How quickly is the class topic or sermon subject forgotten after Sunday or Wednesday? As the closing prayer of worship is led and we ask God to “help us apply the lesson to our lives,” has it already been forgotten? “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you” (Proverbs 3:1-2). What an encouraging idea for those who trust in God. This sounds like one of the Ten Commandments, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). Good health, eating right, and exercise are crammed down the modern culture’s throat in order to live longer. When was the last time you heard to keep God’s commandments in order to have longer life?
Follow these principles and you will not be disappointed, “So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:4). When we trust in the Lord with all our heart, do not rely on our own logic, and acknowledge him in everything, “he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Solomon even has some medicinal advice, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8). Some people discuss how to get rich in the stock market, investing in mutual funds, buying real estate and owning businesses. One of the richest kings in history wrote, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10). What a paradox, give and you will prosper.
An important concept to understand in the Proverbs is that these are wise principles to live by, not promise equations. If someone dies at an early age, it does not always mean they were disobedient to God. Likewise, if someone lives to be old, that is not necessarily a mark of a faithful life to God. By following these principles though, we can be assured that we are in the favor of God. Things may not always go your way, but always trust in God giving him your firstfruits and you will be satisfied.