Archive for October 18th, 2018

Proverbs 1:1-9

Proverbs 1:1-9 has the author, Solomon, beginning his 31 chapter sprint of wisdom and memorable statements.  Proverbs teach wisdom through short points and principles but should not be regarded as “laws” or even universal promises. Proverbs by design lays out pointed observations, meant to be memorized and pondered, not always intended to be applied ‘across the board’ to every situation without qualification. A proverb is not a magical formula. “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth”.

Solomon does clearly lay out what his intent is in writing these verses:

  • Wisdom
  • Instruction
  • Understand insight
  • Deal well in righteousness, justice and equity
  • Give prudence
  • Knowledge
  • Direction

The opening the proverbs of Solomon should not be taken to mean that Solomon was the sole author of all these proverbs. There are a few other authors specifically mentioned. Yet, it may well be that Solomon collected all these other proverbs and set them in his book. Three of these authors are named (Solomon, Agur and Lemuel), others are mentioned collectively as ‘Wise Men’, and at least one section of the book (the last) is anonymous.

We may be living in the ‘information age,’ but we certainly aren’t living in the ‘age of wisdom.’ Many people who are wizards with their computers seem to be amateurs when it comes to making a success out of their lives.  Proverbs seems to be written exactly for us today. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.” The Book of Proverbs is not only for the simple and inexperienced. Even a wise man will find much to help and guidance, if he will only listen and learn. Even a man of understanding can attain wise counsel from Proverbs.

Solomon points out the truth that it is the fear of the Lord that is behind all wisdom and knowledge. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Solomon calls out the importance of parenting and teaching kids.  Too much of today’s society wants to pass that responsibility to the school or church, rather than being accountable to train up our kids in the way they should go.  It is one of our duties as a parent, and done well, they become a blessing. The idea is that the instruction and law given from parent to child will adorn the life of their children, if they will only receive it.

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