Length of Days (Proverbs 3:2)

We studied Proverbs 3:1 yesterday, and I include it here for completeness. Verse 2 is a continuation of the thought, so it is important to remember (no pun intended) what verse one was all about.

My son, don’t forget my teaching;

    but let your heart keep my commandments:

2 for they will add to you length of days,

    years of life, and peace.

Proverbs 3:1-2 (WEB)

Length of Days

Verse two clearly states that if you apply yourself to wisdom’s teaching, then you will have length of days. Put simply, wise people live longer.

This is an obvious truth if you think about it. it is wise to look both ways before your cross the road. It is wise to cut the power before attempting electrical work on your home. It is wise to eat healthily. It is wise to avoid smoking or drinking heavily. If you have worrying symptoms, it is wise to have a doctor check you over sooner rather than later. There are any number of examples we could give.

If we do unwise things, it will certainly shorten our life. We may get away with certain things over a short time, but in the end, foolish choices will catch up with us.

These are largely physical truths. In the natural world we live in, applying wisdom will certainly lengthen our lives. Some suggest there is a spiritual element here too. The mere act of studying the Word can bring health and healing to our bodies. Psalm 107 is sometimes cited as evidence for this.

He sent His word and healed them,

And saved them from their destruction.

Psalm 107:20 *NASB)

As with everything in the Bible, context is key. Are we able to use Psalm 107 to promise believers that God will heal them simply through studying the Word? I will leave you to study that out for yourself and decide.

This verse in Proverbs 3, and the Psalm I mention above, are not the only places in the Bible which link Scripture to length of days, and we will see another example when we reach chapter 4. Whether you see a spiritual dynamic here or not, it is clear that wise choices will prolong your life. That is the point to take from this today, and I hope it encourages you to deploy wisdom’s ways in your life.

Peace

I do not want to move on without picking up on that rather important word in verse two – peace. Verse two tells us that remembering wisdom’s teaching does not just give length of days, but peaceful ones also.

Length of life is hardly a good measure of quality of life. Some of the restrictions imposed on the world by governments during the COVID pandemic were done so to protect life, but really that meant protect length of life. Many argue that while the restrictions did stop some from dying prematurely, it drastically reduced their life quality. I do not wish to enter that debate here, but mention it merely to point out that living 100 years in prison is not a better life than living 60 years in freedom.

Length of life is hardly a good measure of quality of #life #Wisdom #Bible #Christianity

And so this verse points out that wisdom will give length of days, but peace also. Living without peace is hard indeed, and few would choose a long life without it. Peace is a theme of Proverbs too, and later we will see it is better to live in peace and poverty, than in luxury with discord and stress.

In my previous post – Wisdom Shouts Out – we saw another link between wisdom and peace.

Proverbs 1:33 says:

But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)

As someone who feels they are constantly wrestling with stress, peace feels like a soothing balm. Modern medicine tells us that stress shortens our life, and therefore supports the Bible in teaching us that wisdom leads to peace, and peace (the opposite of stress) lengthens our years.

Peace is a prize; be it peace with others or peace with ourselves, it is something to seek after and hold on to.

#Peace is a prize; be it peace with others or peace with ourselves, it is something to seek after #Bible #Wsidom #Christianity

Let me close by reminding you that life is not measured simply by the number of days you have.

On my wedding day I gave a speech, as you do, and I recall some words which are relevant. I said, “Life is not about how many moments you have, but about the moments that make life worth living.” That probably came from some book or movie, and I do not claim them as my own, but wise nonetheless!

Live the best life you can in whatever time you have, and live wisely! God bless!

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