Proverbs is known as wisdom literature. This wisdom is not only something, which someone experienced (namely the writer Solomon), but it’s supposed to be applicational—meaning, it applies to your life. When we read Proverbs, we should think about them as a father gifting his son/daughter with his experiences, knowledge, and understanding about all aspects of life. There is much to learn in life, and a wise person will heed the advice of an elder, who has already experienced it. One of the most beloved Proverbs concerning love, faith, and trust is Proverbs 3. However, among the insight given to us is not only about godly love and faith, but wisdom and discipline—these two go hand-in-hand. Let’s briefly look them.
Assuredly, no one enjoys discipline, but godly discipline is good, pure, and holy. As the writer of Hebrews states, if God is disciplining you, He is treating you as a child of His (Hebrews 12:7). The Holy Spirit’s work in us propels us to repentance. It is a form of discipline and one that we should never neglect or reject. The reason we receive God’s discipline is because He loves us. Think about it…God’s wrath is not that He punishes or sets up boundaries, but His wrath is when He allows you to do whatever you want to do. As a parent, if I were to allow my children to play in traffic, someone would lock me up for neglect and child endangerment. Likewise, if God didn’t love you, He would turn the other way and give you up to your desires and passions (Rom 1). So, if God corrects you then He loves you, be encouraged with these words:
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12
The reference to “her” in this passage is “wisdom,” which is personified. That means the writer desires the reader to “know” wisdom as much as he/she could know a person; and so, he applies human traits to the word. Wisdom should be something that we seek after and yearn for (James 1:5). The Bible student (you and me) will be wise to heed these words, as wisdom is far better than gold, silver, or costly jewels. Everything you see on earth can be wiped away in an instant, but wisdom will stay with you.
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.” Prov. 3:13-18