Lessons from Proverbs: Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:1-12 pt. 1 vv.1-6

A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask
him a question. The driver screamed, lost control of the
car, nearly hit a bus, drove up onto the sidewalk, and
screeched to a halt just inches from a show window. For
a second everything went quiet in the cab. The driver
said,
“Look, don’t ever do that again. You scared the
daylights out of me!”
The passenger apologized. “I didn’t realize that a little tap
would scare you so much.”
“Sorry,

” the driver replied. “It’s not really your fault.
Today is my first day as a taxi driver. I’ve been driving a
hearse for the last 25 years.”

Today we are going to continue our study of the wisdom from
Proverbs. We are going to be looking at chapter 3, the first 6
verses. We won’t have time to study all 12 verses this
morning, so I’ve broken this sermon up into two sermons.
Today we will study the first 6 verses.

These verses are interesting because they are couplets
where the first verse gives a warning or instruction and the
second verse tells the benefit of following the wisdom.

All but one of the couplets include the words Do Not

Proverbs 3:1-12

Let’s remember two things we learned in previous weeks.
This book was written by Solomon who was known for having
great wisdom, but that wisdom was given to him by God.
It wasn’t wisdom he gained from the world,
it was God’s wisdom.
The truths included in Proverbs are general truths. They are
not guaranteed and they don’t happen 100% of the time for
100% of the people.

The first two verses give us our first nugget of wisdom.
Obedience brings Peace
Proverbs 3:1-2
As a general rule, people who follow God’s way will live long
lives characterized by peace.
Let’s take a minute to discuss this word peace.
The Hebrew word is Shalom and it means more than just the
absence of violence. It means completeness, soundness,
contentment.
When we are obedient to God we are at peace with Him.
When we keep His commandments we are honoring His
covenant with us.

Contrast obedience to God with forgetting His law and
disobeying His commandments; the result is the opposite of
peace.

In Exodus, Pharaoh disobeyed God’s command to let His
people go and God sent plague after plague on him and his
people. There was no peace in Egypt because they were
constantly rejecting God and His commandments.

Remember, God knows our heart.
As we discuss these verses today we are going to see many
benefits of wisdom. Don’t let yourself fall into the delusion of
the prosperity gospel. These verses don’t support that at all.
These verses help us understand that when we truly follow
God’s plan and seek Him with all of our heart we are blessed.
We can’t trick Him into giving us something just because we
want it. God knows everything!

Kindness and Truth breed Righteousness
Proverbs 3:3-4
Solomon says not to forget kindness and truth.
He tells his son to tie them around his neck and write them on
the tablet of his heart.
What he means is kindness and truth ought to be character
traits. Jesus lived a life of kindness to others.
He had compassion on people. He served others. And He
spoke the truth. He didn’t let people continue in their sin, He
confronted it in kindness and truth.

Solomon mentions the reward of not forgetting kindness and
truth – finding favor with God and good repute with man.
It’s wise to be kind to others and to speak truth to them.

Righteousness means to be in right standing with God.
I’d definitely define favor as being in right standing with God.

Next, we come to the most recognizable part of the whole
chapter if not the whole book of Proverbs.

This one is a little different than the others because it doesn’t
begin with the do not, but it’s still there.

Our next nugget of wisdom is;

Trust leads to Total Commitment to God
Proverbs 3:5-6
The Hebrew word for trust means to lie down on something or
to put your entire weight on something.
To trust God in that way means that there is no other option.

You’ve probably heard the saying, trust but verify.
Well, when we put all of our trust in God there is no
verification needed! We know that God has said something
and we know that God keeps His word so we can trust Him to
do what He says He will do.

Next, Solomon tells his son to not lean on his own
understanding. That’s easier said than done though.
We want to be able to know what God is doing and we want
all the details and we want to understand His plan and His
timing.
But that’s not how God works.

He doesn’t always give us all the details when we desire
them.
He gives them when we need them.
Until then we must trust Him.

Then Solomon writes that we should acknowledge God in all
of our ways. That means every area of our life.
Not just trusting in Him on Sundays or Wednesdays. It means
trusting God all the time because God is trustworthy.
He can handle our relationships
He can handle our finances
He can handle our occupation
He can handle it all because He loves us and wants the best
for us.
That leads us to the benefit of trusting God,
He will make our paths straight.
Contrast straight with crooked.
Crooked paths are the ones evil people walk.
They aren’t walking towards God, they are going their own
way, doing their own thing.
When God makes our paths straight, it doesn’t mean He
takes away all the bad things that could happen, it means that
He guides us along the way despite the trials and temptations
we face. He will never leave us or forsake us!

APPLICATION

God has preserved this book of wisdom so that we can learn
from it and put it into practice.

The benefits of wisdom come to those who truly understand
who God is and what He desires from His children.

Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly
Jesus modeled kindness and truth flawlessly
Jesus trusted the Father implicitly

We reap the reward when we trust the Lord
Remember earlier I told you these rewards aren’t meant to
promote a prosperity gospel.
The rewards are geared towards someone who has gained
wisdom.

A wise person follows God’s commands
A wise person is kind to others
A wise person trusts God’s way over his own understanding

In a nutshell, the application is to deepen your commitment
to the Lord.

The closer you get to Him, the better you will understand Him
and the clearer you will hear from Him.