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A precious treasure (Proverbs 3 v 13-20)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Almost everyone desires money. We work hard for it. After all, money can solve a lot of problems and make life a lot more comfortable. A lack of money makes life difficult. But Proverbs tells us there's something more precious than any jewels…

The blessings of wisdom
Read Proverbs 3:13

Again in this section, Solomon pictures “Wisdom” as a woman.

• Why is the man who has wisdom “blessed” (v 14-18)?
• What is challenging about the end of verse 15?
• In order to know these blessings of wisdom, what two things do we need to do (v 18)?

Read Proverbs 3:19

• What do these verses add to our understanding of how valuable godly wisdom is?

• What would it look like in your life to “embrace” and “lay hold of” wisdom?
• If God were to look at your diary, and your thoughts, would He say you valued wisdom or wealth more?
• In what practical ways can you reflect a godly desire to know wisdom more than to get wealth?

The nature of wisdom

The picture of wisdom’s blessings here can be confusing. Because, if we are honest, there are many examples of wise people who have not lived to see old age. Almost everyone knows someone who has been wise but has experienced financial ruin, physical illness, and even personal heartbreak—perhaps that's you. The Old Testament story of Job is about a wise man whose life takes a miserable turn.
So is Proverbs wrong?
Here it is helpful to understand the nature of Proverbial wisdom. Proverbs are not absolute statements of law. Instead, they are principles and observations that generally hold up in human experience. In His sovereign plan, God may choose to bless a lazy man with wealth (despite Proverbs 12:27) and He may allow a hard-working man to be poor (despite Proverbs 10:4). But as a general principle of life in the world that God has created, hard work pays off. Exceptions don't devalue God's wisdom.

When suffering, Job said to God: “You can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted … I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42 v 2, 3).
• If you are living wisely yet suffering, how should this shape what you say to God, and what you say to others?

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published March 18, 2012.