Lessons from Proverbs: Benefits of Wisdom Part 2

Proverbs 3:1-12 pt. 2 vv.7-12

One day an auto mechanic was working under a
car and some brake fluid dripped into his mouth,
“Wow” he thought. “That stuff tastes good!”
The next day he told a friend about his amazing
discovery. “I think I’ll have a little more today.”
His friend was concerned but didn’t say anything
The next day the mechanic drank a whole bottle
of brake fluid. A few days later he was up to
several bottles a day. And now his friend was
really worried.

“Don’t you know brake fluid is toxic?” said the
friend. “You’d better stop drinking it.”

“Hey, no problem.” He said “It’s easy for me to
stop.”

Last week we started our study of Proverbs 3:1-12
We found that it was composed of six couplets that
each provided a nugget of wisdom from God.

We looked at the first three nuggets of wisdom, today
we will discuss the last three.

Before we do, let’s take a moment to recap.

Obedience brings Peace
Kindness and Truth breed Righteousness
Trust leads to Total Commitment to God

Proverbs 3:1-12

This next couplet gives us our 4th nugget of wisdom
Repentance precedes Refreshment

Proverbs 3:7-8

Solomon writes the prohibition to not be wise in your
own eyes, but fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Being wise in our own eyes is saying to God that our
way is better than His way.
Being wise in our own eyes is a display of pride.
Recall the people in the book of Judges. Between
every judge the Bible says the people did what was
right in their own eyes. They tried to do things their
way when God had clearly told them what He
expected.

To turn away from evil is the definition of repentance.
When talking to new believers it’s always a good idea
to help them understand the idea of repentance.

You were going this direction, the direction of sin and
separation from God, but now, you are going the
opposite direction. You are striving towards God.
It’s a 180 degree turn.

Repentance is also a display of humility
It’s recognizing that we don’t have all the answers,
that we aren’t good enough or kind enough to earn
God’s love. It’s all about God’s grace and mercy.
Repentance is acknowledging that God is good and
because of that we are going to obey Him and follow
His way by submitting to His authority.
The result of repentance is refreshment and healing.
This refreshment and healing has two elements to it.

The first is physical. Many people when they are
saved have some habits that are unsavory, and God
removes them from their life. That’s one example of
physical healing or refreshment that comes from
repentance.

The second is spiritual. When we repent, we are
restored to right standing with God because of Jesus’
death and resurrection on the cross.
We receive eternal life with God in heaven.

Wisdom tells us – repentance precedes refreshment

Now, let’s look at the 5th nugget of wisdom.

Generosity is Rewarded by God

Proverbs 3:9-10

This is the one couplet that lacks the phrase do not.
Solomon writes “Honor the Lord from your wealth and
from the first of all your produce;”

Honor means to treat the Lord as weighty. Meaning to
consider God important. It’s important to understand
that God is the giver of everything that we have. It all
belongs to Him. Sometimes people get that confused
and think they earned everything they have and don’t
believe God had anything to do with it.
The truth is that God is the creator and owner of
everything on earth. He gave us everything we have.

The Bible tells us very clearly that we are to give Him
a portion of what He’s given to us.

Deut 18:4 and Exodus 23:19 both talk about bringing
the firstfruits.

What that means is we give God the best and the first
of what He has given us.

In Malachi we read of God telling the people to stop
robbing Him of His tithe and for them to test Him and
see what kind of amazing blessing He might pour out
on them.

Jesus says this in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be
given to you. They will pour into your lap a good
measure – pressed down, shaken together, and
running over. For by your standard of measure it
will be measured to you in return.”

Some people are afraid to be generous because they
don’t understand the faithfulness of God.

Some people try to give for the purpose of getting
something back. That’s also missing the point of the
message.

When we give to God we should be giving because we
are so thankful for everything He has blessed us with.

When we give to others we ought to be doing so out
of kindness and the desire to share God’s love with
others.

Solomon mentions the reward of giving from our
wealth, vats overflowing with wine and barns filled
with plenty.

Here’s the thing, God is going to bless people with
exactly what He wants them to have.
Recall the parable of the talents. One man received 5,
one received 2, the other received 1.
It’s our job to be faithful with what God gives us.
Jesus said,

“He who is faithful in a very little
thing is faithful also in much; and he who is
unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous
also in much.” Luke 16:10
He then told the people that no servant can serve two
masters, he will either hate the one and love the
other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the
other.

Whether or not we experience great wealth here on
earth or not, the truth is that believers will inherit the
riches and fullness of being with God in heaven
forever! There’s no greater reward than that!

The 6th nugget of wisdom is;

Discipline makes us Delightful

Proverbs 3:11-12

Solomon closes this section by warning his son not to
reject the discipline of the Lord or His reproof.

God disciplines those He loves.

He loves His children and delights in them.
It’s never pleasant while you are receiving discipline,
but most of us know that its purpose is to make us
righteous and share in His holiness.

Check out Hebrews 12:10 “For they disciplined us
for a short time as seemed best to them, but He
disciplines us for our good, so that we may
share His holiness.”

The Hebrew writer is comparing earthly fathers to our
heavenly Father. Both discipline for our good, but God
disciplines us so we can share His holiness. He is
making us more like Him and when we get out of sync
He brings us back to where we should be.
It’s interesting that these last two nuggets represent
the polar opposite.
Being blessed we are to be generous and going
through discipline we still honor God because it shows
that He cares about us.
Think of it this way, you know how you feel when you
see someone getting away with something they
shouldn’t be doing. Then you do the same thing and
get caught and punished for doing the same thing.
What if we viewed discipline this way?
God doesn’t discipline those who aren’t His children.

So, if you do get away with something, what does
that say about your relationship with God?

APPLICATION

Each of these nuggets this week had something in
common.
I didn’t come right out and say it, but if you think
about each one of these nuggets you will see that
God wants our Humility

When we repent we acknowledge that we have sinned
against God and we want to turn from our evil ways
and live for Him. We humble ourselves before Him
and allow Him to direct our paths.

When we give generously He blesses us. We should
humble ourselves by realizing that God has given us
everything that we have. It’s our job to give back to
the generous giver.

When God disciplines us we should be humble
knowing that He is holy and we are not. Fortunately
for us we have the holy spirit living inside of us, but
we must be humble and accept the punishment when
He provided it to us. It’s for our good and shows us
how much He loves us.