It’s a wonderful feeling to have a close relationship with someone. You can relax when you have mutual trust with a friend. Proverbs 3 tells us that the righteous have an intimate relationship with God. As we study the last verses of this chapter, we’ll see how a righteous person acts, and how they benefit from those choices.
Picking up from where we left off, the proverb continues:
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.” Proverbs 3:27-31
Previously, I discussed how verses 9 and 10 of chapter 3 implore us to give back to God. Doing so demonstrates our gratitude for His blessings, as well as our recognition of His sovereignty. Now, the proverb is telling us to be generous with others as well. We shouldn’t be stingy or judgmental toward our neighbors.
- Can you think of a time that you were quick to judge someone (v. 30)? Was your judgement about them correct? How can we keep ourselves from judging others?
Verse 31 reminds us not to be like those who delight in sin, which is discussed in Proverbs 1. We have a choice between spiritual life and death; a choice between relationship with God or a life of sin. This choice is seen in Deuteronomy 30:19-20,
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
The next verses in chapter 3 demonstrate how that choice affects our lives.
“For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.” Proverbs 3:32-35
These verses show us that the righteous have an intimate relationship with God, while those who don’t know Him will live insecure lives apart from Him.
- What does it mean to be taken into God’s confidence? Have you seen this concept at play in your life?
When we make God our foundation, He blesses our lives. This concept is illustrated well by Matthew 7:24-27:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
A life founded on a relationship with God truly brings us well-being. I will write about Proverbs 4 in my next post. Blessings,