Today I am going to begin posting from my newest book “Principles from Proverbs”
The Book of Proverbs is unlike the rest of the Bible. It’s not a story like Exodus or Job or most of the Old Testament; it is not a letter like Romans or Ephesians or any of the Epistle letters; it’s not prophecy like Isaiah or Revelation; and, it’s not poetry like Psalms. In other words, Proverbs stands alone unlike any other Book of the Bible. It is called a collection of wise sayings. We usually read it in small doses, like a daily devotional. It seems like a collection of unrelated, unconnected sayings that sort of jump all over the place, but when we look closer we will find that within the Book of Proverbs there are definite themes that emerge. The main theme is “wisdom” which is connected with the “fear of the Lord”. Within the main theme of Wisdom there are several principles, all of which are connected to wisdom because they are wise things that will guide our life in a positive, prosperous, and blessed direction; bringing about, what I believe to be, the “abundant life” with positive results. This is not an exhaustive study of the Book of Proverbs, but rather a look at scriptures of my own choosing. It is my goal simply to bring a better understanding of life through God’s Word. It would behoove us all to pray for wisdom.
Before I can say or teach anything, I have to let the Word of God speak through the purpose and theme of the Book of Proverbs, written by Israel’s wisest man, King Solomon:
1 “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
There are three things that I like to consider when I study God’s Word; first, is to look at specific words – especially repetitive words used in the text; second, is to look at the admonition or instruction to us as Christians; and third, is to ask the question: “What is the result (positive or negative) of my action or non action?”
So, here are the words of purpose in this scripture: “For gaining, or attaining; Wisdom, Instruction, Understanding, Prudence, Knowledge, Discretion, and Guidance.” I don’t know of anyone in this world whose life would not be better, and whose character would not benefit from any of these things! These words all go together like fingers on a hand. They all together could fall under the banner of “Wisdom”.
The admonition to us as Christians is found in verse 5: “let the wise listen and add to their learning.” This seems rather strange to me that it says “let the wise listen”. I think it might be better interpreted; “Let those who think they are wise, or who think they know it all, listen and add to their learning.” None of us is ever too old to learn from God’s Word.
The positive result of doing so is found in verse 23: “Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.” The negative results of not doing so are found in verses 26-31: “I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways.” Wow!
As I said, this is not an exhaustive study, but I am up to 12 principles which we will look at in the coming weeks. Wisdom will bring you understanding, and wisdom will protect you, and in fact, wisdom will save you from some bad consequences in your life.” Who can argue with truth?
See you next week, and thanks for following.