Proverbs 3:35

The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
– Proverbs 3:35

Wise rounds out the threefold description of the blessed. They are just (v. 33), lowly (v. 34), and wise (v.35). They shall inherit or come into glory. Fools mock and scorn and scoff at wisdom and extol shame. Shame, or disgrace, shall be their end. This verse brings us back to the two ways and two ends. The issues of wisdom and folly are the issues of life and death.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:34

Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
– Proverbs 3:34

The lowly is one who bends himself and so it means the humble. It is the humble who receive favor from God. Proverbs has much to say in condemnation of the proud and so the scorners receive scorning. God resists the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) and does not show them favor. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and bends oneself to receive her counsels.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:33

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
– Proverbs 3:33

Those who turn aside from God’s word are an abomination to him and thus the curse is in their house. The Lord warned Israel of the curse if they departed from his law (Deuteronomy 11:28; Leviticus 26:14-16). Alternatively, those who receive his wisdom and keep it, shall be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:2-14).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:32

For the forward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
– Proverbs 3:32

Verse 32 explains why we are to neither envy oppressors nor choose their ways. Froward means to turn aside and this describes the ways of the oppressor. He has turned aside from the path of wisdom to walk in the crooked way of folly. An abomination is something abhorrent to God, something contrary to his nature, which he detests. Such is the way of the oppressor. The oppressor’s way is contrasted with the way of the righteous, which is straight or just. The righteous are walking in the way of wisdom and consequently have the secret of the Lord. Secret here refers to something that has to be revealed in order to know it (Psalm 25:14; Matthew 11:25-27).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:31

Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
– Proverbs 3:31

To envy is to be jealous of or to desire the things of another. Oppressors exercise power over others and use wicked ways to often obtain quick success. Envy could come of wanting to reverse roles and rather than being oppressed to be the oppressor, or it could be a desire for the quick success they seem to have. Wisdom takes a longer view and knows the end of the oppressor’s ways.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:30

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
– Proverbs 3:30

Strive and cause can have legal connotations, i.e. suing in court. It need not go that far. It can also refer to any contention or strife. Wisdom teaches not to enter into contention or strife without good reason. We are to avoid it and live peaceably with all as much as is possible (Romans 12:18-21).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:29

Devise not evil against thy neighbor, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
– Proverbs 3:29

Verses 29 and 30 continue addressing interpersonal relations in terms of our neighbor. Devise evil expresses the idea of secretly plotting against. This in light of the neighbor thinking he is secure by you. Taken together wisdom here teaches not betray a confidence nor take advantage of one trusting you.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:28

Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
– Proverbs 3:28

Verse 28 illustrates verse 27. A neighbor is anyone that is near to us, to whom we may personally do good (Luke 10:29-37). Again, that good may be owed in the sense of a wage (Leviticus 19:13) or owed in the sense of charity (1 John 3:17). Overall, both verses speak to urgency and doing justly sooner rather than later. We should do good while we can do good (Proverbs 27:1; Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:27

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
– Proverbs 3:27

This verse is variously interpreted to command consideration of the needy (Deuteronomy 24:14-15) or the upholding of justice in personal dealings (Leviticus 19:13). We can see both in the verse. They go together. The phrase “to whom it is due” could refer to an owner. In this sense, justice comes to the fore. We also have an obligation to the poor and needy, which suggests that acts of charity also have a sense of justice (Deuteronomy 26:13; 1 John 3:17-18). Overall the verse has a sense of urgency. Whether we give in acts of charity or of justice, we are to do it quickly, or be soon to do it. Withhold not is saying do not put it off. We should be quickly just and considerate in our personal dealings.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Next Page »