The NIV entitles this chapter, “Wisdom Bestows Well-Being,” and that’s a good name for it. There are some phrases in this chapter which are not only deeply wise, but which I’m sure you’ve heard before, not knowing where they were from. Now you know! Here’s a selection:
Proverbs Chapter 3
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Today, a prayer somewhat unrelated to our reading, but timely and necessary – it is on behalf of the citizens of Beirut and Lebanon, as they suffer the aftereffects of the terrible explosion which killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Gracious and loving God who hovers over the pain of your world
We pray for all who suffer or experience pain through the chemical explosion in Beirut yesterday.
We remember especially this day the people of Beirut.
Help the injured,
protect those in danger,
support the dying,
bring comfort to the grieving
and soothe the anxious whose families and lives are forever changed by grief and loss.
Bless with your strength and comfort those who have survived the trauma and devastation of this disaster.
We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes,
their livelihoods, their security and their hope.
Strengthen and guide doctors, nurses, and all those who serve in emergency services
and all who bring comfort and relief.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada