Open the Book of Proverbs and in some ways it is like sitting on the front porch with the old folks, grandma and grandpa as they share the lessons of life in a loving voice, devoid of judgement. Consider these points…Solomon is the primary author with others contributing. It was written for all eras to enjoy and meant to be timeless. It has been called the wisdom book, and relates to these days we are living now and those that have gone by. Some of the more famous verses:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Jesus Christ, for the most part, delivered his instructions to the people in parables. ( Matthew 13:3, Proverbs 24:34.) This is taken from Coke’s Commentaries.
The best place to start would be at the beginning …Proverbs 1…
There are 33 verses in the first Proverb. We will break it down into four sections.
(1-7) Purpose and Theme
(8-19) Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
( 8-19) Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men
( 20-33) Wisdom’s Rebuke
Solomon was the first of the sacred writers to put his name at the head of his works. Then just as now this is an important fact… persons of sufficient reputation as to knowledge and intent were eagerly sought out for instructions and knowledge. The style of writing here turns toward the parabolically style, short, concise, and makes its point without a long and tiring discourse. Like a parable it is easy to read and pleasing to the ear and as was noted earlier a form used many times by Jesus. Verse two and the next six tell us the author’s perspective in how he wishes to instruct us in the acquiring of wisdom, instruction, understanding and knowledge. First we must possess in our minds an understanding of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. This is the first step to wisdom; and the second is, to show reverence to parents, both natural and spiritual. As we continue on through the Psalm we note that we are to receive instruction and a need to develop discipline. A question asked most Methodist Pastors to start with is “are you going on to perfection?” The growth of our relationship with God is and should be a continuous journey, taking note of what happens along the way. We must not leave out understanding, which comes with developing a relationship with our God. Consider that the fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. All religions that lack a fear of God are in vain…piety, religion, the fear of God, are road marks along the way. There is a difference between the laws of man and those of God. Note…one small difference is that God’s law takes care to secure a just reverence to both parents. The old writings of scripture show, that fear prepares the way for the love of justice, which is perfect wisdom.
In this Proverb verses 18-19 warn us against evil companions. I believe, and you may feel differently, that as written here it also can apply to things as well as other people. The things of this life can come to us as gifts or questionable actions, they marginalize wisdom and can lead to our falling away from God. The remaining verses 20-33 alert us to the call of Wisdom. Wisdom is all around us, even in the streets or public places her voice calls out to us… Wisdom does not invite violence will not tolerate injustice. Wisdom invites God, and calls us to the highest good. Solomon decries this excuse of where shall we find this wisdom? Open your eyes and ears look for good examples, then imitate, and profit by them. Let the foolish ways of others teach you what not to do…you will learn nothing of value from a fool. It is only natural that we would ask…how Lord will I know these things? The answer is in verse 23. If you return at my instruction; or, if you turn your face at my correction; “I will make my Spirit flow upon you, as a source or fountain which produceth its water”. This proverb calls us to be mindful of the voice of Wisdom. We are warned that the enticements of this world will lead to our destruction. While it might be repetitive we must avoid the enticements of sinners, and we are told to heed warnings of God. This voice of Wisdom can only be understood when accepted as a divine revelation to us from God.
Wisdom, Truth, and Justice, they live in the hearts and minds of those who hear God cry out to his people through the voice of “Lady Wisdom”.
Life is Good