The Christian life is the life of grace. God's favor and forgiveness come our way -- by faith -- because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In short, we get what we don't deserve. Salvation is a gift.
At the same time, obedience does bring blessings. Jesus tells us this (John 14:15, 23). So does Solomon.
In Proverbs 3:1-12, Solomon gives six words of admonishment (3:1,3,5,7,9,11) which are followed by six rewards or blessings (3:2,4,6,8,10,12). Together they form a beautiful picture of the life God blesses. Take a few moments and reflect on the Word of God:
- Obey his teaching . . . you'll experience a long and peaceful life.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2
- Follow his ways . . . you'll find favor and success.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4
- Trust him entirely . . . you'll get clear guidance.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Yield to his way . . . you'll enjoy bodily health.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8
- Honor him with your money . . . you'll experience material plenty.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
- Don't despise his discipline . . . you'll enjoy his love.
My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12.
It is important to note these are general principles of life -- honor God and things will go well with you -- not absolute promises. We all know people who love God and suffer or who loved God and died young. Solomon is emphasizing that those who follow God will avoid many of the pitfalls and perils of those who carve out their own path and walk in rebellion to God.
God rewards those who trust him. He is more ready to shower his favor on us than we are ready to receive his blessing. Those who walk his path know this. His road is a pleasant journey!
Solomon is admonishing us, "Trust God today." Where do you need to acknowledge him?
It is important to note these are general principles ... from John Kitchen, Proverbs: A Mentor Commentary, page 74.