Years ago, I heard Billy Graham say that he began his quiet time daily with a Psalm and a Proverb. That has proven to be wise advice to follow. It gives us a way to begin the day. I encourage you to add a proverb to your daily readings. It would be easy to see the Proverbs as disjointed adages, but if we look at the whole, we will see them differently.
As with any book of the Bible, we should begin a study with questions for ourselves. What is the major theme? Who wrote it? What is the key verse that unlocks the book? What does the book say about JESUS? What do I need to do to get most from the book? How can I live out what I have learned?
Wisdom is the theme of Proverbs. Wise and wisdom are used over 100 times. The focus is for us to acquire it and to apply it. The book belongs to the wisdom section of the Bible. That includes Job and Ecclesiastes. They ask us to look at things from GOD’s point of view. Remember how ancient rulers kept a group of wise men to counsel them. Hallelujah, we have the SPIRIT!
Eph 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, making the best use of time because the days are evil.
Wisdom begins with a right relationship with GOD. First, we believe that there is a GOD and that He is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He is the GOD of order.
People with wisdom have the skill to face life honestly and courageously.
Proverbs are pithy statements that summarize in a few choice words practical truths relating to some aspect of everyday life. The writer Cervantes phrased it; a short sentence based on long experience”. They were a way for people without reading skills or books to memorize and to meditate on GOD’s truths. They touch on every area of life.
Why didn’t the HOLY SPIRIT have the authors arrange these in a better way? He has the freedom to teach us many things each day with the arrangement.
Chapters 1-9 are a unit on wisdom versus folly. Chapters 10-15 present a series of contrasts between a life of wisdom and a life of folly. The rest of the book gives counsel about various aspects of life, especially about developing spiritual discernment.
Through the Word and the SPIRIT, GOD calls us to a life of wisdom.
We begin with a commitment to JESUS, Who is the wisdom of GOD.
1 Cor 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption —
You see the overall theme in Prov 1.7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. If you have not been reading Proverbs, I hope that you will add it to your daily readings.
Sandy Pace IOKDS VP