PROVERBS: As the saying goes (Proverbs 1 v 8-9)
Proverbs is one of the most practical and widely loved books in the Bible. Its pithy, memorable sayings instruct us about how to live well in God’s world.
Read Proverbs 1:8
• What is the context for the beginning of this book (v 8)?
• Why should he listen and follow this advice (v 9)?
Much of Proverbs is given in this form, as the father speaks to the son. The goal of Proverbs is to give this young man the one thing that he desperatelyneeds in order to be prepared for life: wisdom!
What is wisdom?
Defining “wisdom” is tough, a bit like nailing down a definition of “love”. But it's helpful to see four ways the Scriptures describe wisdom:
Practical skill: In Exodus 35:25, we see that the people who made the tabernacle (the tent where God lived among His people) described as “skilful”. This word in the original Hebrew is literally “wise”. So wisdom is seen in a carpenter who can make a beautiful cabinet.
Discernment and discipline: Wisdom has an element of being able to discern what will bring blessing and having the discipline to do it (Proverbs 20:13).
Relational skill: Someone who is wise will know how to interact properly with people in different kinds of relationships. Thus wisdom is shown in the realm of parenting, marriage, friendship, and work (Proverbs 13:24).
Moral living: A wise person knows the moral law of God and lives by it. Wisdom is being able to see the beauty of obedience to God (Psalms 119:1). So Proverbs condemns adultery, violence, and deceit, just as the law of God does.
So, we’re ready for a working definition of “wisdom”: wisdom is knowing how to live well in the world that God has created.
Proverbs begins with the assumption that God created a wonderful world and has established a proper way of doing things. Living that way brings blessing— the good life that God intended for humanity.
As we embark on this journey through Proverbs together, pray that God would give you a hunger for the wisdom which will enable you to live well.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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