The Old Testament book of Proverbs was originally written as an instructional manual for young, Jewish men. It teaches God’s Secrets of Success for a meaningful, fulfilled life.
Proverbs only has 31 chapters. Spend 5-10 minutes per day reading a chapter, and the entire book can be read in a month’s time. I reread Proverbs regularly, and I highly recommend this devotional practice to others.
The book contains observations about life, and the collected comments were designed to teach others about God’s truth. The introduction declares its purpose: That men may know wisdom, and instruction, understand words of insight, receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity . . . .
Proverbs teaches that wisdom is essential to the Godly life. People define wisdom in a variety of ways. At its heart, Biblical wisdom is both knowing and doing God’s Word. It is applied knowledge: knowing God’s Word and then applying it to our world. Those who know and practice Scriptural principles are wise.
Proverbs teaches that God has created the world not only with physical laws but also spiritual principles. Those who follow God’s rules flourish and prosper. Those who break the rules suffer the consequences of their foolish actions.
Sometimes God’s wisdom runs counter to human instinct. We discover that God’s ways are not our ways. Proverbs warns repeatedly: There is a way that seems right to man whose end is death. (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)
Christians have to learn a new way of thinking. At first, it feels awkward and unnatural. The more we practice God’s wisdom, however, the more we discover how much it makes sense.
So what is the first step on the journey to learning wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 is the theme of the entire book, and it tells us how to begin: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (NIV)
Proverbs declares that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We are called to hunger and thirst for God’s Word and way in our lives. Those who seek will find. For those who knock, the door will be opened. Ask, and it shall be given.
Proverbs helps us learn from the experience of other Godly men and women. Solomon reminds us: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
One of my favorite sayings is: Life is tough, but it’s a whole lot tougher if you’re STUPID! So, wise or foolish—which would you rather be?