Bible Study Proverbs 3:5-12




Ministry of Hope
using Gillís commentary






Proverbs 3:5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding;


Ver. 5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,


It is not difficult to praise God for His goodness and providence when blessing flow from the throne of grace, however God has an eternal purpose for all of His children, Rev 3:19; Job 5:17; Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:5;


Revel 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not you the chastening of the Almighty:

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Prov 3:12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.

Hebr 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:



Often when God is at work in us, we tend to look away and seek a reason in the natural for the answer or help in the natural. Our existence in the first place is not for our comfort and joy, but for Gods pleasure and goal for us, in obedience then happiness of men is a byproduct of serving God, which often or may I say, always has a period of correction in it, which will yield the fruit of a righteous life, with contentment and obedience and a sense of His glory with peace, love, and freedom from fear.


This why at all times we must look up under all circumstances and put our trust in Him.


Not in a creature, the best, the holiest, and the highest; not in any creature enjoyment, as riches, strength, and wisdom; nor in any outward privilege, arising from natural descent and education; not in a manís self, in his own heart, which is deceitful; nor in any works of righteousness done by him; not in a profession of religion, or the duties of it, ever so well performed; not in frames, nor in graces, and the exercise of them; no, not in faith or trust itself: but in the Lord, the object of all grace, and in him only; in Jehovah the Father, as the God of nature and providence, for all temporal blessings; and as the God of all grace, for all spiritual blessings, and all the needful supplies of grace and for eternal happiness, which He has provided, promised, and freely gives.


Trust in him at all times; in times of affliction, temptation, and darkness: there is a great deal of reason for it; all power and strength are in him to help; his love, grace, and mercy, move him to it, and are always the same: the consideration of what he has done for others that have trusted in him, and for ourselves in times past, should induce and encourage to it; as also the happiness of those that trust in him, who enjoy peace and safety; and his displeasure at those that show any diffidence of him, or distrust him.


Trust in Jehovah the Son; in his person for acceptance; in his righteousness for justification; in his blood for pardon; in his fullness for supply; in his power for protection and preservation; and in him alone for salvation and eternal life. Trust in Jehovah the Spirit, to carry on and finish the work of grace upon the heart; of which a saint may be confident that where it is begun it will be completed.


And this trust in Father, Son, and Spirit, should be "with all the heart", cordial and sincere. The phrase denotes not so much the strength of faith as the sincerity of it; it signifies a faith unfeigned; it is not saying, or professing, that a man believes and trusts in the Lord; but it is with the heart, and with his whole heart, that he believes unto righteousness, if he believes aright; see: Ro 10:10 Ac 8:37;


Rom 10:10 For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation.


Act 8:37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may.And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.



Vers 5b; Lean not unto thine own understanding; or trust not to that; for it stands opposed to trusting in the Lord.


Men should not depend upon their own wisdom and understanding, in the conduct of civil life, but should seek the direction and blessing of Providence, or otherwise will meet with disappointment; and, when they succeed, should ascribe it not to their own prudence and wisdom, but to the goodness of God; for "bread" is not always "to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding", Ec 9:11;


Ecl 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.


and much less should men lean to their own understanding in matters of religion; a natural man has no understanding of spiritual things, of the things of the Gospel, nor indeed any practical understanding of things moral, Ro 3:11 ‑ 1Co 2:14, Jer 4:22.

Rom 3:11
There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.

1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Jer 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.


The understanding of man is darkened by sin; yea, is darkness itself; it is like the first earth, covered with darkness, till light is let into it, and therefore not to be leaned unto and depended on, Eph 4:18 5:8.


Efes 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Efes 5:8 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:


There is a necessity of a new heart and spirit, of an understanding to be given, in order to understand spiritual and divine things, # Eze. 36:26 1Jo 5:20;


Ezech 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

1Joh 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.


for though these are not contrary to the reason and understanding of men; yet they are above them, and cannot be discovered, reached, comprehended, and accounted for by them, Mt 16:17 Joh 3:4,9.


Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.

Joh 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be?



Nay, there are some things in the Gospel, which, though plain to an enlightened understanding by the word of God, yet the manner how they are cannot be apprehended: as the doctrines of a trinity of Persons; of the generation of the Son of God; the procession of the Spirit; the union of the two natures in Christ; the resurrection of the dead, &c. In short, not our reason and understanding at best, and much less as carnal and unsanctified, but the word of God only is our rule of judgment, and the standard of our faith and practice; and to that we should have recourse and be directed by it, and not lean to our own understandings.


Proverbs 3:6in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.


Vers. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him,


Or "know him" {l}; the Lord: set him before thee; have him always in view; consider him as ever present with thee, observing every step you take; and take not one step without His leave, and without His advice; ask wisdom of him who gives liberally; consult his word, and make the Scriptures thy counselors, or the men of thy counsel, as in # Ps 119:24;


Ps 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.


take him as your guide; observe the footsteps of his providence; follow the Lamb wheresoeverís He goes; walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; when things go cross and adverse, and not to your mind, submit to his sovereignty; and be still and know that he is God, that does all things right, for his own glory and his peopleís good, # Ps 46:10; and when things succeed, give him the glory of all; own his hand in it, and the bounty of it; acknowledge that all you have, in providence and grace, come from him;


and he shall direct thy paths; man cannot direct his own; no, not a man: this is a blessing from the Lord; who steps of his people, keeps the feet of his saints, and directs them aright in things temporal and spiritual,# Jer. 10:23 Ps 37:23‑ 1Sa 2:9.


Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.

Ps 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more.

1Sam 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.



Proverbs 3:7 ∂ Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.



Vers. 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes,


So as to act independently of God; not to trust in him, nor acknowledge him, nor seek to him for help and direction; nor ask nor take the advice of others; but, being conceited and self-sufficient, lean to your own understanding, as being wise enough to conduct all affairs in life by thy own discretion; and in matters of religion wiser than thy teachers, and even than the Scriptures, being wise above that which is written; pleasing thyself with your own wisdom, as exceeding others; glorying in it as your own acquisition, and not ascribing it to God, so far as it any ways deserves the name of wisdom; though for the most part that which men glory in, and are conceited of, is not wisdom, but folly; and at least it is their folly to boast of it and be elated with it; see # Isaiah 5:21 # Ro 12:16;


Jes 5:21 Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.


fear the Lord; which is true wisdom; and, where this is not, there is none, let men be ever so conceited; and where this is there is humility; these two go together, and make a man wise, rich, and honourable, # Pr 22:4.


Prov. 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.


The fear of the Lord is opposed to pride, high-mindedness, and vain conceit, # Ro 11:20; this includes reverence of God, faith in him, dependence on him, acknowledgment of him, seeking to him for direction, and carefulness not to offend him;


Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Be not high minded, but fear:


and depart from evil; from the evil of self-confidence and self-conceit, and from all other evil; the fear of God influences men to avoid sin, and abstain from all appearance of it; by means and through the exercise of it men forsake it, and keep at a distance from it, # Pr 16:6. Nehemiah could not do as others did, because of the fear of the Lord; and Job was a man that feared God, and therefore he avoided that which was evil, # Ne 5:15 Job 1:1.


Neh 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants bore rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.



Proverbs 3:8. It shall be health to thy flesh and marrow to thy bones.



Vers. 8. It shall be health to thy navel,


That part of the body which is the knot of the intestines; and may be put for the bowels and inward parts, which being sound, the body is in health; and these may be put for the whole body: and so the Septuagint version renders it, "to thy body"; and this may be put for the whole person. And the sense is, either wisdom, as Jarchi; the doctrine of wisdom, the Gospel; which teaches men to trust in the Lord, and not in themselves, to apply to him for wisdom, and not lean to their own understanding; this contributes much to a manís spiritual health and welfare: or else the fear of the Lord is of this use to men, both in soul and body; since by it they depart from those sins which bring diseases upon the body; and are influenced by it to the exercise of such graces, and the discharge of such duties, as are the means of keeping the soul in good plight;


and marrow to thy bones; or, "watering" {m} to them: that which irrigates and moistens them, and makes and keeps them strong and solid: see # Job 21:24.


Job 21:24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.


What marrow is to the bones, that is wisdom, or the fear of God, to the souls of men; the means of establishing and strengthening them against sin, and snares and temptations, and to do the will and work of God.



Proverbs 3:9Honor the LORD with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:



Vers. 9. Honour the Lord with thy substance,


Or, "out of thy substance" {n}; for as it should be a manís own that he gives, and not anotherís, and therefore called "thy substance"; or, as the Septuagint version, "out of thy just labours", what is righteously and lawfully gotten, and not by fraud and oppression; so it is only a part of it, and not all, that is required; what in proportion to his substance can be prudently spared, and is sufficient and suitable to the call in Providence. A manís "substance" are his wealth and riches; his "mammon", as the Targum; which, in comparison of heavenly things, indeed have no substance in them: yet these are worldly substance, and of account; and as with these God has honoured men, they should honour him with them again, by giving to the poor, especially his poor saints; for as an oppressing of them is a reproaching of him, so having mercy on them is honouring him, # Pr 14:31;


Prov. 14:31 He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honors him has mercy on the poor.


and especially by contributing to the support of his worship, the keeping up the interest and credit of religion, and for the spread of the Gospel; and chiefly by communicating to the ministers of it, giving them the "double honour" which is due to them, and which, when given them, the Lord takes as done to himself, as an honouring him, # 1Ti 5:17;


1Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.


and with the firstfruits of all thine increase; or, "out of the chief of all thine increase" {o}; God must have the best, and in the first place. The allusion is either to the maintenance of the priests and Levites under the law, and the manner of doing it; which, among other things, was out of the annual produce of the earth, and the firstfruits of it; and may respect the comfortable support of Gospel ministers under the present dispensation; see # 1Co 9:13,14;


1Kor 9:13 Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

1Kor 9:14 Even so has the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.


or to the first fruits of every kind offered to the Lord, and to the feast kept sacred to him at the ingathering the fruits of the earth, # Le 23:10,17,39; and even among the Heathens formerly were something of the same kind. Aristotle says {p} the ancient sacrifices and assemblies were instituted as first fruits, after the gathering of the fruits, at which time especially they ceased from working.



Lev 23:10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:

Lev 23:17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.

Lev 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.



Proverbs 3:10 so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.



Vers. 10. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty,


With plenty of corn; so that there will be a sufficient provision of bread for the eater for the ensuing year, and of seed for the sewer when the time of sowing returns; so far should they be, it suggests, from being losers by honoring the Lord with their substance, that they should be gainers by it; instead of having less, should have abundantly more;


And thy presses shall burst out with new wine; not that they should really burst {q} for then the wine would be spilled, which would be a loss; but that they should be so full, that they should be ready to burst or run over: and so the Targum, and the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "and thy presses shall overflow with new wine".


As the former clause denotes plenty of eatables, so this of drinkables; and both fullness of all sorts of provisions, promised to the liberal man; and may be an emblem of the large provisions of grace and glory, which the Lord has made for and bestows upon such that honour him.



Proverbs 3:11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD, neither be weary of His correction;



Vers. 11. My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord,


This seems to be introduced to prevent an objection that may be made to the above promise of plenty; seeing the children of God are often afflicted in this world; even the wise and pious, and those that fear the Lord, and honor him; which is accounted for, and the reason of it given, in Pr 3:12.


Prov. 3:12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.


These words are cited inHeb 12:5,6,


Hebr 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:

Hebr 12:6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and whips every son whom he receives.


These are represented as an exhortation, spoken unto children, the children of God; by which it appears, that not any single person is meant by "my son"; and, as not here, so neither elsewhere in this book, where the same phrase is used.


But it has respect to the Jews in the times of the apostles; and even to all the children of God in all ages, who more or less endure afflictions, here called "the chastening of the Lord", because they are from him; whatever concern men or devils, or second causes, may have in them, they are originally from the Lord, either sent or suffered by him; they are indeed by his appointment, and are ordered, limited, and restrained by him, and are overruled for his glory and his peopleís good: they are not chastisements in a way of vindictive wrath and justice, which would be contrary to the satisfaction of Christ, the justice of God, his everlasting and unchangeable love, and to his word and oath.


But they are in love; they are the chastisements of a father, in which he deals with them as with children; and uses them for the good discipline and instruction of them, as the word {r} here signifies; and therefore not to be "despised", or loathed and abhorred, as disagreeable food or physic be; or as if they were unnecessary and unprofitable, or unworthy of notice and regard; or as little, slight, and trifling things, without considering from whence they come and for what they are sent; but, on the contrary, should be regarded as useful and serviceable; see # Job 5:17;


Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not you the chastening of the Almighty:


Neither be weary of his correction. His "Rebuke" or His "reproof" {s}; so in # Heb 12:5;


Hebr 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:


"when you are rebuked of him", not in wrath and fury by the Lord, but in love, as before. The same thing is meant by correction as chastening; and supposes a fault to be committed by him that is corrected, for God corrects none but for sin; and authority in the corrector, which He, as the Father of spirits, and as our covenant God and Father in Christ, has a right to do, because we have required our son-ship in Christ Jesus.


He corrects by his Spirit, by his word, by his ministers, and by his providences, afflictive ones, which last is here meant; and it is always for good, at a proper time, and when necessary, in measure and with judgment: and of this the children should not be "weary", as grievous and intolerable; and especially should not be weary of their lives on account of it, in which sense the word is used in # Ge 27:46


Gen 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?


which has been the case of Job and others; but should bear it quietly and peaceably, and with patience, without fretting and murmuring; or should not "faint", as it is rendered in # Heb 12:5;


Hebr 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:


or sink under the weight, but cheerfully support under it.


The two extremes, which men are apt to run into, are here guarded against;


1)    On the one hand, to make little or nothing of an affliction; to outbrave it, not to be affected with it, nor humble under the mighty hand of God; nor consider the rod, and him that has appointed it.

2)    On the other hand, to aggravate an affliction, as if no sorrow was like theirs, and to be quite dejected and overwhelmed with it.



Proverbs 3:12for whom the LORD loveth, He correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.



Vers. 12. For whom the Lord loves He corrects,


This is a reason why the children of God should not despise corrections, nor be weary of them; since they spring from love, are given in love, nor is there any abatement of it in them: when the Lord chastens and corrects, he does not take away his loving-kindness from them; yea, it is because he loves them that therefore he thus deals with them; wherefore they ought to be patiently bore, and kindly taken by them.

Even as a father the son [in whom] he delighted; as a father chastens and corrects his son, whom he dearly loves, and has the greatest pleasure in, so the Lord chastens and corrects his people; see # De 8:5.


Deut 8:5 You shall also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.


There is such a relation subsisting between them as that of father and son, which flows from the inexpressible love of God to them; and which is a love of complacency and delight in them, and is invariable and unchangeable, and continues the same under all their afflictions; as appears by what he does for them in them, and by the issue of them; he knows their souls in adversity, and chooses them in the furnace of affliction; he pays love visits to them, and comforts them under all their tribulation; he sympathizes with them, and supports them; he makes their bed in their affliction, and delivers out of it, or takes them to himself: the issue is always his own glory, and their good.



God Bless



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