Find shalom in the wisdom of Proverbs 3.
Read / Listen to the chapter:
Read the chapter in an outlined format
Proverbs 3 (ESV)
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
length of days
and years of life
they will add to you.
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord
with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord,
and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord
with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 My son,
do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 Blessed is
the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 The Lord
by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge
the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be
life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid
or of the ruin of the wicked,
when it comes,
26 for the Lord
will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—
when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.
30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord’s
curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
Read the chapter on BibleGateway
Proverbs 3 Summary
Proverbs 3:5 is perhaps one of the most familiar of them all:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Yet this is just one of the important imperatives communicated from a wise father to his young son in the opening section of chapter 3.
Godly people will:
v3 - Model God's steadfast love (His hessed covenantal love);
v7 - Will fear the Lord and shun sinful instincts;
v9 - Honor God in the way we make and spend money;
v11 - realize God's discipline is a blessing.
The second section of this chapter extends from v13-20, and it outlines the blessings a person realizes by living according to the Lord's wisdom, upon which the earth is founded (v19).
In the final section, from v21-35, the father gives his advice in a series of do not statements:
v21 - Do not lose sight of God's wisdom;
v25 - Do not be afraid;
v27 - Do not withhold good;
v29 - Do not plot against your neighbor;
v30 - Do not be quarrelsome for no reason;
v31 - Do not envy violent men.
Certainly the fact that God gave us His law ought to be enough incentive for us to want to keep it, even if there was no immediate benefit to us for doing so. But the wise father imparting this wisdom to his son gives even more reason to keep these commandments. He writes that doing so will add:
length of days and years of life and peace (v2).
Peace is something all people long for, and it's often understood as the absence of noise / conflict.
But the Biblical idea of peace is much more robust. You've likely heard this Hebrew word before: shalom.
Shalom is the condition in which everything is at it ought to be, as it was in the Garden of Eden. Although the Bible never promises us total shalom in this sinful world until Christ returns, the amount of shalom in your life is closely correlated with how closely you hold tight to the proverbs we've been learning.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who you can trust with your whole heart (v5)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you honor the Lord in all you do (v9)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: