Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)
We have been taught to shun evil since we were small children, both at home and at church, but what is this verse really saying to us? It’s not an easy verse to understand and put in context. It’s hard to see how behaving well will save us from being hungry. We may need a little expert interpretation for this confusing, yet meaningful, proverb. A proverb is a kernel of wisdom, and it is for us to see what lies within that kernel that is of meaning to each of us.
This is one of the proverbs of Solomon. For the Israelites, wisdom not only promoted a life of discipline and prudence, but it also enabled persons to unravel clever and mysterious sayings.
The heart is Israelite wisdom asserts that no one can begin to understand God’s ways and life’s mysteries apart from God’s revelation, as stated in Chapter 1, verse 7. All human attempts at wisdom ill ultimately fail.
The proverb we are considering today is the third of Solomon’s discourses. In it he says that wisdom is more than a matter of knowing rules of right and wrong; it is a matter of knowing God. Those who are wise trust in the Lord, rather in their own wisdom. They fear and honor Him and accept His discipline. The Lord, not just their awareness of certain principles, protects them.
It is this wisdom that we seek and this protection that will nourish and sustain us. May we, like the Israelites so long ago, trust in the wisdom of God rather than our own wisdom and know that, in all things, He will protect His own.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur and Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Wednesday, January 30
In our prayers: Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Lucille N. Bistany, Brandon Mardriccas Jones, Michael Bennett Sessoms, Nancy Jean Jeffcoat, Sara Payne Harper, Jerry F. Johnson, Odessa Jones, Pauline O. Jones, Furman Samuel Ulmer, Kenneth Erskine Whiteside
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.