Wisdom is the power of right judgment or the ability to discern any situation and know what to do. Wisdom is the ability to see how a particular course of action will turn out in the long run. Imagine the happiness and success you could have with a good dose of wisdom (Proverbs 3:13). The book of Proverbs is insightful because it offers wisdom about all of the practical affairs of life. The wisdom literature of Proverbs 3:1-12 exhorts us to do six things, three of which we will look at today.
First, we are exhorted to obey God (Proverbs 3:1-2). If we expect to have a Father-Child relationship with God, we must be obedient children (1 Peter 1:14). In the Gospel of John, Jesus connected love with obedience, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). By this we learn that loving God is much more than just a verbal expression. Our love for God is to be expressed by our obedient faith. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Not everybody who talks about Heaven is going to go there. It is only those who do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:24; 12:50). We also learn in the Proverbs that there are benefits to our obedience (Proverbs 3:2). Perhaps the greatest benefit associated with obedience is salvation (Proverbs 19:16; James 1:21; Hebrews 5:9). When we obey God, good things happen.
Secondly, from Proverbs 3:3-4 we need to remember God. Solomon warns us not to allow the Divine attributes of mercy and truth to forsake us. God’s mercy is one of His most distinguishing characteristics, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty…”(Numbers 14:18). God’s great mercy allows Him to treat us better than we deserve.
Truth is that objective standard of right and wrong that we find only in God’s Word (John 17:17). According to wisdom literature, we should bind both mercy and truth around our necks and treasure them in our hearts. As we go through life, we need the continual mercy and guidance we find in God’s word (Luke 18:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). David once wrote, when “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalms 85:10). Mercy and truth lead to “favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:4). Mercy and truth are essential components of wisdom. When we learn to be merciful to others as God is merciful to us and to abide in truth, we will find ourselves walking in the wisdom of God.
Thirdly, we learn from Proverbs 3:5-6 that we are to trust God. Rather than doing things our own way, we must learn to turn our trust (or faith) toward God and do things His way. His ways are much better than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23). Doing things our own way can lead us down the wrong path and reap disastrous consequences in our lives (Proverbs 14:12). If I trust in God, that means I believe that He exists (Psalm 19:1-6). It also means I believe in His inspired Word and that I trust that He will reward those who diligently seek Him (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 11:6). The foundation for wisdom is learning to trust God in all aspects of life and acknowledge Him in every thing we do (1 John 2:3).
Our final quote from the wisdom literature comes from Proverbs 3:6, “in all thy ways acknowledge Him…” If you have never acknowledged God, please do so by hearing the good news and uniting it with faith. Believe that Jesus died for your sins, that He was buried and that He rose again on the third day (Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Acknowledge Him by repenting of your sins and confessing that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 17:30; Acts 8:37). Show your trust in the cleansing power of His blood by being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27; Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5). Acknowledge His Lordship by abandoning the life of sin and walking each day in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Are you ready to “walk in wisdom” (Colossians 4:5)?
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