We're so glad you decided to join us today!
Each week that we meet in person, we take some time to share any joys or concerns we might have. Take some time to consider your past week. If you have any prayer requests to share, please add them as a comment to this post. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started.
Lord, today I place my trust in You with all my heart. I acknowledge that my understanding is limited, and I lean on You for guidance and wisdom in all I do.
Help me to rely not on my own understanding but on Your infinite knowledge and love.
As I prepare to face the challenges and blessings of this day, I submit myself to Your will.
I surrender my plans, desires, and ambitions to You, knowing that Your ways are higher and wiser than mine.
I ask for the humility and strength to align my actions and decisions with Your divine purpose.
Lord, please make my paths straight. Remove any obstacles that may lead me astray from Your righteous and loving path.
Grant me the clarity to discern Your will and the courage to follow it, even when it may seem unclear or difficult.
In every moment of this day, I seek Your guidance and presence. Whether in times of joy or trial, help me to remember Proverbs 3:5-6, and may these verses be a constant reminder of Your steadfast love and faithfulness.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the assurance that as I trust in You, submit to Your ways, and seek Your guidance, You will lead me on a straight and purposeful path.
With gratitude and love, I commit this day to You, trusting that You are always by my side.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Today's lesson is on Proverbs 3:1-8.
The book of Proverbs is generally, mostly attributed to King Solomon. Its importance is in how it communicates what makes up a life of wisdom. All people can learn and apply the wisdom taught in the book of Proverbs.
It is divided into five sections: an introduction to wisdom (Proverbs 1-9), the proverbs of Solomon (10:1-22:16; 25:1-29:27), the words of the wise (22:17-24:34), the words of Agur (Proverbs 30), and the words of King Lemuel (Proverbs 31). We know nothing about Agur or King Lemuel.
The book has us listening to the teachings of a father to his son. With one exception, the poetic order of each pair of verses in today's scripture follows the same pattern. First, the father gives his son a negative command. Second, the father gives a positive command. Finally, the father concludes that section with a promise for his son.
One Law (verses 1-2)
This passage is set up as a father talking to his son. The son is told to "keep my commands in your heart." In the Old Testament, the heart refers to a person's inner being. The commands should become part of the son's volitions, emotions, and knowledge. A way to keep the commands would be to commit them to memory, and obey them. This reflects on the Law of Moses, where children are to honor their parents. A child who honors their parents is entering a life of wisdom. This will be a flourishing life, with relational harmony.
Two Virtues (verses 3-4)
Love and faithfulness are two key words in the Old Testament, especially regarding the attributes of God. Love frequently refers to God's loyalty and commitment to his people. Faithfulness conveys the idea of reliability. For the father speaking to his son, he wants to see his son's heart transformed. The son should do good actions that come from a heart oriented toward the virtues of mercy and truth.
In the Old Testament, a person might bind something around their neck to show the importance and significance of that item to the wearer. The father's speech is interpreted as figurative language by our book. It is meant to highlight the extent that the son should go to in order to develop a life of love and faithfulness. The virtues are not to be hidden from the world.
By having the virtues of love and faithfulness, the son will win favor. This means he will be held in high regard. Having a life of wisdom and character will not only win favor with God, but with other people as well. A good name and good reputation take time to develop. Not only do these things provide a personal benefit, but they are also avenues to honor God and reveal God to other people.
One Trust (verses 5-6)
Placing trust anywhere other than God can lead to futility or destruction. It does not lead to any lasting or eternal wisdom. Leaning on your own understanding can lead to pride. Only foolish people trust themselves more than the wisdom of the Lord. The Lord is worthy to be trusted because he is the source of salvation. To trust with all your heart is total commitment. It is all-encompassing.
To submit to God means to know him and give him proper recognition for his activity in a person's life. It involves a willingness to yield to his will. God will all-knowing, all-present and all-powerful. We can trust that he will provide his people with a wise and righteous path. This is not a promise of an easy life. However, God has provided us with an avenue of peace through Christ Jesus.
Two Actions (verses 7-8)
The opposite of trusting and submitting to God is to consider one's wisdom as the final say. God is the source of wisdom. He desire to give his people wisdom through his Spirit. As a result, God's people should avoid lives of pride and arrogance. Instead, they should seek wisdom from God.
The example of King Solomon provides us with a warning based on this verse. He received wisdom from God. However, he failed to follow God's wisdom. As a result, he experience heartache and the promise of consequences that would extend past his lifetime.
To fear the Lord involves having an attitude of reverence, awe, wonder, faith, and trust in the Lord. It is impossible to be wise in one's own eyes and simultaneously fear the Lord. Instead, an attitude of humility is required.
The last verse of the passage is difficult to translate because it is a Hebrew idiom. The King James Version translates the verse as, "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." Our book says that this is a more accurate translation of the original Hebrew. This may be a literary practice wherein one part of the body represents the whole.
A life of humility, fear of the Lord and obedience to him results in the complete wholeness of a person. We know that a person's status in life does not correlate to the quality of a person's heart. While people may experience wholeness and health in part while on earth, scripture promises a time in the future when God, "will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away," (Revelation 21:4).
It is easy for believers to sy that we are seeking the wisdom of God when in actuality, other voices influence our lives and shape our perspectives. If we're filling our lives with human ideas rather than the wisdom of God, which will have more influence?
Heavenly Father, thank you for the inspired wisdom you have revealed to us in scripture. Help us to listen and follow your word. Show us how we can be more attentive to the direction of your Spirit so that we might have lives of wisdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Questions for Discussion
Today's benediction is from the English Standard Version.
Next week's lesson will be on 2 Chronicles 20:13-20.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.