Proverbs 3:2

Proverbs 3:2 "For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee."
When instructing his son to follow parental principles, Solomon promised excellent results.  He promised three things - length of days, long life and peace.  Since the days of Moses, Jewish culture has always emphasized long life as the holy consequence of righteousness and especially of parental obedience.  The Fifth Commandment, dealing with parental obedience is the only commandment of Judaism’s Ten that came with a promise and that promise was long life.  Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”  Hebrew culture has always seen long life as an accomplishment, one linked to virtuous living.  Again, this perspective is not without Scriptural precedent.  Throughout the Hebrew Pentateuch, Moses associated length of days with obedience and reduced days with disobedience.  In fact, long life was the foundational incentive to obey God’s laws and precepts.  Deuteronomy 6:1-2, “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you:  That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.”

God offered the promise and dangled the carrot of long life in front of the Jewish people because it is one of man’s most natural desires.  Life makes us human.  To be human is to be alive.  By nature, our heart longs to keep beating, our lungs long to keep breathing, our brain longs to keep thinking, our legs long to keep walking, our eyes long to keep seeing, our ears long to keep hearing, our bodies long to keep being.  By nature, we fear death and crave life.  By nature, we fight death even in its inevitability.  We cling to life like a cat to a branch hanging over some pool of water.  It can be argued that mankind wants long life more than anything else.  Humanity as a whole is spending trillions of dollars every year on healthcare, fitness-related merchandise, gym memberships, dietary products and research all with the goal of keeping us alive longer. 

From a rock’s perspective, mankind is obsessed with long life.  Indeed, we are!  There is nothing wrong with this obsession because God designed us with an unquenchable thirst for life.  In fact, it is this truth that made Solomon’s speech in 1 Kings 3 so impressive in God’s eyes.  When God offered the young king anything he wanted, it wasn’t necessarily just what Solomon asked for that got God’s attention – it was what Solomon didn’t ask for that got His attention.  Before God promised Solomon the wisdom he asked for, note God’s observation in 1 Kings 3:11 when He said, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life…”  We fear an early death and crave a long life.  We have always feared an early death and craved a long life.  Over and over throughout the Psalms, we read about David begging God to spare him from an early death and keep him living.  When Hezekiah was told he was going to die in 2 Kings 20, he tearfully begged God to prevent an early death and grant him a long life.  This is human nature.    

Given the foundation and history of Judaism, Solomon’s parental incentive of long life in Proverbs 3 was nothing new in Hebrew culture at the time.  “Length of days” was a well-known incentive and a Scripturally-sound incentive.  It was also an appropriate and effective incentive for his son.  That being said, the third promise that this father offered his son was the game-changer.  Proverbs 3:2 is the first of seven references to peace in the Book of Proverbs.  Why is peace a game-changer?  Why is it so special within the context of long life?  The promise of peace is a game changer because long life is no incentive if it isn’t accompanied by peace.  In fact, long life is a curse if there is no peace in the soul.  Length of days is a punishment if it isn’t escorted by peace.  Long life by itself isn’t the blessing.  Long life with peace is the blessing.

Who would want to live 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 years without peace in their heart?
Who would want to live 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 decades with misery in their soul?

Life without peace is not attractive, not enjoyable and not wanted.  The Bible is full of examples of both good men and bad men who lacked peace at low points in their lives for different reasons.  These men didn’t beg God for long life.  In these dark moments where they had no peace in their hearts, they didn’t plead with God to spare them from an early death and grant them length of days.  On the contrary, they either wished for an early death or tragically chose to forfeit life.
 
After isolating himself in the wilderness for fear of Jezebel, Elijah lacked peace because he lacked faith in God’s protection.  As a result, the Bible tells us that “he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:4)

After struggling to understand why God would allow such hardship and loss in his life, Job lacked peace as he cursed the day he was born.  At that low point in his life, he didn’t desire long life, instead desiring death as he asked, “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?” (Job 3:20-22)

Nowhere in the prophet’s record do we read Jonah craving long life.  Running from God is Biblical evidence that he lacked peace in his soul regarding the will of God for his life.  How did this lack of peace impact his desire for life?  In chapter 1, he suggested that the mariners throw him over board.  In chapter 4, he prayed, “Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” (vs. 3)

In 2 Samuel 17, Ahithophel forsook peace in order to make room for bitterness in his soul.  This bitterness towards his former employer led to a broken life, which ultimately led to a tragic suicide.  Judas Iscariot would fall prey to the same error and outcome.  Full of bitterness and void of peace, Judas would choose to defy his God-given thirst for life and take his own life in Matthew 27.  Life without peace is a curse, not a blessing.  Long life without peace is a punishment, not a reward.  This is precisely why God will temporarily remove suicide and death as an option from this world during the Great Tribulation.  For five long months during that dreadful time, people will want to die instead of living because locusts from hell will strip them of any comfort and peace.  A lack of peace in hell is what makes eternity hell.

Peace makes time precious.  Peace makes life worth living.  Peace makes long life attractive. 
A lack of peace makes time dreadful.  The absence of peace makes death worth pursuing.  Lost peace makes long life unappealing and distasteful.   

Peace was the game-changer in Solomon’s parental promise.  Length of days and long life is only an incentive when it is accompanied by peace.  Applied to our Christian lives, any length of days is only appealing if they are accompanied by peace.  If living isn’t appealing, then you lack the peace of God.  If being blessed with long life isn’t appealing, then you lack the peace of God.  If this is your case, then you need to place the emphasis on peace, not on living and dying.  People who lack peace emphasize dying.  People who lack peace anticipate dying, contemplate dying and even consider dying.  In this case and in all cases, the emphasis needs to be not on living or dying, but on obtaining and retaining peace.

Peace always accompanies righteousness, holiness and obedience.  Psalms 37:37, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”  Peace never resides with wickedness and ungodliness. Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”  Peace comes with righteousness and stays with thankfulness.  Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The presence of peace makes the incentive of long life attractive. 
Peace in the soul makes time on the calendar precious.


Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 1 Corinthians 1 John 2020 5th Commandment Aaron Abel Abigail Abortion Abraham Absalom Accident Accomplishment Achan Acts 17 Acts Adam & Eve Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Aesop's Fable Aesop\'s Fable Aesop\\\'s Fable Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Albany Alcoholism Alive Ally Alone Amazon Ambition American America Amnon Andrew Finch Animal Abuse Animals Answered Prayer Applause Apple of Eye Approval Arrogance Arthritis Asaph Ashamed Athletes Athletics Backbone Back Balaam Balance Bank Accounts Bathsheba Beauty Bedroom Beecher Behavior Benefit Benjamin BestBuy Bethlehem Betting Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible-reading Bible Biblical instruction Big Mouths Big Picture Bin Laden Birth Blog Boasting Bonar Bondage Books Boomerang Boyfriend Brutal Brutish Budget Buffalo Bills Building CA Rt 1 Cable News Calamity Call of Duty Calming Calvin Canaan Cancer Candidates Careers Cares of Life Casey Viner Character Cheesecake Factory Christian upbringing Christ Churches Circumspect Clamor Clinton Clothes Clothing Coaches College Commend Communication Companionship Conceit Conception Condemnation of God Confession Confidentiality Conflict Conservation Contentions Contrast Conversation Conviction Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Cosign Counseling Countenance Courting Coworkers Creation Creator Creatures Crime Criminals Crooked Cruel Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Days Death Deceit Deceptive Delilah Democracy Democratic Desires Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Diploma Discovery Diseases Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Dislikes Divorce Domestic Violence Doorhanger Dreams Dress Drink Drug lords Drunk Driver Drunk Early Adulthood Ears Eastern Culture Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Eliphaz Emerson Emmies Employers Encouragement Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Eternity Evening Eve Evolution Excellence Excel Exodus Expectations Expectation Experience FaceBook Face Faithful False Fame Families Famine Farming Fashion Favor of God Fear of the Lord Fearing God Feast of Purim Financial Advisor Financial Security Fingers Food Foolish Football Free-will Freedom Friendships Friendship Friend Froward Fruit Fumble GPS Gadarenes Galatians 6:7 Galatians Gamble Gang Garden of Eden Garden of Gethsemane Garden Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Girls Giving Glad Goals God's Kingdom God\'s Kingdom Godhead Goliath Goodness Gossip Graciousness Grammies Grandchildren Gratitude Grave Grief Guide Guilt Culture Gun Control Gun Violence Guns Gutters Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Hard Work Hard-Working Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Head Healthcare Healthy Hearing Heaven Heaviness Heavy Heart Hebrews Helicopters Hell Herod Highway History Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Depot Homeowner Homes Homicide Homosexuality Honesty House Humble Humility Hunting Hypocrisy Hypocrites IRS Ian Brady Illness Immorality Independence Industrious Inheritance Inherit Insecurity Insight Instagram Instructing Integrity Internet Interview Intoxication Inventions Isaac Israel Jacob Jairus James Jealousy Jeffrey Dahmer Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Jimmy Soul Jobs Job John the Apostle John Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judging Judgmental Jury Justice System Kindness King David King Hezekiah Kings King Know-it-all Language Law Enforcement Law Leaders Learn Liars Liar Library Lies Life Lesson Life-Insurance Likes Lion Loan Longevity Look Looting Lori Loughlin Loss of Health Loss of LIfe Loss Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luke Luther Luxury Lying MLB Magazines Majority Maker Makeup Maniac Manna Mansion Maple Trees Mark Martyrs Martyr Marvel Mary Matthew Media Memories Mentors Men Merciful Merriness Mike Tyson Mindset Ministers Mob Mocker Mocking Monarchy Monopoly Month Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Murder NBA NFL NHL Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nebuchadnezzar Negative Nehemiah New Tricks News Anchors Noah Nobles Numbers Nutrition O.J. Simpson Obama Observation Obtain Old Dogs Olive Garden Order Others Paint Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Perspective Perverse Perversion Peter Pharisees Pharoah Philippians Physical Appearance Plant Pleasure Political Parties Politicians Politics Polygamy Poor Popularity Portrait Positive Possessions Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Potiphar\\\'s Wife Potiphar\\\\\\\'s Wife Praise Prate Prating Preacher Pregnancy Pregnant Preparation Princes Prince Principal Thing Principal Procrastinate Procrastinator Profit Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Prostitute Protests Proud Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose QVC Questions Rachel Rage Ransom Rebate Rebekkah Red Lobster Reels Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Difficulties Relationship Religion Remember Repentance Reporter Reprove Republican Reputation Research Responsibilities Resume Resurrection Retirement Revealing Revelation Reward Rich & Famous Rich Man Rich Ridicule Righteouness Right Riot Road Romania Romans 8:28 Romans Rulers Ruler Rules Sabbath Sadness Samson Samuel Sarah Satan Satisfaction Satisfy Saul Saving Scale Scam Science Scientist Scoffer Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Secrets Seduce Seed Seek Self-Confidence Selfies Selfishness Sermons Servitude Sexual Chaos Sexual Confusion Shakespeare Shame Culture Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Siblings Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Slothful Social Media Social Society Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Spies Spiritual Security Sporting Sports Sport Spouses Stanley Cup Steal Stephen Stimulus Stock Market Strange Woman Strangers Stratego Strength Stress Struggles Super Bowl Rings Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talebearer Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency Tension Texas Roadhouse Theft Theocracy Tik Tok Timothy Tithes To be or not to be Toddlers Tolerance Tomb Tongue Tour Guide Travel Treasure Treatment Tribute Trickery Trinity Trips Trouble True Love True Wisdom True Turner Tyler Barriss Uber Eats Understanding Unemployment Unforgiveness Unhealthy Universities Unjust Unrighteous Uprightness Upright Vain Value Vanity Vehicle Vengeance Videos Virtuous Vision Votes Voting Walk Walmart Washington Watsom Way of Life Way Wealthy Weight Western Culture Winking Wink Wise Men Witnessing Womb Women Work Ethic Worth Wrong X Yankees YouTube Zechariah addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation aggression alcohol amos angels anointing ant anxiety appetite argument assumption as attractions authority background backyard bankrupt battle beginning birds bitterness blessed brain bright broken nose buckler campfire cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employee employer employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure fairness faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear of man fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling gangs gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear hold your peace holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation investing isaiah issued issue jabs jewelry judgment justice just kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning legacy length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life longterm love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy messenger millions mind ministry mischief misery loves company misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oil oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peculiarity peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant politician ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex short-term silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism slander sleeplessness sleep slothfulness sluggard smoke to the eyes smoke son soul sowing spleen spouse stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide surgeon sword talents talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games vinegar to the teeth vinegar violence violent virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words workplace work worry young man young people young youth