Wise up and live
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 1:1-19
"For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight" (v.2)
We set out to explore some of the great and thrilling themes of the book of Proverbs. I have no hesitation in saying that, as far as practical matters are concerned, it has influenced my thinking and colored my judgments more than any other book of the Bible. I shall never forget my pastor taking my aside just after I had been converted and saying, "I am going to teach you to steal, to drink, to lie and to swear." Seeing my astonishment, he quickly went on to add, "I want to teach you how to steal time out of every day to read something from the book of Proverbs. And then I want to teach you how to drink from its clear, refreshing waters, to lie on your bed at night and meditate on its great themes and to swear that by the grace of God you will put into practice its wonderful teaching." We begin with the question: What is the purpose of Proverbs? Our text for today gives us the clue. Listen to how the Living Bible paraphrases it: "He [Solomon] wrote them to teach his people how to live - how to act in every circumstance" (1:2). This then is what Proverbs is all about - wisdom for living. Multitudes know how to make a living but they do not know how to live. They know everything about life except how to live it. I tell you, the more you understand the book of Proverbs, and the more you put its truths and principles into practice, the more effective will be your living. I guarantee it.
O Father, help me come to grips with the wisdom that enables me not just to live, but to live abundantly. I want to know what I need to do as a person to get on in life. Through the ancient but inspired words of Proverbs teach me how. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What is God's creation built on?
2. What does wisdom preserve?