Pride is a positive quality if applied as an appropriate pleasure in one’s work that motivates a man to strive for excellence. More often than not, the pride with which men struggle is sinful– conceited, thankless and independent of God. It is the pride Solomon describes as “an haughty spirit” that leads a man 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.”
After 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].”
Many profess to know and revere the Lord, but their lives reveal a pattern of pride and sin that is foreign to the man who fears the Lord and walks consciously in the shadow of God’s presence. The man who fears the Lord “departs” and turns away from sin!
Proverbs 3:8 continues the exhortation to “fear the Lord” with the promise that God blesses the man who reveres Him with health and strength.
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 the body, the physical location of the umbilical cord from conception. Solomon instructed his son that the man who forsakes the temporal pleasures of sin and fears the Lord is blessed with health and wholeness in heart, mind and soul. He is not like the double minded man who trifles with the spiritual at the sacrifice of the eternal (James 1:8). The double minded bears the guilt of sin in heart and his body the physical toll of sin.
The man who walks in the way of the Lord enjoys the refreshing of God’s Spirit and the strength, confidence and joy of one who walks 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.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith