Acquiring wisdom is work – the rewards make the effort worth it. Obedience is key to acquisition and application of wisdom. Obedience has rewards also, another outworking of God’s grace; God didn’t have to make it so, but he did. The author begins in Chapter 3 to outline the attitude we should have toward wisdom and some beginning principles of application.
A. Whatever it takes vv. 1-4
do whatever is necessary to obey God’s law, aka his commandments; making mercy and truth, loyal love and faithfulness, ways of life or character traits that describe us at any point in time
remember v. 1a
guard v. 1b
keep them blockaded
bind v. 3b
they’re not optional – tie them on securely so they don’t come off
used of Rahab – tie the scarlet cord – the lives of Rahab and family depended on its presence
write v. 3c
a new heart; seeEze. 11:19-20;36:25-27
An heart of flesh; not like the old, hard and stony, but counsellable, tractable, that will hear, consider, obey, do commanded good, and forbear forbidden evils, submit to my law, and reform on admonitions. All which in part, and so far as concerned those times, was fulfilled in the Jews that did return from Babylon, and is more fully made good to us in these gospel days.Poole
they are to become an inherent part of who we are, characteristic of our nature; not merely outwardly mandated conditions followed out of necessity or expedience
in return, God promises
a long and full life v. 2a
opportunity to gain much knowledge of God
opportunity to do much out of love for God
a common natural outcome of godly living
peace and well-being v. 2b
a life worth living
minimal conflict with those whose opinion counts; there will always be conflict with unbelievers, but we should be at peace with the “family”
favor and high regard v. 4
first from God – his favor is of first importance; once gained, man’s favor will follow
a life lived this way will be beautiful because it is worthy of praise, excellent in nature and characteristics. “I hate to admit it but…”
It will receive commendation from all sorts of men even if reluctant or grudging.
B. Put God first vv. 5-10
put full confidence in God – rest your full weight on him. The degree to which we do that displays the degree to which we are sanctified – trusting God instead of self requires a reversal of the effects of the Fall.
He works through means to direct us – his Word and his Spirit, his church and the wise counselors we find there. Lone Rangers can’t trust implicitly in God – they are at least in part rejecting or ignoring that which God has provided for their good.
Confidence in God requires knowledge of his Word and confidence in its relevance and trustworthiness. Further, it requires confidence and trust developed over time in the context of a relationship that has been tested and confirmed.
with regard to
to be based on the direction God has given in his word; not our emotions or reasonings apart from biblical principles. If God asked why you made that decision, could you say “because you said…”?
direction v. 6a
more than one option (way) – not right or wrong but which is best. Apply biblical principles where possible, pick the best choice given the information and wisdom available, make the move trusting God to overrule where appropriate.
discernment v. 7
“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.” Leads to overconfidence in self, carelessness, thinking that our own evaluation of the situation is “right on”. Ends up clouding discernment, leading to hasty judgments or decisions. Trust in God, not your own genius.
de money; v. 9 seeLuke 12:16-21
a practical example of applying God’s wisdom rather than worldly wisdom to an area of life
“I can’t afford to tithe” is a perverse statement, upside-down thinking. It doesn’t say: When your barns are full, honor the Lord.” Full barns are the result of God’s blessing our obedience, not the other way around. If God can’t trust us to treat him right when we have a little, why should he give us more? It is impossible to out-give God; see Mal. 3:10-12
guide v. 6b
God does provide guidance
passively through principles encoded in his Word
actively through the ministry of the Holy Spirit teaching us from the Word; he directs our thoughts, enables us to understand and apply spiritual truth
by sovereignly ordaining all that takes place in human affairs – opening and closing doors of opportunity
provide v. 10
expectation of abundant return on our tithe (a.k.a., the seed principle) cannot be the motivation
at the same time, God is a good Father; we can count on him to provide abundantly for our needs. If we are making good and godly decisions about spending, tithing will not result in loss. In fact, the principle is that it will result in God’s blessing.