The Rewards of Wisdom
Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.
4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.
It was at twelve years of age that our Lord stayed at Jerusalem, in the temple, to be about His Father’s business. And in case you think I mean His earthly “father” figure (Joseph), I don’t. It would appear as though Mary and Joseph had left Jesus behind, after all, we ARE talking about raising the Son of God here! I mean what better excuse to be released from such a responsibility of raising the Son of the living God than to leave Him with His “Biological” Father at the temple?
*Mary: Here! It’s your weekend! Good luck!
*God: … Sigh … Ah—Come Onnn!
*Mary and God: (…dialogue…)
*Meanwhile Jesus is in the background revealing the issues of divorce to the Teachers of the Law as they sit and watch with popcorn at the drama between God and Mary.
*Jesus: …annnd that’s why I’m not getting married.
*Teachers of the Law: (Luk 2:47 — “…amazed at His understanding and His answers.”) Awwwe, I see…
*Joseph: I knew there was a reason we brought the table we just finished carving out during our journey, gather round, hand me the popcorn … this is gettin good!
But what actually happened was that Jesus stayed behind, He wasn’t left as though forgotten. Jesus understood the nature of His purpose, but Mary and Joseph had yet to understand. Jesus stayed behind in the temple to be with His Father … to be home. Jesus is the true Priest and King of everything, not just in Jerusalem of Israel. God chose Israel for the revelation of His Son, the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world. Everything the old law represents, culminates, in the flesh and blood of Jesus. We would all be dead in hell if it wasn’t for the grace of God established by the cross of Christ; the old law demands such perfection that none could keep it and live because of the sin that would match the law in its effect, thereby condemning the people obeying the law because of the sin that matched its effect. This is why it was inevitable Christ our Lord, Jesus, would die on the cross. This is why Jesus was predestined for our salvation because there was no other logical way for us to be redeemed from the sin of ONE man! The law can NOT redeem without Jesus. And so now that we have Jesus through the Holy Spirit (upon belief through faith), the gospel makes us alive to a new purpose (born again).
We now possess the capacity to truly repent of sin because of the gift of God!
Luke 2:41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
As a people of God evolving intelligently in the 21st century during a time when the world has connected in a way never thought imaginable, this verse excites me all the more! Jesus is still finding favor today through His Church across the globe, just as He had when in the flesh of His ministry.
Luke 2:52 — And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
To have favor with God and humankind is to reveal the commandments written on the tablets of our hearts by believing in the gospel of God. If we do not believe the gospel of God … the commandments will condemn us to hell because we think that it’s the commandments that save. The commandments do not save, Jesus saves because He is the commandments. The commandments testified of Jesus and is how we have eternal life … because we believe in the Person of God that fulfilled the power of the law while taking upon Himself our sin so we can believe in Him.
To believe in Jesus means we have two distinct qualities that make us standout as a separate people (sheep) in the midst of all destructive people (wolves).
- good repute
We have the favor of God by our testimony of belief in His ONE and ONLY begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah.
Faith produces sanctification by the help of the Holy Spirit in the believer. This means your entire behavior changes to reflect the gospel while in this life … because the gospel is our good repute … the gospel is Jesus in the flesh of His Bride, the Church.
John 20:26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
The bible is something we see much like Thomas; we can see it, touch it and therefore, believe it. But the bible is not meant to be idolized as to be worshipped; it’s only meant as a compass, guide, and mirror, for all who are drawn to Jesus; Jesus produces our confidence through belief to turn from our sin by repentance, having truly been saved from our present trajectory of hell, to a life everlasting in the name of Jesus! But if we hold to our state of sin that the Word of God convicts in us to change by warning us of the nature it will destine; what then is the consequence? Have you truly believed? Or are you just believing for sheer want of being favored? That is why those of us who believe without the bible, are blessed … because we’ve believed in Jesus, without seeing!
Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.
Matthew Henry (P3-V4) Commentary
To encourage us to do this we are assured (v. 4) that this is the way to recommend ourselves both to our Creator and fellow-creatures: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding.
1. A good man seeks the favour of God in the first place, is ambitious of the honour of being accepted of the Lord, and he shall find that favour, and with it a good understanding; God will make the best of him, and put a favourable construction upon what he says and does. He shall be owned as one of Wisdom’s children, and shall have praise with God, as one having that good understanding which is ascribed to all those that do his commandments.
2. He wishes to have favour with men also (as Christ had, Lu. 2:52), to be accepted of the multitude of his brethren (Esth. 10:3), and that he shall have; they shall understand him aright, and in his dealings with them he shall appear to be prudent, shall act intelligently and with discretion. He shall have good success (so some translate it), the common effect of good understanding.
III. We must have a continual regard to God’s providence, must own and depend upon it in all our affairs, both by faith and prayer.