Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Proverbs 3:5-7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil

The Original Intent

1) What do these words reveal about the author? How can we tell?

At Gracefully Truthful, we want to center everything on God’s Word and what HE says about Himself far more than anything we can say or explain. His explanations through His Spirit are the best, which is why we mean it when we say #HisWordsBeforeOurs.

In this passage, as with all others, we urge you to think through your questions as you read the context of the passage. Read the whole chapter, read the beginning of the book, read the close of the book; the more you take in as you prayerfully read His Words, the more you will gain insight!

Just a quick glance backwards to verse 1, we find the author addressing the reader as “My son […]”. If we skim backwards to find out who this father is, we find the same address in chapter 2 verse 1, “My son […]”. The repetition should wave a flag for us to pay close attention; repetition always signals significance and weighty importance in Scripture. Letting our eyes glance for the now repeated word of “son”, we find “my son” in verses 15, 10, and 8 of chapter 1.

We reach the original address in the opening lines of chapter 1 to find “son” again, and here we find the author, who identifies himself as a son as well. Solomon, the one who is writing to his son, was also a son whose father happened to be King David, the greatest human king Israel has ever had.

Names carry significance and meaning. Here, Solomon, who was a mighty king in his own right, chose to identify himself as a son underneath his father, David. As son to the king, Solomon would have watched his father closely, and David was certainly a man whom all of Israel attentively watched. Solomon now pleaded with his son to be just as attentive to wisdom’s ways.

The Everyday Application

1) What do these words reveal about the author? How can we tell?

My mom is often overheard saying, “It will be alright. We don’t need to worry about it. The Lord will take care of it.” Regardless of whether it’s a skinned knee, financial crisis, or a literal life and death situation, these words are not far from her lips. Which means they aren’t far from her thoughts.

These thoughts convey a total dependency that has been learned over a lifetime of watching others trust the Lord, understanding how the Lord is trustworthy in Scripture, and experientially knowing Him as wise, good, and sovereign in her own regular life.

Before these words became part of her regular vocabulary to pass onto myself and others as “daughters”, she first had to be a daughter who was willing to learn.

I admit, I am not, nor have I always been, a very good daughter with eagerness to learn from her. I’m sure Solomon watched his son with angst at times, wondering if he would ever pay attention to what Solomon had found to be essential and foundational in the Lord, and I’m sure my mother has looked at me and thought the same!

There were long seasons where my mother’s testimony of wisdom grated on my ears. I didn’t want to hear that the Lord would take care of it all. I wanted someone to fix my problem now, and I didn’t much care if it was God or someone else! My irritation and frustration, however, didn’t change the solid truth of my mother’s words, and someday, I would learn to take them to heart.

Let’s decide to be daughters of the Wise God who wants us to know Him as Father, and let’s be mothers of those around us as we testify of the true wisdom found only in the Lord. Others are always listening!

The Original Intent

2) What actions does the father instruct his son to take? (verses 5-7)

Trust in Hebrew is transliterated batach and signifies so much trust that its direct opposite is “fear”. To batach is to so totally lay aside ones fears that a person is truly “care” “less” as in having no cares (worries) whatsoever; they are free to “fall on their faces” without fear.

Don’t rely is translated from the Hebrew word transliterated sha’an, meaning to lean so deeply upon as to rest. When we rest the weight of our decisions upon ourselves, we doomed to collapse.

Know, in Hebrew, yada, signifies deep, familiar knowing, keenly aware of the intricacies and details surrounding an item, circumstance, or person. To yada the Lord goes far deeper than mere head knowledge; it enters the realm of ever-deepening familiarity about Him, His ways, and His character.

Wise, in Hebrew, chakam, puts action to knowledge through discernment gained over life experience as well as specific skill sets. To be wise in one’s own eyes is to narrow the lens of experience and insight so tightly that “wisdom” actually becomes “folly” for it focuses solely on self.

Fear in English, generally carries a negative connotation of vengeance, but the Hebrew yare is defined as moral reverence. If a moral line is crossed, yare, is the word defining the understanding that we have failed and are held accountable for our wrong. When we praise the Lord for His goodness, we are also demonstrating yare as we hold in awe His moral perfection.

Turn away is translated from the Hebrew phrase transliterated cuwr, meaning to cause to turn away, turn off, or even, behead. It is an intentional cessation of one action in view of a different one. If our wrong choices, including being wise in our own eyes, are depicted as water coming from a faucet, cuwr is turning the handle to stop its flow then walking away from the source.

With great clarity, Solomon provides actionable steps for his son, and us, to take in order to build a wise life every day!

The Everyday Application

2) What actions does the father instruct his son to take? (verses 5-7)

Trust the Lord. Don’t rely on your wisdom. Know the Lord. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord. Turn away from evil.

Sisters, if we take these six actions and commit to filtering every aspect of our everyday lives through them, our lives will be rock solid and immoveable for it will be built on Jesus Himself who IS Wisdom. (Matthew 7:24-27)

When we wake up and thoughts begin stirring, let’s take them captive, holding them hostage until we call to mind these six actions and begin holding each thought up to Wisdom. If we want well-built lives that withstand the turbulence of circumstances and people and situations beyond our control, we must begin when our eyes open and don’t stop until we lay our head down at the end of the day.

Then we do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. In doing so, we build a consistent life that follows the pattern of our Savior who lived with all fullness of wisdom as He embodied the grace and truth of the Father. (John 1:14, Colossians 2:9)

What does this require? Prayer. Oh, Sister, it requires deep, connective prayer and full reliance on the Spirit of God to breathe and work within us as we slay our fleshly desires and surrender to Christ again and again and again.

Do you see the Father’s good design here?! He meant us for sweet, abiding relationship with Him in the deep places, the hard places, the joy-filled places, and the impossible places. The secret to building a solid life in the midst of all the shaky realities of our lives is an intimate, vibrant relationship with the God of the Universe who holds all things together in perfect, sovereign loving control. (Colossians 1:17)

Prayer is the access point for every good, gift the Lord has for us because it begins with the best gift of all. Oh, Sisters, it’s Himself! The best gift of all is Himself! Seek Him, and find Him, when you seek Him all your heart! Build your life on Him, for everything else is a meaningless, shaky idol!

The Original Intent

3) What is the root to ensuring the kind of life success that brings stability according to this passage? (verse 7)

Proverbs abundantly overflows with wise instructions for Solomon’s son and all who would build a wise, secure life on an immoveable foundation. These three verses represent the whole instruction of the book.

If all of Proverbs could be summarized in a few words, these three verses win the prize. The heart of every piece of wisdom Solomon articulates later can be traced back to these verses. All wisdom anchors here in the fear of the Lord (verse 7), in refusing to trust yourself (verse 5), and is found through deeply knowing the Lord (verse 6).

But King Solomon hones the tip of wisdom’s spearhead even more sharply in Proverbs 9:10. Whether you’ve never memorized Scripture before or you have full chapters sewn into your heart, spend time practicing this verse over and over until its truths guide you, coloring every decision, thought, and word from morning to night every day of your life.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

The Lord God is “ground zero” for all wisdom. Practical wisdom, real life decision making, relationship navigation, financial decisions, career choices, words to say and ones to refrain from, all of it finds a home of wisdom in fearing the Lord.

Remember that fearing Him, means honoring Him as holy, just, righteous, and vastly superior to ourselves and our own abilities. As soon as we are faced with a decision, our first response ought to be one of humility that rightly acknowledges our lack of righteous ability and our need to surrender to the Lord’s ways.

Until we have positioned ourselves here with knees on the floor, eyes upturned, and hands outstretched to the Only One Worthy of our praise, we cannot even begin to walk with wisdom, let alone gain understanding.

The Everyday Application

3) What is the root to ensuring the kind of life success that brings stability according to this passage? (verse 7)

How will we reply to that email from the frustrating client? When our toddler takes all the clothes from her dresser again, will we respond with the graciousness of our Lord or will we choose our own way and model anger? When a child’s grade drops, when we disapprove of his friend, when we find her telling lies, when we hear that juicy gossip, when we grow weary of serving others, when our weary minds long for entertainment to soothe us, what will we choose?

Every day, we are faced with countless scenarios that require our feet, hands, eyes, mind, ears, and tongue to make a decision. Each time, we are afforded the opportunity to “fear the Lord” and surrender to His ways or “be wise in our own eyes” and “rely on our own understanding”.  

To follow the Lord, to fear Him with reverential awe and praise, and to reject the ruin of evil requires diligent practice and a heart willing to surrender. Generally, we humans don’t love either surrendering or diligent practice!

But our Lord requires it of all who would flee folly and embrace the solid life of wisdom; He knows it’s the only way to enjoy abundant life.

To encourage us along the way, the Lord gives us Himself. Note how “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”? Understanding is the building block of wisdom which applies what has come to be understood and known. When we focus our full attention on knowing intimately the Holy One of Eternity, our understanding of His ways and His heart will grow exponentially.

We cannot love what we do not know, and the Lord invites us, every single day, to know Him more deeply. There can be no sweeter call than His invitation to build a life on the gift of Himself!

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Lois
3 months ago

My heart overflows to have been chosen to be a daughter once experiencing the pains of “ growing up and learning to lean into Jesus, be obedient even when I disagreed with my parents and for the blessing to be that mom , chosen to raise children , amazing precious gifts from the Lord …. And thru all of my errors as a mom , my treasured children grew and were called according to His purpose . No greater gift to a mom’s heart is to know her children walk with the Lord . Thank You Rebecca for your insight… Read more »

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abundance,future,knowledge,safety,surrender,wisdom,worship
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