Proverbs 3:26

For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
– Proverbs 3:26

Verse 26 is key in understanding the spiritual importance of wisdom. Verses 21-25 give us a life view where wise management generally tends to peace and avoidance of trouble. For instance, the slothful man does not manage his life affairs wisely and his way is consequently made difficult (Proverbs 15:19). Walking in wisdom avoids that sort of difficulty, not that the wise will not have trouble but the sluggard brings trouble on himself and makes whatever trouble comes, more difficult. This verse teaches on the one hand that having wisdom is trusting the Lord completely. On the other hand, it highlights the Lord’s gracious care of our life.

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Proverbs 3:25

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
– Proverbs 3:25

Verses 23 and 24 highlight wisdom in the normal course of life—the cycle of walking and sleeping. Sudden fear describes calamities that come unlooked for. Walking in wisdom, we need not fear the unexpected. Wisdom is in all of life, not only the normal. The desolation of the wicked is the end of folly (Proverbs 1:27). Those who walk in wisdom and lie down in wisdom need not fear coming to the same end as the fool.

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Proverbs 3:24

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
– Proverbs 3:24

Sleep is a precious gift from God (Psalm 127:2). It refreshes and replenishes us and is also a daily reminder that we are not God. He never sleeps, but we must or we die. Sleep is also a time of complete vulnerability. Fear and anxious worry rob us of sleep. Walking in wisdom, as in the previous verse, leads us to lay down in peace (Psalm 4:8; 3:5).

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Proverbs 3:23

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
– Proverbs 3:23

Walking in wisdom brings safety from the many dangers already presented. Safety includes protection and deliverance (Psalm 37:24; Proverbs 10:9). Safety also includes liberty (Psalm 119:32). You don’t stumble on a clear path (Proverbs 4:12). Obviously, wisdom sets us in the right and good way. Wisdom clears our vision so that we see the way plainly.

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Proverbs 3:22

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
– Proverbs 3:22

Wisdom and discretion shall be life and grace. Life to the soul is primarily spiritual life that brings everlasting physical life. It is an undeniable theme throughout Proverbs (Proverbs 3:2, 16; 4:10, 22; 7:2; 8:35; 9:11; 13:14; 14:27; 15:4, 24; 16:22; 19:23; 21:21; 22:4). Grace to the neck is both an ornament that beautifies and an ornament that continually abides with you as clasped about your neck. Those that have wisdom have this life and grace that will not depart from them.

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Proverbs 3:21

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
– Proverbs 3:21

Verses 21-35 give practical instruction to walking in wisdom, which is walking with God. This verse overall speaks of a deliberate intention to keep sound wisdom and discretion. Keep them before your eyes is a way of exhorting us to continually pursue wisdom and not let slip what we have already obtained. Discretion refers to a plan and can be good or bad. Here it is positive for wise plans. Again, this shows intentionality and purpose to go this way of wisdom.

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Proverbs 3:20

By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
– Proverbs 3:20

This verse adds to the previous concerning how God governs his creation by wisdom. Solomon refers to the maintenance of the hydrological cycle of earth. Though the earth is under a sin curse, it functions remarkably well and the wisdom of God’s design is evident. If wisdom can found the earth and run the universe, it is certainly good to direct our paths upon the earth. Solomon began by urging us to seek diligently after wisdom and has thoroughly justified that searching by wisdom’s superior worth.

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Proverbs 3:19

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
– Proverbs 3:19

Verses 19 and 20 close this section on the true value of wisdom. At first glance, these verses might seem unconnected to the previous. Founding and establishing both have to do with setting something up. Here they refer to the creation of the universe and the establishing of the order of creation. By wisdom God has created and sustains the universe. The universe is run by wisdom. The implication is that wisdom should be sought and valued more highly than earthly commodities. Living and walking by wisdom is obviously to walk in harmony with the Creator and his creation.

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Proverbs 3:18

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
– Proverbs 3:18

This verse removes doubt, if there is any, about the spiritual nature of the gifts of wisdom. Here she is a tree of life, which tree is so called because it is life giving and a tree that never dies. The Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden at the creation (Genesis 2:9; 3:22). The way to the tree was barred by the angels after Adam sinned and, I believe, taken from the earth before the flood. The next location that is given for the tree is in the new heaven and new earth, and specifically in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2).

Here it is a figure that represents everlasting life, which is real life, and access to it means full communion with God (Revelation 2:7; 22:14). Laying hold and retaining mirrors the language of apprehending Christ in faith (Hebrews 6:18; John 8:31; 1 John 2:24). Every one that has wisdom after this manner is happy or makes good progress.

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