Wednesday, August 27, 2008


When is the last time you just read through the book of Proverbs? We read through the Psalms all of the time (I know I do), but what about the book next door, to the right? Do we study Proverbs? How would you STUDY Proverbs? Well, I guess you'd pray for wisdom and understanding right? :) After all, that's, literally, what it's all about. But then, we should pray for wisdom and understanding when we study any book of the Bible, shouldn't we?

Today, I just thought I'd give you the introduction (from the NKJV) of Proverbs and invite you to start personally studying this book. It's not usually a book we go to and say we're going to study in depth. Well, some might, but most just kind of go through it, looking for gold nuggets here and there. Find a reliable commentary that discusses Proverbs, get a few other study helps pertaining to the book, pray and ask God to open your understanding of the verses (maybe do this first), etc., and with all of that, understand that Proverbs was written in the Hebrew language and in poetic form. Understand that it was thought by priests and prophets that Proverbs were written because it was understood that wisdom was the way of relating to God. It could be used by anyone, no matter their personality or intellectual ability. It gave short, understandable ways of communicating human life, for any and everyone. The priests understood that, and they understood that God knew that we were all different with different needs, but wisdom and "your own special way" of communicating with God was absolutely necessary. And so came the need to write Proverbs. I'm sure there is much more to this story, but that's an important part.

Here is a quote by Roger Hahn about this Wisdom Literature (Proverbs): "People today may respond to the wisdom literature differently according to their personality and training. Wisdom Literature often frustrates people who love the heavy-duty theology of Isaiah or Paul. Some of them even call the Wisdom material secular because it deals so much with life on earth. Other people who have been frustrated by theological intricacies often love Proverbs and other wisdom sayings. They like the simple, bottom line summaries of what pleases God. Regardless of our personality type and the way we individually might respond to the Wisdom literature, we can rejoice that God has included it in the great variety of kinds of Scripture to meet the needs of different people."

So with that, here is Proverbs 1:1-7 to get you started on what I pray is at least a curious journey, if not an in-depth study on why God allowed the Proverbs to be included in the 66 book collection we call the Bible. Remember, all Scripture is profitable.

1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding,
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgement, and equity;
4 To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion--
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

If you never get farther in the book of Proverbs than the first seven verses, they sum up what it is the Lord would have us get. Get wisdom, but in all your "getting," get understanding, and even bigger than that, fear or respect the Lord. That's when you have true knowledge. You'd be a fool without it.

Have a wonderful day in the Lord.

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