SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2:1 My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands inside yourself,
2 by making your ear attentive to wisdom
and by turning your heart to understanding,
3 indeed, if you call out for discernment—
shout loudly for understanding—
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it like hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand how to fear the Lord,
and you will discover knowledge about God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom,
and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
7 He stores up effective counsel for the upright
and is like a shield for those who live with integrity,
8 to guard the paths of the righteous
and to protect the way of his pious ones.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity—every good way.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and moral knowledge will be attractive to you.
11 Discretion will protect you;
understanding will guard you
12 to deliver you from the way of the wicked,
from those speaking perversity,
13 who leave the upright paths
to walk on the dark ways,
14 who delight in doing evil;
they rejoice in perverse evil,
15 whose paths are morally crooked
and who are devious in their ways,
16 to deliver you from the adulterous woman,
from the loose woman who has flattered you with her words,
17 who leaves the husband from her younger days
and has ignored her marriage covenant made before God.
18 For she has set her house by death
and her paths by the place of the departed spirits.
19 None who go in to her will return,
nor will they reach the paths of life.
20 So you will walk in the way of good people
and will keep on the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will reside in the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be removed from the land,
and the treacherous will be torn away from it.
3:1 My child, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for they will provide a long and full life
and well-being for you.
3 Do not let mercy and truth leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and good understanding
in the sight of God and people.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 Acknowledge him in all your ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 This will bring healing to your body
and refreshment to your inner self.
9 Honor the Lord from your wealth
and from the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled completely,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord,
and do not loathe his rebuke.
12 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.
13 Blessed is the one who has found wisdom
and the one who obtains understanding.
14 For her benefit is more profitable than silver,
and her gain is better than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are very pleasant,
and all her paths are peaceful.
18 She is like a tree of life to those who grasp onto her,
and everyone who takes hold of her will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth;
he established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open,
so that the clouds drip down dew.
21 My child, do not let them escape from your sight;
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion.
22 So they will become life for your soul
and grace around your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way with security,
and you will not stumble.
24 When you lie down you will not be filled with fear;
when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden disaster
or when destruction overtakes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be the source of your confidence,
and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap.
27 Do not withhold good from those who need it
when you have the ability to help.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.
29 Do not plot evil against your neighbor
when he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
30 Do not accuse anyone without legitimate cause
if he has not treated you wrongly.
31 Do not envy a violent man,
and do not choose any of his ways;
32 for one who goes astray is an abomination to the Lord,
but he reveals his intimate counsel to the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 With arrogant scoffers he is scornful,
yet he shows favor to the humble.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but he holds fools up to public contempt.