Proverbs 3

The American Standard Version

3:1 My son, forget not my law;

But let thy heart keep my commandments:

3:2 For length of days, and years of life,

And peace, will they add to thee.

3:3 Let not kindness and truth forsake thee:

Bind them about thy neck;

Write them upon the tablet of thy heart:

3:4 So shalt thou find favor and good understanding

In the sight of God and man.

3:5 Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart,

And lean not upon thine own understanding:

3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,

And he will direct thy paths.

3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes;

Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil:

3:8 It will be health to thy navel,

And marrow to thy bones.

3:9 Honor Jehovah with thy substance,

And with the first-fruits of all thine increase:

3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty,

And thy vats shall overflow with new wine.

3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of Jehovah;

Neither be weary of his reproof:

3:12 For whom Jehovah loveth he reproveth;

Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,

And the man that getteth understanding.

3:14 For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver,

And the profit thereof than fine gold.

3:15 She is more precious than rubies:

And none of the things thou canst desire are to be compared unto her.

3:16 Length of days is in her right hand;

In her left hand are riches and honor.

3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

And all her paths are peace.

3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her:

And happy is every one that retaineth her.

3:19 Jehovah by wisdom founded the earth;

By understanding he established the heavens.

3:20 By his knowledge the depths were broken up,

And the skies drop down the dew.

3:21 My son, let them not depart from thine eyes;

Keep sound wisdom and discretion:

3:22 So shall they be life unto thy soul,

And grace to thy neck.

3:23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way securely,

And thy foot shall not stumble.

3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid:

Yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

3:25 Be not afraid of sudden fear,

Neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh:

3:26 For Jehovah will be thy confidence,

And will keep thy foot from being taken.

3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due,

When it is in the power of thy hand to do it.

3:28 Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again,

And to-morrow I will give;

When thou hast it by thee.

3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbor,

Seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

3:30 Strive not with a man without cause,

If he have done thee no harm.

3:31 Envy thou not the man of violence,

And choose none of his ways.

3:32 For the perverse is an abomination to Jehovah;

But his friendship is with the upright.

3:33 The curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked;

But he blesseth the habitation of the righteous.

3:34 Surely he scoffeth at the scoffers;

But he giveth grace unto the lowly.

3:35 The wise shall inherit glory;

But shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Pathways Notes

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

Proverbs 3 is a rich text filled with practical advice on how to live a life grounded in wisdom, understanding, and trust in God. It underscores the importance of self-control, compassion, and moral integrity as cornerstones of a blessed life. This chapter encapsulates a father's advice to his child, emphasizing the rewards of wisdom such as long life, prosperity, and peace. Key verses advocate trusting in the Lord wholeheartedly and rejecting reliance on one's own understanding, which aligns closely with principles of self-help and self-management by encouraging individuals to seek guidance beyond themselves and recognize the broader impacts of their actions. For those seeking to develop self-discipline and improve emotional management, Proverbs 3 offers timeless insights into the benefits of leading a life guided by divine wisdom.

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

  • Echelon 1: Enthusiast - Gaining Wisdom and Understanding for Life's Journey

    • Read: Focus especially on Proverbs 3:5-6, which advises on trusting the Lord rather than one's own understanding.

    • Reflect: Think about the areas of your life where you find it difficult to trust God and tend to rely more on your own judgments. Consider how this may affect your emotional responses and decision-making.

    • Apply: Begin to identify practical ways to incorporate trust in God into your daily decisions. Practice recognizing when you are leaning on your own understanding and pause to seek wisdom through prayer and reflection. Document any changes you notice in your emotional stability and clarity of thought.

  • Echelon 2: Explorer - Wisdom’s Role in Understanding Oneself and the World

    • Read: Examine the entire chapter, paying particular attention to the promises associated with acquiring wisdom, such as peace and health (e.g., Proverbs 3:1-2, 13-18).

    • Analyze: Explore how the principles laid out in this chapter can lead to better emotional health. How does “not being wise in your own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7) or “keeping sound wisdom and discretion” (Proverbs 3:21) affect your emotional reactions to life’s challenges?

    • Reflect: Ponder the tangible benefits that wisdom brings, such as peace and safety (Proverbs 3:24-26), and how these outcomes can contribute to a more stable and controlled emotional life. Use personal journaling to record instances where applying wisdom led to peace or resolution in challenging circumstances.

By engaging with Proverbs 3 through these tailored instructions, participants in each echelon can deepen their understanding of how wisdom directly influences self-control and emotional management. This chapter encourages a proactive approach to self-improvement that is rooted in spiritual growth and reliance on God's guidance, providing a strong foundation for personal development within a Christian framework.

Proverbs 3 Notes:

Proverbs 3 is a chapter rich with wisdom, extending an invitation to embrace a life of integrity, trust, and divine guidance. Authored by King Solomon, this chapter forms part of a collection aimed at instructing young people in the ways of wisdom and righteousness. At its core, it is about forming a life that honors God through practical advice, revealing the blessings tied to wise living.

The chapter begins by urging readers to not forget the teachings of wisdom but to keep them in the heart, for they bring long life and peace. Solomon emphasizes the importance of loyalty and faithfulness, suggesting these virtues should be worn as a necklace, close to the heart, ensuring favor and success in the eyes of God and people.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding—this well-known admonition in Proverbs 3 calls for a deep, abiding trust in God's direction over one's own judgments. It is a trust that transforms every area of life, from the spiritual to the mundane. The passage assures that acknowledgment of God in all aspects of life guarantees divine guidance in making paths straight.

This wisdom extends into practical areas: generosity and just behavior. Solomon instructs to honor the Lord with wealth and firstfruits, an act of trust and acknowledgement of God’s provision. Furthermore, the reader is warned not to despise the Lord’s discipline, understanding that, like a father’s correction to his child, God’s discipline stems from love.

Proverbs 3 also delves into the intrinsic value of wisdom, describing it as more profitable than silver, yielding better returns than gold, and offering more benefits than earthly riches, such as long life, honor, and peace. The imagery of wisdom as a tree of life to those who embrace her emphasizes its life-giving and sustaining power.

The narrative continues to outline the blessings of finding wisdom and the security it brings, portraying wisdom as a source of life and safety, protecting from fear of harm. Solomon contrasts this with the plight of the wicked, who are restless and overtaken by evil.

In its conclusion, the chapter calls to consider the Lord’s creation as an embodiment of wisdom and understanding, establishing the foundations of the earth and setting the heavens in place. By observing the order and beauty of creation, one learns to respect and stand in awe of God’s mighty works.

Proverbs 3, therefore, serves as a timeless guide that not only promises the rewards of living wisely but also paints a vivid picture of the richness and peace that come from a life lived in alignment with divine wisdom.