My Bible calls this first section the purpose and theme, I think of it as a mission statement.
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- “Fear of the Lord” is used 50 times in the Bible, 18 of them will be in the Book of Proverbs.
V. 7- This phrase does not mean to cower in terror or to feel a threat. To fear the Lord means to respect-absolute reverence for someone. It is the same word used in places of the BIble to explain the respect children should have for their parents. Here is a phrase I read recently “Fear of the Lord is Reverential AWE that produces humble submission to a loving God based on a relationship, not repercussion.”
The scripture says this is the beginning. The beginning is the foundation on which all instruction will be placed. So before you read any further take a moment to reflect on your view of where you acquire knowledge?
- V: 8-9 is an introductory call to pay attention to those instructions and the benefits of doing so
- V:10-14 is the warning against yielding or ignoring these instructions
- v 15-19 discusses the reason for doing so.
Starting in verse 20 you will see Wisdom is personified: it is given a feminine pronoun. She seeks to rescue us from our errors. When we ignore her, we will face consequences therefore by verse 28, we will call out for help. The phrase that hit me was 31: “They will eat the fruit of their ways…but in 33 it says “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm”(PEACE). I want the latter!
Chapter 2– starts off strong!
- ACCEPT these words,
- then HEAR these words,
- then APPLY these words.
So if you TRULY want wisdom, you will have to dig into these Proverbs:
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
Here is a kick in the stomach: The time and effort I put in looking for my phone when I can’t find it is greater than the effort I put into seeking God’s wisdom when I can’t hear it. Ouch! (btw, the other day I spent 30 minutes looking for my phone, finally, I said “mom, I am going to have to call you back, I can’t find my phone). If you get it…then you understand my life!
The ultimate source of Wisdom is found in the hidden treasure:
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
In verse 16 we are introduced to the other female- “the adulterous woman”. She represents what we “want” not need. This woman will tempt us but through God’s wisdom, we can resist giving in to sin. (we will talk about that in more detail in upcoming chapters)
Verse 20-22 gives the example of living in the land which we can now look back on historically and understand the correlation. When the Israelites followed God’s commands they had Peace in the land when they strayed from his commands they fell into their own consequences.
- Verse 1-4 again talks about the advantages of holding on to God’s wisdom.
- Verse 5- I am betting many of you underlined this familiar scripture:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Wisdom is more profitable than silver, rubies, and gold.
The chapter ends with “do not” phrases. What not to neglect and what not to engage in.
Ok, if we don’t do a read-through in 2022 THEN we have to at least come back to Proverbs, that was AWESOME!! I underlined almost every word!