Proverbs 3:1-35
My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments:…


1. Appropriation. "My law." Before we commend the Word of God to others we must receive it ourselves.

2. Instruction. "Forget not." This implies that something has been taught.

3. Exhortation. "Forget not." There are few things men so soon forget as Divine commands. The godly man is one who respects righteous law. He delights in the law of the Lord (Psalm 1:2; Romans 7:22). The moral law is eternal, and must be regarded by all true followers of Christ. Obedience to it is not the ground of justification, but this is attained in the work of sanctification.


1. Intensity of life. "Length of days." In the long run the longest day is the day that has the longest record of service for God.

2. Length of life. "Long life." "A blessing," say some, "of the Jewish dispensation." A blessing, rather let us say, of all dispensations. "Righteousness tendeth to life" as much now as ever, and, other things being equal, he will live the longest who lives the best.

3. Serenity of life. "Peace." Tranquillity continuing through all the years. The peace of the man who hearkens to God is like a river (Isaiah 48:18), getting broader and deeper as it gets nearer to the sea.

III. GODLINESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH REGARD FOR THE WELL-BEING OF MEN. "Mercy" (R.V. margin, "kindness") "and truth" (ver. 3). See here the bearing of a godly life upon the good of men. The mind of God is one of "good-will toward men" (Luke 2:14), and those who would be God-like must be of the same mind (Matthew 5:45).

IV. GODLINESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH FAITH IN GOD (ver. 5). Trust in the Lord is the secret of safety (Proverbs 29:25), of happiness (Proverbs 16:20), and of spiritual prosperity (Proverbs 28:25).

V. GODLINESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD (ver. 6). This acknowledgment of God is to be —

1. Personal. "Thy ways."

2. "In all thy ways." Man's ways are many. Some walk in high places, some in lowly valleys. The way of some is in the sea, of others in the office, of others in the academy, of others in the senate. Some men walk in many ways. Abraham Lincoln was a rail-splitter, a storekeeper, a bargeman, a lawyer, a member of a State legislature, a Congressman, and President of the United States, but in all positions he acknowledged God. At the threshold of life "he had," says one of his biographers, "a profound trust in Providence"; and when he left Springfield for Washington to take his place as President he said to his friends, "Pray that I may receive that Divine assistance without which I cannot proceed."

3. In our own sphere. We need not go out of our way. The ordinary path of life will "furnish all we ought to ask." The promise in the sixth verse suggests that we may acknowledge God by looking to Him for guidance, and it gives the assurance of Divine direction.

VI. GODLINESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH HUMILITY (ver. 7). "Be not wise in thine own eyes." "Many," says Seneca, "might have attained wisdom had they not thought they had attained it." The way to godliness is in the footsteps of Christ, and to follow in that path we must be meek and lowly in heart.


1. The godly man will shun evil. "Depart from evil." To "depart" may be rendered to "turn aside." As men sometimes "cut" those they do not wish to see, so is evil to be "cut." To go into the way of evil is to run a risk of falling into it.

2. Cultivate benevolence (ver. 9). Christian benevolence is substantial ("substance," not merely good wishes); generous ("first-fruits"); God-honouring ("honour the Lord"). Those who with a right motive give of what God has given them acknowledge their indebtedness to Him and His ownership in what they possess.

VIII. GODLINESS IS GAIN (ver. 10). Gain is not always godliness, but godliness is always gain in the highest sense. The giving of the first-fruits fills the barns.

(H. Thorne.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

WEB: My son, don't forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:

Cherishing the Truth
Top of Page
Top of Page