Ralph's Daily Devotional - Tuesday, January 30

Proverbs 3:1-10 has a list of wonderful promises.  They include:

"A good name with men" - popularity

"All your paths made straight" - freedom from confusion

"A healthy body" - freedom from illness

"Overflowing barns" - material prosperity

"On your way safely" - No fear of evil

"You will not be afraid, sweet sleep" - perfect tranquility and rest

"No fear of sudden disaster" -safety from life's darker side

"A long life" - living out a full and contented existence


What are we to make of this?  It sounds like Disney World on steroids.  What world is Solomon living in?  He even seems to contradict other parts of the Bible.  In Job, you find that, despite his wisdom, he fell into great turmoil, pain and hardship.  Heartaches, trials, and struggle are part of the human condition in this present age.

Paul the apostle tells us that his life was filled with trials of every kind (2 Corinthians 11:23-29).  He reminds us that "the whole creation at present is groaning" (Romans 8:18), while Jesus himself stated, "In this world you will have tribulation." 

Jesus  did not have a "good name with men" (Isaiah 53:3) as Proverbs promises.  Stephen did not have "a long life" (Acts 7:59-60).  Peter did not have "overflowing barns" but said, "Gold and silver I have none" (Acts 3:6).

These promises of Proverbs 3 are hyperbole (exaggerations) given to make a powerful point of what blessings can potentially be received when we follow God.  There is no limit that can be reached through God except the limitations that sin places on us.  The blessings then in of themselves are perfect and real, but our experiencing of them can at best be only partially realized in this present world.  No matter.  The best is yet to come (Revelation 21:1-5).  For now we take wisdom's dividends in partial blessings.  The full payout will come later!

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