Proverbs 3:7 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”
These words, written by the man who the Bible described as the wisest man on the earth, are a strong warning to the followers of Christ. They follow the well-known words of 3:5-6, where we are told to trust in the LORD and do not lean on our understanding of things. Our understanding of the issues of this life and the circumstances that we find ourselves in is often rooted in folly and error. As sinful people, we get things wrong quite often. God’s people are told to trust him and acknowledge him in all matters of this life. Thus, Solomon advises us to “not be wise in our own eyes.” If wisdom comes from above and not from us (and it does), then any effort to fabricate wisdom is foolishness.
Further, we are not to boast in our wisdom as many do. That will not lead to righteousness. Many in our world today profess to be wise, but in the end, they are fools (Rom. 1:22). It is an act of great evil to boast in one’s supposed wisdom when that wisdom is divorced from the LORD. Instead, we are told to fear him and turn away from evil. Evil is anything that transgresses the very law of God. It is those things that the Word of God describes as sinful. We know that all sin is a “want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God” (WSC Q14). Therefore, the one who fears the LORD will resist temptations to sin and, instead, flee from it. Yes, we sin daily in thought, word, and deed, but we must also remember that there is forgiveness for every sin. A wise person flees sin and confesses it when it occurs, and seeks the forgiveness that can only come from the Lord. Our human intellect cannot plumb the depths of this truth. Our God, who is infinitely holy, is also infinitely compassionate to those who fear him. Therefore, we do not take pride in our intelligence or supposed wisdom, but instead, we humbly look to the God of wisdom and lean on him for all that we need. What we need is given by a God who is full of loving-kindness and compassion.
Therefore, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Pray for his sustaining grace as you labor through your days.
Prayer: Father, we know that your Word describes you as the God of all wisdom. It also tells us that we, too often, boast in our intelligence, knowledge, and supposed understanding. We know that wisdom comes from you and, therefore, we ask that you grant it to us. We have been told to fear you — to walk humbly with you in all of our behavior. We fall short, we know. We thank you that you forgive our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness. Please grant us a greater measure of your Spirit and the wisdom that can only come from you who gives generously without reproach. These things we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.