The entire third chapter is the third “talk” about living by the fear of the Lord (“wisdom”). Summed up, we are told to Live Life Focused on God, Not Self. There are four important truths in this chapter:
- Depend entirely on the Lord to enjoy his blessings, 1-10
- Welcome God’s love in his disciplining/training for wisdom, 11-12
- Wisdom is essential to living, 13-26
- The character and blessing of a life focused on God, not self, 27-35
Beware of the peril of leaving what is true and following what is false! (v. 1a) The preventative against this: work hard to embed God’s Word in your heart for protection and guidance (v. 1b, 3). When you do you will know God’s promise of blessing and a good testimony (vv. 1-4).
- It might be helpful to write the summary of each wisdom “talk” at the beginning of each chapter.
- What is the difference between—and danger of—believing truth in your head but not in your heart?
- When you hear truth from God’s Word that specifically addresses something wrong in your life and you say, “yeah, I know that,” but don’t change, is that wise or foolish? How does that stack up with vv. 1-4?
- Whose world is this? Has he said how life should be lived in it? Are you following his “instruction manual”? What happens if you do—or don’t?
- Remember the theme of this “talk;” how will that look with vv. 1, 3?
- How much concern, time, and effort do you have for the external things of life in comparison with your life (v. 3)?
- Don’t live life being concerned and controlled by what others want and think. Live life concerned and controlled by the fear of the Lord.