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A Dozen Do Nots!

Posted on September 5, 2017

Welcome to the Real World!

A word study in Proverbs

by Pastor Frank Rice

Proverbs 3

Often parents, educators, and communicators shy away from any negative or “no” statements fearing that they might damage fragile egos! God doesn’t have that hang-up! In fact, what He is most famous for are His Ten commands which are mostly negative! He knows with whom He’s working, sinful humanity! In Proverbs 3 there are a dozen prohibitions against certain behaviors. Those “do nots” are followed by admonitions and/or explanations for the prohibitions. God gives us opportunities to choose what is right!


I. Be Faithful to the Biblical Teaching You’ve Received (Vv. 1-4)!

  • Take to heart the instructions of the teacher (vv. 1-2).

  1. To “not forget” is to remember, and to remember is to take appropriate action; biblical remembering entails obedience! “to remember something in the OT means more than cognitive retention. To remember, or not to forget, means to obey.” (Longman)

  2. The use of the term “my” is a clear reference to biblically based instruction from the father. Don’t ignore it! “The teacher is stressing that the teachings become a part of the disciple’s nature.” (Ross)

  3. The result of a positive response is a prolonged and peaceful life, “a life worth living, free from danger and trouble.” (Ross)

  4. God provides guidelines for healthy living, for those willing to listen! “All things being equal, those who follow God’s way of living as taught by the wise father will live longer than those who flaunt those same commands.” (Longman)

  • Take care to hang on to what is valuable and profitable (vv. 3-4).

  1. Do not allow covenant commitments to slip from your grasp! The term “Hesed is essentially fidelity to obligations arising from a relationship.” (Ross)

  2. Bind them; write them on the most vital parts of your being! The throat and the heart are essential to life! “Covenant love and faithfulness will be constant companions to the one who obeys.” (Longman)

  3. By doing this, the favor (smile, approval) of God and of men will be enjoyed, not to mention a blameless reputation!

II. Be Faithful to the LORD Who Is Willing to Guide You (Vv. 5-12)!

  • Submitting to the Lord insures His personal involvement (vv. 5-6)!

  1. Leaning solely on human insight is discouraged for those sincerely seeking God’s “guidance and direction.” It will not work!

  2. Trusting totally (all your heart) and acknowledging Him in all you do provides assurance of His involvement in your life. “The commitment of the heart to God means that all the beliefs and decisions of life are to be submitted to Yahweh.” (Garrett)

  3. The Lord will remove obstacles from the paths of those who do the aforementioned. (Remember; He is sovereign.)

  • Fearing and honoring the Lord qualifies you for blessing (vv. 7-10)!

  1. Refuse the temptation to trust merely in personal insight!

  2. Develop a healthy reverence for the Lord, and avoid evil. “The fear of Yahweh puts one’s own abilities and resources in proper perspective.” (Longman)

  3. By doing so, you’re far more likely to enjoy physical wellbeing!


  1. And when He blesses you with health and prosperity, be sure to express your gratitude by giving; He’ll keep prospering you!


  • Responding appropriately to the Lord’s discipline is a recognition of His love and concern for your welfare (vv. 11-12)!

  1. Don’t give in to resentment and frustration when the Lord is trying to train and teach you!

  2. His loving discipline displays His concern for His children.

  3. True piety manifests itself as intellectual humility (vv. 5-8), submission of material wealth to God’s rule (vv. 9-10), and patient acceptance of divine discipline (vv. 11-12).” (Garrett)

  4. God corrects in love. He does not want His people to continue in life-damaging attitudes and behavior… God’s discipline, though painful, shows that He cares for His children.” (Longman)


III. Be Faithful to Your Creator Who Can Honor & Protect (Vv. 19-26)!

    • When we begin to comprehend the incomprehensible attributes of the Creator, we are more likely to listen to His counsel (vv. 19-20)!

  1. The same wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that orchestrated and directed the creation is available and offered to you, to direct your life! Only a fool would refuse it!

    • Clinging tenaciously to sound judgment and discernment will foster confidence in the Lord’s guidance and protection (vv. 21-26).

  1. A life characterized by sound judgment & discernment displays the strength and beauty of wisdom; that’s skillful living! “True spiritual discernment that places its confidence in the Lord will not be disappointed.” (Ross)

  2. Wise behavior creates a safe environment, which fosters confidence

  3. It also provides stability, safety, and comfort even in the most vulnerable of circumstances.

  4. The primary benefit of wisdom promised here is personal security and freedom from anxiety.” (Garrett)

  5. Even sudden, unexpected disasters can be faced as we place our confidence in the Lord! Trusting Him requires knowing Him, and not just for salvation!


IV. Be Faithful to Your Unsuspecting & Innocent Neighbor (Vv. 27-30)!

  • Make sure you help out your neighbor when you’re able to do so (vv. 27-28).

    • Make sure you don’t cause a friendly neighbor any harm by what you do or by what you say (vv. 29-30)! This is so straightforward! This prohibits any malicious activity and frivolous litigation; “abuse of the legal system by habitual or malicious use is condemned.” (Garrett)


V. Be Faithful to the Standards the Lord Has for You (Vv. 31-35)!

    • Don’t be envious or emulate mean-spirited, arrogant, aggressive, and violent men, who trash others to get what they want (v. 31)!

    • Don’t align yourself with them and suffer the consequences! The Lord detests perverse people; His curse rests on them and theirs. He scoffs at scoffers and promises them failure and humiliation!

    • Do align yourself with those who love the Lord, and then experience His goodness! The Lord is intimate with the upright, blesses the home & household of the righteous, gives grace to the humble, and bestows honor on those traveling the way of wisdom!

Simply trusting Him and being faithful will open the door to life!