A Study in Proverbs; Seeking Wisdom
I am no scholar, I often end up with my foot in my mouth, I don’t always think everything through, although I try. So, I am often looking for the secret to doing, saying, and thinking through things wisely. I find that when I read Proverbs, it makes so much practical sense. Of course there is Spiritual Wisdom, as it is the God given Word of Scripture; yet there are moments as I delve into the Proverbs, I think, “Wow, this is so amazingly useful for everything!” Of course, while certain aspects do seem cultural to the time period in which they were written, the principles found in the book of Proverbs have application for each person.
[Proverbs 1:1-7 NASB]
“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity;
To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
So who wrote it all? Short answer: King Solomon.
Solomon was born into royalty. In 2 Samuel 12:24, we find out something interesting about this prince. It says “The Lord loved him.” That’s our first introduction to this person. He was the son of David, who was also given a nickname, “A man after God’s own heart.” Those are some impressive distinctions. While I would love to go into a history of David and Solomon, there are many good scholars and theologians who have already done this and I would encourage you to find that out.
I would like to mention one thing about Solomon though. He had an encounter with the true God at a young age. It was in a dream that God spoke to him and told him to ask for anything from God Himself. Solomon could have asked for anything it seems, but what he requested was wisdom. Here were his words, “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” [1Kings 3:9 NASB] God was pleased with this request, and on top of it gave Solomon riches and might…Under the condition that Solomon was to walk in the ways of God and His commandments. Sweet deal, right? (You can read the rest of this story in 1 Kings 3.)
So keep in mind, as you look at the book of Proverbs, the wisdom shared is not just wisdom coming from man; it is the wisdom of God. With that comes weight; if a scraggly looking person, with no known abilities, connections to you, or authority, told you, “Don’t cross the street.” You might look at them strangely and cross anyway. On the other hand, if you saw a person of reputation, with a uniform on, having authority, who said the same thing, you would more likely listen. These words in the book of Proverbs, don’t come from a man, they don’t come from a nobody, they are breathed by God Himself. The all knowing, all powerful, never failing God. So, while some things may seem simple, do not take the words of proverbs lightly.
Why Proverbs? Well, because they are words that will increase learning, give instruction, direction, knowledge, and understanding. I love the verse above that says, “To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, Justice, and equity.” I believe there are absolutes, and we all seek a sense of justice, holding everything to an absolute standard. Proverbs makes life a lot less complex, it is black and white, right and wrong. I like that. Of course I may face situations that are a little more grey; like what to wear, eat, or drink; yet the truth is, Proverbs bring wisdom to many circumstances in life.
So, this is the first post on Proverbs. I hope to go through the whole book, all 31 chapters, bit by bit. (Although no doubt it will take me some time…if I am able to complete it at all.)
Thanks for reading.