Proverbs 3:1-12 has a series of commands and reasons for those commands. While looking at the first I have come to the conclusion of a series of questions about this command and its reason/promise/reward.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
I trust in the word of God. I believe in the promises it makes to give long life and peace. However, it is hard to mesh this idea with the promise of difficulty in the spiritual walk. For example, Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”
The conclusion, my first conclusion is that these two sets of promises aren’t either/or but they are both/and.
As you grow in the scriptures and in the knowledge of and wisdom of God both things will happen.
ONE: the world will hate you!
1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Romans 8:7 “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
TWO: You will have the peace of God!
Philippians 4:6-9 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The world will hate you, but God’s peace, which is certainly beyond understanding will guard your heart.
But what about the life part? It seems more difficult to understand in light of the “narrow road.”
So check out Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
The question posed in my head about Proverbs 3:1-2 is: Are “length of days” and “years of life” terms that refer to this life in the flesh or the life of the soul? All the scriptures on this seem to point to life in the flesh. And it stands to reason that if “peace” is referring to the peace that we can have here and now, then, why would “length of days” and “years of life” be referring to the spiritual/soul domain?
Also, it cannot speak to eternal life because eternal life is gained by faith in Christ Jesus alone. Keeping the whole law in every part denotes salvation by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; Romans 3:1-20[emphasis on 19-20]) Through the law comes the knowledge of sin; it does not gain us salvation.
So here in Proverbs 3:1-2, we conclude that the command to forget not wisdom’s teaching and to keep wisdom’s commands is given for the reason that it will add “length of days,” “years of life,” and “peace” to our lives here on earth.
These are the blessings of God!