We will begin this lesson in Proverbs 3:1 "My son, forget not my
law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:" Proverbs 3:2 "For
length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee."

     "My son" tells us who this message is to. It is not to the world
in general, but to the followers of God. God reminds us to not forget
His teachings, but hide them away in our hearts. God also reminds us
to walk in His ways. His "commandments" here are talking about all of
His ways. Just as the commandment to honour father and mother promises
that our days may be long upon the earth, we see the promises of
length of days here if we follow in His ways. When you know that you
have done the right things, it does bring peace. Sin brings fear of
punishment, but obedience brings peace.

    Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about
thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:" Proverbs 3:4 "So
shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and

     The Bible says the "merciful shall obtain mercy". Matthew 5:7,
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." "Mercy" shows
love to the utmost, for God and for man.

     "Truth" cannot be underestimated. It is beyond compromise. A
 truthful person is a person whose character cannot and will not be
 questioned by anyone. One of the highest compliments that can be paid
 a man is to say that he is a man of truth.

     If a person could have the two most important strengths of
character, it would be mercy and truth. This "binding them about the
neck", I believe, just means to treasure them highly and don't lose
them somewhere along the way. "Write them upon the tables of thine
heart" has to do with the heart dictating a person's actions. God will
write His laws upon the heart of His people, if we will allow Him to.
I believe that is the message here. God says if you have these two,
mercy and truth, you have His laws on your heart. In V-4 we find if we
practice these two, we will be able to get along with not only the men
around us, but God as well.

    Proverbs 3:5  "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean
not unto thine own understanding."

    This V-5 here applies to all believers, but even more to those who
are in the service to God. God never chose any man or woman to work
for Him because of their training and ability within themselves. God
chooses people like Jeremiah, who was just a lad with no formal
training; and God put the words in Jeremiah's mouth to give to the
people. You may read all about it in chapter 1 of Jeremiah. When we
depend upon our own ability, we fall very short. For a minister of God
to be effective, it must be God speaking through him.
    Proverbs 3:6 "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct
thy paths."

     Here, again, we get into the will of man. Man has to be willing
to accept God's help and to give God the credit for the job well done.
A Christian must first of all not start anything that the Lord is not
in, then we must praise Him in everything.  Hebrews 13:15 tells us
when we should praise the Lord.  Hebrews 13:15, "By him therefore let
us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the
fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."  If He directs our path,
we shall walk in the light and not stumble and fall. In St. John
11:9-10, we see how important this is.  John 11:9 "Jesus answered, Are
there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he
stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world."
John 11:10 "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because
there is no light in him."

    Proverbs 3:7  "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and
depart from evil."

     The most dangerous thing, if you are trying to succeed in the
world, is to get satisfied with yourself.  A person cannot grow when
he gets this attitude. When we rely upon our self, we are always
disappointed . No one likes a know-it-all or a conceited person.  We
must remain humble. What little knowledge that we do have is because
of God's generosity towards us. Fear of the Lord will take away all
arrogance and pride. In the first few verses of Proverbs, we learned
that the fear of the Lord is true wisdom.  Fear here could be looked
at again as reverence or high praise.  Give God the glory for it all.

    Proverbs 3:8 "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy

    Many illnesses are brought on by sins as we said before, not all
illness, but some.  Good clean living seems to assist in good health.
For sure, good clean living brings a clear conscience and no regrets.
When the spirit of man is healthy, it helps with the physical health,
as well.  Exodus 15:26, "And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to
the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his
sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his
statues, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have
brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee."

    Proverbs 3:9 "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the
firstfruits of all thine increase:" Proverbs 3:10 "So shall thy barns
be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

    Honoring the Lord goes much further than just attending church and
stating that we are a believer. Our heart is where our pocket book is.
There is a difference in a tithe and first fruits. The tithe
(1/10) is paid after the money is made. The first fruits is paid in
anticipation of what will come. First fruits will be a faith offering.
God's promise throughout the Bible is that if we give to His work, we
will be blessed 10 fold or more. Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be
given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and
running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same
measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." We can
see from Jesus' own words here, that if we plan to prosper, we must
give. Malachi 3:10 tells it all. Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes
into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove
me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the
windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not
[be room] enough [to receive it]."

    Proverbs 3:11  "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;
neither be weary of his correction:" Proverbs 3:12 "For whom the LORD
loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son [in whom] he

     In Romans chapter 5, we read why chastening and trials must come.
Romans 5:3 "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" Romans 5:4 "And patience,
experience; and experience, hope:" Romans 5:5 "And hope maketh not
ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the
Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

    You see, the only way a baby learns right from wrong is correction
of parents.  Sometimes a little paddling makes the lesson easier to
remember. This is sometimes true with baby Christians, as well.  When
we do not obey God, He has to give us a spanking so that we will
remember to obey next time. Just as an earthly parent corrects a child
to help him grow in the knowledge of the truth, so does a heavenly
Father. If He cared not what becomes of us, He wouldn't bother to
correct us. Read chapter 3 of Ephesians beginning with the 13th verse.
It will thrill you that you have been tried. I will give one more
Scripture here to show that God loves us in our tribulations and then
go on. II Thessalonians 1:4 "So that we ourselves glory in you in the
churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions
and tribulations that ye endure:" II Thessalonians 1:5 "[Which is] a
manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be
counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:" If
God loves us, He corrects us; and we take on His worthiness.

    Proverbs 3:13  "Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the
man [that] getteth understanding."  Proverbs 3:14 "For the merchandise
of it [is] better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof
than fine gold."

    One of the most wonderful gifts that God can give to man is wisdom
and understanding. Solomon was no fool when he asked God for wisdom.
Wisdom will bring prosperity of body, soul, and spirit. A wise man
chooses God's ways and therefore cannot fail. If you have silver and
gold, you can spend all of it and have nothing, but wisdom cannot be
taken away; and with wisdom you can acquire silver and gold and any
other thing that you might ever have need of.

                         Proverbs 3 Questions

1.  In verse 1, God addresses the man as whom?
2.  What is the man not to forget?
3.  Where shall he keep the commandments?
4.  If these commandments are kept, what are the blessings received by
    doing so?
5.  The words "my son" indicate who?
6.  What are these commandments really referring to?
7.  Sin brings fear of what?
8.  Right living brings what?
9.  In verse 3, we are instructed not to let 2 things forsake us.
    What are they?
10. Where are we to carry them?
11. In Matthew 5:7, we see that who shall obtain mercy?
12. What in a person builds character that will not be questioned?
13. Whose understanding can we not lean upon?
14. How does God choose someone to work for Him?  What must his
    credentials be?
15. What Old Testament character is a typical example of God choosing
    someone who thinks they are not capable of doing the job?
16. If we acknowledge Him, He will -------our --------.
17. Hebrews 13:15, tells us when we should praise the Lord.  When is
18. In St. John 11, we learn that we must walk where?
19. What is the most dangerous thing for a person to do if we are to
20. What happens when we rely upon ourselves?
21. What is true wisdom?
22. Fear, in verse 7, can be described as what?
23. In Exodus 15:16, we find that we can be assured of not taking
    worldly diseases, if we do what?
24. What is the difference in first fruits and tithes?
25. What will guarantee us of full barns?
26. In Malachi 3:10, we read how we can get God to open up the windows
    of heaven and pour us out a blessing, what do we do?
27. For whom the Lord loveth he ---------.
28. How are we to react to tribulations?
29. --------- is the man that findeth wisdom.
30. What is wisdom better than?