Click here to see previous posts from this series, “Proverbs for Women.” In this installment, we will study what God says about knowing and obeying His Word.
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life
and peace 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.
4 So you will find favor and good successin the sight of God and man.
While we know that as New Testament believers, we are not promised a long, happy life on this Earth. After all, many of the disciples and apostles suffered much persecution and were martyred. The apostle Paul lived a rough life of ship wrecks, stonings, imprisonment, and more for the sake of Christ. We are, however, promised an eternity of peace in Heaven if we have repented and believed in Jesus. The Bible also speaks often about reward in Heaven.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 ESV
Let us heed God’s warnings and promises, and study, memorize, and apply His Word faithfully. We are to teach them to our children, as well! Reading the Word shouldn’t be something we do only when gathered together with other believers, but it should be a regular part of our personal and family lives.
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 ESV
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
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 fleshand refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
This portion of Scripture hit home hard for me! Just a few short years ago, I leaned on my own understanding. I was saved, but living under false teaching and way too comfortable with the ways of the world.
To me, homosexuality was okay, even though the Bible clearly condemns it (Romans 1:27 and many others.) Female pastors were okay, even though the Bible clearly says they’re not (1 Timothy 2:12.) There were a lot of other things I ignored in the Bible. I was picking and choosing what to believe. I thought the Bible was outdated and just the flawed thoughts of men.
That is… until I discovered the ministry Living Waters and read Save Yourself Some Pain.
I started to question how I could believe that Jesus died on the cross for me – which I got from the Bible! – but not everything else He taught.
I stopped leaning on my own understanding and surrendered my beliefs completely to the Word.
It was one of the most freeing moments of my life, and it continues to be freeing!
A few months ago my husband and I were discussing something that I was so very sure I was right about…until he showed me Scripture that proved that I was wrong. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t understand it right away, but I submitted to my husband’s teaching and God’s Word.
It wasn’t just my husband that was right but God’s Word that was right. And it’s okay that I was wrong because I have the Bible to lean on!
It’s okay when our views don’t line up with that of the world. When they hate us and persecute us for what we believe in. It’s okay because we have an ultimate authority on controversial and hard topics! We don’t have to rely on our sinful, human, fleshy emotions! We rely on the Word of God!
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
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.
Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV
As New Testament believers, our wealth may not always come in monetary form, nor will our offering to God always be done in monetary form.
Give God what you have.
Use your time wisely. Raise up your children to follow the Lord. Use your talents and gifts to honor Him and serve for His kingdom. Bless the other saints in your local church. Help the needy. Share the Gospel. Give money when you can and feel led to, but also give time, prayers, and service.
If you do these things, He may not always prosper your financial wealth, but He will surely prosper your peace and and reward in Heaven.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 ESV
My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV
God loves His children, therefore He disciplines them. Just like mothers and fathers discipline their children when they sin and disobey their parents. Children need direction to do what is safe and right, for their own good and the good of others.
We are God’s children. We need guidance. We need love. We need rebuke.
We don’t always like it when it comes – especially if it comes in the form of our husband, pastor, or friend correcting our theology or calling us out on our sin.
But it is good and right! Let us learn to gracefully and humbly accept correction when it is backed by Scripture.
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She 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.
18 She 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.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
Proverbs 3:13-23 ESV
Aren’t God’s promises wonderful? We have so much to look forward to in Heaven! Nothing can compare! The perfect house, the nicest clothes – none of it comes anywhere close to God’s beauty and reward! And following Him faithfully on Earth can also produce blessings, protection, and peace as the Lord wills. Praise God!
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror
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.
Proverbs 3:24-26 ESV
We have no need to be afraid. Though things may not go our way, though man may threaten us, though people may let us down – God is in control. God sees all. He knows all. He has planned for all! And we are secure in our salvation. Let God be our confidence. Let us boast in Christ. Let us follow His wisdom!
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.
Proverbs 3:27-35 ESV
We see here again, as we did in Proverbs 2, that we are not to go the way of the wicked and God’s promises of judgement for the wicked and reward for the saints. We are to do what is right and follow the right path. It is honoring to God to obey Him.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 ESV
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17 ESV
“If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15 NLT
This was a long Proverb, so let’s review:
- Know the Word. Read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it, write it down. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. Keep it close to your heart.
- Share the Word. Teach it to your children. Discuss it with friends. Post it in public. Pass it on.
- Listen to rebuke. You’re not always right. Lean on God’s Word as your moral compass. Submit to teaching from your husband and pastor, when it is backed by Scripture.
- Obey the Word. Our salvation is by Christ alone, and not by keeping the commandments, but faith without works is dead (James 2:17.) Do what God has taught you to do. Be doers of the Word, not hears only!
- He will reward those who heed His word, and punish those who do not!
I hope that this study encouraged, convicted, and blessed you! Praise God for His Word!