Proverbs 3:16

Proverbs 3:16 “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.”
Christian Church Buffalo NY
In this passage, like many passages in the Book of Proverbs, Solomon builds a strong case for wisdom.  Playing matchmaker between son and virtue, he describes wisdom’s attractive qualities in great detail just as a man would describe a woman’s attractive qualities in great detail in order to convince his friend to pursue her.  In verse sixteen, he points out what this woman has in each of her hands.  In her right hand, she possesses “length of days.”  Based on the context, I think it appropriate to define “length of days” as something other than “long life.”  Solomon starts this chapter by mentioning both “length of days” and “long life.”  In the first two verses, he said, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, AND long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”  If “length of days” and “long life” were the same thing, it seems improbable that Solomon would’ve mentioned both of them in the same breath.  What is in wisdom’s right hand?  It is the ability to lengthen one’s days; the ability to extend one’s day; the ability to manage and SAVE TIME.  The Apostle Paul spoke of this quality and credited wisdom for it in his letters.  
Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as WISE, REDEEMING the TIME, because the days are evil.”
Colossians 4:5 “Walk in WISDOM toward them that are without, REDEEMING the TIME.”

The ability to manage time and in particular, to extend the work day would appeal to a young man because in general, men tend to be overly ambitious toward accomplishment.  Men have work on their mind and often great work on their mind.  More than relationship building, men generally want to do big things with their hands and accomplish large tasks with their skills.  Whether on the job site, in the back yard, in the basement or in the garage, men tend to focus on projects.  Because projects take time, time tends to be man’s greatest obstacle to accomplishing their goals.  Therefore, “length of days” in the right hand of wisdom would be an attractive quality for Solomon’s young man.

In her left hand, we see wisdom holding “riches and honour.”  It is important for Solomon’s readers to note that wisdom is not holding riches alone.  There are few, if any in this world that would find riches unappealing.  But the question we should all ask ourselves is this: What are Riches without Respect?  For a son of royalty in the Ancient East, honor meant something more than it does today.  Today, people see wealth as something worth risking everything for.  People pursue wealth at the expense of relationship, reputation and even freedom.  One doesn’t need wisdom to obtain and accrue riches.  Silver can be stolen.  Gold can be taken by force.  Diamonds can be smuggled.  Dollars can be embezzled.  Wisdom is not necessary to become wealthy.  Solomon already spent considerable time in chapter one talking about how the wicked forms gangs in order to take treasure by force.    

Furthermore, riches can be accrued by hard work.  One doesn’t need to be wise to work hard.  Riches can be accrued by working long hours.  One doesn’t need to be wise to work long hours.  Riches can be accrued by getting lucky at the slot machines or at some other attempt to get rich quick.  Obviously, one doesn’t need to be wise to play a game of chance.  Riches can come through wickedness, foolishness and even through fiscal responsibility.  Again, Solomon didn’t paint the picture of a beautiful woman holding only wealth in her left hand.  He painted the picture of an attractive woman holding both Riches AND Respect.  This virtue would’ve been attractive to a young man because men are attracted to Respect as much as they are to Riches, especially for the son of a king.

Why will a man be happy if he finds wisdom (vs. 13)?  
Because he will possess the ability to manage time in such a way that he will maximize accomplishment.

Why will a man be happy if he finds wisdom (vs. 13)?  
Because he will possess the ability to accrue riches without losing respect in the process.

When a person makes a living by pushing the ethical envelope, he loses the respect of his peers.  When a business owner cuts corners to make money, he loses the respect of his employees and his customers.  When a person takes an inheritance by force or by haste, he loses the respect of his family.  When a young man or woman turns to theft to fill their piggy bank, they become the shame of their parents.  When a believer increases his bank account by not paying his fair share of taxes, he loses the respect of his fellow saints.  When friends choose to make every decision based on how it will impact their wallet, they lose the respect of their friend.    

What are Riches without Respect?

Hard work is no substitute for wisdom.  Hard work will earn you the money your family needs but it will not earn you the respect you want.  Too many hard-working men spend years providing for a family only to be frustrated to receive no respect from their family.  This is the result of working without wisdom.  Wisdom helps a man “lengthen his days” so he can balance his responsibilities at work and at home.  Wisdom helps a man manage his time so he can earn a living while leading his family.  Men, respect isn’t the product of accruing riches – it is the product of building relationships.  While families may appreciate the hard work a man puts in to earning a living, wives and children have little respect for a man who puts more hard work into his job than into his family.  

Wisdom brings riches without losing respect.  It is wisdom that tells a man to take time off of work to go on vacation with his family or to be there for special occasions.  Wisdom tells both men and women how much money is enough money.  It tells us how much money should be in a bank account.  It tells us how much money should be spent on a relationship.  It tells us that there is no amount of money worth straining a relationship over.  It tells us that money is meant to be used to provide for our needs and ultimately, to be a blessing to others.  Wisdom tells us that riches come from God and that we need to honor Him with those riches (verses 9-10).  Respect isn’t given to the rich.  It is given to the man or woman who uses riches to build their relationship with God and with others.

What are Riches without Respect?

Proverbs 3:16 “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.”

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 Adam & Eve Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Aesop's Fable Aesop\'s Fable Aesop\\\'s Fable Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Albany Alcoholism Ally Amazon 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 Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible Biblical instruction Big Picture Bin Laden Birth Blog Boasting Bonar Bondage 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 Contrast Conversation Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Cosign Countenance Courting Coworkers Creation Creator Creatures Crime Criminals Crooked Cruel Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Death Deceit Deceptive Delilah Democracy Democratic Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Diploma Discovery Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Dislikes Divorce Domestic Violence Doorhanger Dress Drink Drug lords Drunk Driver Drunk Early Adulthood Eastern Culture Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Eliphaz Emerson Emmies Employers Encouragement Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Eternity Evening Eve Evolution 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 Godhead Goliath Goodness Gossip Graciousness Grammies Grandchildren Gratitude Grave Grief Guide Guilt Culture Guns Gutters Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Hard Work Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Head Healthy Heaven Heaviness Heavy Heart Hebrews Helicopters Hell Herod History Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Depot Homeowner Homicide Honesty House Humble Humility Hunting Hypocrisy Hypocrites Ian Brady Immorality Independence Industrious 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 Lies Life Lesson Likes Lion Loan Longevity Look Looting Lori Loughlin Loss Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luke Luther Lying MLB Magazines Majority Maker Makeup Maniac Manna Maple Trees Mark Martyr Marvel Mary Matthew Media Men Merciful Merriness Mike Tyson Mindset Ministers Mob Mocking Monarchy Monopoly Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Murder NBA NFL NHL Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nebuchadnezzar Negative Nehemiah New Tricks News Anchors Noah Nobles Numbers 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 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 Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose QVC Rachel Rage Rebekkah Red Lobster Reels Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Religion Remember Repentance Reporter Reprove Republican Reputation Research Responsibilities Resume Resurrection Revealing Revelation Reward Rich Man Rich Ridicule Righteouness Right Riot Road Romania Romans Rulers Ruler Rules Sabbath Sadness Samson Samuel Sarah Satan Satisfaction Satisfy Saul Saving Scale Scam Science Scientist Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Secrets Seed Seek Self-Confidence Selfies Selfishness Servitude Sexual Chaos Sexual Confusion Shakespeare Shame Culture Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Siblings Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Slothful Social Media Society Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Spies Spiritual Security Sporting Sports Sport Spouses Stanley Cup Steal Stephen Stock Market Strange Woman Strangers Stratego Strength Stress Super Bowl Rings Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talebearer Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency 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 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 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 feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling 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 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 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