Posts Tagged ‘book of proverbs’

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance

Solomon wrote Proverbs for the young and simple (Pr 1:4). But he also wrote it for the mature and wise, that they might gain greater learning to understand and apply the words of this book (Pr 1:5). Therefore, there is great value to study these proverbs and their interpretations in order to attain to wise counsels. If you will be wise, here is the way!

Proverbs are the dark sayings of the wise, and they need interpretation (Pr 1:6). But the effort is well worth it, for the reward is obtaining greater learning and wise counsel. By understanding Solomon’s proverbs and their interpretations in this book, and learning the words of the wise and their dark sayings, you will attain to wise counsels. Men will come to you for help in intricate matters, for you will have acquired wisdom and understanding.

What is the rule for increasing learning and attaining unto wise counsels? Hearing! Even wise and understanding men must stop thinking and talking in order to listen instead to become wiser. Your age or wisdom does not matter. To learn more and attain to the counsels of the wise, you must hear instruction from others. Humble yourself before this inspired collection of proverbs and get learning and wise counsel. It is your choice.

Wisdom is acquired by the ears, not the mouth. You have two ears, but one mouth. You should be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19). However, foolish man would rather speak, for he wants to show others his wisdom. But a wise man will close his mouth and open his ears, so that he might hear the instruction of his teachers and gain wisdom.

Listening is hard for the young and simple, because they are foolish and impatient. Children are self-deceived to think they know more than parents. Without experience or understanding, they want to teach their elders. But older men also have a problem with listening, for they think too highly of their experience. It takes only a quick look at this book of Proverbs, or a small dose of the problems among men, to reveal their ignorance.

Great men understand the times and know what ought to be done (I Chron 12:32). They discern changing circumstances and the response to them that pleases God and men. How do they come to this illustrious position from the confusion and ignorance they inherited at birth? They listen and learn from their primary teachers – parents and pastors.

The blessed God inspired the Bible, which is full of wisdom for life and eternity. And He also sent parents and pastors to teach the Bible to willing hearers (Deut 6:4-9; Eph 6:4; Mal 2:7; Eph 4:11-14). Your part is left! Will you listen like Israel to Ezra, Cornelius to Peter, and the noble Bereans to Paul (Neh 8:1-12; Acts 10:33; 17:11)? It is your choice.

Proverbs 8:18 – With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 

Wisdom is the surest way to wealth and reputation for nations and persons. Folly, the opposite of wisdom, generally leads to poverty and shame, as many proverbs and human experience prove. Hear Lady Wisdom promote the value of wisdom by its great benefits.

But there is much more, for spiritual wisdom that pleases God also leads to eternal riches in glory with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and the acceptance and honor of God as His dear children and the brethren of Jesus Christ. There are no greater benefits!

At first pass, this proverb seems simple. But its difficulty is in dividing the blessings rightly (II Tim 2:15). Are the riches natural or spiritual? To avoid doctrinal shame, we must divide it with great care and true submission to the Holy Spirit and scripture.

Consider the context from three vantage points. First, the whole book of Proverbs is primarily spiritual wisdom for natural life here. This is apparent throughout. Second, the eighth chapter is a personification of wisdom and its benefits (Pr 8:1-9,32-34). Third, the surrounding context is wisdom’s blessings on nations and governments (Pr 8:10-21).

The preceding verse encourages you to seek wisdom early – in life, in each day, in each situation – and you will be blessed. The following verse indicates that the riches under consideration are of greater value than financial riches. Wisdom will bring success in this life and the world to come, for it is the true fear of God (Pr 8:12-14; Eccl 12:13-14).

Wisdom does bring natural success to the nations and men seeking her. The success she brings is of an enduring sort based on righteousness. When Israel was wise, they were rich, very rich (Deut 28:1-14; I Kgs 10:27). When Israel sinned foolishly, they were reduced to poverty, great poverty (Deut 28:15-68; I Kgs 11:9-13). And this is one of the basic lessons of this book of wisdom (Pr 10:4,22; 11:24; 12:24; 19:15; 20:13; 21:17).

Adam Smith only saw surface aspects of success in “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776. For God had declared 3000 years earlier, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Ps 33:12). And He also wrote, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17). Wise political theory would include thorough understanding of the God of nations!

America was great, and still has greatness, for one simple reason – God’s blessing. A large part of America, now a small minority, feared Him and sought Bible wisdom. “Witty inventions” (Pr 8:12), “strength” (Pr 8:14), “justice” (Pr 8:15), “judges” (Pr 8:16), “judgment” (Pr 8:20), “substance” (Pr 8:21), and “treasures” (Pr 8:21) are all blessings of wisdom on the US. This proverb adds riches, honour, durable riches, and righteousness!

Wicked men may get rich, as Nebuchadnezzar, Croesus, Xerxes, or Alexander the Great, but their riches were not durable or righteous. Those riches were God’s judgment – the prosperity of fools (Pr 1:32; Ps 17:14). Wise men are sometimes made poor, like Job and Jesus, for God providentially does other things in their lives (Job 1:1-12; Phil 2:5-8). Therefore, riches are not an absolute proof of wisdom, nor does wisdom always lead to riches. But the general rule is true – wisdom brings wealth and honor.

This general rule for nations and men is the primary thrust of the book, the chapter, and this proverb. Yet, spiritual riches of a durable nature extend beyond this life. They are superior to wealth, and they ought to be sought diligently (Matt 6:19-21,33; 13:44-46). True wisdom leads God’s children to a wonderful life now and eternal life to come (Ps 73:23-24; Mark 10:29-31). Whether rich or poor financially, glory shall soon be revealed of such splendor that nothing here can be compared to it (Rom 8:18; II Cor 4:17-18).

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.

Wise men and fools differ in two important ways. First, a wise man’s heart is full of understanding, but a fool’s is filled with folly. Second, a wise man has humility to keep his wisdom to himself, but a fool’s arrogance causes him to spew out the foolishness in his heart (Pr 13:16; 15:2,28; 29:11). Wisdom and modesty make a man great, but foolishness and pride make him an offensive loser. Examine yourself. Which are you?

Dissect the proverb carefully. An understanding man, a man with discretion, knowledge, and prudence, keeps wisdom in his heart. He is not agitated or eager to throw his opinion around when opportunities arise. He is content to be a listener. In fact, he would rather not speak unless asked or expected to do so. He is a man of few words, and you often have to work to get him to share his wisdom (Pr 10:19; 15:28; 17:27; 20:5; Eccl 9:17).

However, a fool must tell everyone what he is thinking. His greatest joy is talking, for he believes and presumes he has great insights to offer (Pr 18:2). Once he starts talking, he is difficult to stop. He keeps babbling, whether he knows the subject or not (Eccl 10:12-14). Though a fool is ignorant and stupid, his pride and lack of discretion cause him to pour out the folly inside. He could improve his reputation just by closing his mouth (Pr 17:28)!

Of course, a wise and understanding man will speak, and he will speak a lot in the right setting for the right purpose. He fulfills his purpose from God by being a tree of life to many (Pr 10:21; 11:30; 15:4,7). Though humble about his own natural abilities, like the prophet Agur (Pr 30:1-3), he is committed to acquiring knowledge and wisdom so he can give the certain words of truth to those who ask him (Pr 22:17-21; I Pet 3:15).

Reader, ask yourself two questions. Do you have wisdom and understanding in your heart? Do you keep them there until serious and sober men ask your opinion for noble reasons? Your answers to these questions will indicate whether you are a good person or a despised fool. In fact, better than your answers, what would others say about you? Do others perceive you to be wise and discreet? Or foolish and talkative? Be very honest.

What can you do about your heart? This book of Proverbs offers wisdom throughout (Pr 1:1-6; 8:1-5; 9:4-6). It tells the starting point – the fear of God (Pr 1:7; 9:10). It compares wise men and fools over and over, for you to choose the former and despise the latter. Wisdom is not far away! Change your life – fill your heart with wisdom from heaven! It is the chief goal of a successful life (Pr 4:7). And it brings great rewards (Pr 4:8).

What can you do about your mouth? This book of Proverbs says much about your speech, because it is the main indicator of your heart, and it affects others the most (Pr 4:24; 10:32; 13:3; 14:7; 17:7; 18:7; 20:15; 22:11; 24:26). Solomon assumed you can learn discreet, wise, and gracious speech (Pr 15:28; 16:23; 22:17-18). Since Jesus Christ said you will be judged by your words in the Day of Judgment, it is time you applied yourself diligently to perfect your heart and your speech (Matt 12:34-37; Ps 19:14; 139:23-24).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:22
How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

In the book of Proverbs, a “simple one” or a fool is not someone with a mental deficiency but someone with a character deficiency (such as rebellion, laziness, or anger). The fool is not stupid, but he or she is unable to tell right from wrong or good from bad.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:22   “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

In the book of Proverbs, a “simple one” or a fool is not anyone with a mental deficiency but someone with a character deficiency (such as rebellion, laziness, or anger). The fool is not stupid, but he or she is unable to tell right from wrong or good from bad.