Understanding Proverbs and how God blesses

The verses that I chose from today’s Bible reading are Proverbs 3:9-10. Yet, in order to properly understand those verses, we need to briefly do a little background work.

So, here goes…

To understand the book of Proverbs, you must understand that it is a book of general truths. They are true most of the time.

For instance, look at the following verses that appear one right after the other:

Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.”

Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

Now, if these two verses had appeared in Proverbs but were separated by at least a few chapters, someone would allege that they were a contradiction. Yet, the author chose to put them side-by-side. So, there must be something else going on here.

The only explanation that makes sense is that both verses are generally true. You will simply have to determine which one is relevant and applicable by considering the circumstances. On some occasions, you will believe it is the right thing to ignore a foolish person. On other occasions, you will feel the need to show them their error.

So, the book of Proverbs is full of general truths.

Now, let’s get to the verses I chose from today’s One Year Bible reading:

Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

That’s a wonderful promise, isn’t it? We are told that when we honor and show our gratitude to the Lord by giving back to Him a portion of what He’s blessed us with that He will bless us beyond our capacity to bear it.

Yet, with what we know of the book of Proverbs and how we are to interpret it, we realize that this is a general truth. It isn’t true all of the time. But, much of the time, the Lord will bless those who honor Him and thank Him.

So, let’s get right to the questions that we all want answers to: “Does this general truth still apply?” and “How do I get blessed?”

The answer to the first question is a resounding “yes!” Of course God delights to bless those who honor Him.

Then, how does He bless us? Sure, the Lord can bless through monetary gain. Just Google the story of R.G. LeTourneau and read the story of an American businessman who experienced God’s blessings as he honored the Lord.

But, it seems to me that most of the time, God’s blessings come in other forms. After all, Jesus’ disciples and His followers throughout the ages have typically not been independently wealthy. Yet, they have been blessed. How? He blesses us with friends and family. He blesses us with the ability to serve and bless others. He blesses us with peace in the middle of a major life storm. He blesses us with an experience where He becomes much more real and enjoyable to us. On and on this list goes.

So, apply Proverbs 3:9-10 today. Hold the Lord in high esteem in your mind and heart. Express your gratitude for how wonderful He is to you. Then, expect to be blessed. Look for the fingerprints of God throughout your day. Almost certainly, you will have something to thank Him for, a blessing, before the day is out.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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