The third chapter of The Book of Proverbs is a continuation of Solomon’s case that wisdom is the key to fruitful living.

The chapter begins and ends by touting the ways in which the Lord will reward those who pursue wisdom. It also warns about the dangerous consequences of wickedness. Throughout his warnings and supplications in this chapter, Solomon stresses the importance of choices.

The choices we make have significant consequences.

Solomon reminds us in Chapter 3 that wisdom was prevalent in the foundation of the world. It is an ingredient of creation, there from the beginning. Wickedness is a perversion of this ingredient, an act of taking reality and trying to remold it into our own image. This inevitably brings disastrous results.

The key to wisdom is where we place our trust. When we put our trust where it belongs—in God rather than in our own reasoning or external circumstances—we discover that the key to life is not control, but submission. That by trust, we gain access to the peace, joy, and riches we desire. Even these riches are not given in the way the world (and our sinful flesh) want them—as comfortable circumstance and ease. They come as gifts of perspective. The only path to truth is understanding. Perspective transforms the idol of “more” into the arena of peace. It does not change things as much as it changes the way we see things. The way we perceive.

Throughout The Book of Proverbs, wisdom is given as the key to vibrant living. Solomon is constantly trying to convince the audience of the importance of wisdom, the necessity of remembering it throughout all of life’s twists and turns, and the great benefit it brings when relied upon. He calls for our commitment to wisdom. To apply wisdom to any circumstance we may encounter, relying on a consistent faith in God.

Proverbs 3:1-4

Solomon encourages his audience to remember God’s commands and to ingest his teachings into the deepest recesses of their being. This will bring the great benefits of peace and extended life.

Proverbs 3:5-10

There are two paths before us: trusting in the Lord or in our own ability to reason. When we trust God, it leads to peace, contentment, and good stewardship.

Proverbs 3:11-18

Even when it is difficult to accept or understand, God’s ways are truly best for us.

Proverbs 3:19-20

Wisdom is woven into the fabric of creation. It is an essential element of God’s created order. By embracing wisdom, we embrace the reality of what is.

Proverbs 3:21-26

Solomon implores his audience to treasure wisdom and speaks to the benefit of doing so.

Proverbs 3:27-32

One of the clearest and most powerful manifestations of a heart of wisdom is the way one treats one’s neighbor.

Proverbs 3:33-35

In the closing verses of Chapter 3, Solomon emphasizes the binary life paths available to us—wickedness or righteousness.