured (-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity.

Froward/Perverse H8419 – tahpukah [root H2015]; a perversity or fraud. Websters defines froward as: Perverse, that is, turning from, with aversion or reluctance; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; refractory; disobedient; peevish; as a froward child. (John Gills: … things contrary to the light of nature, to divine revelation, to the word of God, both law and Gospel …)

Commentaries

Matthew Henry

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown

Proverbs Illustrations, Devotionals

My Reflections

This Chapter has some commonly known and used scripture verses. But there were two sets of verses that stuck out at me.

The first set is verses 27 – 32. Part of the reason these stuck out to me was the last verse (32). It says, “For the perverse are an abomination [extremely disgusting and detestable] to the Lord.” FOR THE indicates there is something before this that will tell us more about the next few words. And the next few words are very strong words. Perverse – that means someone who is unwilling to comply with God’s word. So someone who is unwilling to comply with God’s word is an abomination [extremely disgusting and detestable]. Very strong words there. It seems that many times we read through the Bible and skim over some text. I think this is one of them. Why? Well, because remember there is a FOR THE – which means we can’t really pull this verse out without looking FOR THE rest of it. So I looked at the verses before this and guess what … I see things that many people who call themselves Christians do on a regular basis. And even if we happen to be one that doesn’t on a regular basis, we probably have done it a time or two within the past few months. What are they?

Verse 27: Withhold not good from those to whom it is due [its rightful owners], when it is in the power of your hand to do it.  – Wait a minute … have you ever said that and it turned into wait an hour, wait a day, wait a week, wait I forgot?? Not sure this means this, but seems like it might fit if when we use it we know that we are really just putting someone off for our own selfish reasons. Or what if we know that we can do something that someone needs done (it’s in our power to do it), but we just sit and remain silent (withhold)? The good news is that is says we only have to give it to those who own it, the original Hebrew word means “master”. Ah, well, there’s are out. We only have to give it to the rightful owner or someone over us, whew! Well, I could point out the scriptures where Jesus talks about masters, servants, first, last, etc. But the real truth is that we own nothing, no one does, everything belongs to GOD. If God wants it given, then we better give it because He is ultimately the master.  Maybe we have good reasons for it, Let’s look at the rest of Verse 27 … oh, well, there is nothing more there, there is no UNLESS. Hmmm. Think this one can be an OUCH! verse. Let’s move on.

Verse 28: Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come again; and tomorrow I will give it–when you have it with you. [Lev. 19:13; Deut. 24:15.]. Ok, so we just learned we can’t withhold and now we see we can’t delay either. So if we have something that belongs to someone else and they ask for it, we need to give it to them, NOW. If we know someone needs help and we are able to provide it then we need to give it NOW. Oh, wait, I missed this – it says neighbor, whew, so it isn’t everybody – just my neighbors right? Sorry, I think Jesus messed that thought all up by his answer to the question of who is my neighbor in Luke 10:25-37. So, I guess this means just about anyone. So, what do you have that someone has asked for that you are not giving? What do you have that belongs to someone that you are withholding? Better give them what is rightfully theirs NOW.

Verse 29: Do not contrive or dig up or cultivate evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly and confidently beside you. Well, I’m sure none of us do this, especially as Christians, we don’t do evil. But you know what the original Hebrew word meant? Bad, yep, want to hear some more words that can be used here (probably not)? adversity, affliction, bad, calamity … We already established who are neighbor is. There’s a difference between speaking truth, being honest, being a witness to something and telling about it and just spewing out bad stuff about someone else. And you know what, it doesn’t say you have to say it to anyone other than to the neighbor. It doesn’t say don’t talk about, gossip, slander – it says do not dig up bad stuff against your neighbor. Don’t go trying to cause trouble with someone else, don’t try to find ways to be irritating to people.

Verse 30: Contend not with a man for no reason–when he has done you no wrong. I think this goes well with verse 29 – basically, don’t cause trouble where there is no trouble. If someone hasn’t done something wrong to them, don’t go and try to pick a fight with them. Oh, and just a throw something else into this mix, where is says ‘contend,’ that word also includes defending, really, look: “A primitive root; properly to toss, that is, grapple; mostly figuratively to wrangle, that is, hold a controversy; (by implication) to defend: – adversary, chide, complain, contend, debate, X ever, X lay wait, plead, rebuke, strive, X thoroughly.”  I think we all need to think about this one a little bit.

Verse 31: Do not resentfully envy and be jealous of an unscrupulous, grasping man, and choose none of his ways. ACK!! Are you kidding me!! Come on, you know that you have been envious or jealous of someone who got where they are by unscrupulous means. Think not? What about when someone cuts in line and you think to yourself – I’ve been here all this time and he just walks up and cuts in line. I should have done that, not like anyone would stop me, they didn’t stop him. Yeah, you’re right, maybe that is stretching it a bit … is it?

The other set of verses that stuck out at me was verses 19-20. Just in case we think lightly of wisdom, knowledge and understanding, we are told just how powerful those three things are when they come from God. Together in God they have founded the earth, established the heavens, and the deeps were broken up, and the skies distill the dew. WOW!! Now THAT is power. And God basically says we can have it. The Proverbs so far are almost begging us to take them. So what stops us from grabbing them right up? Self … that’s really all that stands behind that kind of power and us. I can totally see what too. Think about it – if we can’t lay down Self, then what would we do with that power? We’d just end up being villains in this love story we are in. The only difference between the super heroes and the villains is who they focus on. We get to choose who we are going to be: Super Hero, Villain, or average citizen. It’s all up to us.

Prayer

Father, there is so much you are telling us, warning us, and wanting to give us in this one Proverb alone. Truly, without your wisdom, knowledge, and understand I don’t even know how we can grasp it all. I am in awe of you. My adoration of you is indescribable. When I read scriptures such as these, I can feel so small, so in insignificant. I KNOW that you are God. Lord, I ask that you forgive me for those things which I do when I am not walking in your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. For the times that I have said wait a minute, when I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to ever do what I’ve put off. Father, forgive me for the times that I have known that I had something that could benefit someone else and I have felt a small whisper tell me to give it and I haven’t. Father, I ask you to forgive me for the times when procrastinated in giving something to someone and then just plain forgot about it. Father forgive me for looking for and digging up and searching for things that aren’t even there, or just plain having an attitude that would cause someone to feel like they want to do the same to me. Father forgive me for envy and jealousy when I see others getting a head in ways that are inappropriate or unscrupulous and even consider for a second that I could be there too if only I had done what they did. Father, I am happy with what you give me in your timing. I know that I may not see everything come to be in my time, but I trust that it will come to be in your time as long as I lean on YOUR understanding and YOUR ways and not my own. Father, give me the grace and knowledge to walk the path you have laid before me.

Lord, I pray for those who have not come to the understand of these things yet. I pray that their eyes will be open to your ways. Father, I pray that if they read this and their eyes are opened that they will immediately go and rectify anything that is undone.  If they have something that someone else needs or doesn’t belong to them, let them return it. If they have envy or jealousy of an unscrupulous person, let them repent of it and let it go. If they are digging up things and causing strife with someone, let them stop. If they doubt that your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are what they need, let them recognize that they are. If their heart is not right, soften it and speak to them. Lord, the last verse says

“The wise inherit honor but the fools he holds up to shame.” Lord, let those who are wise feel your honor, feel your presence, feel your love around them. Lord, for the fools, allow them to feel their shame, let them recognize where they are, and then let them feel your love for them. In Jesus Name, AMEN!

* Keywords taken from KJV translation. Definitions quoted from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries OR Thayer’s Greek Definitions
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