(21) My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: (22) So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. (23) Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. (24) When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. (25) Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. (26) For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.Proverbs 3:21-26
Solomon continues to instruct his son in the ways of wisdom and we get to listen again. As we begin verse 21, Solomon says “let not them depart from thine eyes”. To properly interpret this text we have to know what the word “them” is referencing. Let’s look at the two previous verses:
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (20) By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.Pro 3:19-20
The word “them” in verse 21 refers to “wisdom” and “understanding” in verse 19. Verse 19 and 20 tell us that God created the world using wisdom and understanding. The way the created world functions is according to wisdom and understanding.
So it is in this context that Solomon tells his son to keep a hold of wisdom and understanding. “Don’t let them go, son!”, cries the father. “Keep them in front of you”. Why? Because when we live in accordance with wisdom and understanding there are four probabilities that Solomon mentions to his son that are the result.
Probability #1- Life. (v.22a).Solomon says that the understanding and wise person has a quality of inner life. The person that lives wisely lives in alignment with what God desires. Their inner person is right with God and with others. The outer behavior is in line with their inward thought life, emotional life, and spiritual life.
Probability #2- Decoration. (v22b). Solomon says that understanding and wisdom will be “grace to thy neck”. Like a necklace adorns the wearer, so wisdom and understanding dress up the person that lives by them. They become known as people of wisdom and understanding. It becomes the visible character quality of someones life.
Probability #3- Protection. (v23-24). We should avoid thinking that wisdom and understanding are like lucky charms. They are not rabbits feet to somehow magically keep us from bad circumstances. Wisdom and understanding help us to make choices that keep us from being in trouble. They keep us from taking bad steps. They keep us from creating needless enemies, and pointless difficulties.
Probability #4- Confidence. (25-26). Wisdom and understanding help us to have a peace of mind and a lack of fear. When we have made wise decisions and trust in the Lord, He becomes our confidence. He becomes our peace of mind.
Think about these 4 probabilities. Are they characteristic of what you are experiencing in your life?
- Do you have an inner quality of life brought about by wise choices?
- Do you have an outer quality of reputation brought about by wise choices?
- Do you constantly reap difficulty and problems that are borne out of the results of unwise choices?
- Do you have an inner confidence and peace of mind because you have lived out what God has commanded and trust in him?
What is the wisest decision you can make for your life today? Decide and then act.