“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Pro 3:1-2
“Law” in this passage, is torah, the Law of God, the teaching and instruction in righteousness. This is why we keep the commandments! It is not to earn our salvation and work our way to heaven. But I do not want my life on this side of heaven to be plagued with trouble and trials. I have had enough of trouble and trials to last the rest of my life. I want the blessings that follow obedience to follow me! I want length of days, long life, and peace!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Pro 3:5-6
It takes faith and trust to obey God and keep His commandments. The man who decides he is going to rest on the seventh day in opposition to the whole world, has to trust God that God knows what He is talking about. And that is the crux of it. These laws are God’s laws. He did not take us into His counsel before He made them. To our own logic what sense does it make, to set aside one day as holy to do no work? How does that affect anyone in the grand scheme of things?
But the Scripture says that God instituted the Sabbath to see who in Israel would obey Him. In order to keep the Sabbath, and the other commandments, someone has to acknowledge that He is holy and just; that He is King; that as Creator, He is worthy to be worshiped with obedience. The man who acknowledges God in his ways, by aligning his ways with the LORD’s ways, is not leaning on his own understanding. Human logic cannot make sense of God’s ways. But that man shall have the benefit of having the LORD direct His paths rather than his own wisdom.
Well, I would much rather have the One who knows the future directing my paths than my own frail and weak intellect!
“Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.” Pro 3:7-8
When we say, “I know how to run my own life; I know what is right and wrong for me to do,” we are being wise in our own eyes. All of us would agree with that. But do we realize that when we do not order our life according to His ways, which He has given us as commandments, we are being wise in our own eyes and doing the very thing we agree is evil?
What is the evil we are to depart from? Evil is whatever the LORD says is evil, and righteousness is whatever the LORD says is righteousness. We can not come up with our own definitions and have them be accurate. The LORD is the source of wisdom, righteousness and justice. And we have been tainted by sin. Our hearts are deceitful above measure. We cannot trust ourselves. That is why are we told, if we want to be wise, to trust God’s judgment about these things instead.
So when we trust God, order our ways according to His ways, keep His commandments and depart from evil (even the 4th commandment to honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy), then not only will we have length of days, long life, and peace, but we will have health for our flesh and strength for our bones! The benefits of obedience are not just spiritual — they are physical also!
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Pro 3:11-12
When we err, when we sin, when we go aside from His commandments, He chastens and corrects us, because He loves us! He wants us to obey Him because obedience benefits us – He does not want curses, death, or destruction to come upon us!