Published April 18, 2013
Bible Studies for Life, May 5
My fourth grade teacher loved poetry and tried to instill in me a love of it also, to no avail. I did not like to read, hear, or memorize poetry. However because it was required, I had to do it.
So when I got a little older and became a serious student of the Bible, I intentionally avoided the books that had the distinction of being the poetic books of the Bible. Those poetic books are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. In my late teenage years I heard Billy Graham say that he read five Psalms and three Proverbs every day.
I thought, “If Dr. Graham read these books daily, then I needed to spend some time reading those books myself.” So I began to do my devotional reading in these poetic books, especially Psalms and Proverbs.
What a blessing these books have been to my walk with the Lord. I have discovered personally what I heard someone say about Psalms and Proverbs some time ago, “Proverbs will do for your daily life what the Psalms can do for your devotional life.”
The word “Proverb” is made up of two words, “Pro” meaning “instead of”, and “verb” meaning “a word.” A proverb could be defined as a brief saying or a short statement that summarizes wise principles. Matthew Henry says that Proverbs is “lessons given plainly, and is likely to benefit those who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught. If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon’s Proverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion.”
The book of Proverbs is therefore a book of wisdom. It shows you what godly wisdom is and how to use it. It is about setting priorities and applying principles in your life for success. Success is not about making a living for yourself, it is about making a life for yourself.
The verses for the lesson this week are Proverbs 3:1-35. One of the greatest words in the English language is the word “relationship.” A relationship is a bond or connection between two or more people. Our most important relationship is the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father.
Too often we refer to Christianity as a religion, when in reality it is a relationship. When we repent of our sins and accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we establish a relationship with the triune God. What I mean by that is, when you accept Christ, you accept God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit for they are one (1 Jn. 5:7). Proverbs 3 gives us the characteristics of what our relationship with the Lord should be like:
Complete confidence in the Lord - Proverbs 3:5-8
The word translated “trust” in this verse means “to lie helpless, facedown.” It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.
God can be trusted in every situation of life so we can show complete confidence in Him. Sometimes when we go through circumstances and we do not understand what is happening, we can trust God and His direction for our lives even when we do not understand. In fact, verse 5 tells us not to lean on our own understanding.
The late Vance Havner used to say, “If you cannot trace God’s hand you can trust His heart.”
Our confidence will not only be seen in our trust in God in all situations, but that trust will be revealed in our continual acknowledgement of the Lord in all seasons.
Comprehend the concepts of the Lord - Proverbs 3:13-18
Godly wisdom is seeing things from God’s point of view. It is understanding that our own natural inclinations are contrary to the ways of God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that our thoughts are not God’s thoughts, neither our ways His ways. Finding God’s wisdom is a high priority for those of us who want to enhance our relationship with the Lord.
Discovering God’s wisdom and applying it does not mean that everything will go well; with you or guarentee prosperity; it will fill your life with joy and happiness. Verse 12 says, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding”(KJV).
Conscientiously choose the ways of the Lord - Proverb 3:31-35
There are two key words in this section of Proverbs of which we need to take note. Notice the word “righteous” in verse 32. The word “righteous” means to be “upright.” It is the same word translated “just” as seen in verse 33.
If we choose the ways of God we must seek to be upright in all our dealings. As believers we have received the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
The second word is the word “lowly” in verse 34. The word lowly means “to be humble.” God wants us to live humble, righteous lives as we seek to build a strong relationship with Him.
James 4:6 tells us that God will give grace to those who are humble. When we receive grace from God, there is a greater desire and power to do the will of God. God promises that he will reward those who keep His ways. He reminds the nation of Israel of the blessings that will follow those who keep His ways diligently (Dt. 11:22-23).
God is looking for a people that will build a strong relationship with Him. That relationship begins when we repent of our sins, receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and respond in complete obedience to the Will and Ways of God.
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