Several years ago while trying to help someone through problems they were having in their life I came upon a startling revelation. I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how to help them. This really bothered me. As I came home from their house, I was setting at my desk miserable and confused so I began praying for wisdom. While I was praying, it hit me that the Bible has a book that is dedicated to teaching wisdom. So I opened my Bible and turned to the book of Wisdom, the book of Proverbs. After I finished reading that night, I got on my computer and changed my daily Bible reading plan. For the next several years, I read the book of Proverbs every month.
I can honestly say that reading through Proverbs never got old. It seemed like God showed me something new from each chapter each time I read it. Last year when I taught at our Christian School time was at a premium and I ended up letting go of reading through Proverbs every month. I still read it once a year during my devotional time of reading through the Bible in a year, but I didn’t read it every month.
Last week, my Bible reading plan took me into the book of Proverbs again. Saturday morning I sat on the deck at my mom and dad’s house reading several chapters in Proverbs and I was reminded about how much I loved reading in Proverbs. In my mind, the teaching in Proverbs is practical and needed in our day. As the people of God, we need the wisdom of God to teach us how to live in this world.
As one commentator said, “the theme running throughout the book is wisdom for living, the specific teachings include instruction on folly, sin, goodness, wealth, poverty, the tongue, pride, humility, justice, vengeance, strife, gluttony, love, lust, laziness, friends, family, life, and death. Almost every facet of human relationships is mentioned, and the teaching of the book is applicable to all men everywhere.”
Another commentator expresses the purpose of Proverbs this way.
1. To know wisdom
2. To know instruction
3. To perceive understanding
4. To receive instruction in wisdom
5. To receive instruction in justice
6. To receive instruction in judgment
7. To receive instruction in equity
8. To give [prudence] to the simple
9. To give young men knowledge
10. To give young men discretion
11. To attract the wise man
12. To increase learning
13. To help attain to wise counsels
Proverbs is not just a book of literature to analyze, but a blueprint for living. The material contained in the 31 chapters reveals that these proverbs represent a practical instruction for daily living. My plan is to spend the next several weeks on my blog exploring the wisdom of Proverbs. My prayer for these blog posts is that we will both understand and live in the wisdom of God. In what area of your life do you need God’s wisdom the most?