For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
You can lengthen your life expectancy. But it cannot be found in a health food store, an exercise program, or new medical research. It is found only in righteous living, which requires humility and diligence to obey correction and instruction (Pr 3:1). Peace, a very precious commodity for a pleasant life, is found the same way – living a righteous life.
Wisdom is ability to judge rightly. Wisdom is also the conviction and knowledge to live righteously. Solomon, in this book devoted to wisdom, offered long life as a blessing for gaining knowledge (Pr 3:8,16; 4:4,10,22; 9:11). He asked elsewhere, “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” (Eccl 7:17.)
There are two blessings offered here that should fascinate every reader – long life and peace. Everyone wants to live longer, and peace makes life a continual pleasure. Reader! What do you think? What else are you looking for? These are two wonderful things, and they are offered here freely. What hinders you from grasping them for yourself?
Ponce de Leon traveled far looking for the fabled fountain of youth. Billions are spent annually on so-called health food and vitamins, gym memberships and personal trainers, and reading the latest medical research and bizarre remedies for extending life. If just a portion of that zeal were applied to wisdom, a person could claim long life and peace.
Sinful living ages the body and brings early death. Even pagans know the risks of “hard living.” Rock stars, rap artists, actors and actresses – America’s most profligate sinners – often live only half as long as others. They die from accidents, disease, drugs, murder, suicide, and exhausted bodies. Capital punishment also shortens the life of gross sinners.
Wisdom saves from “hard living.” Wise men avoid accidents by prudence; they miss disease by monogamy, drugs by abstention, murder by peaceful living, suicide by hopeful living, and exhausted bodies by refreshing sleep. By obeying the laws of the land, they are not in danger of capital punishment. All these means of life are taught in Proverbs.
Wisdom brings peace. Sinners lead tortured lives of fear, guilt, shame, and stress. They are depressed, frustrated, lonely, and tired. They cannot find contentment, fulfillment, or satisfaction. They are always looking, running, and wishing for something with lasting good. But wise men find peace in the Lord, marriage, work, friends, and a righteous soul.
Satan, a murderer, wants you to die. The world hates right living. Your depraved soul prefers sin. These three conspire together to shorten your time on earth and steal away any peace while you live. Life and death are both offered to you, as Moses explained to Israel (Deut 30:19-20). Choose life and peace today by embracing wisdom and living it.