Read: Proverbs 1
Verse(s) that struck me:
The New Living Translation Proverbs 1
1:2 The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings.
1:3 Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair.
1:4 These proverbs will make the simpleminded clever. They will give knowledge and purpose to young people.
1:5 Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance
1:6 by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles.
1:7 Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.
The King James Version (Authorized) Proverbs 1
1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
1:3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; F1
1:4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. F2
1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; F3 the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning F4 of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
One of the first things that struck me about this collection of verses that open up this chapter are the bookends that we see in verses 2 and 7. In verse 2 we are told that “The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline”. In verse 7 we are told that “Only fools despise wisdom and discipline”. It appears, to state the obvious, that it is God’s purpose with these teachings to inject some “wisdom and discipline” into our lives. He tells us that “only fools despise wisdom and discipline”. Do you or I want to be or remain undisciplined fools? No, I do not think that anyone wants to be a fool. I know that I don’t. So, understanding that, I can’t just turn my back on what I can learn here. But, what is available to learn from the Proverbs? Let’s look at what these verses tell us to expect.
1. “Understand wise sayings or words of understanding.”
I don’t know about you, but I really dislike sitting in on meetings or conversations where the level of understanding required to participate is higher than mine. I find myself fidgeting, daydreaming or using my notebook to plan other activities. I need God’s wisdom in all areas of my life.
2. “…receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair.”
I, quite often, think that I already know the right thing to do in most situations. My wife occasionally points out areas that I lack in what would seem to be this “common” sense. My poor judgment or sense of justice can also pervert my “common” sense. This happens most often when I am driving or when someone else exercises one of their rights at the expense of one of mine. I need to be reminded of what good conduct is and how to do what is right, just and fair. I am often in need of remedial instruction in these things.
Application: We should seek out God’s wisdom from the scripture and put it to work in our lives daily. Rejecting the advice of the wise because we think we know better than they do or that no one really understands our situation is foolishness. Receive the instruction, be willing to learn.