Updated: Oct 16
Today is October 3. If you’re in the habit of reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month, a habit I encourage you to adopt, the third day of the month is the day to read and meditate on Proverbs 3. Let’s together take this opportunity to study the content of Proverbs 3. I’ve entitled the chapter “Wisdom’s Heart.” As you study Proverbs 3, you will notice the word “heart” is prominent, appearing in verse 1, at the end of verse 3, and in verse 5. Clearly, the Lord emphasizes our heart in this chapter about wisdom.
A Healthy Heart
The first ten verses of Proverbs 3 communicate the idea of a healthy heart. Solomon says to his son and to us that having godly wisdom in our hearts “shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (v. 8). The key to possessing that godly wisdom that makes our heart healthy is to “let thine heart keep his commandments” (v. 1), to “write [mercy and truth] upon the table of thine heart” (v. 3), and to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart” (v. 5). If God’s word is written on our heart through patterns of reading and meditation, it will create the right environment for our hearts to be healthy.
A Happy Heart
Verses 11-26 provide the prescription for a happy heart. Verse 13 says that “happy is the man that findeth wisdom.” Verse 18 says that “happy is everyone that retaineth” wisdom. Even when believers are chastened, they are happy (verse 11) and don’t despise God’s correction. The reason they don’t despise it, but rather delight in it, is that they know their Father is giving them more wisdom through it (v. 12).
Verse 22 describes happiness when it says that wisdom will bring “life unto thy soul and grace to thy neck.” You could write the word “happiness” next to verse 22 because happiness is what it’s describing. Verse 23 describes another benefit of wisdom: the confidence of safety in walking with wise step. You could write “happiness” next to that verse as well. Verses 24-26 describe more benefits to the heart of a wise man: sweet sleep! A person who has the Lord for his confidence (v. 26) has a restful, happy heart.
A Helpful Heart
In verses 27-29 the focus changes from our hearts being happy in heavenly wisdom to our being helpful to our neighbor with our actions. Verse 27 reminds us that, if the “power of thine hand” can help your neighbor, do it. If you can help him today, don’t make him wait until tomorrow (v. 28). Help them today! Wisdom also includes an warning against animosity toward those same neighbors in verse 29. Don’t plot evil against your neighbor; after all, he lives right by you, or he works right next to you, or he goes to church with you. Be helpful to your neighbor, and do it genuinely from your heart.
A Humble Heart
Lastly, verses 30-35 describe a humble heart. The word verse 34 uses to describe a humble heart is to call it “lowly.” A proud heart is full of envy (v. 31), frowardness (v. 32), wickedness (v. 33), scorn (v. 34), and shame (v. 35). But God will not bless any of those sinful heart attitudes. Rather, the “Lord’s secret is with the righteous” (v. 32). God rewards the humble heart. He promises that “He blesseth the habitation of the just” (v. 33), and that “He giveth grace unto the lowly” (v. 34). The Lord punishes the proud heart, but He bestows abundant grace onto the humble heart.
In summary, Proverbs 3 communicates a close relationship between the condition of a person’s heart and his attitude toward wisdom. When a person has a heart full of wisdom, then he’ll have a healthy heart, a happy heart, a helpful heart, and a humble heart. If you have not already, read Proverbs 3 on your own. Reading the Proverb of the day is habit worth cultivating not just for a month, but for the rest of your life.
The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at email@example.com.
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