Bible Reading: Proverbs 3.27-35
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
While he lives securely beside you.
Do not contend with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
Do not envy a man of violenceAnd do not choose any of his ways.
For the devious are an abomination to the Lord;
But He is intimate with the upright.
The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Though He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
The wise will inherit honor,
But fools display dishonor. Proverbs 3:27-35
As a person who knows plenty about procrastination, today’s passage hits me right between the eyes. Back in my school days, I remember trying to convince my parents, “I do my best work the night before the assignment is due.” As a parent myself these days, those words have really come back to haunt me!
In this case, Solomon is making a specific application with respect to helping others in need or compensating those to whom payment is due. When we have the means to give or be of help today, we should do it today. One of the problems with “I’ll help out tomorrow” is that it presumes upon the future. James warns us that we do not know what our life will be like tomorrow (James 4:14). Tomorrow is in God’s hands alone.
The next manifestation of wisdom extolled here is the ability to get along with others. Living in the age of social media, this simple command seems more challenging than ever. The wise person stands up for truth but is never quarrelsome or contentious. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 teaches, “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life” and Hebrews 12:14 counsels, “Pursue peace with all men.” Notice the active verbs “make” and “pursue” in these verses.
Finally, we see the benefit of living wisely. Our presumption upon the future and our pride sets us in opposition to God and His sovereignty. Conversely, humility allows the grace of God to manifest itself in our lives in wise living. “The wise will inherit honor or glory (v. 35).” Pastor and Bible scholar John Gill noted that this is, “not the glory of this world, or honor among men; but the glory of another, of which the glory of this world, and of, he most excellent things in it, is but a faint resemblance.”
Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5