It is easy to get caught up in material possessions. When I was in 5th grade, I desperately wanted a Nintendo DS for Christmas. When I received that gift, I felt like I had won the lottery. I treasured that gift. Proverbs 3 tells us that wisdom is much more valuable than even jewels. It says,
“Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.” Proverbs 3:13-16
These verses parallel what we have seen about the value of wisdom earlier in Proverbs. The Proverbs have been telling us that wisdom is more valuable than material wealth. Proverbs 2:4 compares it to treasure, and these verses in chapter 3 compare it to precious jewels.
- What makes wisdom more valuable than material wealth? In contrast to the peace that wisdom brings, in what ways can money cause strife?
It’s obvious that we should take care to remember our wisdom and continue to seek it.
“Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.” Proverbs 3:17-18
As has been reflected earlier in Proverbs, these verses demonstrate the security that wisdom brings to our lives. Verse 18 references the tree of life that we see in Genesis (see Genesis 2:9). The Reformation Study Bible notes that thriving trees were often used to represent consistent blessings. It also says that the most important element in this illustration is life, which is connected to our relationship with God. Without God, there is death.
- Read over chapter 3. What words or phrases demonstrate the life-giving benefits of wisdom?
God used His knowledge to create us. The next verses in chapter 3 show how God used His knowledge to create the earth:
“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.” Proverbs 3:19-20
How amazing it is that He shares some of that wisdom with His creation! We have access to life-giving wisdom when we seek an intimate relationship with our Creator. Praise Him!
The Proverb continues,
“My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 21-26
Verse 21 tells us not to let life distract us from focusing on wisdom. It is too valuable to forget. This wisdom allows us to live with peace. When we seek Him and trust His Word, He makes our path smoother. Psalm 119:105 says,
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
A couple of other Psalms fit these verses about the blessing of security:
“My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber…” Psalm 121:2-3
“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:2-3
It is wonderful that the Bible is full of reminders of God’s protection and peace! How reassuring it is that God doesn’t stop watching over us.
I’ll finish up Proverbs 3 in my next post. Blessings!