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Scripture Reading: Proverbs 3:1-12

Learning Obedience

(Proverbs 3:1-12)



1.  Obedience is not inborn, it is learned through instruction, training and practice, cf. Heb. 5:8. (learned: the basic meaning “to direct one’s mind to something”[1]) Obedience is a choice, Josh. 24:15.

2.  Proverbs 3:1-12: Exhortations that lead to true wisdom.

  a.  Series of exhortations with a corresponding promise of reward to encourage us to observe the duties that are recommended and enjoined (Pulpit Commentary, Proverbs, 52).

  b.  “Jehovah is the central point to which all the exhortations converge” (Ibid, 53).

  c.  God must be honored in times of prosperity and adversity. We obtain true wisdom by submitting to and obeying His will. (Ibid)



  A.  Obedience Begins by Not Forgetting Instruction, 3:1; 1:8.

    1.  Forces in the world designed to cause us to forget:

      a.  Pride of prosperity breeds complacency/neglect, Deut. 8:11-14; Hos. 13:6.

      b.  Greedy entitlement breeds forgetting God, Micah 3:11.

    2.  Promise (2): Extended life and peace, cf. 3:16-18.

    3.  Taught to obey with promise of eternal salvation, Heb. 5:8-9.



  -The results of godly character produced by godly obedience.

  -Traits of obedience that pleases God.

  A.  Kindness and Truth (3). (Psa. 89:14)

    1.  God is kind, Rom. 2:4; Titus 3:4.

    2.  God’s children deny God when we are unkind:

      a.  Love expressed, 1 Cor. 13:4.

      b.  Compassionate and forgiving, Eph. 4:32 (words, 4:29).

      c.  Put on a heart of kindness, Col. 3:13.

      d.  Fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22; 2 Pet. 1:7.

    3.  Promise (4): Favor and high esteem before God and man. Lk. 1:30; 2:52

  B.  Faith (5).

    1.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart (acknowledge Him, v. 6), 1 Cor. 1:9.

    2.  Not your own understanding, 1 Cor. 1:18-25.

        -Let Bible interpret itself, not insert our will into it, 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Eph. 3:3-4 (Eph. 5:17).

    3.  Promise (6): God will direct (smooth) your paths, Psa. 119:173-175.

  C.  Humility and Reverence for God (7).

    1.  Must remove the conceit of self-sufficiency/self-dependence, Rom. 12:16.

    2.  Heart of a child before God and others, Matt. 18:1-3.

    3.  Promise (8): Complete spiritual health, Eph. 1:3; 6:10-11.

        -Figurative language for sustained (spiritual) health.

  D.  Honor the Lord with Your Possessions (9).

    1.  Self-sacrificing devotion by using wealth for service of the Lord.

      a.  Without delay, Exo. 22:29; cf. 1 Cor. 16:2.

      b.  First fruits, Exo. 23:19; Lev. 23:10; Deut. 26:1-2, 9-11; cf. 2 Cor. 9:6-7.

    2.  Promise (10): Abundance from the hand of God, Deut. 28:8; cf. 2 Cor. 9:8.

  E.  Accept Discipline from God (11). With blessings also come adversities. We learn obedience through them, too (Jesus).

    1.  Sin leads us to despise correction, Prov. 5:12-14.

    2.  Go astray when we refuse correction, Prov. 10:17; 12:1; 13:18.

    3.  God corrects us for our eternal good, Heb. 12:9-11.

    4.  Promise (12): We are God’s children receiving God’s love, Prov. 13:24; Heb. 12:4-7.



1.  Obedient life is the path of wisdom, Prov. 3:13-18.

  a.  Blessings of wisdom, 3:13.

  b.  Value of wisdom, 3:14-15.

  c.  Results of wisdom, 3:16-18.

2.  Hold fast to wisdom by obeying God, Psa. 119:98-102.


[1] Rengstorf, K. H. (1964–). μανθάνω, καταμανθάνω, μαθητής, συμμαθητής, μαθήτρια, μαθητεύω. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 4, p. 391). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: October 10, 2018