“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity” (Proverbs 3:1,2 NIV).
“Do not forget my teaching”–what teaching was Solomon referencing? His teaching about all He knew about God and living a life that pleases God. I have often had my children’s friends come back to me when they become adults and remind me of the things I taught them. One young lady in particular, almost had an accident during a snowstorm, but she remembered what I had said about driving on slippery roads and avoided an accident. Many of them still remember bible study at my house and the things they learned when they were kids.
“Keep my commands in your heart”--why? If we hold fast to our instructions in righteousness, we will not disobey or disappoint. Whatever is in the heart of man (or woman) will surely come to light. Perhaps, this is why scripture tells us that God is not concerned with the external trappings of man, but looks at our hearts.
“For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity”–what will? Keeping the commands/instructions given (obedience) we were given. Imagine that!
Let’s look at how that might work in our society.
“Look both ways before crossing the street” –won’t get run-down by a car.
“Don’t spend every dime you get, save money (learn to invest)”–if we save, we’ll have money when we need it.
“Treat people the way you want to be treated” –unless there is something seriously wrong with a person, most want to be treated with courtesy and kindness. If we do this, we effect peace where we are.
“Learn to respect self, others and the property of others”–when we respect others, there is no need for strife and we will not kill, steal, or destroy.
“Eat your vegetables”–proven to have not just nutritional value, but can thwart the growth of cancer cells.
“Stay away from drugs and alcohol”--drugs change the chemical production in our brains and cause us to be delusional and eventually erodes any sense of rational thinking and so can alcohol, when misused. When we destroy brain cells, we destroy our ability to function at maximum potential.
There are so many other things I could say, but this is not the appropriate forum. Perhaps, I’ll expound more in a book, specifically dedicated to a reflection about Proverbs 3.
So, if we want long life, peace and prosperity, we need to be obedient–not just to parents, but to God and those in position of authority (teachers, laws of the land, etc.). (Please read the rest of this passage to the end–very powerful and pertains to our lives today.)
Now, just to look at things in a balanced perspective–if we don’t do all the things that Solomon was advising us to do, we won’t have long life, peace or prosperity. Could it be that this is the reason the world is in the shape it is in today? Hmmm. Something to think about!
What a novel concept! Disobedience leading to shortened lives, unrest, and poverty! This should not be a surprise to anyone if we understood that the act of disobedience is what caused man’s fall from God’s favor in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Nothing new under the sun–just recycled stupidity and foolishness when people refuse to listen and obey. We cannot keep doing things the same way, expecting to get different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity), it just won’t happen. We need to wake up, acknowledge where we are, and make some changes in what we do and how we do them. The first step is in seeking God and His wisdom to guide us in all things.
Lord, help us today to see the truth of Your Word and how it applies to every area of our lives. Pour into us Your wisdom so we can get living right according to Your Word and then be in position to receive all that You have promised.