Proverbs Chapter 3

Proverbs, Chapter 3

Turning to Chapter Three we have the 5th, 6th, and 7th sermons or lectures beginning in vs. 1, 11, 21, of the 17 sermons in Chapters 1-9, introduced by the phrase, “my son(s), or O son(s).” So in Chapter Three we have three sermons where the number three speaks to Divine Perfection, which is the result of the life lived that applies God’s Word consistently. This is the result or blessing emphasized in vs. 4.

In the three lectures, we have five main sections:

The First Section, vs 1-10 is a series of five exhortations with their corresponding blessings, or we could say “if” and “then” statements, albeit without the “if” and “then” in the original language as we had in Chapter 2. Instead it uses “for”, “so”, “and”, and “it will” as the “then” statement.

Five is the number of grace, so we see the grace plan of God for the believer if he receives God’s Word.

The Second Section, vs. 11-20 is where we will see the importance and benefits of having God’s Wisdom resident in our souls, as “wisdom” is once again personified as a woman. Included there in vs. 11-12 is the importance of receiving God’s Divine discipline, and in vs. 19-20 the emphasis of the power of God’s Wisdom, as the power that created the earth and heavens.

The Third Section, vs. 21-26 tells us of the importance of “wisdom”, (God’s Word resident in your soul), in overcoming fear, worry, and anxiety.

The Fourth Section, vs. 27-31 exhorts us regarding the application of wisdom in Impersonal and Unconditional Love towards mankind.

The Fifth Section, vs. 32-35 is God’s dealings and relationship with man, both positive and negative, (those who are righteous and those who are evil).

This chapter continues the principles of Deut 6:6-9; the principle of parents communicating doctrine to their children. As we have noted, parents have the responsibility of teaching their children many things.

For example: respect for authority, respect for the property of others, respect for the privacy of others, respect for principles of law, and so on.

Parents have a tremendous responsibility to their children because how they train their children, determines what the next generation will do in any national entity. There is one passage in Proverbs which indicates that within four generations you can completely destroy a nation from within.

This Chapter Advances Sermon 4, Prov 2:1-22:

  • From accepting the Father’s words, Prov 2:1-4; to guarding them and not letting go, Prov 3:1, 21.
  • From the promises of knowing God, Prov 2:6, and of eternal life in the ways of good people, Prov 2:20-22; to a command to desire God’s presence in all the son’s ways, Prov 3:6.
  • From God’s revealed wisdom to the father, Prov 2:6; to God’s establishing the creation through wisdom, Prov 3:19-20.
  • From the promise that his teachings lead to the abundant life with good people and save him from death with the wicked, Prov 2:20-22; to the expanded promise of life and salvation from the offended LORD, who curses the impious and immoral, Prov 3:31-35.
  • From the spiritual blessings of a spiritual and moral education, Prov 2:5, 9; to the blessings of health, wealth, and prosperity.

That relationship can be schematized as follows:

Spiritual Consequences of


Conditions of

(3:1 12)

Temporal Consequences
Understand what is right


Let kindness never leave you


Social favor


Know God


Know the LORD


Straight paths


Fear the LORD


Fear the LORD




The first command or exhortation – Verse 1This first section has five two-verse stanzas with a concluding sixth, (vs. 11-12, that is the changeover to the second section). Each stanza has the same basic structure (command-promise clause, or if-then type of structure).

We begin with Section 1, vs 1-10; “The Five Commands / Exhortations with Their Corresponding Blessings” that indicate God’s grace plan for our lives, when we have His Wisdom in our souls. This connection shows that the conditional admonitions of lecture 4 entail obeying the Father’s teachings, Prov 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1, “My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments;”

This begins our 4th sermon or lecture addressed from a father (David) to his son (Solomon), which Solomon here reiterates. “My son” is the Hebrew Pronoun BENI.

“Do not forget” is the Hebrew negative ‘AL with the Verb SHAKACH in the Qal Jussive that means, “forget, ignore, or wither away.” The Jussive is a volitional form that makes up a functional class that is declarative and makes an assertion or claim. With the negative ‘AL it makes a negative imperative of command, (i.e., “do not do this or that”). Here it is advice from the father to his son, or from our Father to us, His children.

What we see here is that in order for Bible doctrine to be usable, it must be remembered. You cannot use doctrine which is found in the Bible by just simply grabbing it off the page in time of disaster.

R.B. Thieme Jr, stated, “Many believers do something that is really blasphemous. As soon as they get into trouble, as soon as they have a problem, they immediately go into the scripture to try to find something they need. Then, if they can’t find it, they try to get hold of someone who can help them. But God’s plan calls for every believer to learn Bible doctrine and to apply it to his own experience. Every believer should be spiritually self-sustaining; this is the concept of phase two.”

What is the son not to forget? TORAH! “The teachings”, which is Bible Doctrine.

Secondly the son should not forget “the commandments”, MITSVAH which too represents God’s Word that should by stored up (NATSAR – kept, guarded, watched over) in the heart (LEB) of your soul.

“Commands” means principles, precepts and categories. In other words, if you are going to apply Bible doctrine to experience, you must absorb doctrine categorically and store it in the heart of your soul. It is only by knowing categories of Bible doctrine that puts the framework and organization into that doctrine which becomes retrievable and then applicable to your experience.

It means not only to have Bible doctrine ready for application but when the time comes to actually apply it! Imagine that…. lol

Verse 2, This is the first group of blessings or benefits from having God’s Word in the heart of your soul.

Proverbs 3:2, “For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.

“For” is KI once again, just as we saw in the “substantiations” of the “then” statements of Chapter Two. Here we have three benefits:

OREK YOM – Length of Days. It is a measure of a period of time, where it is often used to show a protracted period of time or long life, Deut 30:20; Job 12:12; Psa 91:16; Prov 3:2,16. Sometimes it also refers to the everlasting life after death, Psa 21:4; 23:6.

Ultimately, this is having a long life in Phase Two, your spiritual walk here on earth, (i.e., from the point of salvation, to the point you are taken home to be with the Lord), it is the Christian life.

The principle is that you will be in the Plan of God. It is saying that you will have a long life in the sense of a long Phase Two; long, productive, useful, and wonderful.

Remember this is not a guarantee that you will live to 120 years old, but is a principle that tells us that a quality spiritual life can lead to a quantity of years in the physical life.

SHANAH CHAYYIM – Years of Life. This means a full life, not long in the sense of length of days, but one of quality in the spiritual realm here on earth. It means an abundant life, a full life, a life which is characterized by a maximum amount of time under inner happiness where Bible doctrine in your soul produces inner happiness, +H.

SHALOM – Peace and Prosperity. It means having a happy life, untroubled, and with a sense of fulfillment and security. It refers to your inner happiness producing stability of mentality. It is the same concept as in Isa 26:3.

Isa 26:3, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”

So it includes contentment, prosperity, freedom from oppression by others, and a sense of completion.

As Paul stated in 2 Tim 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” Cf., 1 Cor 9:24; Heb 12:1-2.

It means a life absent of conflict and strife, and one that has harmony with God in which all a person’s needs are met and the person experiences wholeness.

Phil 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

It also speaks of a covenant of peace with the Lord as in Num 25:12; Isa 54:10; Ezek 37:26; and Mal 2:5.

Peace with God is granted in His temple, the place He chooses to meet with people, Hag 2:9, which is ultimately through Christ, Isa 53:5, the Prince of Peace, Isa 9:6. And for you and I of this Church Age, we are the temple of God, 1 Cor 3:16-17; 2 Cor 6:16.

It is all summed up in the priestly blessing/prayer for God’s people in Num 6:24ff, “The Lord bless you, and keep you: The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”

Total well-being is what God wants for all people, and it is available to all who will receive His gift by faith in His Son Jesus Christ and His Word being resident in their soul.

The Second Command or Exhortation – Verse 3: “The Importance of Knowing Bible Doctrine.”

Proverbs 3:3, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

  • “Do not let leave you” – ‘AL AZAB – “Do not leave or abandon.” This is another Qal Jussive command.

“Kindness” (mercy KJV) – CHESED, “Grace, steadfast love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness.” It means understanding the nature of God as presented in the Scriptures, especially in relation to being faithful to covenants and true to His word, and living with that same character in your life. This is having the “Christ-like” nature.

Interestingly the LXX uses the Greek word PISTIS for CHESED. PISITIS means “faith”, and many times stands for “Bible Doctrine.”

“Kindness” means that we will operate on the basis of grace orientation by having God’s Word in our soul. We are saved by grace and we will live by grace. Therefore, you operate with Problem Solving Device #5, Grace Orientation. So here it means “grace in action”, living the grace oriented life, Problem Solving Device (PSD), #5.

“Truth” is EMETH, that means, “firmness, faithfulness, or truth.”

This noun is used adjectivally to describe the surety, stability and dependability of God’s guidance, which ultimately comes from His Word in your soul. It is also used of “truth” in an objective sense as a body of knowledge or ethical instructions. This is how the term occurs in the prayer of Daniel, Dan 9:13. So it too refers to Bible doctrine in your soul.

The New International Commentary on the Old Testament – The Book of Proverbs Chapters 1-15, states, “These two virtues are in fact metonymies for the father’s teaching and commandments that the son should bind around his neck.”

Therefore, we see again that CHESED and EMETH here refers to God’s Word, Bible Doctrine.

When a believer has Bible doctrine in the soul his character is so changed and so revitalized from the inside out that he has a dynamic life before the Lord.

  • “Bind them around your neck.”

“Bind” is the Qal Imperative of QASHAR that means, “tie, to bind, or bind together.”

This is a reference back to Prov 1:9, were “instructions” and “teaching” were a wreath on the head and ornaments about your neck, i.e., a necklace. There “crown” signified power and life while the “necklace” signified guidance and protection by means of Faith Rest. That is what the Word of God is to the believer.

So here again we see the guidance and protection of God’s word (cf., e.g., Prov 2:8, 10-11; 3:3; 4:6, 11.) that we are “bind” around our neck, see also Prov 3:22 and 6:21, as the wise student is repeatedly promised guidance and protection in this book.

The “binding” is your responsibility to take the principles and precept of God’s Word and mix them with faith. When you do, it will be guidance and protection to your soul.

  • “Write them on your heart.”

“Write” is the Qal Imperative of KATHAB that means, “to write or record.” This, again, means getting doctrine in your soul with the emphasis, “so that you do not forget it.” This is cycling God’s Word through GAP through the six compartments of the heart (LEB) of your soul.

These two phrases are also used in Prov 6:20-21; 7:1-3, as the importance of taking in God’s Word so that it can be applied to your spiritual and physical life.

Remember that your life really is what you think. Prov 23:7, “As a man thinks, so he is.”

So bind and write means, take in Bible doctrine on a consistent basis via GAP and mix it with faith, and it will govern your soul with the result of outward adornment, which is your application of God’s Word that others see.

Verse 4, This is the second group of blessings or benefits from having God’s Word in the heart of your soul, or the “then” statement.

Proverbs 3:4, “So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.”

The word “So” –  ‘AL, introduces a result clause, our “then” statement. This is the result of knowing and having God’s Wisdom resident within the heart of your soul.

“Find Favor” is MATSA, “to attain or find” and CHEN, “favor or grace.” Here it is grace in the sense that the mature believer receives grace both from God and other people. When you operate under PSD #5 “Grace Orientation”, you will receive grace back from both God and man.

If you give grace, you will receive grace. If you are oriented to God’s grace and you live by that grace, you live with a very relaxed mental attitude, and as a result you have a wonderful relationship with God as well as with man.

“Good Repute” – TOB, “good, pleasant, agreeable”, and SEKEL, “prudence, insight, understanding, and wisdom.”

This means that others, God and man, will look upon you as a wise individual, one that “accurately handles the word of truth,” 2 Tim 2:15, and you will have a good reputation with them, so far as it depends on you.

In Prov 13:15 it is translated, “good understanding.” It includes the idea of competence and effectiveness, and therefore a reputation for prudence.

Prov 13:15, “Good understanding produces favor, but the way of the treacherous is hard.”

The sinner and vial have a bad reputation with others, but the righteous man will have a good reputation with them.

Phil 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute (EUPHEMOS), if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

  • “In the sight of God and man,” AYIN ELOHIM ADAM.

AYIN is literally a reference to the eyes of humans and animals, and in various expressions denoting someone’s presence, personal judgment or opinion. As you know, God does not have eyes like humans do, and therefore we have an anthropomorphism, (i.e., ascribing to God a human body part which He does not have). But here the second part of the definition holds, in that it is an expression of God’s and man’s opinion.

ELOHIM versus YAHWEH, “portrays God in more distant fashion, underscoring His power and universal sovereignty in the Pentateuch, but elsewhere they are freely interchanged.” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary.)

ADAM is used for man or mankind or humanity. It refers here to people you interact with.

Therefore, “finding favor and having a good reputation with God and man” means the blessings will be enjoyed both in your spiritual life with God and your physical life with man. Spiritually you will receive abundant grace from God and He will look kindly upon you. Likewise, people will cut you some slack and give you grace because they also think highly of you.

Bible doctrine in your soul provides blessing in relationships. Your relationships in this life do not depend upon your personality, your physical attractiveness, your possession of status symbols. Your relationship with others is going to depend entirely on what goes on in your soul. The principle is “garbage in, garbage out” versus “righteousness in, righteousness out.”

This verse appeals directly to the very human desire for the approval of God and man, which is a very powerful attraction. Unfortunately, too many believers utilize their human resources and assets and Cosmic thinking to attract God and others to themselves. As we see here, what we really need to do is take in God’s Word and apply it consistently, even when the Word might seem to damage your chances for approval, and as a result God will be attracted to us as well as man. In scripture we have two examples where this phrase is applied to persons; to Samuel in 1 Sam 2:26, and to Jesus in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

This blessing can also be applied to you, if you mix doctrine stored in the heart of your soul with faith and apply it in your spiritual and physical life.

We now turn to our Third Command-Blessing, in Prov 3:5-6

The Third Command or Exhortation – Verse 5-6a:

Proverbs 3:5-6a, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6aIn all your ways acknowledge Him,”

Here we see that the commands of vs. 1 & 3 are now more pointed. As in both of the first two pairs of verses, the command here is both positive “trust and acknowledge,” and negative “do not lean.” This time, however, the Divine origin of the words is unmistakable. To “trust the Lord” is to obey Solomon’s counsel in Proverbs, whether or not it makes sense.

That is why the teacher now secures his student in a personal relationship with the LORD in bonding him to the Lord’s teaching, (see Prov 2:6-7a).

We begin with vs. 5, one of the more famous verses of the Bible; “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

“Trust” is the Verb BATACH – בָּטַח‎, in the Qal Imperative. This time it is not in the Jussive and is an outright command. It means, “to trust or place confidence in, be bold or secure.” It has the meaning of “to rely on out of a sense of security, usually in the face of danger.” The Greek LXX utilizes PEITHO here that also means, “To have confidence.”

BATACH is derived from the root BTH that typically indicate a false security, such as other people and/or their deceptive devices, (cf. Prov 11:28; Psa 52:7; Jer 9:23-24). But here showing that contrast, it means trusting and having confidence in God. Therefore, it acquires the meaning “confidence: to lean with the whole body on something, in order to rest upon it.”

This is not a nod of recognition but an intimate knowledge of God where you place 100% confidence.

Here the object of our trust is “the Lord”, YHVH, the Tetragrammaton, pronounced Yahweh or later Jehovah, is found 6,823 times in the Old Testament. It is the personal name of God and many times stands for the Lord Jesus Christ. Here it is the mind of Jesus Christ, Bible Doctrine that we have stored in the heart (right lobe) of our soul.

“To Moses, God revealed the meaning of His personal name “Yahweh” by connecting it with the Hebrew phrase EHYEH from HAYAH, usually translated “I am,” (like the Greek EIMI), though it is better translated “I will be.” In Exodus 3:12 God said, “I will be (EHYEH) with you.” Then in verse 14 God went on to say, EHYEH ASHER EHYEH, which can be translated “I am who I am,” or, “I will be what I will be.” However, EHYEH is a Hebrew imperfect which indicates action going on. Thus, it has the meaning: “I will show you who and what I am by who and what I will be to you, for I will be with you”.” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary.)

In relation to Jesus Christ, when the cohort came to arrest Him in John 18:5-8, He identified Himself as, “I am.”

In this verse the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament, LXX) used THEOS for YHVH, but typically KURIOS, “Lord”, is used in the LXX for YHVH.

We are command to put our trust in the Lord in Prov 16:3, 20; 22:19; 28:25; 29:25.

A complete, peaceful security is available when the object of your trust is Yahweh. Psalms contains 43 occurrences of BATACH and conveys the multiple values of trust in God. Psalms consistently shows that hope, trust, and reliability is not a quality of man, but only of God. And our text illustrates this truth. It admonishes us to trust in Yahweh entirely.

The true God is a God of complete faithfulness and reliability. The wise person recognizes his utter dependency on the God of the universe. Any other source of security is without value, Job 31:24; cf. Isa 50:10.

“The vivid contrast of reliable and unreliable objects of trust is dramatically presented in 2 Kings 18 and 19, where the Neo-Assyrian official Rabshakeh mocks the trust King Hezekiah places in God. The arrogance of the king of Assyria was met with his defeat and death (2 Kings 20:35f); the faithfulness of Yahweh, in whom Hezekiah placed his trust and confidence, was fully vindicated.” (Complete Biblical Library)

So we are to trust in God, our Lord Jesus Christ, “with all our heart” – BE KOL LEB, which is the right lobe of your soul. The heart is the central seat of all spiritual soul-strength; to love God with the whole heart is to concentrate your whole inner life on the active contemplation of God, being ready to obey His will, as you are filled with His Spirit. That is the balance of residency: Maximum Bible Doctrine in the Soul Ready for Application plus the Filling of God the Holy Spirit (MBDSR4A + F/GtHS).

The wise person trusts the LORD to uphold his moral daily walk freely (i.e., according to His sovereign good pleasure) and contingently (i.e., depending on the situation, in response to human activity).

This believer is confident that as they fulfill their obligations, God will uphold His, in His own time and in His own way, even when the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, cf. Prov 14:26; 16:3, 20; 18:10; 19:23; 28:25; 29:25; 30:1-14.

This trust must be entire, “with all your heart.” Since the LORD alone gives wisdom and provides protection, Prov 2:5-8, 11, your security depends on Him.

  • The command continues in 5b, where we are instructed not to “lean on our own understanding.”

“Do not lean on” is the negative AL, with the verb SHA’AN in the Niphal Jussive that means, “to lean, trust, or support oneself.” The common usage of this verb is as a figurative idea of “relying on” someone for help.

The Jussive once again continues the command and the Niphal mood is typically the simple passive voice where the subject receives the action of the verb. But here it is used as a Middle Voice for reflexive action, the individual performs action that effects himself. In this command, it is reflexive as we are instructed “not to trust in ourselves but in the Lord.”

In Isa 30:12, Isaiah rebuked the people for rejecting God’s Word and depending on oppression and deceit, and for depending on horses and chariots instead of seeking the LORD, Isa 31:1.

In Micah 3:11 we have the hypocrisy of trusting in ourselves demonstrated in our thoughts and actions yet professing to trust in the Lord.

Paul stated in 2 Cor 1:9, “Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.”

“Own Understanding” is the Noun BINAH that means, “understanding, insight, or discernment.”

So “leaning on your own understanding” is trying to solve the problems of life yourself, including having worry, fear, and anxiety. As this verse tells us, we must put it in the Lord’s hands. The Christian way of life was never designed for man to solve man’s problems. It was design for man to put his trust in God, which means having His Word in your soul and applying it daily.

As Proverbs tells us, we are to gain God’s wisdom and then understand and place our trust in it, Prov 1:2; 2:3; 4:1, 5, 7; 9:6, 10; 16:16.

Therefore, “on your own understanding” stands in marked antithesis to “in the Lord”, as to where our confidence is placed.

Faith in God’s promises and renouncing confidence in oneself, cf. Prov 18:10-11; 28:11, 26, are unnatural and gifts of God, mediated in part through the warnings and promises of God, see Prov 2:6; cf. Rom 9:14-17; Eph 2:8-9.

Man must not have confidence in himself, see Prov 3:7; 11:28; 21:22; 28:26; cf. Psa 62:10; Isa 30:12; cf. Ezek 16:15 … or even in his own “righteousness”, Ezek 33:12-20.

Man cannot trust in riches or rely on gold, Psa 49:6; Prov 11:28; or even fortified cities, Jer 5:17; or chariots and horses, Isa 3:1; or other men, Jer 17:5. There is condemnation against anyone who puts his trust in man.

Indeed, you cannot even rely on yourself, because human strength is inadequate, Prov 28:26. Job 6:20 summarizes that those placing their confidence in creatures and their devices will be disappointed.

Humans are made to trust in, have absolute confidence in, Yahweh alone; all else ultimately leads to disappointment or worse.

“One is a fool to rely on his thimble of knowledge before its vast ocean or on his own understanding, which is often governed by irrational urges that he cannot control, Prov 26:5, 12, 16; 28:26a; esp. 30:1-6; Job 38:4-5.” (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament – The Book of Proverbs Chapters 1-15.)

  • Verse 6a, continues the command with, “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” This is the opposite of trusting in yourself or someone else.

“Ways” is DEREK once again that means, “path, highway, road”, speaking of your daily walk in the Lord. It means all kinds of situations, where we are commanded to know God in all of the circumstances of life.

Apart from Bible doctrine, it is absolutely impossible to know God in all of your activities of life. In essence, this phrase commands Occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. This is a technique whereby you know Him, and therefore He comes into focus and your life is occupied with Him.

If you do not have doctrine in the soul and you are not occupied with Christ, then the details of life become important, e.g. money, success, loved ones, pleasure, sex, health, etc.

You can enjoy the details of life if you have doctrine in your soul, but if you do not have Bible doctrine in your soul, these things may be stimulating for a moment but they will bring nothing but misery.

But if you put God’s Word first, then if you have any of those things, you can enjoy them. And likewise, if you do not have those “earthly” things, you still have doctrine in your soul, and therefore still have inner happiness.

“Acknowledge” is YADA, “to know, to understand” in the Qal Imperative with a Pronomial Suffix in the 3rd Person Masculine Singular. The suffix indicates this is referring back to YHVH. It should be, “In all your ways know Him.”

This does not mean a mere theoretical acknowledgment of Him, but an earnest penetrating cognizance engaging the whole person of YHVH.

This is one of the few passages where the idea is actively showing awareness of the Lord and His activity and perhaps a desire to experience Him in your situation. It is usually translated “acknowledging” Him, cf. Isa 33:13. The opposite may be seen in Hosea 11:3, where Israel is said to not “know” the Lord.

Now there is a caution we also see here, in that those who gained the understanding promised by Solomon in Chapter 2 might be tempted to trust that insight as though it were a skill they had developed on their own, forgetting Prov 2:6. On the other hand, we might be tempted to question the warnings or directions of some of the Proverbs, especially when your own insight tells you of “a better way.” The choice that we have is whether to trust the Lord and His Word (specifically, as it is found in Proverbs), or to trust in our own understanding, forgetting that any insight we may possess came originally from the Lord.

The fact is, the Proverbs are trustworthy but only because they come from the trustworthy Lord. If we really trust God, we will obey Him. We may think that our own wisdom is sufficient, but it is not; we need the wisdom of God.

Vs. 5 does not teach that Christians should not think and consider facts when making decisions, because God expects us to use our brains. Rather, it means that we should not “trust” our own ideas or wisdom; we must ask God to direct us, as in James 1:5 and apply His Word to our situations in life.

James 1:5-8, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

The Third Blessing – Verse 6b:

  • “And He will make your paths straight.”

“Paths” is ORACH, (our other word for daily walk), that means, “a way or path.”

It describes the way or path of life and contrasts the life activities or character orientation of the sinner with the obedient, godly person. Essentially, one chooses one or the other “path.”

This is one reason why the early Church was called, “The Way”, Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22.

“Make straight” is YASHAR in the Piel Imperfect, that means, “to be straight, to be upright, to be level.” The notion of “straightness” also includes “levelness” in that the route in question is direct and without hindrance. The context here means, “the success of an undertaking or action.”

As we noted previously, the verb is used in the context of moral correctness. It appears in the context of observing precepts carefully, Psa 119:128. Personified Wisdom calls to those who are walking straight, in the imagery of obeying YHVH’s laws, which are the origin of all knowledge; Prov 9:15.

Prov 9:15-16, “(Wisdom is) calling to those who pass by, who are making their paths straight: 16Whoever is naive, let him turn in here, and to him who lacks understanding she says…”

In addition, we are admonished to continue to “look straight ahead” lest we fall from the path of wisdom, Prov 4:25.

The Piel is the intensive passive stem that usually denotes the original nuance of the verb, “to make straight.” Therefore, you receive the action of the verb when you acknowledge the Lord. Your daily walk will be a righteous one.

The Imperfect is for continued action. As you continue to acknowledge the Lord your daily walk with Him will be right, each and every day. This tells us that the Lord blesses obedience by enabling all who trust and obey Him to live upright lives. In Prov 9:15, 11:5 and 15:21, the same verb that occurs here describes the wise person who lives a righteous life.

Therefore, obedience brings the blessing of walking within the bounds of God’s Word, free from fear and God’s Divine discipline, as stated in the next command and the conclusion of verse 11-12. This obedience, even without understanding, enables the obedient to trust increasingly in the Lord, who will prove faithful each time that trust is exercised, thereby completing and strengthening the circle. Obedience builds trust, and trust builds obedience.

YASHAR means more than guidance; it means God removes the obstacles, making a smooth path or way of life, or perhaps better, and bringing one to the appointed goal. Therefore, when God’s Word is the number one priority in your life, “He will make your paths straight.” It does not mean to show you the way to go necessarily; it actually means that He will level the situation in front of you.

In other words, if there is a mountain in your path, i.e., pressure, stress, suffering, etc. it is a problem for you and you are moving in the direction of that problem. With doctrine in the soul, God just wipes this out and by the time you get there, it is a plain, all smoothed out. So all you need to do is just put the mountain, the barrier, in His hands and He removes the barrier. You just keep on running. The pressure may still exist but it is no longer your problem. Proverbs teaches that those who follow “wisdom” have an easier, less problematic life, e.g., 3:10, 16, 24-26.

Now back in Proverbs 3 we turn to vs. 7.

Remember that this portion of Chapter 3 is the 5th overall sermon found in Chapters 1-9, and in it we have a series of five exhortations with their corresponding blessings. In Vs. 7 we have the fourth command.

The Fourth Command or Exhortation – Verse 7:

Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

The first half of verse 7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes” is a follow up to the second part of the third command in vs. 5, “Do not lean on your own understanding.”

In vs. 7 we have the Hebrew negative ‏אַל‎ (AL), “do not”, with the Adjective חָכָם (CHAKAM) that means, “skilled, experienced, or wise.” It is used for both those in high positions of authority and those following God. Here it speaks in a negative sense of arrogance in the soul. That is, thinking you know better than God does regarding the situations of life. So here we have pride which brings up the whole area of mental attitude sins. The greatest enemy to your soul in the area of sinfulness is mental attitude sins.

The phrase “in your own eyes,” means the inward man, or what you think about yourself.

Pride or arrogance begins on the inside of your soul and is described as walking to the exclusion of God in your life. It manifests itself in your actions and deeds. When we walk independent of God, we are walking as if “wise in our own eyes.”

So this verse prohibits being a know-it-all, individualist who does it his own way, a state worse than being a fool, Prov 12:15; 26:12.

Prov 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”

Prov 26:12, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Prov 3:8a is reiterated in the New Testament in Rom 12:16.

Rom 12:16, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”

Being “wise in your own eyes / estimation” is the opposite of living the Faith-Rest life. Living the Faith-Rest life is found in the second half of vs. 7, “fear the Lord”.

“Fear” is the Hebrew verb ‏יָרֵא ‎ (YARE), and it does mean, “to be afraid”, but it often has the idea of reverence and deep respect more than dread of someone, as it does here.

Therefore, here it means having respect for the Lord, which means Occupation with Christ. You do so by having His Word resident in your soul and believing upon it daily. When you do, you will “turn away from evil.”

“Turn away” is the Verb סוּר (SUR) and means, “to leave, to deviate, to turn aside, to go away.”

Both YARE and SUR are in the QAL Imperative, which means they are commands for us to follow faithfully.

The Hebrew for “evil” is the Adjective רָע ‎ (RA), that means, “bad or evil.” It is the opposite of good, and ultimately, it is used of what is opposite of God, Job 1:1 with Prov 14:16.

Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

Prov 14:16, “A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.”

Evil is anything to the exclusion of God. Evil is the absence of righteousness. Therefore, if we are not living the Faith-Rest life, we are living a life filled with evil personified as “being wise in your own eyes,” that is, living in the arrogance complex of sins. Therefore, we are to turn away from this evil, which means turn away from your Old Sin Nature. You do so by Rebound, 1 John 1:9, the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine resident in your soul.

Interestingly, the N.T. verse, Rom 12:16, is followed by a comparison of good versus evil. See vs. 17-21, which continues through Chapter 13 that too compares the Faith-Rest life to that of taking matters into your own hands.

It culminates in Rom 13:14 with the exhortation, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” That is the same as “Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn from evil.”

Oswald Chambers noted about putting on “faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”, in regard to Heb 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him …” In this piece he compares “faith” with “common sense.”

“Faith in active opposition to common sense is mistaken enthusiasm and narrow-mindedness, and common sense in opposition to faith demonstrates a mistaken reliance on reason as the basis for truth. The life of faith brings the two of these into the proper relationship. Common sense and faith are as different from each other as the natural life is from the spiritual, and as impulsiveness is from inspiration. Nothing that Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, but is revelation sense, and is complete, whereas common sense falls short. Yet faith must be tested and tried before it becomes real in your life. “We know that all things work together for good …” (Romans 8:28) so that no matter what happens, the transforming power of God’s providence transforms perfect faith into reality. Faith always works in a personal way, because the purpose of God is to see that perfect faith is made real in His children. For every detail of common sense in life, there is a truth God has revealed by which we can prove in our practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle that always puts Jesus Christ first. The life of faith says, “Lord, You have said it, it appears to be irrational, but I’m going to step out boldly, trusting in Your Word” (for example, see Matthew 6:33). Turning intellectual faith into our personal possession is always a fight, not just sometimes. Yet God brings us into particular circumstances to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make the object of our faith very real to us. Until we know Jesus, God is merely a concept, and we can’t have faith in Him. But once we hear Jesus say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) we immediately have something that is real, and our faith is limitless. Faith is the entire person in the right relationship with God through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

So as we are noting in Proverbs 3:5 and 7, “leaning on our own understanding” and “wise in our own eyes” is worldly knowledge gained in our soul to the exclusion of the reality of Bible Doctrine in our soul. But when we have Bible Doctrine in our souls and that doctrine is tried and true by the providence of God in our life, it becomes our norms and standards in the conscience of our soul, which we can apply in life. Now those norms and standards become our “common sense” which is really “Divine revelation” which we apply in faith.

Applying the Divine viewpoint of God’s Word (Bible Doctrine) resident in our soul is living the Faith-Rest life. Having the power of God’s Word in our soul will cause us to do as vs. 7b says, “turn away from evil.” Cf. Prov 12:15; 14:12; 22:3; contrast 14:15f; 16:17.

Prov 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”

Prov 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Prov 22:3, “The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.”

Prov 16:17, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who watches his way preserves his life.”

To trust in your own understanding rather than deliberately live in the fear of the Lord in the Faith-Rest life by studying and obeying God’s Word, (and in this context the Proverbs), is to think oneself wise in your own eyes, but in reality it is being a fool with regard to righteousness, justice, and truth.

The positive command “fear God” and the negative “turn away from evil” are inseparable and together present the sum of godliness and goodness, Prov 2:5-11; 16:6; cf. Job 28:28; Amos 5:14-15.

Job 28:28, “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’”

The Fourth Group of Blessings – Verse 8:

Now we have the blessings that come to those who live the Faith-Rest life,

Proverbs 3:8, “It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.”

“Body” is the Hebrew Noun‏‏שֹׁר‎ (SHOR), which literally means, “naval” and is used as an idiom for the whole body.

It is well-known today that a tranquil life tends to be more healthful. These verses and others in Proverbs suggest that Solomon observed that a life free from the inevitable worries and problems that accompany sin is a life of emotional and physical well-being that is the fruit of a clean conscience. Therefore, the absence of mental attitude sins protects the human body; the principle of psychosomatics. Cf. Prov 4:20-22; 14:30; 15:30; 17:22; Psa 38:3b.

Psa 38:3b, “There is no health in my bones because of my sin.”

Prov 4:20, “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings….. 22For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.”

Prov 14:30, “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”

Prov 15:30, “Light for the eyes (Bible Doctrine) gladden the heart; good news (Gospel) puts fat on the bones.”

Prov 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

As a result of sin, humankind is sick, on the road to death, and in need of healing. Yet, by turning from the sin nature, you will experience spiritual, psychological, and physical healing. A right relationship with God leads to a state of complete physical and mental well-being, not just to the absence of illness and disease.

The Fifth Command or Exhortation – Verse 9:

We now turn to the fifth and final Command – Blessing of Verses 1-10.

כַּבֵּ֣ד  אֶת־  יְ֭הוָה  מֵהוֹנֶ֑ךָ  וּ֝מֵרֵאשִׁ֗ית  כָּל־  תְּבוּאָתֶֽךָ׃ – Prov 3:9

Proverb 3:9, “Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce.”

“Honor” is the Hebrew Verb כָּבֵד‎ KABED in the Piel Mood and Imperative Tense. It has a variety of meanings, but here it means to, “honor or glorify.” The Piel Mood is used for intensification of the active voice. That means we should be doing this often, consistently, habitually. The Imperative continues the string of commands. We are commanded to give our offerings to the Lord often and habitually. The other definitions for this word include “heavy or burdensome” identifying the weighty and solemn nature of presenting our offerings unto the Lord, Num 18:12.

Num 18:12, “All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you.”

“LORD” is the typical representation of God in the Old Testament, YHVH, as the Definite Direct Object. That means this is the ONE we are giving our offerings to. This is the One we are honoring when we give our offerings. The mentality we must have when giving our offerings is not giving it to a man, or a church, or a cause, or a program. Our first and only thought should be “I am giving to my LORD.” When you have that correct mental attitude, it will cause you to think a bit more about your own personal giving. You see, it is easy to be cheap or skimpy when giving to a person or organization, but when you are giving to the Lord, you will think twice about your true motivation.

“Wealth” is the noun הוֹן‎ – HON that means, “wealth, riches, or substance.” It means money, materialistic things.

Notice that we are not just taking about “first fruits” here. First fruits had to do with the tithing of Israel, which was a form of taxation. Tithing is a part of Codex #3 of the Mosaic Law. In this first part we have from your “wealth” too. That means giving graciously to the Lord from all that He has given to you.

Now we have the second half of our giving, “from the first of all your produce.”

“First” is the noun רֵאשִׁית‎ – RESHITH meaning, “beginning or first.” It means first products of a harvest and so may be translated as “first fruits” (e.g., Lev 2:12; Num 15:20; Deut 26:2). From this, it came to be used for “the best of something”, Deut 33:21; 1 Sam 2:29, as these scripture point out what man kept for himself rather than giving it to the Lord.

First products of the harvest and your materialistic blessings is also emphasized in the next word, “produce”, which is the noun תְּבוּאָה‎ – TEBUAH, meaning, “produce, product, or revenue.”

The law of “first fruits” required all Israelites to present a sample of their first crop to the Lord in token of their redemption from Egypt, Ex 23:19; 34:26; Lev 23:9-14; Deut 26:1-11. Their failure to do this would, centuries after Solomon, lead Isaiah to condemn them, Isa 43:23.

“First fruits” was a reminder to Israel that the produce that they reaped was the gift of God, and that the land itself was His, and they were merely tenants upon it. So it represents the mental attitude believers should have when giving unto the Lord.

The same goes for us today, we are only temporary dwellers on this earth, which God has provided. Likewise, all the blessings we receive in this world are from God. Therefore, our attitude should always be to honor, glorify, and thank Him for all that He has done for us. We do so by giving back to Him the first, highest, and best of all that He has given to us. Compare Ex 23:19a; Deut 18:4; 2 Cor 9:13.

Deut 18:4, “You shall give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil, and the first shearing of your sheep.”

2 Cor 9:13, “Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all.”

This was a way of expressing gratitude to God for His provisions, Deut 26:1-3, 9-11, and it was a way of acknowledging God and His help, Prov 3:6.

In return, God then, cf. vs. 4, promised to fill the “barns” (with grain) and the “vats…with new wine.”

The Fifth Group of Blessings – Verse 10:

   וְיִמָּלְא֣וּ  אֲסָמֶ֣יךָ   שָׂבָ֑ע   וְ֝תִיר֗וֹשׁ   יְקָבֶ֥יךָ   יִפְרֹֽצוּ׃   פ  – Prov 3:10

Proverbs 3:10, “So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Here we have two idioms for business prosperity, and God is behind it.

“They will be filled” is the Verb מָלֵא‎ MALE in the Niphal Mood and Imperfect Tense, that means, “to be filled or be satisfied.” The Niphal is a simple passive meaning, we receive the action of the verb. God is the one who will fill our barns, bless us materialistically. The Imperfect stands for incomplete action, which means our barns will continually be filled up, our materialistic blessings will be continually given to us by God when we have a generous heart in giving to Him.

“Plenty” is the Noun שָׂבָע‎ SABA, that means, “plenty, abundance, or satiation.” This is prosperity blessing from God, as a result of giving your first fruits to Him. It means you will not have any want. All will be provided.

Psa 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Psa 34:9, “O fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.”

Psa 34:10, “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.”

Prov 11:24, “There is one who scatters (gives), and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.”

Next we have: “And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
Literally it is, “and your winepresses will overflow with grape juice.”

“Vats” is ‏יֶקֶב‎ YEQEB, and means, “winepress.” It had two chambers, the upper and lower. As the grapes were pressed, the juice would flow from the upper chamber to the lower yielding useful product.

“Overflow” is פָּרַץ‎, PARATS and means, “to break through, breach, burst, etc.” It means that God will increase and multiply what you have if you give graciously and of your first fruits to Him.

“New Wine” is the noun תִּירוֹשׁ TIROSH which literally means, “grape juice.”

The most predominate use of the word new in Scripture is related to “New Wine”. Under the first mention principle, (see Gen. 27:28), the word for New Wine is TIROSH, which comes from the root word YARASH meaning, inheritance, to take possession of, to possess, etc. In the New Testament we know that wine represents the New Covenant in Christ. So combined the number one usage of new is to focus on the spiritual sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and the eternal inheritance we receive through His blood.

As believers, that focus should first be thanksgiving for receiving that New Wine, and secondly, sharing the wine with others, unbelievers.

We also see that a full wine vat is a picture of blessing, Joel 2:24; yet scanty supplies of wine in the vats are an element in Divine judgment, Isa 16:10; Jer 48:33; Hos 9:2; Hag 2:16.

Joel 2:24, “The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.”

Hos 9:2, “Threshing floor and wine press will not feed them, and the new wine will fail them.”

In an agrarian economy, survival depends upon one’s crops. So this is speaking of our daily provisions and of wealth, as it speaks to the bounty provided by the Lord; cf. Mal 3:7-12.

Mal 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

The Lord who had promised to be among His people would also provide for them. Therefore, faithful observance of this commandment would yield the same blessing promised under the Covenant as noted above in Prov 3:8 regarding good health.

The promised provision is not miraculous, as was the manna, cf. Ex 16:4-35; Josh 5:11f, and the ravens that fed Elijah, 1 Kings 17:1-7, but was the result of working in field, orchard, or vineyard. In other words, the normal routines of life would be blessed so that the righteous would not go hungry, Prov 10:3.

Prov 10:3, “The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, but He will reject the craving of the wicked.”

The world tries to get its provisions and prosperity by shrewdness, unscrupulousness, and by many other vices which are elevated to the rank of virtues. But the believer who honors the Lord in getting and spending will generally have as much as his true needs and regulated desires require. Therefore, in general, it is true that godliness results in gain, and the humble offering servant brings prosperity, (cf. Prov 3:2; Deut 28:1-14; Mat 6:33).

Mat 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”

Summary: Prov 3:7-10
Health and Wealth from the Lord!

The Fourth Command – Blessing, Verses 7-8
Occupation with Christ is Blessed by Physical Health!

We are to use our volition to say no to the arrogance complex of sins, and yes to Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 12:16b, “Do not be wise in your own estimation.”

Rom 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Prov 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”

Prov 14:16, “A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.”

Prov 16:17, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who watches his way preserves his life.”

Prov 22:3, “The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.”

Job 28:28, “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Being Occupied with Christ has the added blessing of good health.

A tranquil life tends to be more healthful. The absence of mental attitude sins protects the human body; Psychosomatics. Cf. Prov 4:20-22; 14:30; 15:30; 17:22; Psa 38:3b

Psa 38:3b, “There is no health in my bones because of my sin.”

Prov 4:20, My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings….. 22For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.”

Prov 14:30, “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”

Prov 15:30, “Light for the eyes (Bible Doctrine) gladden the heart; good news (Gospel) puts fat on the bones.”

Prov 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Occupation with Christ and a right relationship with God leads to a state of complete physical and mental well-being.

The Fifth Command – Blessing, Verse 9-10
Giving Unto the Lord is Blessed with Material Blessings!

Giving of our “First fruits” is a reminder that the material blessings we have are a gift from God, and now you are honoring Him by offering it back to Him.

The mentality we must have when giving our offerings is not giving it to a man, or a church, or a cause, or a program, but, “I am giving to my LORD.”

In return, God says He will continually bless us with even more material blessings.

Psa 34:10, “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.”

Mal 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

Principles of Giving

  • Giving is an expression of worship to commemorate the grace policy of God.
  • Giving in the Church Age is the legitimate function of the believer’s royal priesthood in worship, both inside and outside the local church, e.g., in hospitality. Giving is one of the four categories of Christian service; your spiritual gift, royal priesthood, royal ambassadorship, the laws of Divine establishment.
  • Giving is the means of inculcating teamwork and coordination into the body of Christ. Rom 12; 1 Cor 12.
  • Right motivation is the major issue in giving, not the amount given. You give based on the metabolized Bible doctrine in your soul in honor and glorification of God, period! Not on the basis of your emotions, Mat 6:1-4.

Matthew 6:1-4, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

  • God has provided you with the necessary material blessings to give, and enjoys your right mental attitude when you do give. God loves grace-oriented giving, 2 Cor 9:6-12.

2 Cor 9:6-12, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful (HILAROS: gracious – grace oriented) giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” 10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.”

Verses 11-12 – Lesson number 6.

After giving us a list of Commands and Blessings in vs. 1-10, Solomon concludes with a stern warning in vs. 11-12. This also introduces the next section which includes vs. 13-20, as it begins with ‏בְּנִי‎ BENI, my son.

This section is where we see the importance and benefits of having God’s Wisdom resident in our souls, as “wisdom” is once again personified as a woman. Included in vs. 11-12 is the importance of receiving God’s Divine discipline and in vs. 19-20 the emphasis of the power of God’s Wisdom, as the power that created the heavens and earth.

So this is now the 6th lesson.

Prov 3:1-9, referenced teaching and commandments (vs. 1), faithfulness and truth (vs. 3), trust and understanding (vs. 5), wisdom and the fear of the Lord (vs. 7), honoring Him with your wealth and first fruits (vs 9), and then culminates with the warning of discipline and correction (vs. 11).

Commands/Conditions Blessings


  • Keep my commands
  • Life and peace
  • Do not let go of Impersonal Love
  • Favor with God and man


  • Trust the LORD
  • Straight path
  • Fear the LORD
  • Healing
  • Honor the LORD
  • Prosperity


  • Do not reject discipline
  • Proof of the “Father’s” love

Just as the father’s love for his son wants him to enjoy a long life (vs. 2) lived in the fear of the Lord (vs. 6), a good reputation (vs. 4) have good health (vs. 8) and financial security (vs. 10), in vs. 11-12 Divine discipline is one way that God makes it possible to bless us.

Notice also that only the Lord can give the reciprocal rewards found in the even verses: long life and peace (vs. 2), favor with God and man (vs. 4), a straight path (vs. 6), total healing (vs. 8), abundant harvests (vs. 10), and a heavenly Father’s love (vs. 12). Therefore, we know these commands and blessing to be from God and are His desire for His sons.

In addition, the commands all reinforce the purpose of the book of Proverbs, which is to demonstrate wisdom’s worth, and thus motivate the believer to pursue wisdom by obeying what has been written. That lead then to the next section in vs. 11-20. It begins with the topic of Divine Discipline in vs. 11-12.

Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, do not reject the discipline (MUSAR) of the LORD or loathe His reproof, 12For whom the LORD loves (AHEB) He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”

“Reject” is MA’AS that means, “to despise, to abhor, to refuse, to reject.” It is in the QAL JUSSIVE. The Jussive is a type of the Imperfect Tense that expresses a desire for action from a third person subject. I.e., the father desires that his son receive discipline for learning and blessing rather than reject it and continue in his folly.

“Reproof”, is the Noun TOKACHATH that means, “correction or argument.” In legal context, the noun means an “argument” as a formal statement of one’s position, to refute the contentions of others.

In the Book of Proverbs, it is a good thing, and the person who ignores it will personally live to regret it, lead others astray, be classed among the stupid, and eventually die, Prov 5:12ff; 10:17; 12:1; 15:10. Personified as a woman, “Wisdom” chides those who have rejected her rebukes, Prov 1:23, 25, 30.

“Reprove” is the Verb YAKACH in the Hiphil Imperfect that means, “to decide, judge, prove, to be right, to chastise, to correct.” The Hiphil is the causative active; because of the love of God the Father for His children, He will discipline them when they are out of line to get them back to a place of blessing / happiness, +H.

Prov 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.”

Prov 15:31, “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”

The parallel New Testament passages include, Heb 5:1-11; Rev 3:15-19; Cf. Deut 8:5; Prov 13:24.

This last exhortation summarizes for us the main issue in view; the arrogance complex of the soul. Reviewing each of the five previous commands, they all have to do with not being arrogant and thinking you know what is best for your life, both physically and spiritually. Anyone who fails to realize these mandates, and instead acts in ignorance and arrogance will receive the discipline of the Lord. God’s discipline is design to teach by means of punitive action to correct the son so that he will enjoy the blessings of God, as also noted in these verses.

Job 5:17, “Behold, how happy (blessed) is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”

“Happy” is אַשְׁרֵי‎ ESHER in the Hebrew and μακάριος  MAKARIOS in the Greek LXX, that mean, “happy or blessed.” The Hebrew root word ASHAR means, “to go straight.” Therefore, when we accept the discipline of the Lord and are walking inside the Plan of God for our lives, we will be blessed / happy.

Prov 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Prov 23:12-14, “Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. 13Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol.”

Prov 13:24, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”

Instructively, punishment of the LORD, which may take the form of sickness or some other suffering, (1 Cor 11:30), aims to restore the afflicted to proper conduct (cf. Deut 11:2), as the simile for the punishment, “like a father, the son,” shows.

Although the reproof may be harsh, it is actually a sign of the Lord’s love, not of His wrath, for it concerns those “whom the Lord loves.”

C.S. Lewis noted, “When we complain of our sufferings, we are not asking for more love, but for less.”
(C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (London: Geoffrey Bles and Centenary, 1940), pp. 30-33.) cf. Job 7:17-19; 10:20

No matter how hard the Lord spanks you, you should never despise it. The very fact that you are alive and hurting indicates His grace. If we received from Him what we deserve, we would be dead and not hurting. Do not ever be discouraged when you get out of line and you get spanked. You are still here and God has a purpose for your life. He loves us and even when He spanks us, it is what He is that counts. Because He loves us it hurts; it corrects us; it results in blessing.

Doctrine of Divine Discipline

Definition and description:

  • Divine discipline is the sum total of punitive action taken by the justice of God in grace to correct, to punish, to encourage, to train, and to motivate the believer’s free will toward the predesigned protocol plan of God (P3G)
  • Therefore, Divine discipline is distinguished from Divine judgment, in that discipline is for believers only, but judgment is directed toward all categories of the human race and angels under certain circumstances, Heb 12:5-8.

Heb 12:8, “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”

  • When believers get out of fellowship through sin, human good, or evil, we bring suffering on ourselves.
  • This suffering is in the form of Divine discipline that includes three potential stages of Divine Discipline as noted in 1 Cor 11:30, “some are weak and sick and a number sleep.”=
  • It also includes the law of volitional responsibility with its self-imposed, self-induced, and self-indulged forms of misery. Bad decisions not only destroy future options in life, but they result in tremendous misery manufactured by ourselves, for which we must take the responsibility. The resultant discomfort, misery, and unhappiness may last for a short or long period of time. This is the law of “you reap what you sow,” Gal 6:7-8; Cf. Prov 22:8.

Gal 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh (Old Sin Nature) will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

  • If we do not use the most basic Problem Solving Device of Rebound (1 John 1:9), we will continue in a state of carnality, cosmic living, or reversionism. Carnality is a brief stay in the cosmic system; reversionism is a prolonged residence in the cosmic system. Only in time are we, members of the Royal Family of God, disciplined in the form of suffering.
  • If the believer persists in the three categories under the law of volitional responsibility, i.e., self-imposed, self-induced, and self-indulged misery, it is obvious that God will add to it, if you do not come around through rebound.
  • Punishment from God often follows the failure to Rebound from our sins. Our every sin originates from our free will. Though temptation may come from the Old Sin Nature or another source, we make the decision to sin! All wrong decisions come from some form of arrogance or lust.

(See Old Sin Nature Chart)

  • While God is the source of Divine discipline, man’s free will is the source of suffering under the law of volitional responsibility. God uses His sovereignty and His perfect judgment to know when it is time to warn us that we are out of fellowship, and to bring us back to reality with varying categories of punishment.
  • All Divine discipline, except the Sin Unto Death, is always designed to correct, to train, and to motivate.
  • Although Divine discipline is suffering, it is not bad, as we associate with suffering, but it is teaching from the grace of God, Job 5:17. All of us must learn certain things the hard way through Divine discipline, Psa 119:75; Heb 12:11.

Psa 119:75, “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

Heb 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

So you can learn the easy way, from your Pastor Teacher, Eph 4:11-16, or you can learn directly from God, the hard way by which you hurt, Prov 3:11-12.

Eph 4:11-16, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastor-teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

  • During the Church Age, the Age of Grace, God has designed the spiritual gift and office of Pastor-Teacher to also provide discipline where necessary, 1 Tim 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2-3.

1 Tim 5:20, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”

2 Tim 4:2-4, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

Purpose for Divine Discipline:

  • The purpose of Divine discipline is two-fold in Rev 3:19, to “reprove” and “discipline” the wayward son.
  • “Reprove” is the Greek Word ELEGCHO (el-eg’-kho) that means, “to expose, prove guilty, convict, condemn, reprove, or rebuke.” This is the action taken by both God, in the suffering we endure through adverse situations He brings upon us, and the Pastor-Teacher when one of his sheep goes astray.

In the case of the Pastor-Teacher, he can do this privately or if necessary publicly behind the pulpit, as we noted in 1 Tim 5:20 and 2 Tim 4:2. Reproving and Rebuking are both verbal tongue lashing done privately and publicly if necessary.

Whether it is from God or the Pastor,it is designed to expose the sin, human good, or evil the child of God is entering into and call it out for what it is, along with its destructive behavior and consequences.

It is best when the child of God is exposed to their own sin, human good, or evil so that they can recognize it and then Rebound and make the appropriate corrections or adjustments in their lives (repent).

Sometimes this exposure may need to be brought before the congregation so that they too are not negatively influenced by that child’s sin, human good, or evil.

  • “Discipline” is the Greek verb PAIDEUO, (pahee-dyoo’-o), that means, “to train children, to chasten, correct, to instruct, teach, discipline; whip, scourge, or beat.” So you can see that there is both a learning component and a punishment component.

It means to train up a child, which includes educating them about their wrong thoughts and actions. It can come through the teaching of God’s Word or through overt suffering or difficulties brought into our lives.

God has designed a system in the Church Age where the Pastor-Teacher, in love, is one of the vessels by which He executes discipline to His children. If they do not wake up as a result, God will bring in further punitive action to that child, “Weak, Sick, and the Sin Unto Death.” The one who heeds the training from the reproof and discipline will “be zealous and repent, Rev 3:19.” That is, change their way of thinking and get back into the Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God (P3G).

Divine discipline is designed to motivate the believer to recover residence inside God’s Power System, the only place we as members of the Royal Family of God can execute His plan for our lives.

  • Divine discipline is a warning that the believer is out of bounds and not executing God’s plan, but functioning in Satan’s cosmic system. The boundaries of God’s plan are defined in terms of God’s Power System.
  • As a perfect plan, God’s plan must be executed in bounds, not out of bounds. Just as the referee blows the whistle, the flag is thrown, and the penalty is given when a player is out of bounds in a sports game, so God blows the whistle on us through the administration of punishment: Divine discipline.
  • If you cannot learn from humility, you learn from hurting. Learning from hurting is the limited lesson of motivation to rebound and recover from the cosmic system.
  • The believer must recover from the cosmic system to live inside God’s Power System. Only inside God’s Power System is logistical grace provision exploited to the glory of God, with momentum in the spiritual life.
  • The cosmic believer who does not learn from Divine discipline is eventually removed from this life under painful circumstances, 1 Cor 11:30; 1 John 5:16-17.

Triple Compound Divine Discipline.

This is the worst type of self-induced punishment. This begins with the believer’s decision to become involved in mental attitude sins as motivation for sins of the tongue. These sins of the tongue are motivated by such mental attitude sins as arrogance, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness, implacability, self-pity, guilt syndrome, and revenge tactics.

While these sins of motivating evil begin with bad decisions from human volition, they are also subject to Divine discipline. Therefore, bad decisions to commit verbal sins bring about this worst category of Divine discipline, Mat 7:1-5.

Mat 7:1 2, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

The triple compounding of discipline comes because you are disciplined for each category of sin you are committing:

  • The verbal sin: gossip, judging, maligning, slandering.
  • The mental attitude sin that motivated the verbal sin.
  • Everything you say about someone else, whether true or not, and the consequences they should receive for their actions, is put on you.

Recovery from Divine Discipline.

When the believer uses Rebound, God exercises one of three options on his behalf, though the purpose for the suffering has changed from discipline to blessing. All suffering for blessing is designed to accelerate spiritual growth.

  • The removal of all disciplinary suffering.
  • Discipline suffering is diminished, but is now designed for blessing. The reason the suffering is reduced is so that you can bear it. God never gives us more than we can bear in fellowship, 1 Cor 10:13.
  • Disciplinary suffering continues at the same intensity, but is now designed for blessing. It continues at the same intensity because you can bear it and gain blessing from it, Job 5:17 18.

In summary, most of our suffering comes from ourselves under the law of volitional responsibility. But when we ignore the suffering incurred from the law of volitional responsibility and continue to live in the dungeon of the cosmic system, then God brings us back to reality.

The arrogance complex of sins inside of Satan’s cosmic system is so great and powerful that it divorces us from reality. So God first administers warning discipline. When that does not work, He adds intensified discipline. At this point, God now uses the believer for an entirely different purpose. No longer can he fulfill God’s plan. However, God keeps him alive, though obnoxious, psychotic, neurotic, or sociopathic, for people testing for those believers advancing through the valley of Momentum Testing. Eventually, if he does not wake up, God takes him home under the Sin Unto Death.

Never the less, God’s discipline is designed to warn us, train us and wake us up to the reality of our negative situation so that with our free will volition we get back into the Plan of God, walking in fellowship with Him,being filled with the Holy Spirit,producing Divine Good, John 15:1-5, 8, while storing up blessings and rewards for time and eternity, 1 Cor 3:10-15.

Heb 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

Prov 3:13-18; we now turn to the rest of our second section with vs. 13-20. In fact, we are grouping vs. 13-18 and will then look at vs. 19-20 which speak about wisdom as God’s creative act.

Verses 13-20 are structured in this poem to encourage the believer to seek wisdom by promising the benefits already mentioned in vs. 1-12.

It is structured as follows:
Exclamation: How blessed is the wise man, vs. 13
Reason: Wisdom is incomparable; it offers life, wealth, honor, peace, vs. 14-18.
Support: The Lord created and rules all things, vs. 19-20.

Then we will see the complement to this in vs. 21-26, the first half of the 7th sermon, which tells us of the presence and protection of the Lord as both a part and reward of our search for wisdom.

Exhortation: Become wise, vs. 21.
Reason: Wisdom is valuable; it offers life, security, freedom from fear, vs. 22-25.
Support: The Lord is your guardian, vs. 26.

The first section, vs. 13-18, is tied together by two devices. Forms of the same word “blessed” begin and end this section. Then wisdom and insight are named only in vs. 13. The other references to these qualities in these verses are feminine pronouns, a cohesive device that binds the verses closely to their main topic and each other.

Verses 19-20, which relate the Lord’s work of creation to His wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (cf. 8:22-31), parallel vs. 26, which describes the Lord’s role as the believer’s guardian, cf. Psa 121. The organization of the poem thus links His ability to protect His people to His work of creation. The motive clauses; therefore, rest on the person and character of God.

As noted, some of wisdom’s blessings are mentioned in vs. 1-12, so now Solomon continues describing wisdom’s value. Prov 2:4, 6 compare to this as another reference to the dual nature to wisdom as the object of a search and as a gift.

We begin with Verse 13, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.”

The first thing we see here is “how blessed……” As you know, the Hebrew word is ESHER that means, “happy or blessed.” That comes from the root word ASHAR that means, “to go straight, go on, advance.” Therefore, we see that spiritual growth is part of being happy.

So for the believer who has Bible Doctrine resident in their soul…. AND applies it, they will have and experience the Happiness of God (+H).

“Finds” is MATSA which means, “to attain, find, or discover.” This is the name of the bread used in the Passover and in our communion. Because the father would hide the bread in the house and the children would search for it until found. As you know this was a picture of Christ and His Resurrection.

In Prov 3:13, “wisdom” CHOKMAH must be found, which is the mind of Christ, Bible Doctrine, in application to experience.

Prov 24:13-14 “My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; 14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”

It is not possible to discover wisdom without seeking it diligently, cf. Prov 2:1-4; Mat 7:7f.

Then in the second half of this verse, wisdom is also said to be a gift (cf. Prov 2:6). The other three occurrences of the verb translated “gains” PUQ, (“to bring out, furnish, promote, obtain”), in Proverbs all refer to receiving favor from the Lord, cf. Prov 8:35; 12:2; 18:22. Prov 8:35 also refers to “finding wisdom.”

Prov 8:35, “For he who finds (MATSA) me (wisdom) finds life and obtains (PUQ) favor from the LORD.”

Apart from the gracious gift of God, there is no true wisdom, knowledge, or understanding.

Then in Verse 14 we have, “For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.”

“Profit” is the Noun SACHAR that means, “commerce or gain; that is profit.” Here it refers to the acquisition of Bible doctrine to experience, which is better than the most valuable commodities of this world.

In other words, if you would be zealous in seeking silver or gold, you should be much more zealous in seeking God’s Word, especially because the gain is much more valuable to you and those around you. Believers should seek to gain Bible doctrine the way most people seek to gain money.

This theme continues in Verse 15, “She is more precious than jewels (PENINIM – corals); and nothing you desire compares with her.”

Wisdom is now personified as a woman, which runs through to vs. 18, which should have more value or clout, and be more highly desired than the riches of this world, Satan’s Cosmic System.

“Precious” is the Adjective YAQAR the means, “precious, rare, splendid, weighty, costly, something of high value.” Cf. Job 28:18; Prov 8:11; 20:15.

Job 28:18, “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; and the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.”

Prov 8:11, “For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.”

Prov 20:15, “There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; but the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.”

“Desire” is the Noun CHEPHETS that means, “that which you delight or pleasure in”; therefore, “desire.” It refers to the riches of this life.

To be successful in this world requires enormous amounts of energy and devotion to the task at hand. Yet, is not wisdom worth at least the same investment of time, effort, and energy, since it is more valuable than silver, gold, food, corals, etc.?

If people spend their lives working to gain these perishable things, how much more should the believer pursue wisdom, since it is more valuable than anything that the human heart can imagine or desire? Cf. Eph 3:14-21.

Also wisdom’s value does not fluctuate based on circumstances or the stock market, as do precious metals and gems. Wisdom does not tarnish, it cannot be stolen and it is not used up, unlike the valuables to which it is compared, Mat 6:19-21; cf. 1 Cor 9:25-27; James 5:1-6.

Mat 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Finally, these verses do not condemn wealth or property. They are normal desires in life, and if you put “wisdom” first, you can enjoy these things, and if they are wiped out, you still have God’s Word in your soul. And when you have Bible doctrine in your soul, you have inner happiness (+H) regardless of the details of life.

Yet, these verses do warn the believer not to be misled into thinking that the pursuit of these things is more important than the pursuit of wisdom. If a choice must be made, choose wisdom, cf. Prov 4:5, 7; 8:10-11, 19; 16:16.

In the phrase “compares with her”, “Compares” is the Qal Imperfect of the verb SHAWAH that means, “to be like, resemble, to be suitable”; therefore, it is something in comparison. You cannot name anything in life that is more important than God’s Word. If you have Bible doctrine, then you have everything.

In Verse 16 we have, “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.”

Here we see a picture of a woman standing as she holds something in both her right (YAMIN) and left (SEMOVL) hands. This is the typical picture of the scales of justice. Therefore, we see that when we have wisdom in our soul, the integrity of God (that is made up of His righteousness and justice) is able to bless us in these ways. These blessing may be given to us in time, and will certainly be given to us in eternity.

Psa 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

The first blessing is “Long Life”, which is the plural of the nouns OREK and YOM that literally means “length of days”, the same phrase we saw in vs. 2.

This is having a long life in Phase Two, your spiritual walk here on earth (i.e., from the point of salvation to the point you are taken home to be with the Lord); the Christian life. It is the principle that you will be in the Plan of God while you are here on earth, when you have wisdom resident within your soul. It is saying that you will have a long life in the sense of a long Phase Two, a long productive, useful and wonderful life. Therefore, we see that a quality spiritual life can lead to a quantity of years in the physical life. Cf. Deut 5:16 the 5th of the 10 Commandments.

Deut 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

The second half of this verse is the blessing of “riches and honor.” These may be given to you in time, but absolutely will be yours in the eternal state.

“Riches” is the noun OSHER, riches or wealth, which is derived from ASHAR (אָשַׁר) that means, “to be or become rich.” It is derived from the root word for ESHER, “blessed or happy”, which is ASHAR (אַשְׁרֵי). It is spelled the same in the English but slightly different in the Hebrew having an Ayin rather than an Alef to begin the word.

The wise man considers himself wealthy because of his wisdom, Prov 14:24.

Prov 14:24, “The crown of the wise is their riches (wisdom), but the folly of fools is foolishness.”

Along with honor and longevity, “riches” is a reward for the humble Prov 22:4.

Prov 22:4, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD, (Occupation with Christ), are riches, honor and life.”

Rom 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

“Honor” is the Noun KABOD that means, “abundance, honor, or glory.” Honor means, “to be esteemed and respected, held in high regard.” The believer who finds and functions in the wisdom of God will be honored and glorified in the eternal state.

Rom 8:17, “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Prov 15:33, “The fear of the LORD (Occupation with Jesus Christ) is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”

Riches and Honor are frequently paired including:

Prov 8:18, “Riches and honor are with me (wisdom), enduring wealth and righteousness.”

Prov 22:4, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life.”

Then in Verse 17 we have, “Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.”

“Pleasant” is the Noun NOAM that means, “beauty, delightful, or pleasant.” Pleasant means, giving or affording pleasure or enjoyment, that which is agreeable. It means, pleasing in manner, appearance or other personal qualities. And that is what Bible Doctrine is to your soul.

Prov 15:26, “Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD, but pleasant words are pure.”

Prov 16:24, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Prov 22:17-18, “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; 18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips.”

Prov 24:3-4, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” This is the Edification Complex of the Soul.

This too is a play on words as “desire” (CHEPHETS) in vs. 15 is synonymous with NOAM. So we see that the Word of God is just that, it is pleasant and soothing to the soul, delightful to those who find it, and it provides inner peace and happiness.

Psa 37:4, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psa 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

That is doubly emphasized in the next word, “peace” which is the Noun SHALOM, that means, “completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace.”

“Peace” here refers to finishing your life happy, untroubled, and with a sense of fulfillment. It includes contentment, prosperity, freedom from oppression by others, and a sense of completion. Peace is also the absence of fear of the threat of harm and thus a “sense of security.”

Isa 26:3-4, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Then in Verse 18 it says, “She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.”

In other words, you receive happiness when you hang on to her, latch on to her, hold on to her. The latter part of this verse actually says, “Receiving inner happiness is the one who hangs on to Bible doctrine.”

Here we have the phrase, “Tree of Life”, which is ETS CHAYYIM. It is used 11 times in scripture; 3 times in Genesis, (Gen 2:9; 3:22, 24); 4 times in Proverbs, (Prov 3:18, 11:30; 13:12; 15:4); and 4 times in Revelation, (Rev 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19).

In Genesis it refers to the life giving tree found in the Garden of Eden.

In Revelation it refers to the tree for “healing the nations” found in the Paradise Garden of the eternal New Jerusalem.

Therefore, in the first and last references, it refers to actual life giving and caring provided by God.

Then in Proverbs it is a euphemism for wisdom.

In Proverbs it refers to:

  • Prov 3:18, Wisdom is a benefit to those who hold onto it.
  • Prov 11:30, Wisdom is the fruit of righteous people regarding evangelism, winning souls.
  • Prov 13:12, Wisdom is the fulfillment of your desires.
  • Prov 15:4, Wisdom is healing power.

Prov 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.”

Prov 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Prov 15:4, “A soothing (healing) tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.”

Both wisdom and healing words are equated with a “tree of life” because words that heal, strengthen, and restore come from thoughtful hearts, cf Prov 10:11; 12:18. And those who are a source of encouragement must exercise both forethought and insight, WISDOM.

In all, it refers to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His completed work on the Cross. Without which we would not have life or health or riches or happiness. All of which are gained from having the mind of Christ (wisdom) in your soul.

So we see that the ways of wisdom are pleasant, characterized by peace, long life and blessing. These rewards are not enjoyed by the spiritual immature, however. They belong to those who seize wisdom and hold it tightly, another view of the intensity of the pursuit of understanding and knowledge described in Prov 2:1-4. Therefore, we are reminded of the need to pursue, acquire, and hold onto wisdom.

Next in Vs. 19 & 20, we see the great grace plan of God in action. In these verses, Solomon notes the creative act of God in support of the power and blessings that are found in God’s “Wisdom” when we have it stored within our souls.

Prov 3:19-20, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. 20By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew.”

Verse 19 begins with the sacred Tetragrammaton “YHVH” for Lord. More often than not, YHVH represents the second member of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, the Septuagint (LXX) typically uses the Greek KURIOS for YHVH which also means “Lord.” Here THEOS is used that means “God.”

The initial position of YHVH emphatically juxtaposes the “Lord” with “ADAM” of vs. 13. As we noted, Happy is the man who finds wisdom, yet God has always had wisdom, proved by the fact that wisdom founded the earth.

“Wisdom” is CHOKMAH once again. Wisdom is Bible doctrine; wisdom is what Jesus Christ thinks. Therefore, He thought and the worlds came into existence, Col 1:16-17.

Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

“Founded” is the Hebrew Verb YASAD in the Qal Perfect. That means it is a completed action by our Lord that continues into the present. YASAD means, “found, establish, fix, or begin.”

Here it is used for the Lord God “founding” the earth (ERETS) as also in, Psa 24:2; Isa 48:13; 51:13.

Psa 24:1-2, “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. 2For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”

In Prov 8:22-31, we see that “Wisdom” was with Christ before, during, and after His creative act.

“Wisdom played a dynamic part in the creation of the universe. By it God changed chaos to order. So also wisdom can have a dynamic effect on human life.” Charles Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible.

Then we have “by understanding He established the heavens.”

“Understanding” is TEBUNAH that can mean, “insight, skill, understanding.” We saw this word in vs. 13b, where “Happy is the man who gains understanding.” It is the same understanding by which the Lord established the heavens that the believer can have when His Word, Bible Doctrine, is resident within your soul.

“Established” is the Verb KUN that means, “to be firm, be stable, or be established.” This speaks to the firm or solid foundation on which the heavens were created. That solid foundation is the mind of Christ, wisdom.

Isaiah 45:18, “For thus says the LORD, who created (BARA) the heavens [He is the God who formed (YATSAR) the earth and made (ASAH) it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited], “I am the LORD, and there is none else.”

The words “founded” and “established” represent the idea of the firmness, stability, and permanence of the cosmos as created by wisdom, and by comparison, related to the gift of “long life” to the believer, depicted as a “tree of life”, when we have wisdom in our souls.

“Heavens” is the Noun SHAMAYIM that means “heaven”, yet it is in the Masculine, Dual just as in Gen 1:1.

Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

In Hebrew the number of the noun can be singular, meaning one; plural meaning a multitude; or dual meaning only two. Here we have the Dual usage that means two heavens are in view.

As we know from scripture, 2 Cor 12:2, there are technically three heavens.

2 Cor 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”

1) The atmosphere around plant earth.
2) The stellar universe.
3) God’s throne room, which is outside of our universe.

The stellar universe was created in an instant by the Lord Jesus Christ, Gen 1:1, 21; Psa 33:6; 115:15; 124:8; 134:3; John 1:3; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2-3. Both the OT and NT Scriptures state dogmatically that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe. Our Lord established them by His wisdom and understanding, which means by the operation of His mind.

He created the universe out of nothing. It was initially created exclusively for the angels. It underwent a catastrophic change as a result of Satan’s rebellion against God, Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:11-19. This rebellion and the resultant destruction of the earth and universe took place between Genesis 1:1 & 1:2. Therefore, the earth had to be restored, that is Gen 1:2.

Then in Prov 3:20 we have, “By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew.”

“Knowledge” is the noun DA’ATH that means, “knowledge, skill, or perception.” This refers to the omniscience of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When God created the world, He used wisdom… understanding, and knowledge. If God used these as the power to create, then certainly we should use them as power to overcome in our everyday lives.

Interestingly we have three aspect of the mind of Christ where the number 3 speaks of Divine Perfection as noted in the Trinity. These three aspects also tell of the three members of the Trinity working in unison to bring about Creation.

  • God the Father planned the restoration.
  • God the Son gave the commands to create and restore, Gen 1:21, 27; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2-3.
  • God the Holy Spirit executed God the Son’s commands to restore and create, Gen 1:2b-20.

“The deeps were broken up” is TEHOM BAQA.

TEHOM is a Noun that means, “depths, deep places, abyss, the deep, sea.” Here in the Feminine plural it means, “many or a multitude of,” and denotes the primeval depths, not the present subterranean and/or ocean waters as in Psa 71:20; 135:6. These are the “lower waters.”

BAQA means, “to cleave, break open or through, divide, or split.” It is in the Niphal Perfect. The Niphal is the Passive of Qal meaning the seas received the action of being broken up or separated. This resulted in the seven seas we have today.

“Skies” is the noun SHACHAQ that means dust, cloud, fine dust, or a thin cloud. Therefore, it is speaking of the atmosphere around planet earth that is made up of tiny particles that also produce rain. These are the “upper waters.”

“Drips with dew” is the verb RAAPH in the QAL Imperfect that means, “to trickle or drip.” Of the five times it occurs in the O.T., four are in the Qal stem. Meaning “to drip,” as in clouds that “drip” water upon mankind, Job 36:28; Prov 3:20. Twice, it refers to the rains which God “drops” on the fields in His blessing, resulting in an abundant harvest and prosperity, Psa 65:11-12. And finally, it is used metaphorically where it occurs once in the Hiphil stem (the “causative” active of the Qal), where the heavens are commanded by the Lord to “drip” righteousness, so that salvation and righteousness will spring forth, Isa 45:8.

Therefore, we see that in addition to establishing the earth once and for all, the Lord’s omniscience sustains it with life-giving waters. The Lord refreshes the earth continually.

The metaphor here means prosperity under an agricultural economy. Rain and water are necessary for prosperity under that system, which existed at the time of writing. The source of this prosperity is the thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ. That same thinking is the source of Bible doctrine. Therefore, if we have Bible doctrine in our souls, we may or may not have materialistic prosperity, but we will have its source, omniscient Bible doctrine which is true wealth and riches.

The dual duets, earth and heaven, vs. 19, and the lower and upper waters, vs. 20, testify to the power and greatness of His wisdom.

Christ’s control of this vast primordial, chaotic mass demonstrates His sovereignty over all things. If He rules the deep and the skies above, nothing is beyond the wisdom that He offers us today.

These verses are a reminder that the Lord is the Creator and Ruler of all things, and that He both created and rules by wisdom. Since Jesus Christ is the implicit source of wisdom in this poem, cf. Prov 2:6 with 3:13b, these verses are intended to reassure the student. If the Lord with “wisdom” as His tool, accomplished the wonders of the various phases of creation, (e.g., setting the earth on its foundations by splitting the primeval waters and setting the heavens in their appointed place and watering the earth with dew from its clouds), think what His revealed wisdom will do in the lives of those who find it.

This also tells us that everything in our lives depends on who and what God is. As God’s building for our habitat has three components earth, heavens, and seas (a house with a firm foundation through “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge”) models the believer building his house through the same virtues of “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge”, Prov 24:3-4 cf. Psa 127:1.

Psa 127:1, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.”

(See Doctrine of Creation versus Evolution)

Proverbs 3:21-26

Beginning in vs. 21 and running through the remainder of the chapter, we have the third parental message or sermon of Chapter 3, which is the seventh thus far in the book of Proverbs of the seventeen sermons in Chapters 1-9, as we have the familiar word “my son” BENIY.

This message has three parts to it:

  • A reminder to retain Bible Doctrine to combat the fears of life, 21-26.
  • The application of Impersonal and Unconditional Love toward your neighbors, 27-31.
  • God’s dealings with the wicked and the righteous, 32-35.

We begin with the first section: “A reminder to retain Bible Doctrine in your soul to combat the fears of life, vs. 21-26.”

The primary benefit of wisdom promised here is personal security and freedom from anxiety.

Verse 21, “My son, let them not vanish / depart from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion.”

“Them” refers back to the two objects of vs. 13 “wisdom and understanding” in relation to the teachings and commandments of vs. 1, i.e. the principles and precepts of God’s Word resident in your soul ready for application.

This passage signifies that constant and diligent attention must be given to the teaching of Bible Doctrine and to not neglect or overlook a single detail, cf. Prov 4:21.

“Vanish or depart” is the Hebrew Verb LUZ in the Qal Jussive 3rd Person, Masc., Plural. LUZ לוּז means, “to deviate or depart.” The Biblical usages always indicate departing or deviating from the application of Bible Doctrine, wisdom in your soul. The Qal Jussive is the desire of the parent for his child to not deviate from wisdom and instead to function in it on a consistent basis.

“Depart from your sight/eyes” is the perception and application of Bible Doctrine that we are not to deviate from.

“Keep” is the Qal Imperative of the verb NATSAR that means “to keep, watch, or guard.” We are commanded to guard the Bible doctrine resident in our souls, which doctrine in turn guards our souls.

“Sound Wisdom” is the noun TUSHIYYAH that literally means, “prosperity or success”, but comes to mean “sound / efficient wisdom or knowledge, and abiding success.” It is derived from an unused root, and occurs twelve times in the OT. It is related to prudence or the capacity to make discerning appraisals of a situation on the basis of Bible Doctrine being resident in your soul. This is the wisdom that leads to practical success.

Solomon has previously demonstrated the value of wisdom and now we are encouraged to keep fast what we have attained, not allowing it to escape.

“Discretion” is the noun MEZIMMAH that means, “Purpose, discretion, thought, or plan.” Cf. with Prov 2:11. In other words, we need to order our thinking so that the evils and temptations of this world do not over run us. We are to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”, 2 Cor 10:5, so that fear will not have a foothold in our souls. But if we do not, fear will overcome our souls.

This verse looks back to vs. 13 as though Solomon were saying, “I have described the blessing of having wisdom, now, my son, get that blessing for yourself by holding onto the wisdom that you have already attained!” He then proceeds by telling of more of the benefits derived from having wisdom in our soul.

Verse 22, “So they will be life to your soul (NEPHESH) and adornment to your neck.”

“They” continues the look back to vs. 13 and vs. 1 of wisdom and understanding (Bible Doctrine). This verse also harkens back to the exhortations of Chapters 1:9; 3:3, 18.

Three times we find the word “life” CHAYYIM is used in this chapter, vs. 2, 18, 22.

Remember that “life” referred to the exercise of “wisdom” in forethought and insight when dealing with self and others to bring healing to various situations and that helps secure a happy life. More importantly it spoke of the provisions of Jesus Christ to sustain us both in time and eternity. So “life” speaks of Christ.

For the believer in time, your life is found in Bible doctrine. The only way a believer can know Jesus Christ is to know doctrine. Doctrine is His mind, His thinking. Doctrine explains His character, His essence, 1 Cor 2:16. The real life of the soul is Bible doctrine.

And the “necklace” has and continues to signify the guidance and protection we receive by means of Faith Resting in God’s Word.


  • To merely get wisdom is not enough. Wisdom must be used.
  • When it consistently guides your decisions, the result is a life adorned with grace.
  • To “keep” wisdom is to live according to its precepts.
  • In order for the believer to live this way, he must pursue wisdom by studying and learning on a consistent basis, Prov 1:2-6.
  • Only when known and understood can wisdom’s teachings guide your decisions.

Verse 23, “Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble.”

“Securely” is the noun BETACH that means, “safety and security.”

Prov 1:33, “But he who listens to me (wisdom) shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

“Stumble” is the noun NAGAPH that means, “to strike or smite.” It describes the action of humans striking their feet against the ground and stumbling, Jer 13:16, that throws them off-balance. Stumbling or striking the foot is a metaphor for disaster and catastrophe and throws you off balance and tempts you to sin due to fear, worry, and anxiety.

On the other hand, the balance concept is the principle of Bible doctrine meeting every difficulty, every circumstance of life and it also denotes Divine protection from metaphorical stumbling, as in our verse and Psa 91:12.

This is a general promise; it is not an absolute guarantee that the wise will never have occasion to stumble. We all have a sin nature and will stumble from time to time. The point is to minimize your stumbling over temptations to sin or enter into human good and evil due to fear.

The life that is the product of obedience to God’s Word is a life filled with peace and security, so that the wise believer will not fear disaster, (striking their foot against a rock), cf. Psa 91:12, 121:3.

Psa 91:12, “They (Angels) will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.” (This is the verse quoted by Satan to tempt Jesus in Mat 4:6 & Luke 4:11.) So Jesus too was tempted in regard to fear.

Psa 121:3, “He (YHWH – God) will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.”

Verse 24, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

“Afraid” is the verb PACHAD that means, “to fear, tremble, revere, dread, be in awe or dread.” It is in the Qal Imperfect. Here it represents ongoing action of not being afraid of life’s situations because trust in the LORD can end all types of fears, Psa 27:1; 78:53; Isa 12:2.

Psa 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?”

Isa 12:2, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”

“Sweet” is the Qal Perfect of ARAB that means, “sweet or pleasant” and indicates the things of life that are pleasing, pleasant,and enjoyable. So when we are in the most vulnerable position, lying down, we will continue to have confidence, peace, and security.

Therefore, this implies that we will be free of real dangers and/or nightmares, Job 7:13-15, and terrors, Psa 91:5, as sweet sleep is the fruit of God and wisdom, Prov 6:22; 19:23.

When you have Bible doctrine, no matter how great the disaster may be, you can lie down right where you are and go to sleep.

Combining vs. 23 & 24, “walking and lying down”, signifies security at all times and in all situations.

Verse 25, “Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes.”

“Afraid” here is YARE that means to “fear, revere, or be afraid.”

“Sudden Fear” is the Adverb PITHOM and the noun PACHAD, with a slight change in the first vowel from long to short compared to the verb noted in vs. 24. It means, “terror or dread”, and refers to disaster or catastrophe. The only way to avoid fear in disaster is to apply the Bible doctrine resident in your soul.

“Onslaught” is verb SHOAH that means, “devastation, ruin, or waste.” Its root means, “to lie desolate”, and it refers to a “pit” or to “destruction.” So the “onslaught of the wicked” means, being thrown in Hell.

Therefore, the positive believer who has and applies wisdom will not be afraid of the judgment that will overwhelm the wicked / unbelieving, cf. Psa 1:5-6. Yet, the immature believer has doubts about what comes after death and will have fear. The spiritually mature believer does not.

Verse 26, “For the LORD (YHWH) will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”

“Confidence” is the verb KESEL that means, “loins, stupidity, or confidence.” Here in the positive sense it means, “confidence or hope.” In the negative sense it means, those who have confidence in themselves and therefore are classified as stupid. “Loins” has the connotation that “God is always at your side.”

This reminds us that when we choose to pursue wisdom, we can know that the LORD is also there for us and is our confidence. He is the One who keeps us from being caught, (snared in the trap of sin and temptation due to fear).

There is a big difference between pride and confidence, yet most people and most believers cannot distinguish between the two. The Word of God, Bible doctrine, provides confidence. When you know the word of God, you have boldness in life that some mistake as arrogance, but it is not, Acts 4:31; 2 Cor 3:12; Eph 3:12; 6:19; Phil 1:20; 1Thes 2:2.

2 Cor 3:12, “Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.”

Phil 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

“From being caught” is the noun LEKED that means, “a taking or a capture.” It is derived from the verb LAKAD that means, “to catch or capture.” This masculine noun occurs only here in the scriptures.

So the principle is, the godly person does not need to be afraid, because the LORD will be his confidence, and He will keep his foot from being caught in the temptation of fear and sin.

2 Cor 10:5, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Therefore, we either take every temptation captive, (and throw it out before it becomes sin), or we will be taken captive by the sin itself, especially the sin of fear, Col 2:8; 2 Tim 2:24-26; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

2 Tim 2:24-26, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”

The prudent believer looks ahead, weighs the implications of his decisions and chooses wisely, so that he avoids the trouble that plagues the fool. But his security does not rest in his cleverness or insight. It rests instead in the Lord, who guides his steps.

Therefore, our confidence and security come from trusting that the Lord is with us and that He will guide and guard us in every step of the way, every day.

Next we note the second part of the third sermon of Chapter 3 in Verses 27-31. This section indicates, “The application of Impersonal and Unconditional Love toward mankind”, which is one of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.

Using the same pattern as the first poem in this chapter, 3:1-12, Solomon lays down a series of negative commands, “do not”, vs. 27-31, and follows them with an extended motive statement, vs. 32-35.

These prohibitions address interpersonal relationships.

In vs. 27 & 28, we have the first of three applications of Impersonal and Unconditional love towards mankind.

Verse 27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”

“Do not withhold” is the Adverb AL, “not”, and the verb MANA in the Qal Jussive that means, “to withhold, refuse, refrain, or deny.” In essence, the verb represents the antithesis of giving in that the subject is capable of providing the object in question, but refuses to do so.

The act of withholding usually implies that the giver has the ability to give, as noted by the last phrase of this verse.

In contrast, the wise person is one who does not withhold food or other items from the poor nor anything that is due, Prov 11:26; Job 22:7; 31:16.

Prov 11:26, “He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.”

“Good” is TOB and here means, “What fulfills one’s expectations.” It refers to something that is appropriate, pleasing, and beneficial. Therefore, a good thing meets the need or the desire of the person, and usually, it exceeds the minimum expectations.

“From those who it is due”, is the Adverb MIN, “from or away from”, and BAAL that means, “owner, master, possessor, citizen, husband, or lord.” Cf. Prov 1:19. Many times this word is translated literally as Baal regarding the pagan god. That comes from its meaning “one who is owed” as in the false worship of a false God.

Here the idea is, “one who is owed or the owner”, not referring to a false god, but your fellow mankind who is in need or who has earned his wage. Therefore, it can mean to fulfill an obligation, such as paying wages to a hired laborer. Cf. Lev 19:13b.

In addition, as we know from Rom 13:8, we are to owe no man anything except love. So here is the principle of loving one another.

“When it is in your power to do it.” One of Hebrew manuscripts has, “when it is in the power of your hands to do.”

Interestingly, “power” is the noun EL that means, “god, might, strength, or power.” Notice the play on words with BAAL and EL both referring to gods in some passages, but not here. Here EL refers to your ability to pay wages due, or to help a needy person. So it means to have the right mental attitude when you can help some, i.e., give them grace.

To refuse to do so when it is in your power is to sin by omission, Deut 24:15.

Withholding good (i.e. the wage due to the person who has earned it or needs it) is keeping something that belongs to someone else. It belongs to that person by virtue of his or her need and your ability to meet that need. The refusal or failure to do good to someone in need is theft.

This also implies our need to be alert to the needs of others and quick to ask how you can help them. It is to fulfill the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself”, Lev 19:18, 34; Mat 22:39.

The Law also describes the refusal to fulfill an obligation, paying a worker on time, as sin, Deut 24:14f.

If it is wrong to withhold good from “strangers”, Lev 19:34, how much more wicked is it to break an agreement, cf. Psa 15:4c, merely because you do not feel like doing it. See also James 2:15-16.

The Bible does not ask the believer to give what they do not have, 2 Cor 8:12; Gal 6:10, and cautions them not to put themselves up as security for a stranger, see Prov 6:1-5.

Verse 28, “Do not say to your neighbors [plural], “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.”

This reinforces the point of vs. 27, with a typical scenario of putting someone off because you do not want to help them. This delaying tactic, “putting off till tomorrow what should be done today”, aims to get rid of the petitioner rather than to promise him aid tomorrow.

It is heinous because it refuses to acknowledge that God has so provided for people that they can meet the needs of others as well. It also assumes that we know the future, cf. Prov 27:1, an arrogant boast that James calls sin, James 4:13-17.

So this is mental torture toward your neighbor. In other words, you have it right then and there, but you refuse to give it. You can help a person, and you put him off. That is torture. You put him to shame by making him come back to beg, by humiliating him. Bible doctrine does not do this.

This also expands the idea to being generous to those in need, especially when you have the means to do so. This is, “right and just and fair”, Prov 1:3.

“When you have it with you” parallels vs. 27, “when it is in your power” and ties these two together.

Verse 29, “Do not devise harm against your neighbor [singular], while he lives securely beside you.”

Vs. 29-30 are the second application of Impersonal and Unconditional love towards mankind.

“Do not devise” is the Hebrew negative Adverb AL once again, with the Qal Jussive verb CHARASH, ‏חָרַשׁ, that means, “to cut in, engrave, to fabricate, plow, i.e., devise.”

That is to devise plans of wickedness and harm against your neighbor. Do not fabricate in some way a system of lies, gossip, or something whereby you downgrade your neighbor.

This is the beginning of the principle of privacy. Two ways: do not gossip, and keep your nose out of their affairs. It means do not do that which harms your neighbor’s life, including his reputation.

There is another meaning to this word which is, “to be silent, be dumb, be speechless, be deaf.” That is to close off, turn away from, or shun your neighbor. In other words, saying, “I don’t want to hear it.” Similar to the intent of vs. 28.

“Harm” is the noun RAAH that means, “evil, wickedness, wrong, or disaster.” Here it is evil performed actively, that is bring intentional harm to your neighbor, mentally or physically.

“While he lives securely”, includes the noun BETACH that means, “safety and security.” It means he trusts you and has no cause of alarm for suspecting evil to come his way, he is living at peace.

These verses invert the “Golden Rule”, Mat 7:12, in a form of what has been called the “Platinum Rule”: “Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.”

Plotting against or attacking someone without cause breaks the commandments of Lev 19:18, 34, and is foolish.

Verse 30, “Do not contend with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.”

“Contend” is the Qal Jussive verb RYIB or RUB that has a range of meanings from, “to conduct a lawsuit, to dispute, to strive, and to contend.” It denotes some kind of argument or conflict between people. And comes to mean, “do not bring an accusation.”

Fools spread strife and trouble, but the wise avoid quarrels, Prov 15:1, 18; 16:28; 26:20f.

And the wise are concerned for the well-being of others, cf. Rom 12:3-21; Eph 5:21; Phil 2:3-16.

Avoid minding his business and avoid bullying him. Doctrine eliminates all of these terrible things that destroy the relationship of a believer with another believer. A society in which no one knows when he or she may be the target of a gratuitous attack, physical, legal, or financial lacks trust. A nation or people characterized by distrust is inherently unstable, given to violence and demagoguery, (a leader who makes emotional speeches to influence people), ready to follow anyone who promises peace and safety.

Verse 31, “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.”

Vs. 31 is the third application of Impersonal and Unconditional love towards mankind. It is applying I. U. Love produced by the Spirit along with inner happiness produced by Bible doctrine. When you apply love and have inner happiness you are not envious of the wicked as he prospers in Satan’s Cosmic System.

This verse reflects the Book’s opening warning against violent companions, Prov 1:8-19, and sharpens the “plots” of the previous couplet to violence. This double command emphatically warns against emulating the violent person in even the smallest detail.

“Envy” is the Piel (intensive active) Jussive verb QANAH that means, “to be jealous or zealous.” The Piel form means, “to be envious of, to be eager or zealous for.” This is the antithesis of being relaxed and having a Relaxed Mental Attitude, recognizing your Politeuma Privileges.

David admonished his readers not to display envy against the workers of iniquity, Psa 37:1.

Asaph noted the same idea in Psa 73. He admitted that he almost slipped from his faith when he envied the foolish and saw the prosperity of the wicked, vs. 2f. Cf. Prov 23:17; 24:1, 19f.

“Violence” is the noun CHAMAS that means, “violence, or an injury that is suffered by violence, wrong, malicious, cruelty, or injustice.” The violence can take on both physical and verbal forms.

Prov 4:17 alludes to “wine gained by violence,” symbolic of ill-gotten wealth.

“And do not choose any of his ways.” Do not retaliate as he does and do not enter into the sin, wickedness, and evil he does to secure worldly gain. Compare the contrast with “all its ways,” in vs. 17.


  • Envy often leads to admiration, which can then bring about imitation. Even someone who does not admire violence per se may covet its apparent rewards, Prov 1:13f, and be drawn into its net. This rarely begins with copying their lifestyle in totality. Instead, patterns of behavior are adopted one by one, until “all of his ways” have been chosen. Solomon warns against indulging in this sin by anticipating it and forbidding it before it begins, Prov 23:17f; 24:1f.
  • Another common response to the apparent fortune of the wicked is anger, Psa 37:1; 73:3-9. The righteous who sees only the tangible “rewards” of sin may be greatly troubled at the disparity between his own situation and theirs, cf. Psa 73:1f. Even if the only visible difference is a carefree attitude toward life, casual disdain for the Lord and His Word, Psa 73:10f, the liberty with which they pursue their sinful desires can rub the soul of the righteous the wrong way.
  • This disgruntlement may be “righteous indignation.” More often it is rage because disobedience seems to be rewarded more than living in the fear of the Lord, an anger that is actually directed at the Lord, Psa 73:15, 21f. Such anger, being selfish at heart, leads only to sin, Psa 37:8.
  • If envy leads to emulation, it leads to a life of sin based on the ways of the wicked. If it leads instead to anger, that response is also sinful, even if it poses as righteous indignation.
  • Its cure is to recognize that their judgment is both sure and just, Prov 3:32-35; Psa 37:2, 9f; 73:18f, which comes from reflecting on the person and nature of God, and thereby understanding the truth of their situation, Psa 37:3-7; 73:16f; cf. Prov 3:32ff., via the application of Bible Doctrine (Wisdom) resident in your soul.

Verses 32-35, comprise the third and final section of this poem/sermon/message which tells us of “God’s dealings with the wicked and the righteous.”

This gives us a stark contrast in God’s mind between the unbeliever and the believer, although the reversionistic believer can also be characterized with many of the traits the unbeliever possesses. Each verse contrasts the wicked and righteous, and in vs. 35, the poem ends by reversing their order.

In Verse 32 we have, “For the devious (crooked man) are an abomination to the LORD; but He (YHWH) is intimate with the upright.”

The English opens with “for” but the Hebrew KIY is better translated “because” and introduces the extended motive statement, vs. 32-35, that supports the prohibitions of, vs. 27-31.

“Devious” is the Hebrew verb LUZ in the Niphal Participle. It means, “to turn aside, depart, or deviate.”

The Niphal is used for simple action with a reflexive voice. That is, the unbeliever acts wickedly, which has a result back to himself, causing him to be wicked, (i.e. wicked actions result in becoming or being wicked.)

It is also a Participle, a verbal adjective, used substantively that emphasizes the fact of the unbeliever’s wickedness by giving him the title “devious.” They are wicked, evil and devious.

“Devious” means, “straying or deviating from the usual straight or direct course or way; swerving; departing from the correct or proper way; erring.” It is also, “acting in an underhanded manner, not straight forward but shifty.”

As we have seen in Proverbs the straight path is following God’s Word for your life. The Devious person is one who has rejected Bible Doctrine and is living in Satan’s Cosmic System. So once again you can see that this relates to the unbeliever who absolutely does not have God’s Word resident in their soul, and can refer to the reversionistic believer, who too has rejected God’s Word.

In Prov 14:2, we see more of the contrast between the righteous and devious, “He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious (LUZ) in his ways despises Him.” That is the rejection of Bible Doctrine.

Prov 2:12-15 gives a description of the evil man as one, “Whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.” Our Lord tells us what He really thinks about these individuals, they are an “abomination to Him.”

“Abomination” is the Hebrew noun TOEBAH that means, “a disgusting or detestable thing, abomination, or abominable.” Its root word means, “to be faulty, corrupted, polluted, or afflicted with a weakness.”

“Disgusting” means, “Acutely repugnant, loathsome, or repellent.”

“Detestable” means, “Deserving abhorrence (to regard with loathing, to reject vehemently), odious (exciting hatred or repugnance, being offensive), and abominable.”

“Abomination or abominable” means, “an abhorrence for someone or something, something that elicits great dislike or abhorrence, loathing, detestable, and thoroughly unpleasant.”

TOEBAH is primarily used of things, persons, or practices that are either ritually or morally offensive to the LORD.

The laws of the Pentateuch taught Israel what was abominable to the LORD. In general, these consisted of Canaanite customs including a wide range of sexual offenses, and specifically homosexuality, Lev 18:22 (6-23); 20:13 (10-21).

The expression “abomination to the LORD” indicates anything that could spoil the religious purity of the people.

In the Book of Deuteronomy this included: using the gold and silver from false god images, 7:25f; sacrificing children by fire in the worship of other gods, 12:31; eating the meat of unclean animals, 14:3; sacrificing unacceptable animals, 17:1; using income from cultic prostitution as an offering to the LORD, 23:18; and making carved images or cast idols, 27:15.

Of spoiling moral purity, it included: cross-gender dressing, 22:5; remarrying your previously divorced wife who was married to another man and divorced from him through certificate or death, 24:4; and using dishonest measures in business, 25:15f.

The Book of Proverbs also names things which are an “abomination to the LORD.” In the 21 occurrences of “abomination” in Proverbs, it denotes bad moral conduct of a social kind and that 12 of these are in the formulation “an abomination to the LORD.”

These include: the corrupt person, 3:32; false weights or scales in business, 11:1; 20:23; those with a false heart and lying lips, 11:20; 12:22; and the sacrifice of the wicked, 15:8; evil plans, 15:26; the arrogant, 16:5; the wrongdoing of wicked kings, 16:12; those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous, 17:15; mockers of Bible Doctrine, 24:9; the prayers of those who turn away from learning Bible Doctrine, 28:9; and the unjust man, 29:27a.

Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us of “Seven Things” that are an abomination to the Lord.

Prov 6:16-19, “There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Finally, Proverbs also has a list of what is abominable to the wicked including, “turning way from evil,” 13:19, and those who are “upright in the way,” 29:27b.

“What makes certain attitudes and activities abhorrent to God is to be traced back to their hurtful and hostile nature.… They intend to inflict harm by deceiving, by humiliating, or even by defrauding another person.” (R. E. Clements, “The Concept of Abomination in Proverbs.”)

Also note that the familiar phrase the “abomination of desolation” regarding Antichrist worship of the Tribulation uses a different word, SHIQQUT, in Dan 11:31; 12:11; cf. Mat 24:15; Mark 13:14.

So ultimately, TOEBAH means, offensive to another’s sensibilities and in our verse especially to God’s.

Deviation resulting in loathing sets a distance between the LORD and the perverse, but the LORD takes the upright into His counsel.

Now we have the contrast in God’s thinking towards the believer, “but He (YHWH) is intimate with the upright (YASHAR).”

First and foremost, every believer has been made righteous by God at the moment of our salvation. But not every believer walks in that righteous, that is walk in their experiential sanctification. But for those that do walk experientially sanctified, there is an incredible intimacy with God that they are experiencing.

“Intimate” is the Hebrew Noun SOD, which is where we get the saying, “He’s a good sod” meaning, he’s a good friend or neighbor. Although in British English it’s a word for someone you dislike. But in American English it is a term or idiom that parallels the Hebrew use of the word.

In Hebrew it literally means, “council, counsel, or assembly.” As for council it too is an idiom that means of familiar conversation, a circle of familiar friends, company that you are familiar with who you converse with, and intimacy, especially with God.

It has to do with the intimate knowledge you have of someone, i.e. their secrets, private, and intimate communication.

In Psa 111:1; Ezek 13:9; Jer 23:18, 22; & Amos 3:7, the assembly of God’s righteous worshipers is denoted by the word “SOD.”

Psa 111:1, “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, in the company, (SOD), of the upright and in the assembly, (EDAH).”

Jer 23:18, “But if they had stood in My council, (SOD), then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.”

Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD, (ADONAY YHWH), does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel, (SOD), to His servants the prophets.”

From God’s council comes His wisdom, Job 15:8a, “Do you hear the secret counsel, (SOD), of God.”

In contrast to being an abomination to the LORD, the upright have intimate fellowship with the Lord and the blessings of His most private council. That is, we have His Word made available and understandable to us by the power of God the Holy Spirit, 2 Sam 23:2; Zech 4:6; 1 Thes 1:5.

2 Sam 23:2, “The Spirit of the LORD, (YHWH), spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.”

Zech 4:6, “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, (RUACH),’ says the LORD of hosts.”

1 Thes 1:5, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

The blessings of God’s intimate fellowship are implied in the reference in Job 29:4.

Job 29:4, “As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship, (SOD), of God was over my tent”

Abraham is our example of this friendship intimacy.

James 2:23, “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.”

Gen 18:17 tells us, “The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do.”

Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer.

This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will because you know His will. As our Lord said in the Garden, Luke 22:42, “not My will but Yours be done.”

When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. When you are in that place all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong, He will lovingly produce a sense of restraint in those situations.

This friendship is accomplished by the Lord sharing His secrets. The intimacy of God then is having Bible doctrine resident in your soul, (cf. Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:9; 3:3-9; Col 1:26-27; 1 Tim 3:15-16), i.e., the mystery doctrine for the Church Age.

Prov 7:4, “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend (MODA from YADA that means, “to know or knowledge”).”

1 Cor 2:7, “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, (MUSTERION) the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

1 Tim 3:15-16, “But in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness.”

This is compared to the devious person that does not know God’s Word and have another friendship, friendship with the world, Prov 15:9; John 15:15; James 4:4

Prov 15:9, “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves one who pursues righteousness.”

James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

John 15:15, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus is saying to His disciples, “I have admitted you into a state of the most intimate fellowship with Myself; and have made known unto you whatsoever I have heard from the Father.”

The reason why Jesus called them friends was that He had now treated them as friends. He had opened to them His mind; made known His plans; acquainted them with the design of His coming, His death, His resurrection, and ascension; and, having thus given them the clearest proof of friendship. Therefore, it was proper that he should give them the title. Likewise, He desires the same for you and me.

This is similar to what is said of our Lord’s relationship with Moses in Ex 33:11, “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.”

Jesus Christ has communicated to them the Word of the Father, (Bible doctrine) and He also desires to communicate the Father’s doctrine to you.

The Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP) was designed by God so that Jesus Christ could communicate His thinking, His Word to us, 1 Cor 2:16; 2 Cor 4:7.

1 Cor 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.”

2 Cor 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”

True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit.

Yet God has designed the whole experience of life to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. And it is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him.

Likewise, the bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, Cf. John 15:1-4. Once we get intimate with Jesus, we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful.

The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance of a Relaxed Mental Attitude in the Father Rest Life that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

In addition, if we want to maintain personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean refusing to do or even think certain things. And some things that are acceptable for others will become unacceptable for you.

And finally, to believe is to commit. In the area of intellectual learning, you must commit yourself mentally, and reject anything not related to what the Word of God teaches. In the realm of personal belief, you should commit yourself morally to your convictions and refuse to compromise. And in intimate personal belief, you commit yourself spiritually to Jesus Christ and make a determination to be dominated by Him alone.

Then, when you stand face to face with Jesus Christ in your daily walk and He says to you, “Do you believe this?” You will find that faith is as natural as breathing. And you will be staggered when you think how foolish you have been in not trusting Him earlier.

In Verses 32-35, there are four renunciations against the wicked and four blessings for the righteous. We have noted the first of each in vs. 32, and will now understand the rest.

To do so, we will look at them in totality regarding the wicked and the righteous. As we have noted, in the first three verses the wicked come first and the righteous second and in vs. 35 the order is reversed.

The list of the renunciations of the wicked includes:

  • 32a, “For the devious are an abomination to the LORD.”
  • 33a, “The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked.”
  • 34a, “He scoffs at the scoffers.”
  • 35b, “Fools display dishonor.”

The list of the blessings for the righteous includes:

  • 32b, “He is intimate with the upright.”
  • 33b, “He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.”
  • 34b, “He gives grace to the afflicted.”
  • 35a, “The wise will inherit honor.”

Noting first the list of renunciations:

In Verse 33a, “the curse of the Lord on the house of the wicked.” “Cursed” is the Hebrew noun MEERAH, מְאֵרָה. It expresses Divine judgment upon the wicked. This word is used five times in Deut 28:20; Prov 3:33; 28:27; Mal 2:2; 3:9. This curse is the just and lawful sentence of a Holy God punishing sin which typically stemmed from a transgression of his Law.

To fail to seek out and obey the positive side of the prohibitions given throughout this Proverb, would result in the Divine judgment of God. For the unbeliever, it is the punitive judgment of God, but for the reversionistic believer, it is Divine Discipline.

In Verse 34a, “He scoffs at the scoffers.” The Hebrew here is LUTS, לִיץ in some manuscripts it is spelled as LIYTS.  When spelled with the YOD, it is LIYTS, and others times it is spelled with the SHUREQ, rendering LUTS. They both have the same meaning of, “mockers, scoffers, or scorners” also called foolish and arrogant.

This is someone who ridicules, downgrades, criticizes, or takes a dim view of something else. These are terms which indicate disrespect for God and His Word, as we saw in, Prov 1:22. It is someone who is habitually indifferent to Bible doctrine.

This tells us that God’s relation to men is determined by their relation to Him.


  • Scoffers are unable to learn from the warnings, reproof, or punishment of those who are more wise, Prov 9:7f; 13:1; 14:6; 15:12; 19:25.
  • Scoffers are those who act arrogant and proud, Prov 21:24.
  • Wine is also called a scoffer, and those who become deceived by it are not wise, Prov 20:1.
  • Scoffers are considered an abomination to all mankind, Prov 24:9.
  • God’s people are warned not to associate with scoffers, Psa 1:1.
  • Scoffers will eventually be brought to nothing and utterly consumed, Prov 19:29; Isa 29:20.

It says here that, “God scoffs at the scoffers.” God’s scoffing is in the Qal Imperfect that speaks of ongoing action. Therefore, as long as the scoffers continue to reject Him, He rejects them by not being able to bless them by “giving them grace”, as He can do for the positive believer noted in vs. 34b, and instead brings judgment upon them.

Grace is always available to the scoffers, but if they do not receive it, it is worthless to them and not given to them.

Then in Verse 35b, “Fools display dishonor.”

“Fool” is the noun KESIYL, כְּסִיל, that means, “Stupid fellow, dullard, or fool” it is the person minus Bible Doctrine in their life.

“Display” is the Hiphil Particle of RUM,רוּם, which means, “to keep on causing to rise, be high, or lifted up.” It means, “to be extolled, exalted or elevated.” So we see that the fool is one who is exalted with dishonor or shame. The causative is a result of their own negative volition toward Bible Doctrine, as a result they have caused shame to come upon themselves.

“Dishonor” is the noun QALON, קָלוֹן,‎ that means, “shame, disgrace, dishonor, or ignominy.” Eight references in Proverbs address human experience of being put to shame and, either by implication or direct contrast, promote the value of wisdom, Prov 3:35; 6:33; 9:7; 11:2; 12:16; 13:18; 18:3; 22:10.

Therefore, the person minus Bible Doctrine in their life keeps on causing shame, disgrace, and dishonor to rise up in their life.


  • The devious and wicked are those who have “turned aside,” withhold good, attack their neighbors without cause, and seek to gain by violence. As a result, they lie under the judgment of God, 33a, who condemns, vs. 32a, and pronounces Divine Judgment or Discipline upon them, vs. 33a.
  • To fail to seek out and obey the positive side of these prohibitions is to call down this curse and judgment upon oneself.

That leads us to further principles on, “What Brings Shame.”

What Brings Shame to a Person?

(Based on the outline in Mattoon’s Treasures – Treasures from Proverbs, Volume 1.)

There are many causes and effects of shame in a person’s life. This outline is intended to help us understand those factors so that we can avoid them and instead bring God’s intimacy, blessings, grace, and honor into our lives, according to Prov 3:32-35.

Yet, when we act shamefully or irresponsible, we can incur the fury of our authorities, especially that of God’s, resulting in Divine Discipline. Just as when a son or daughter acts foolishly, he or she may incur the discipline of his or her parents. Or, when an employee goofs off on the job and does not fulfill his responsibilities, or does not come through for those who are counting on him, then he will create problems for others as well as himself. Coworkers will be angry and the boss may feel led to fire him.

Therefore, we understand that shameful behavior brings suffering of the punitive nature. If you want to avoid that type of suffering, then you should avoid the following behaviors that bring shame into your life.

  • Loving the things of this world.

Psa 4:2, “O sons of men, how long will My honor be turned into shame (KELIMMAH)? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.”

Here the word “shame” is the Noun KELIMMAH,כְּלִמָּה, [kel-im-maw’] that means, “disgrace, reproach, shame, confusion, dishonor, insult, ignominy” and is synonymous with Qalon of Prov 3:35.

In Psa 4:2, these men love that which is worthless, (the things of Satan’s Cosmic System), and search for that which was deceptive and false, (the promise of riches of this life). When we pursue the same course, we too, will ultimately be ashamed of the way we lived, as we will note in our last point.

As Solomon said in Eccl 1:2; 12:8, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

And as John said in 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

  • Living Foolishly, absence of Bible Doctrine in your life.

Prov 3:35, “The wise will inherit honor, but fools cause shame (QALON) to rise up upon themselves.”

QALON, קָלוֹן,‎ [kaw-lone’] means, “shame, disgrace, dishonor, or ignominy.”

God lets fools entangle themselves in their folly in a way for all to see their shame and dishonor. There is nothing glamorous or honorable in living foolishly.

  • Licentiousness or Adultery.

Prov 6:32-33, The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. 33Wounds (NEGA) and disgrace (QALON) he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out.”

The word “wound” is from the Hebrew word NEGA, נֶגַע, [neh’-gah] which means, “a stroke, plague, disease.” A form of Divine judgment or discipline.

  • Lecturing or Reproving a Scoffer.

Prov 9:7, “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor (QALON) for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.”

And as vs. 8 says, “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you.”

This is not a bad shame, but still a type of shame we are instructed by the Word of God to avoid. The person who corrects a scoffer gets insult or dishonor for himself. He who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Why? The scoffer is unteachable. When someone corrects him, he responds with an attitude of hatred by lashing out with insulting verbal abuses.

The word “insults” is MUM that also means, “a blotch or defect.” When corrected or lectured, a wicked person hurls back the rebuke by defaming his would-be counselor with insults.

That is where we get the idiom, “Mums the word” from. In other words, do not speak something at that time. And in our verse, don’t waste your time with scoffers and wicked people who will only turn on you and hurt you.

  • Laziness and Irresponsibility.

Prov 10:5, “He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully (BOSH).”

The word “shamefully” is the Hebrew Verb BOSH, בּוֹשׁ, [boosh] which means, “to put to shame, be ashamed, be disconcerted, disappointed, or delay.”

When we are lazy, unreliable, irresponsible, or neglect what is vital and important, we bring disgrace upon ourselves and disappoint others. If we are not careful, we can waste away our time and our lives. Laziness causes us to delay what needs to be done or delay the fulfillment of our responsibilities. When we are lazy, we disappoint those who are depending on us.

In Prov 24:30-34, we find the story of a man going past a vineyard that was an absolute mess. There were thorns and weeds all over the landscape and the walls were crumbling like crackers. To understand the angst behind this proverb… you have to understand that in the ancient Middle East, a piece of land capable of growing crops was one of the most valuable things in the world. To be the owner of a vineyard was to be blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Beloved, everybody gets a vineyard. When you were born, in a way, you got a vineyard. You got your body, your mind, your will, and some relationships. You got financial resources and the chance to do some good work. You got a soul. Everybody gets a vineyard, and that vineyard is your one and only shot on this planet. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and you don’t even have to care for it on your own. God will be a partner with you.

Nonetheless, God never forces anybody to take action and care for their vineyard. The writer of this Proverb stated that he was walking past a vineyard, and he thought of what it might have been. He saw that the vineyard could have been a thing of beauty. It could have been a source of pride, joy, and income for the owner. It could have been a blessing to everybody around it, because in ancient cultures, a place that grew things that people could eat or drink from was a blessing to everybody. The writer observed that this vineyard was not any of those things. It fell tragically short of what it might have been. Its purpose was not being fulfilled because of sheer neglect. The owner of the vineyard failed to realize what he had in his hands. He was throwing away an opportunity of a lifetime.

People do the same today. They let the vineyards of God’s blessings, wonderful friendships, a great family, a close walk with God, slip through their fingers through neglect. They fail to work their vineyard.

Having a great marriage, great friendships, and a walk with God takes work. The Vineyard Fairy is not going to zap you with her wand or sprinkle you with fairy dust, and everything will be comfy cozy. It doesn’t work that way, does it? If you want the vineyard of your life that God has entrusted to you to be fruitful, productive, useful, and a blessing to others, then ask God to help you day-by-day. Ask Him to direct your life and make wise use of your life.

God helps us to redeem the time He has given us. May we see each day as a gift from God and take advantage of the opportunities before us to live for the Lord.

  • The Laudation of Yourself – Pride.

Prov 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor (QALON), but with the humble is wisdom.”

Pride leads to shame, disgrace, and dishonor. “Pride” comes from the word ZADON, זדוֹן‎, [zaw-done’], that means, “pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance”, and literally means, “a boiling up; an overstepping of the boundaries or insubordination.”

The proud person, like boiling water, is out of control and without stability. He tends to burn people, especially with his tongue and actions. He also tends to resist instruction or rules, believing they do not apply to him. Proud people tend to step out of bounds, if you please. Humility, on the other hand, describes those who know their place and limitations. An attitude of laudation of yourself or pride leads to shame, disgrace, and dishonor.

  • A Lifestyle of Lies and Deception.

Prov 13:5, “A righteous man hates falsehood (SHEQER), but a wicked man acts disgustingly (BAASH) and shamefully (CHAPHER).”

“Falsehood” is the Hebrew noun SHEQER, שֶׁקֶר‎, that means, “lies, deception, falsehood, or disappointment.”

“Disgustingly” is the Hebrew Verb BAASH,בָּעַשׁ, that means, “to have a bad smell or to stink.” It has the figurative meaning in personal relationships of creating loathsome attitudes or abhorrence. The principle here is that sin or evil is a stench to God and a serious disrupter of personal relationships. This describes the actions of the wicked man, they stink and smell and are something you do not want to get near to; otherwise, there will be problems.

“Shamefully” this time is the Hebrew Verb CHAPHAR,חָפַר, [khaw-fare’] which means,“to be ashamed, be confounded, be abashed, feel abashed, or to cause embarrassment.”

So this type of wicked living leads to disgrace, shame, and embarrassment. Some think that perversion is “cool.” But just remember that “cool” literally means “not so hot”, and is akin to “lukewarm”, Rev 3:16.

  • Not Learning from God’s Discipline.

Prov 13:18, “Poverty and shame (QALON) will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.”

The word “neglects” is the Hebrew Verb PARA, פָּרַע, [paw-rah’]. One of its usages means, “to let go, let loose, ignore, let alone, to avoid, or neglect.”

When we neglect, ignore, avoid, or leave instruction, discipline, or correction, the consequences of our attitude will lead to poverty, shame, disgrace, and dishonor because we will continue to make negative volition decisions having not learned from our past mistakes and God’s discipline.

Discipline, correction, and instruction help to develop character and maturity in the believer.

Some people; however, are not teachable. They act as the leader, (the other way this word is used), instead of as a student when it comes to instruction regarding Bible Doctrine and feel they “know it all.” This kind of attitude leads to their downfall since they do not learn. They do not learn what choices or decisions they should or should NOT make in their lives. Foolish choices can be very expensive.

  • Speaking without Listening to all the Facts.

Prov 18:13, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame (KELIMMAH) to him.”

Giving advice, coming to conclusions, or speaking too hastily leads to shame. Poor listening reveals that the person has a low regard for what others are saying. It also reveals he is too absorbed in self-importance.

There are three basic principles for making sound decisions:

  • Get the facts before answering.
  • Be open to new ideas.
  • Make sure you hear both sides of the story before judging a matter or making a decision.

All three principles center on the search for additional information. This is difficult work, but the only alternative is prejudice or judging before getting all the facts.

As parents, when our kids are in a dispute, it is important to get all the facts before we make a ruling on a matter. Failure to do so can create rebellion in our children and leave us with egg on our face.

  • A Lack of Love and Livid Treatment toward Your Parent

Prov 19:26, “He who assaults his father and drives his mother away is a shameful (BOSH) and disgraceful (CHAPHER) son.”

With BOSH and CHAPHER we have a double emphasis for “shameful.”

It is amazing at the amount of anger that some Christians have toward their parents. Is it any wonder why many believers do not grow and mature in the Lord? They are filled with anger, bitterness, and hate.

The word “assaults” is from the Hebrew Verb SHADAD, שָׁדַד, [shaw-dad’]. This word means, “to deal violently with, devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil, assault, or utterly ruin.”

Mistreating, assaulting, dishonoring, destroying, or ruining your father is wrong and results in your shame.

“Drives Away” is the Verb BARACH, בָּרַח, [baw-rakh’], that means, “chase, drive away, put to flight, etc.”

Chasing or driving away your mother is also shameful and dishonorable. It brings hurt and embarrassment upon your mother and father and also upon you. God makes it very clear that if we do not honor our parents, no matter how old we are, things will not go well for us.

Eph 6:2-3, “Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”

As parents, if you are hateful toward your mother and father, what in the world do you think your kids are learning about their relationship with you? You reap what you sow! One of the great needs of the church today is a revival in our relationships with our parents.

  • Litigation that is Hasty.

Prov 25:8-10, “Do not go out hastily to argue your case; otherwise, what will you do in the end, when your neighbor humiliates (KALAM) you? 9Argue your case with your neighbor, and do not reveal the secret of another, 10Or he who hears it will reproach (CHASAD) you, and the evil report about you will not pass away.”

The Verb KALAM, ‏כָּלַם, [kaw-lawm’] which means, “to insult, humiliate, blush, be put to shame, be reproached, be put to confusion, be humiliated or confounded.”

The Verb CHASAD, חָסַד, [khaw-sad’] also has two meanings. The first is “to be good, or be kind”, the second is our application in the Piel stem that intensifies the meaning and so it comes to mean, “to be reproached or ashamed.”

The principle of taking problems privately to a person is first taught in Mat 5:25 & 18:15, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”

God instructs us to not be in a hurry to take someone to court. He does not say we cannot do this, but that we should not be eager to do it. God’s first alternative is to try to resolve the issue privately before legal steps are taken.

Another principle here is that while discussing the matter with your neighbor, you are not to betray the confidence or secrets of others. To put it more directly, do not divulge secrets to those outside the issue in order to make yourself look good or to clear yourself in an argument. The point involves damaging a friendship by involving others in a private quarrel. Such betrayal may backfire upon you and you end up being humiliated or disgraced. This will ruin your reputation.

  • Long Hair on Men is Shameful.

1 Cor 11:14, “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor (ATIMIA) to him.”

When men wear their hair long like a woman, and look like a woman, the Bible says it is a shame, dishonor, or disgrace. This is what the Lord stated in His Word. There is to be a definite distinction between the sexes in their appearance. Hair is a key area of distinction.

Long hair on a woman is a symbol of submission. It is a veil or covering for the woman. Men are not to be in submission to their wives, they are to lovingly lead them and cherish them.

  • A Lack of Bible Doctrine in your soul and Evangelism.

1 Cor 15:34, “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (ENTROPE).”

The Christians in this church had become distracted and sidetracked by sinful living. They were to cease from their carnal lifestyle. Unfortunately, there were some in the church that did not know the Lord. Paul rebuked them for their carnality and lack of evangelism.

The word “shame” in this verse comes from the Greek Noun ENTROPE, ἐντροπή, [en-trop-ay’], which means, “shame and also reverence.” It forms our English word “entropy” which means “a process of degradation, running down, or a trend to disorder.” We saw this in our study of Creation vs. Evolution.

When believers become unconcerned about winning the lost to Christ, the result is a weakening of the church. A church runs down when it loses its focus and Biblical purpose of existence of winning the lost to Christ, training believers by teaching them the Word, and sending out missionaries.

  • Loosing Rewards in the Eternal State.

1 John 2:28, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame (AISCHUNO) at His coming.”

“Shame” is the Greek Verb AISCHUNO, αἰσχύνω, [ahee-skhoo’-no], from AISCHOS, (shame, disgrace), that means, “to dishonor or make ashamed.” It is in the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive meaning you may or may not receive this shame; it is dependent on your volition.

Failure to abide in God’s Word and Plan for your life causes shame for the believer at the BEMA Seat of Jesus Christ. That shame will be private and temporary, but also results in the loss of rewards and blessings for the eternal state, 1 Cor 3:10-15, (i.e., wood, hay, and straw, burnt up with no lasting value.)

Having understood the renunciation of the wicked in vs. 32-35, we turn back to understanding the blessings for the righteous.

The list of the blessings for the righteous includes:

  • 32b, “He is intimate with the upright.”
  • 33b, “He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.”
  • 34b, “He gives grace to the afflicted.”
  • 35a, “The wise will inherit honor.”

We have already noted the first blessing of an intimate relationship with our Lord, also called Occupation with Christ for those operating in the righteousness of God, so now we will note the last three blessings from these passages.

The pattern of blessings in these passages imply that a relationship with the Lord grows out of and reflects one’s attitude toward Scripture, so that those who are the Lord’s friends, vs. 32b; do what is right and are blessed, vs. 33b; given grace, vs. 34b; and will be glorified by Him, vs. 35a.

Let’s begin with Verse 33b, “He blesses the dwelling of the righteous (TSADDIQ).”

“Blesses” is the Hebrew Verb BARAK, בָּרַךְ, [baw-rak’], in the Piel (intensive) Stem, Imperfect, (ongoing action), that means, “bless or praise abundantly.”

This is different from the word noted in the outline above of “What Brings Shame”, where in the 10th point, we saw BARACH,בָּרַח, [baw-rakh’], that meant, {to drive away your mother brings shame to your life.}

Here BARAK means the opposite and primarily denotes the favorable relationship between a subject and an object, that is, God’s blessings to man. And in most of the contexts it appears in, it expresses the sentiment of gratitude or honor.

As you know, the ultimate source of all blessing is YHWH – The Lord.

“Dwelling” is the Hebrew Masculine Noun NAWEH,  רֵבֶץ [naw-veh’], that means, “abode, habitation, abode of shepherds or flocks, i.e., a pasture.” In figurative language, NAWEH refers to the dwelling place of people metaphorically described as sheep, Jer 23:3; 49:20; Ezek 34:14, because it denotes our dependence and vulnerability, 1 Kings 22:17; Hos 4:16, and therefore the need for our relationship with the Lord who provides everything for us.

In Proverbs, NAWEH occurs three times, each one is a reference to the dwelling place of the wise or righteous.

  • In Prov 3:33, we read that “God blesses the home of the righteous.”
  • In Prov 21:20 the “house of the wise has stores of choice foods.”
  • In Prov 24:15-16, the wicked are warned not to stake out the house of the righteous one because the LORD will cause him to rise up after every defeat.

Job 8:6, “If you are pure and upright; surely now He would awake for you, and make the habitation (NAWAH) of your righteousness prosperous.”

This speaks of the Logistical Grace Blessing and great grace blessings provided to the believer by God through His Grace Pipeline.

James 4:6, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE”.”

Verse 34b, “He gives (NATHAH) grace to the afflicted.”

“Grace”, is the Noun CHEN,חֵן, [khane] that means, “grace or favor” in the sense that the righteous finds favor or acceptance in the sight of YHWH. The LXX uses CHARIS the Greek equivalent.

Grace is all that God is free to do for mankind without compromising His Divine essence. Grace means favor, kindness, and mercy. Grace is free, unmerited favor and love from God alone, not from our works or because we are attractive to God.

Three main categories of God’s Grace include:

  • Pre-salvation Grace includes all that God is free to do for the spiritually dead person, that is, common grace, the Divine call, and efficacious grace.
  • Salvation Grace, which includes all that God has accomplished to save spiritually dead mankind, that is, the saving work of Christ on the Cross, the judgment of God the Son by God the Father, the revelation of this message by God the Holy Spirit, and the Forty Things God does for us at salvation.
  • Post-salvation grace includes total Divine provision of God for the fulfillment of His plan, His will, and His purpose for our lives. It includes all that God does for the believer totally apart from any human merit on the part of any Christian.

Grace is not an emotion or an abstract quality, but is a principle of personal relationship.

  • Grace is not held back or withdrawn because of failure; in fact, it is one’s failures and faults that usually compel him to reach out for the kindness and benefits of grace.
  • Grace cannot be lessened because of failure or sin. This means that God cannot to do less in grace for one who is sinful than He would have done if that person had been less sinful. Through the Cross, the sin question has been set aside forever, and grace is extended to all mankind.
  • God gives grace to the afflicted.

“Afflicted”, is the Noun ANAW, עָנִי, that means, “poor, afflicted, humble, or meek.” It is used for a person suffering some kind of distress. It sometimes appears to emphasize the character quality of humility that comes from a proper response to affliction. Therefore, here it means the person who has learned humility through the application of God’s Word to the circumstances of life.

Affliction occurs in every life, and God uses it to develop humility in His people. A dominant characteristic of the afflicted is their vulnerability to being abused by the powerful. But God takes the role of protector for the godly who fall in this category.

Remember that the will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Therefore, our Lord:

  • Has compassion on the afflicted, Isa 49:13.
  • Saves the afflicted, Psa 34:6; 35:10.
  • Provides for the poor, Psa 68:10.
  • Maintains the cause of the oppressed, Psa 140:12.
  • Remembers our plight, Psa 9:12, 18.
  • Rises in judgment to save us, Psa 76:9.
  • Will decide in equity for us, Isa 11:4.
  • Strengthens our heart, Psa 10:17.
  • Leads us in justice, and teaches us His ways, Psa 25:9.
  • Supports us, Psa 147:6.
  • Promises to beautify us with salvation, Psa 149:4.

And for True Israel, they will inherit the land, delight in abundant prosperity, Psa 37:11, and be filled with gladness, Psa 34:2.

Therefore, the humble stand in contrast to the haughty, 2 Sam 22:28; Psa 18:27, the proud, Prov 16:19, and the scoffer, Prov 3:34.

The humble appropriate the Grace of God; the arrogant do not appropriate the grace of God.

A striking characteristic of the Messiah was His humility, entering Jerusalem as King on a donkey, Zech 9:9.

Prov 16:19-20, “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20He who gives attention to the word will find good, and happy is he who trusts in the LORD.”

Verse 35a, “The wise (CHAKAM) will inherit honor.”

This phrase implies eschatological significance.

“The wise” is the believer who learns Bible doctrine and applies it to experience.

“Inherit honor” is the reward that comes from it.

“Inherit” is the Verb NACHAL, נָחַל‎, [naw-khal’], in the Qal, Imperfect that means, “to keep on taking as a possession, acquiring, inheriting, or possessing.” The possession we will inherit is KABOD.

“Honor” is the Noun KABOD, כָּבֹד, [kaw-bode’], that means, “glory, honor, glorious, abundance, riches, splendor, dignity, reputation, reverence, etc.”

The consequence of acting wisely, in accordance with the teaching of these verses, will be honor, just as an inheritance is the natural consequence of being a son or daughter.

Fools, on the other hand, are so blind that they cannot recognize what is or is not worthy of honor. In fact, they choose to exalt things that are despicable, things that bring shame and a curse.

The meaning of “will inherit” depends on the noun NACHAL. It essentially refers to an inalienable, and therefore a permanent share in a possession that falls to an individual or group through the awarding of it in the transmission of an inheritance or through expropriation from the preceding owner.

The wise take their permanent possession by their rights within God’s family, when they stand before The Lord Jesus Christ at His BEMA Seat in 1 Cor 3:10-15. At that time the wise / mature / super-grace believer will be awarded and take possession of their escrow blessings for all of eternity as to a memorial of God’s Grace Plan for his life. Cf. Rev 2-3 regarding the overcomers.

Therefore, the believer walking in their experiential sanctification will:

  • 32b, “Have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • 33b, “Receive logistical and great grace blessings in time.”
  • 34b, “Receive Divine protection in times of adversity.”
  • 35a, “Receive a full distribution of his escrow blessings at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.”


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