“A Call for Integrity and Love” (3:29-30) was my theme for the verses preceding today’s parables. Solomon challenged his son to be a man of integrity (3:29) and a peacemaker (3:30) in his relationship with his neighbor [i.e. family, friends and peers].
Proverbs 3:29-30 – “Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.”
A conniving, contentious man is a trouble to all who know him. His temperament is caustic, his actions destructive and in his wake are family and friends whose lives bear the scars of his wicked ways. Of such a man Solomon says:
Proverbs 3:31-32 – “Envy [to be jealous; envious] thou not the oppressor [violent, cruel man; wrong; malicious], and choose [accept; elect] none of his ways [manner; journey; course of life]. 32 For the froward [perverse; one who turns aside from the Lord] is abomination [disgusting; abhorrent; loathsome] to the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God]: but his secret [the intimacy of the Lord’s company and counsel] is with the righteous [upright; just].”
Looking at externals, the wicked often appear to prosper and a foolish young man or woman might be temped to envy their company and lifestyle. Follow the journey of the wicked long enough and the tragedy of their end is a reminder their way is an “abomination to the Lord” (3:32a).
Proverbs 3:32 concludes with a wonderful promise for those who forsake sin and the way of the wicked and put their confidence and trust in the Lord: “His secret is with the righteous” (3:32b). And what is the “secret” of the Lord that “is with the righteous”? How might a sinner become intimate with both His Creator’s company and wise counsel?
The secret to enjoying the fellowship, company and intimacy of God is through His Son Jesus Christ. Someone reading today’s devotional might aspire to fellowship with His Creator through good works and keeping the Law; however, the Scriptures show it is impossible for man to come to God on his own merit. Writing to Christians in Rome, Paul wrote:
Romans 3:19-20, 28 – “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin… 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
If one cannot have fellowship with His Creator through good works, then how might a sinful man come to God? I will answer the key to intimacy with God with the following verses.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace [God’s unmerited favor] are ye saved [from the penalty of sin and God’s judgment] through faith [believing Christ died for your sin]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works [anything you can do], lest any man should boast [in pride].”
Romans 5:8-9 – “But God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [bearing the penalty of sin we deserved]. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath [God’s judgment] through Him.”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages [penalty] of sin is death; but the gift [not what you have earned or merited] of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You say you want intimacy and fellowship with God? Are you willing to confess you are a sinner, undeserving of God’s favor, and believe Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God shed His blood, bearing the penalty of your sin on the Cross? Do you, in simple faith, believe Jesus died, was buried and rose victorious from the grave overcoming the power of sin and death? If you believe God’s Word and what I stated in this paragraph, God promises:
Romans 10:9-10 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Friend, it would be my joy to know you made the decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior today? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith