8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8 (NIV) 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8 (NLT) 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8 (GNT) 7 Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the LORD and refuse to do wrong. 8 If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.
Have you ever hear this: "So you think you are so smart?!?" Well, today's verses start out that way. There is an admonition in the first part, "Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are". Arrogance and pride lead us to often think we are smarter than we are. It is rather humbling to realize we aren't so smart after all. In fact, we can be pretty stupid. About as stupid and dense as sheep.
God compared people to sheep because they have no natural defense and can walk into danger without knowing it. They are pretty helpless without a shepherd to lead them and protect them.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Many people follow false shepherds, charismatic leaders but who lead them into destruction. Sheep also tend to wander off. They get to eating and they don't pay attention to their surroundings and they wander away and stray into danger.
Matthew 9:36 When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
Luke 15:3-7 3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Isaiah 40:11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
John 10:7-17,25-28 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again...
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Psalm 100:3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
So try to realize that you aren't smarter than God. You aren't God. Therefore you are dependent upon the Shepherd (God). We can't read the future, we can't know all the variables, we can't know everything and therefore our idea of an "informed decision" is still a pretty UN-informed decision. And even if we knew everything, we don't have the brain power to put it all together and make a God decision. We need Him and we need Him to be in control. We need to let Him be God!
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
This will bring - תְּהִ֣י (tə·hî, hayah) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect Jussive - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be
healing - רִ֭פְאוּת (rip̄·’ūṯ, riph'uth) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7500: A healing
The root word is rapha
to your body - לְשָׁרֶּ֑ךָ (lə·šār·re·ḵā, shor, l'shor'rekha), - Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8270: A string, the umbilical cord
and refreshment - וְ֝שִׁקּ֗וּי (wə·šiq·qui, shiqquy) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8250: A beverage, moisture, refreshment
to your bones - לְעַצְמוֹתֶֽיךָ׃ (lə·‘aṣ·mō·w·ṯe·ḵā, etsem) - Preposition-l | Noun - feminine plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6106: A bone, the body, the substance, selfsame
"The root rapha is properly "to sew together," and the secondary meaning, "to heal," is taken from the healing of a wound by sewing it up. Delitzsch, however, thinks riph'uth is not to be taken as a restoration from sickness, but as a raising up from enfeebled health, or a confirming of the strength which already exists. There shall be a continuance of health." - Pulpit Commentary
To your body
"The navel is here regarded as the centre of vital strength...Gesenius, however, takes shor, or l'shor'rekha, as standing collectively for the nerves, in which, he says, is the seat of strength, and translates accordingly, 'Health (i.e. refreshment) shall it be to thy nerves.'" - Pulpit Commentary
The word is used in Ezekiel 16:4 "On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths." This was a sign of utter neglect of a newborn infant.
The navel is the center of the body and where the umbilical cord gave us nourishment from our mother in the womb. There is a profusion of blood vessels in the navel area that took the mother's nourishment into the fetus' body. It is the place of our digestive organs. While in the womb, the baby is attached to the mother by an umbilical cord that has two arteries and a vein. The blood is pumped into and out of the baby taking nutrients and oxygen in the blood and releasing wastes back to the mother to be disposed of by her body. The baby is entirely dependent on the mother for it's nutrition, oxygen, the functioning of it's organs.
It is said by some that Jerusalem is the capital of the world and the Temple was the navel and the Holy of Holies was the place attachment, or umbilical cord, to God. It was where the people of God had contact with their God. The "umbilical cord" from the people to God and God to the people.
As Christians, we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and have been forgiven for our sins. At the moment we seek God through Jesus Christ, we are born-again. Our spirit is born so that we are once more a tri-part being: body, mind (soul) and spirit. It is also the point we come back into contact with God just like attaching our umbilical cord to Him. The Holy Spirit enters us. From there we can receive spiritual nourishment, health and life from our God. Whenever we take advantage of our attachment to God, we receive the spiritual health and nutrients we need to be spiritually healthy. This attaching to God is communion with Him. It is our time of repentance, prayer, meditation, learning about Him through His Word, worshiping Him, loving Him, obeying Him. We receive health and life from Him and we give Him all our waste (sin) to be disposed of.
Our bones frame our body and healthy bones with good bone marrow are essential. Why is bone marrow essential to our health?
Bone marrow is the spongy and gelatinous tissue inside some of the bones in the body, including the hip and thigh bones. Bone marrow serves as an organ of the immune system. The two types of bone marrow are red bone marrow, known as myeloid tissue, and yellow bone marrow, or fatty tissue. Both types of bone marrow are enriched with blood vessels and capillaries. The blood vessels of the bone marrow constitute a barrier, inhibiting immature blood cells from leaving the marrow. Only mature blood cells can pass the endothelium, cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. The red bone marrow is a key element of the lymphatic system, is part of the vascular system and an important part of the immune system. Bone marrow makes more than 200 billion new blood cells every day. Red bone marrow consists of a delicate, highly vascular fibrous tissue containing hematopoietic stem cells. These are blood-forming stem cells. Yellow bone marrow contains mesenchymal stem cells, also known as marrow stromal cells. These produce fat, cartilage, and bone. Stem cells are immature cells that can turn into a number of different types of cells. Stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. In bone marrow, certain cell types tend to aggregate in specific areas. This is called biological compartmentalization. Yellow bone marrow is involved in the storage of fats. The fats in yellow bone marrow are stored in cells called adipocytes. This fat can be used as an energy source as needed. Yellow bone marrow also contains mesenchymal stem cells. These are cells that can develop into bone, fat, cartilage, or muscle cells. As you age, your red bone marrow is gradually replaced with yellow bone marrow. And by adulthood, red bone marrow can be found only in a handful of bones. A newborn baby's bones exclusively contain hematopoietically active "red" marrow, and there is a progressive conversion towards "yellow" marrow with age. During the course of an entire lifespan, tissue repair and regeneration is made possible by the presence of adult stem cells. But regeneration decreases with age. Adult stem cells have protective mechanisms but they still age and lose function. At this time it seems unknown why bone marrow is unable to keep up with the body's demand for new blood cells and this seems to cause aging. Our bone marrow does not continue the regeneration of cells like it does as a child. It declines and thus we begin aging. There are cells in the bone marrow called osteoblasts, which help form bone. Osteoblasts make a protein called osteopontin, which is important to supporting a vibrant bone marrow environment in the creation of blood-forming stem cells. Our bones seem to lose osteopontin proteins as we age, thus we produce less blood cells.
What does all this have to do with our verse today? There is youth, vitality, strength, and a healthy immune system in the marrow of our bones. But as we age, our bone marrow begins changing probably causing the aging process and our eventual death. After we die, our flesh decays and our bones are left. Our bones dry, the marrow but dust.
There is a famous prophetic passage in Ezekiel 37, let's look at that:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NIV) 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ ”
If I found a skeletal bone buried in my backyard... I would know someone (or some animal) had died. The dried bone tells me a once living being was now very dead. I could try to put that bone in water but it would not regenerate. If I tried to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a skull, my breath would go right through. There would be no life. It wouldn't come back from the dead.
But in Ezekiel's passage, God promises him the dry bones will assimilate and come back to life! How? Because God will do what He did to Adam and Eve... He will give them His breath of life! "I will make breath enter you" (verse 5). God gives His life by His breath.
Something else to consider about this passage in Ezekiel. These bodies were not buried. In biblical times, that would have been a desecration. It was an ultimate disrespect to leave bodies unburied and open to the scavengers. A winning army would strip valuables and weapons from dead soldiers but they rarely buried the dead of the opposing army. They were Losers. So they would leave them for the natural scavengers to pick the bodies clean; leaving the bones to bleach in the sun. Even today, leaving bodies like that is considered disrespectful to the dead and the family. We still try to bring home the remains of our American soldiers whenever possible so they can be "decently buried". Families who have lost their loved ones mysteriously, have a hard time finding closure until the remains are found and buried with respect. These bones were in a valley, had not been buried and Ezekiel is standing amidst a lot of dead people in his vision. Very dead. Dead so long they no longer had flesh and their bones were "very dry".
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones came to him after God had directed him to prophesy the rebirth of Israel in Ezekiel 36. Israel had no king, no city, no land, no Temple. It's people had been dispersed and exiled with no hope. The nation seemed pretty dead. God promised to restore Israel back to life. But there is another fulfillment. We, who were dead in sin, no hope, only eternal damnation, can be made alive again through Jesus Christ. We can be born again. God gives life to our spirit so that we can live eternally. Jesus forgives us of our sins so we can receive the life of God. Our dead bodies will be raised incorruptible to join our spirits and to live forever with God!
We have learned that fearing God is the beginning of godly wisdom. To acknowledge Him; to respect and honor Him; to hold Him above all else; and, to desire Him. This is true wisdom. It is where all true wisdom starts and ends. Accepting this is our salvation for it leads us to God, to repentance and to asking for forgiveness of our sins. And Jesus is the only way to be forgiven and born again. He is the Way, the Truth and the Light.
So, yes, wisdom leads us to Jesus and this leads us to eternal life in mind, body and spirit. Therefore, this wisdom gives us eternal life. Even our bodies will be resurrected and made immortal because of what Jesus Christ did for us. So our dead, dry bones will be resurrected; the life of God breathed into them; bone and sinew reconstructed until we are once again whole and perfect, never to experience aging or death again! We will be healthy and immortal in mind (soul), body and spirit!
There is another practical way the wisdom of God gives us health and vitality. We avoid many things when we avoid sin. When we have a clear head and make better decisions, we avoid the pitfalls that can lead to disease, illness, injury to our bodies. If we remain sexually pure until our marriage and stay monogamous and faithful in our marriage, we can avoid STDs. If we don't practise the sin of homosexuality, we can avoid STDs and AIDS. If we don't smoke or vape, we can usually avoid lung cancer, other cancers, heart disease, etc. If we don't take drugs, we can avoid addiction and it's destruction to our bodies. If we don't drink and take drugs we may not have automobile accidents that injure us (or other innocent people). A lot of our illnesses and injuries could be avoided by using godly wisdom and saying no to sin. Not all, of course. But a good percentage.
So "fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones".
- Is there something in your life that came to mind when you read this? No one has been 100% wise in their choices (except Jesus Christ) so I'm not condemning you. I'm asking if you have experienced consequences from sinful choices that have affected your health?
- Have you ever seen the photos of people taken before they became drug addicts and a photo after they've become drug addicts? Check Rehabs.
- Have you ever read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde?
- Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?
- As a Christian, have you still struggled with a sin in your life? (We all do.) Is it an ongoing struggle?
- Has God asked you to give up some sin and you've resisted? How has that worked for you?
- Have you ever struggled with God over a sin? Describe it (this is just between you and God). Meditate on it. Pray about it. Even ask God to give you the desire to let it go. The longer you hold onto it, the harder it is to let it go.
- Can you think of an example of a temptation to sin, but you resisted the temptation? You didn't give in? What were the results? (For instance, you were tempted to go to a party and get drunk and you didn't do it. The next day, your friends were all hung over and vomiting but you weren't.)
- There are consequences to our choices to sin, but there are consequences to our choices to be obedient. Make a list of some consequences for obedience and wisdom.
For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.