NEW ORLEANS (BP)–“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages of scripture in the Bible and has been a source of comfort and encouragement for many Christians. But, according to Archie England, reading only these two verses would mean missing out on four other “transforming truths” and the “key” that unlocks them.
“My heart wanted to preach on Proverbs 3:5-6; that was just all I wanted to preach,” England said during the chapel service at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary on Feb 7. “But as I began studying the context in chapter 3, I realized that the writer of Proverbs had given us a tremendous sermon in the whole chapter.”
England, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at NOBTS, pointed out a series of instructions given by the writer of Proverbs that form five transforming truths.
“In verse 3 [the writer of Proverbs] says, ‘do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck,'” England said. “The first transforming truth is that we hold on to faithfulness and covenantal lovingkindness.”
While the first truth deals with the priority a believer should have, the next transforming truth in chapter 3 focuses on faith. It is found in that famous verse 5 and it is simple and straightforward. “Trust in the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding.”
“We find thirdly that we are to humble ourselves,” England said. “We acknowledge the greatness, the majesty, the wonder, the beauty, the bounty of God Almighty. And we bow before him because we know that God is able, willing and capable to fill our cup and to bless us beyond all measure of blessing.”
England noted that the text promises “refreshment and healing” to those who will humble themselves before him and worship him. This leads directly to the fourth transforming truth in the chapter — honor.
“God is worthy of to be honored with that which He gives us — our wealth and the first fruits of our fields,” he stated. “Proverbs tells us that we ought to bring to God those tributes of praise and glory and honor.”
The last transforming truth England highlighted is the endurance of the believer. Pointing to verse 11, he illustrated the importance of enduring God’s discipline.
“God disciplines, he corrects those he loves,” England said. “We are to endure all things for the sake of God’s kingdom … because it shows our commitment to persevere.”
What is the key to understanding and unlocking these five transforming truths? England said that it is God’s wisdom.
“The key to the issue is wisdom,” England stated. “This wisdom is more profitable, more productive, more precious.”
“It is more profitable than silver, it is better gain than gold … nothing can compare to the wisdom of God.” he continued. “When we acknowledge the five truths that transform, when we understand that it is wisdom that is above all things, then we come to great peace.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE STUDENT.