GOT KIDS? Interpreting Proverbs As Promises
The next rule in interpreting Proverbs is that we should not approach in a general sense that Proverbs are promises or case law from God. Each Proverb as a minimum expresses a wise approach to a selected goal but any particular blessing, reward, or opportunity stated is only likely to happen if the counsel is followed, but it does not mean that it is to be automatic.
In reading other wisdom books from the Bible such as Ecclesiastes or the Book of Job, we are reminded that from our perspective the events that surround us are not certain. Proverbs contain actions that we as sinners are trying to accomplish in a fallen, uncertain world. They are however certain to a sovereign God. So Proverbs needs to be understood on its own terms and not always with technical exactness.
Here is an example of a very popular Proverb; 16:3. Commit your work to the Lord,and your plans will be established. Should I take this statement as a direct, clear cut, always applicable statement that if I take any plan I have and commit it to God, it will succeed? You can answer yes, but according to the design and definition of established or succeed to God. However, this proverb is often misapplied as a promise of prosperity according to man.
This is not meant to be a green light to take Proverbs or leave it. We are looking for good interpretation and remember that Proverbs followed is your pathway to wisdom and good judgment.