In Search of Wisdom - A Study of the Book of Proverbs (Chapter 1) The Beginning of Wisdom
An Invitation to the Journey of a Lifetime
Have you ever wondered why life doesn’t come with an instruction manual? Well, I have terrific news! There is a place where answers can be found to most of life’s questions, and it’s been in plain sight for years.
I’m talking about the book of Proverbs found in the Jewish Torah, as well as, the Christian Bible. Proverbs is a book of wise sayings written by King Solomon, who asked for only one thing from God – wisdom. Proverbs, simply put, is a manual for living and finding happiness and contentment in life.
I stumbled on this book years ago when I was searching for answers in my own life, and I’ve studied and walked the path of Proverbs since. I spent many evenings reading a children’s version of Proverbs to my own children who are now grown.
I would like to invite you to take a trip down the Proverbs path, a path that will show you how to live life to its fullest, to be happy, content, and wise. A path that will help you be a better parent, spouse, employee, church member, and person in general.
I use the New King James Version of the Bible when I study, but I like to cross reference other translations, as well. I truly enjoyed the way The Message Bible opened the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 1: 1-6
These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David’s son, Israel’s king – Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; a manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair; To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn – Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
Proverbs 1 – The Keys
Opening the book of Proverbs is like unlocking the door to living a godly life in an ungodly world; to deal successfully with the situations in life that everyone is faced with, and find that place of contentment and happiness that most people spend a lifetime looking for, and many never find.
The Key word of Proverbs is Wisdom – The author of Proverbs uses poetry, parables, pithy questions, short stories and words of wisdom to teach a common sense and divine approach to life’s issues.
The Key verse of Proverbs is – Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
First and foremost, the seeker of wisdom must acknowledge that God is a real entity, alive and interacting with His creation daily. Now the word “fear” in this passage is somewhat misleading, as it does not mean to “be afraid” of God. It means to have the utmost respect and reverence for God. It is most certainly meant as a STRONG warning to those who refuse to acknowledge God or, as it clearly says, despise wisdom and instruction.
I imagine we all know someone who thinks they have all the answers to life’s questions. They make it clear that they can get by just fine on their own; they don’t need God or anything from His Word. These are the ones who should truly be in fear.
Once the purpose of Proverbs is established, the keys are given, and the door is open, it’s time to begin the journey.
The first stop is advice and instructions for children. Be careful parents, this is a two sided coin as you will not only see how your children are to walk on this journey, but how you are to lead and instruct them.
My son, hear the instruction of you father, and do not forsake the law of your mother;
for they will be graceful ornaments on your head, and chains about your neck.
This scripture is pretty self explanatory, but what really caught my eye is the emphasis on the words – will be. It’s referring to something in the future, and I didn’t understand it until my own children were grown.
I know people whose children seem to be unruly from the beginning of their lives. They can’t seem to correct them or control them with any success. All through their lives they spend precious resources getting them out of one jam or another; it wears these parents down, they love their children but are constantly weary and worried. These children are those who have not heard the instruction of their father and have forsaken the laws of their mother.
I also know people whose children have excelled throughout life, done well in school, faithful in church and other areas of their lives. They are blessed with the fruit of their labors, quality educations and respectable jobs. Their lives are successful, and they are blessed with family and friends. The parents of these children are abundantly blessed, they are proud of their children. Their accomplishments are the graceful ornaments of their parental success. They wear their pride, joy, and love for their children and grandchildren like beautiful jewelry.
Proverbs 1: 10 – 19, makes clear that children (both young in age and young in their spiritual walk) should avoid unscrupulous company.
I genuinely like the way The Message Bible says it in verse ten:
Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them.
It can’t get it any plainer than that.
As we read on, we find these companions want to do some pretty vile things, and in verse 15, it says:
Oh friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end.
Verse 19, in the New King James Version, makes abundantly clear what will happen to those who fall in with the wrong crowd, and adopt their immoral attitudes.
So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain: it takes away the life of its owners.
I find it compelling that if children are to listen and obey their parents, then parents must take an active role in making sure their children are not in the company of those who would lead their children astray.
Starting in verse 20, the writer of Proverbs tells us that wisdom is what should be sought. And it’s not that hard to find, as a matter of fact, it can be found everywhere you look. It’s right out there in the open for anyone to receive.
Verse 23 says: Turn at my reproof (reprimand); Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
This is a POWERFUL admonition and promise; in fact, I pray this scripture every time I study the Bible. I want God to pour out His Spirit on me so I can understand what His plan is for my life.
The first chapter of Proverbs ends with a stern warning of what will happen to those who do not fear God, do not listen to parents, and hang out with bad company, not to mention, scorn knowledge and wisdom.
The Message Bible puts it like this:
Because you hated knowledge and had nothing to do with the Fear-Of-God, Because you wouldn’t take my advice and brushed aside all my offers to train you, Well, you’ve made your bed – now lie in it; you wanted your own way – now, how do you like it? Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots? Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.
First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy – you’re in hands.
Next week - Chapter 2
Join me each week, as I post a new Chapter of Proverbs to study.
Next week will be Proverbs 2 - Searching for Hidden Treasure
© 2012 miss_jkim