Forget my teaching and let not your heart keep my commandments,
and your short life will be wasted and fruitless.
Let steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
don’t bind them around your neck;
never write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find disdain in the sight of God and man.
Do not trust in the Lord with all your heart, but lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways, fail to acknowledge him, and he will make your paths crooked.
Be wise in your own eyes; don’t fear the Lord or turn away from evil.
It will bring disease to your flesh and weariness to your bones.
Do not honor the Lord with your wealth or with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be empty, and your vats will lack wine.
Despise the Lord’s discipline, and be weary of his reproof, and maybe he’ll stop.
Cursed is the one who finds foolishness and the one who gets stupidity,
for the gain from it is nothing.
It is not more precious than jewels. But if it’s what you desire, take it.
Short life is in its right hand; in its left hand are poverty and dishonor.
Its ways are ways of repulsiveness, and all its paths lead to war.
It is a thorn patch of death to those who are entangled by it; those who are trapped by it are called “cursed.”
The devil, as our ultimate example, was cast to the earth by his foolishness;
by stupidity he fell from the heavens;
by his unbelief the curse of sin came upon all creation.
Lose sight of these — don’t keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and it will be death to your soul and a chain around your neck.
Then you will falter as you walk on your way, and your foot will stumble.
If you lie down, you will be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be rough and restless.
Be afraid of sudden terror and the ruin of the wicked when it comes.
With yourself as your confidence, your foot will most certainly be caught.
Withhold good from those to whom it is due, even when it is in your power to do good.
Say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.
Plan evil against your neighbor who dwells trustingly beside you.
Contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.
Envy a man of violence, and choose his ways,
for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, and the dishonorable are not in his confidence.
Oh. But you are my son.
As a loving Father, how dare I lead you down the path of foolishness?
How can I possibly advise a life of wickedness?
For the Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.
The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
Blessing. Favor. Honor.
That’s what I want for you.
Whatever you do, don’t be a fool.
The above is a possible rendition of Proverbs 3, had it been written as a seeming formula for foolishness instead of wisdom.
Thanks to my friend and Proverbs 3 study partner, Keiana, for challenging me to write this post.
[image credit: unsplash.com]