The Proverbs of Solomon: Chap. 3:1-12

Proverbs 3:1‑12  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Simon Patrick on the Proverbs
Chapter 3:1-12
1. “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments." Let me then again entreat thee, whoever thou art that comest to learn of me (who loveth thee with a fatherly affection), not to be careless and negligent in the observance of these instructions: but remember them, and love them, and set thy self heartily to do whatsoever I command thee.
3. "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart." Of this thou canst not miss, if thou wilt be steadfastly good and just; for the infinite bounty of God, and His faithfulness to His promises will secure these blessings to thee: therefore let my commandments be ever before thine eyes; fix them in thy memory, and in thy affections, as if they were engraven upon thy heart; and look upon it as the greatest ornament to be obedient to them.
4. "So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." Which is as much as if I had bidden thee acquire favor with God; and understand, on all occasions, what is good for thyself: ordering all thine affairs with such judgment and prudence, as to be in high esteem with Him and with men.
5. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." And assure thyself there is no rule of prudence like to this, to confide in God entirely; and to depend wholly on His providence for good success in well doing: not imagining that by thine own wit and policy, thou canst contrive such events as thou desirest, and bring about what thou designeth.
6. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." No, in all thine undertakings both private and public, be sensible of His overruling power; observe His laws; and implore His favor and blessing; and He shall guide thee in thy proceedings; and bring them to a happy issue, as He in His wisdom sees best for thee.
7. "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." Never be guilty of such folly as to conceit about thine own wit to be so great that thou canst manage things thereby in thine own way (neglecting the rules that He hath prescribed thee) to thy satisfaction: but have a religious regard to Him, who can either disappoint or prosper thee, as He pleases; and fearing to offend His Majesty, avoid most cautiously those practices that He hath forbidden thee.
8. "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." This is the way to preserve a good habit both of soul and body: and in all conditions to remain un-dejected; nay, cheerful and fully satisfied, whatsoever happens.
9. "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase." As for example, there are those who think it prudence to save all they can; though it be by robbing God Himself: but, if thou wilt be truly wise and happy, honor Him in His ministers, by paying them their tithes duly; and bringing oblations to His house at the three solemn feasts (Ex. 23:14,1514Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) (Exodus 23:14‑15)); together with the firstfruits of all that thine estate produces (Ex. 22:29, 3029Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. (Exodus 22:29‑30)) in token of thy gratitude to Him, and that all thou hast is His, and cannot thrive without His blessing.
11. “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction." And suppose it be His pleasure that any affliction should befall thee; my son (v. 1), let not that dissatisfy thee; nor make thee, either doubt of His gracious providence over thee, or out of impatience take any unlawful course to remove it from thee.
12. "For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." But rather submit unto it, as a part of His fatherly discipline, which cannot hurt thee; but only correct something that is amiss in thee: for we are sure He loves those that keep His commandments; and therefore nothing that proceeds from His love ought to be despised; or received with an abject mind; but duly esteemed by them, and raise their expectation of some good from the affliction: which should no more make Him suspected of any unkindness, than a tender parent is, when he whips the child in whom he delights; and to whom he wishes so well, that he will not let him be un-chastised.