self-lovePride is a positive quality if applied as an appropriate pleasure in one’s work that motivates you to strive for excellence.  More often than not, the pride with which we struggle is sinful–one of conceit, ingratitude and independence of God.  It is the pride Solomon describes as “an haughty spirit” that leads down a path of self-destruction (Proverbs 16:18). To put today’s proverbs in their proper context we will review two prior verses.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust [lean on, be confident] in the LORD [Jehovah, Eternal, Self-existent] with all thine heart [mind, emotions, will]; and lean not [don’t rely, rest, trust] unto thine own understanding [knowledge]. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

fearAfter challenging his son to trust the Lord and seek His will and direction, Solomon admonishes him to not be a proud, self-deluded fool who trusts in his own intellect and judgment.

Proverbs 3:7“Be not wise[don’t be self-deluded] in thine own eyes [sight]: fear [revere; stand in awe] the LORD, and depart [turn] from evil [sin; wickedness].

Solomon sets forth a cause and effect principle in this verse: “…fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (3:7b).  Many profess to know and revere the Lord, but their life reveals a pattern of pride and sin that is foreign to the man who consciously walks in the shadow of God’s presence. The man who fears the Lord “departs”, turns away from sin!

Proverbs 3:8 continues the exhortation to “fear the Lord” with the promise that God honors the man who reveres Him with both health and blessing.

Proverbs 3:8“It [the fear of the Lord] shall be health to thy navel, and marrow [moisture; refreshing] to thy bones [body; strength].”

The “navel” is figuratively the center of one’s body, the physical location of the umbilical cord from conception. Solomon challenges us that the man who forsakes the temporal pleasures of sin and fears the Lord is blessed with health and wholeness—his heart and mind do not bear the guilt of sin, nor his body the paslm 37.5physical toll of sin.

The man who walks in the way of the Lord will enjoy the refreshing of God’s Spirit and the strength, confidence and blessing of those who walk with integrity.

Psalm 37:3-5 – “Trust in the LORD, and do good…4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”