March 17, 2019 – Proverbs 1-9: Creation and Confidence
Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series – An Invitation to Wisdom: Proverbs 1-9
Proverbs 3:19-35 (ESV)
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
30 Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.
We move from frustration to confidence as we gain wisdom about the world God has created. Pay attention to what is:
1. Around you
- vv19-20 “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth… the heavens… the deeps…”
2. With you
- vv33-35 “the Lord’s curse… but he blesses”
- v26 “for the Lord will be your confidence”
3. Within you
- vv27-32 “do not… when…”
- v32 “the upright are in his confidence”
Questions for Reflection
- Is the world orderly, predictable, understandable? Is it chaotic, random, confusing? If you believe both to be aspects of the world, which is more prominent or typical? How does your answer affect your experience in the world?
- How is frustration an outcome of things not working? When something isn’t working, and you are getting frustrated, what can you do?
- What connections are there between frustration, chaos, and anxiety?
- When do you feel confident? What is your confidence in?
- How can you make the Lord your confidence? What needs to change in how you think?
- Does trust that God is with you help with your fear? If so, how? If not, why?
- Is the world personal? Do you feel connected or isolated? How can you become more connected with God? What mindset will help you recognize God’s presence as you go through life?
- Is it wise to do good? Do you firmly believe in your inmost being that doing good and resisting evil is the best way to live?
- Are you united to Christ? How do you unite with Christ? What are some implications of a life united to Christ?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father, creator of heaven and earth: You have ordered all things that we would have life and prosper, yet our sins have separated us from you and caused chaos and harm. We recognize it is foolish to walk away from you and to live according to our evil desires. Our confidence has been in ourselves or the things of this world, and we have experienced fear, anger, hopelessness, and all the symptoms of not having confidence in you. Thank you that Jesus came to unite us to himself. Thank you that every blessing flows to us from him. We pray for forgiveness. Open our eyes to see and understand that you are with us. Amen.