God’s Creative Genius – Proverbs 3:19

Proverbs 3:19 “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.”

Let’s take a look at a few Hebrew word meanings to gain a better appreciation of this verse.

LORD (H3068) – The self-Existent one, Eternal, Jehovah.  “I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14)

Wisdom (H2451) – wit, wisely, skillful

Founded (H3245) -lay, ordain

Earth (H2504) – world, planet earth

Understanding (H8394) – discretion, reason, skillfulness, wisdom, thus mental prowess.

Established (H3559) – Erect, direct, fashion, prepared, make provision.

Heavens (H8064) – the sky, where the clouds revolve, and the higher heavens where the celestial bodies revolve, space.

A good paraphrase of the passage then is this,”The Self-Existent One by his skillfulness has settled the earth, and by His infinite mental prowess has erected the sky and space.”

To understand this with our frail human minds is beyond our comprehension.  God made all this by the word of His power.  Amazing!  He spoke and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast.   “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.  For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33:8-9).

God directs the planets, stars, and galaxies in their courses through the space He created.  God is the one who has fashioned the heavens.  A big bang could never create order.  I have yet to see a massive explosion create new complex life, as claimed by evolutionists who are willfully ignorant of God, their Creator.  God calls those who deny Him being the Creator and instead put the creation of the universe into the hands of random chance and millions of years, scoffers who walk after their own lusts (2 Peter 3:3-7).  Lusts are desires for that which is forbidden by God’s law.  God’s law is written on the heart of every human.  The evidence of the presence of God’s law is our conscience (Romans 2:14-15).  However, our conscience can be seared and twisted if ignored and violated (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

God created the universe in six literal days by the power of His Word, and He keeps it all going by the laws of nature He established (Exodus 20:11, 2 Peter 3:5, Colossians 3:16-17).  While no sane person would ever credit the creation of the a finely tuned sports car to an explosion in a factory and chance, yet these same sane people will credit the formation of life and the universe which is infinitely more complex to an explosion, which is totally insane.  They will give a credit to the designer and engineer of a car, but will not give credit to their Creator.  What an insult and lie of Satan the fable/theory of Evolution is.  There is not a thread of evidence supporting it.    There is no logic to their reason, all it is, is an attempt to get rid of God to whom they will give an account for their actions in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36)  In fact, here is  a couple of quotes from evolutionists debunking their own theory:

“One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not been written.” (Dr. Hubert P. Yockey)  From <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1435562/posts>

“Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” Professor D.M.S. Watson, leading biologist and science writer of his day.)  From <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1435562/posts>

One day, however, these guys too will bow the knee to Christ and confess with their tongue that their Creator Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11)

Praise God for His infinite and marvelous wisdom. Consider the size of space and wonder at our great God from the following examples from Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible:

  1. Paper stack model

Let us say the thickness of a sheet of paper represents the distance from the earth to the sun which is approximately 93 million miles.

To represent the distance to the earth’s next nearest star, Alpha Centauri, we would need a 71 foot high stack of paper.

To cover the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy would require a 310 mile high stack.

To reach the edge of the known universe would demand a pile of paper sheets 31 million miles high.

2.  Orange and grain of sand model

In this illustration the sun will be represented by an orange and the earth by a grain of sand.

The grain of sand is the earth circling the orange representing the sun at a distance of 30 feet.  Thus this thirty feet represents a distance of 93 million miles!

Pluto one of the remotest objects in our solar system (Pluto is not officially a planet anymore) would be another grain of sand, circling the orange at ten city blocks away.

The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, would be 1,300 miles away from the orange (sun), in this model!

As Christians, we serve an awesome God! He wants to share with us the genius of His wisdom through His Word and a personal relationship with Him. In Proverbs 3:21, God said through Solomon, “My son, let them not depart from thine eyes, keep sound wisdom and discretion.” Why would God say that? Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13) God wants the best for us and wants us satisfied. Wow! Let’s not be so slow of heart to believe it, but let’s wholeheartedly embrace this truth! Delight in the Lord and in His wisdom. If you lack wisdom, ask for it (James 1:5-6). We all need it, and we find it in our genius Creator (Romans 11:33).  Now who wouldn’t want the help of a genius?  May we all find our help in the Lord (Psalm 121:2).

Wisdom is Royalty – Proverbs 3:16

Proverbs 3:16 "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor."

This verse speaks of the things had in possession by wisdom. In John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible he says, "Length of days is in her right hand,…. Wisdom is here represented as a queen, as indeed she is above all kings and queens; … holding in one hand, instead of a sceptre, "length of days"; and in the other, instead of a globe , riches and honour: the allusion is thought by some on this clause to be to an ancient custom of numbering things, and the ages of men, by the hand and fingers, beginning with the left hand, and when they came to a hundred went to the right." Neat!

The globe or orb pictured the sovereign’s rule over the earth. Throughout the Middle Ages, because of the influence of Christianity, many orbs had a cross over the globe signifying Christ as sovereign over the earth, and the king or queen as God’s appointed ruler. This type of orb is called a Globus Cruciger, and perpetrated the doctrine of the divine right of kings. Praise God we serve the one who does not need a cross over His orb. He does not even have an orb but extends to all the world the length of days (eternal life) and riches and honor found in Himself.

Again, Wisdom is personified as a benevolent queen. The neat thing is, that as Christ, she also is more than willing to impart the length of days, riches, and honor in her hands to those who will embrace her instruction. Who better to know that Wisdom possesses these things than Solomon himself who asked for wisdom rather than long life, riches, or honor. He experienced this first hand (1 Kings 3:3-14). Because Solomon chose wisdom, God gave him the riches, honor, and life in Wisdom’s hands. Wow! Christ is made unto us Wisdom according to 1 Cor. 1:30. In Him, is eternal life, unsearchable riches, and honor (John 3:15, Eph. 3:8, Psalm 71:8).

Solomon’s father, King David, understood this truth of God being wisdom, and the source of riches and honor. He demonstrates what our response should be to this truth in 1 Chronicles 29:10-14 after an offering was taken in preparation to build the temple:

"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."

Let’s ask ourselves, "Who am I that I am given the opportunity to serve such a benevolent, gracious, and good God? As a believer, I am blessed with spiritual riches far better than any physical riches. Have I thanked the Lord for them? Do I treat wisdom as royalty? Am I following Christ the King who is made unto me Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30)? In what ways have I been blessed tangibly and intangibly because of Christ being my wisdom?"

My Bible has a good note on this passage that really sums it up: "True wisdom yields better and more enduring benefits than mere material things. The result of having wisdom is a quality of life full of tranquility and confidence." (The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG Publishers) Seek and live for that which is eternal, not temporal (1 Cor. 4:17-18). In Christ, we are royalty because we are the sons and daughters of the King of kings (John 1:12, Rev. 1:6). Praise God!

Partaking of the Tree of Life Now – Proverbs 3:18

Proverbs 3:18 "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

In this passage, Solomon likens wisdom to being a tree of life. While as Christians, we won’t physically get to taste of the tree of life till we are in heaven, we can experience a some of the blessings of this tree by laying hold on her now. The Hebrew for "lay hold" means to be courageous, valiant, firm, to be bound fast (as in fastened) . This Hebrew word is used twelve times in Exodus to describe Pharaoh hardening his heart. It is used in terms of a battle and construction. It is also used in God’s charge to Joshua, "’Be strong’, and of a good courage." Then those that retain her, wisdom, are happy (blessed). The Hebrew word for "retaineth" means to "maintain, sustain, stay." Thus, we nurture a relationship and closeness with wisdom and are happy because of it.

Wisdom is the principal thing, the foundation (Proverbs 4:7). When we build our lives upon the foundation of wisdom, it will be life and blessing to us (that does not guarantee a life of ease, look at Christ’s and his apostles lives; all but one suffered a martyr’s death). When we are strong in wisdom, when we fight the good fight of faith according to the principles of wisdom, we will more fully know the priceless value of wisdom, her life, rich blessings, honor, pleasantness, and peace as our own. To follow wisdom is to follow Christ who is made unto us wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). "Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" is Christ’s invitation (Mat. 11:28-30). Christ echoes the call of wisdom. He is her source. She is the principle thing and He is the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:1-7).

As I read Proverbs 3, it is really neat to note a three step progression. First a good relationship is begun between the father and the son establishing the son’s respect and obedience to his dad’s rules (3:1-3). This drives the son to the second step, a good, healthy relationship with God the Father and its blessings. This relationship is characterized by trusting the Lord with all his heart, not leaning to his own understanding, acknowledging God in all his ways, not being wise in his own eyes, fearing the Lord, departing from evil, honoring God with his substance, not despising chastening from the Lord, and not being weary of God’s correction (3:4-12, John 14:21, 23). From this relationship comes the third step in the progression, commitment to wisdom, and her blessing to those heeding her (3:13-18). We see God’s wisdom in creating the universe (3:19-20). Then more practical ways are given to follow wisdom and its results (3:21-35).

Fathers play a vital role in helping their children build a relationship with God. By teaching them to honor and obey them, fathers condition their children to have a right relationship with their heavenly Father. A Godly dad teaches his children that through obedience to him, they are obeying God. He models to them the commands He gives them from Proverbs 3:5-12. They will see the wisdom of embracing wisdom modeled to them, and then embrace it themselves. I am not downplaying a mother’s role in raising a child, but the responsibility is put squarely on the father’s shoulders (Ephesians 6:4). Moms tend to automatically take part in training kids, but dads a lot of times, tend to slough off on their responsibilities to do it.

Now let’s apply this verse. Do you honor your heavenly Father, by obeying the command to honor your father? How has obeying this command caused wisdom to be a tree of life to you? Would people look at your life and say you follow the wisdom of God, or the philosophies and thinking of the world? How will you be strong in wisdom and maintain a closeness with wisdom today?

PT 11-3-13

Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty (abundance), and thy presses shall burst out (break out) with new wine.”

Barns (H618) – from an unused root meaning to heap together, storehouse. –Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

This Hebrew word is used only twice in the Bible and that in context of the Lord’s blessing for obedience (Duet. 28:8).  This word is in the plural form, so once again we catch a glimpse of the nature of God.  When God blesses His children for obeying Him, one storehouse will never do, He fills multiple storehouses with plenty!  Wow!

New wine (H8492) – fresh squeezed grape juice, sweet wine. –Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

In ancient times, all grape juice fermented or unfermented was called “wine.”  In this context, the “new wine” clearly means “fresh grape juice.”  The Bible frequently uses “fresh grape juice” as a symbol of God’s blessing.

Solomon is giving his son a brief reiteration of what God told Israel in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. “The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.” (Deut. 28:8-9)

To experience God’s blessing requires us to honor God in two ways

  1. With our substance (wealth)
  2. The firstfruits, meaning the chief, beginning, first of all our increase, gain, or revenue.

Foundational to this proper honor of God is trusting the Lord and reverencing Him (Prov. 3:5-8).

When God’s people failed to give Him their tithes and offerings of their increase, God said they were robbing Him.   As a result, the devourer was destroying the fruits of their ground.  However, God promised  blessing so great that His people would not have room enough to receive it if they would honor Him through their tithes (Malachi 3:6-12).  As Christians, our tithes ought to be a joyful act of worship to God (1 Cor. 9:6).

Are you honoring God with the best He has given you?  Are you regularly and cheerfully tithing to your local church?  In what ways have you seen God bless you because of your obedience?  Are you as excited to give to God as He is to you?  God honors those who honor Him.