For the rest of the week we will be examining the first five chapters of Proverbs. The writer of this portion of Proverbs is Solomon, the man who asked God for wisdom. The book of Proverbs was written as an instruction guide, offering advice, and teaching fundamental truths about life.
Proverbs 1:1-7 introduces the book of Proverbs. This section implores the reader to study continually, always in search of knowledge and wise instruction so that he may gain wisdom and develop the discernment necessary for righteous living. Discernment is the ability to judge well, make the right decisions or proper choices.
1The 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.
Then in verse seven we have the theme. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” All knowledge and wisdom begins with God. Knowing and obeying God is the foundation for every Christian. The Creator used wisdom to create the entire world, and wisdom is fundamental to all of life. “By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.” (Proverbs 3:19-20) We can know nothing, without it first coming from God.
The proverb of greatest importance is to fear God. There is nothing more important than to know and obey God. The next instruction for a successful life is to obey your parents. In Proverbs 1:8-9 Solomon warns us to honor our parents’ teachings. He says that a parent’s instructions should be seen as treasures, valued and obeyed. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instructions and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9)
Skipping ahead a little to the beginning of chapter 2, we hear again the importance of pursuing wisdom. We are told to purse wisdom, just as we would pursue a hidden treasure. Then we are told again that God is the source of all wisdom. And finally that wisdom will lead us to righteousness, justice and protection.
1My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
Just as surely as God gave Solomon wisdom, he can give it to you, too. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). However, it does require a constant searching, as if searching for a hidden treasure. Actively studying your Bible every day is a great way to search out the treasure of wisdom.