Updated: Apr 1, 2020
By Pastor Scott
A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:5-7 NKJV)
As you may already be aware, Proverbs is a book of wisdom. The simple definition of a ‘Proverb’ is: 'a short, well-known sharp saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice.'
A modern-day example of a proverb might be as simple as “Practice Makes Perfect”, or one of my favourites: “Actions speak louder than words...”
King Solomon authored many Proverbs in his day and was widely recognized as the wisest man of his time. He also ended up being the wealthiest. But something he recognized which is important for perspective is the value he put on wisdom.
Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
Wisdom seems quite valuable doesn’t it? The greatest treasures on earth cannot be compared with it. It’s worth asking yourself if you value wisdom like that.
The term ‘Wisdom’ or ‘Wise’ can be thought of in quite a broad sense and can apply to different contexts in the world we live in. But the wisdom Solomon speaks of is found in the key verses of the book of Proverbs, chapter 1 verses 5-7. Solomon states that it is the ‘fear of the LORD’ that is the beginning of true wisdom. In other words, the more we have reverence and respect and the Lordship of God in our lives, the more we will grow in wisdom.
Early on in my Christian life I remember feeling quite ignorant on spiritual matters. But something that changed my life was realizing God grows our wisdom when we ask him to. Solomon began this way at the beginning of his reign as king. He felt inadequate. Look at what it says in 1 Kings 3:7-10:
(7) Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
…(9) Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
(10) The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.
God responded to this simple request in remarkable ways, and I have found this to be true for myself in my pursuit of Biblical wisdom.
Two verses I constantly remind myself of and pray for are Psalm 119:18 and James 1:5.
Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.
(Psalms 119:18 NKJV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
(James 1:5 NKJV)
I have found that God is so faithful in answering my prayer in this. Often He will show me wonderful things in His Word, connections which I haven’t seen before, insights that bless me and even others as I share them.
I believe the book of Proverbs is very helpful for providing wise counsel for our lives practically. Here are some of my favourite quotes about this book:
“Here are counsels from above for conduct here below”
“He who is well versed in it will be soundly guided and safely guarded.”
And we can see at the end of chapter 1 the fruit from living these lessons:
Proverbs 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil."
I feel like this last verse is relevant for the times we live in, and so I believe this is a good opportunity as a church while we are in lock down to go through one devotional in Proverbs a day for a month (since there are 31 chapters in Proverbs) and stay connected this way. Myself and a few others will be putting them up on the website at https://www.calvarychc.nz/blog and I will also be emailing them out.
One last comment from J.Baxter in regards to Proverbs:
“The only thorough way to study and know the book is to read it again and again, slowly and reflectively, and not too much at a time, letting its concise contrasts and parallels rivet themselves in the mind. They who know the book well in that way will have “wit and wisdom” for every situation”.
Lets pray for God's wisdom and look for His direction for our fellowship.
Blessings to you all!