Wisdom and Instruction…

Read: Proverbs 1-3
Marked: Proverbs 1:1-7, The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion–A wise [man] will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge, [But] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I once heard Billy Graham say that he made it a matter of practice to read a chapter of Proverbs every day. As there are thirty-one chapters you can read a chapter a day for a month. Good advice.

Proverbs was written:
To know wisdom and instruction (V2)
To perceive words of understanding
To receive instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity (V3)
For knowledge and discretion (V4)
To increase learning and attain wise counsel (V5)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Don’t be like the fool that despises wisdom and instruction (V7).


Pure but Unclean…

Read: Proverbs 30-31
Marked: Proverbs 30:12, [There is] a generation [that is] pure in its own eyes, [Yet] is not washed from its filthiness.

We are certainly living in a generation that is pure in its own eyes. Cancel culture is in full swing. Sadly, why is it we can see, so clearly, sin in others, but not in ourselves?

Tearing down statues, renaming streets or buildings, and protests might make some feel better, but if we believe we are pure we might want to first consider our own thoughts, words, and actions.

God calls us each to account and apart from God’s divine cleansing of our sin we are left wanting. Pointing out the sins of another doesn’t absolve us of our own depravity. Self-righteousness was condemned by Jesus.

Do we have eyes to see with and ears to hear with? Unless we look at ourselves first before we condemn another we are being hypocrites revealing our own pride.

We will find no justification from God because God resists the proud and only gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

Don’t be a Fool…

Read: Proverbs 27-29
Marked: Proverbs 28:26, He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

The world says, “Trust your heart. Listen to your gut. Be your authentic self.” But God says your heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). Why would I trust something like that?

How many times have I been lead astray because I trusted in my heart? To get guidance from something as fickle and easily turned as my heart is foolish, and if I do, I deserve the name, fool. My heart will eventually let me down.

But the wisdom I receive from God‘s word, which is beyond emotional influence, will deliver me. Whoever walks by it is wise.

Don’t Be Hasty…

Read: Proverbs 25-26
Marked: Proverbs 25:8, Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, When your neighbor has put you to shame?

While the verse speaks of the court of law, and while it’s sometimes necessary, we should never be hasty about it. Unfortunately, our society is quick to be litigious.

However, there is another court that many tend to go to and that is the court of public opinion. No matter the issue or cause you will always find those who will agree with you in this court, even if you are in the wrong.

Best not be hasty to give yourself over to this court either. Voltaire said, “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”

And the apostle Paul warned, “Do not be wise in your own opinion.” (Romans 12:16). Good advice.

Finding Joy…

Read: Proverbs 22-24
Marked: Proverbs 24:3-4, Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.

Verse 21 recommends not associating with those who are given to change. We all know someone who is constantly changing their mind; saying one thing and then doing something else. There is no stability.

But wisdom and understanding bring stability. The house of knowledge is established through patience. Being stable in thought, word, and deed brings success and with success comes a joy in life that is worth far more than gold.

Anyone desiring wisdom, understanding, and knowledge would do well to consider the Word of the Lord.

What is Acceptable to God?…

Read: Proverbs 19-21
Marked: Proverbs 21:3, To do righteousness and justice [Is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

My relationship with God is important to Him. My time in His Word and in prayer build on having Christ at the centre of my life. It’s what I call the vertical relationship.

But my horizontal relationships with other, believers and non-believers, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ is as important to God as my vertical relationship with Him is.

The vertical drives the horizontal. The vertical teaches me to act rightly and walk justly towards others. Religious duty to God is never done at the expense of obedience to His Word. I am to love God and love others (Luke 10:27). I can’t say I love God and hate my neighbour. Heinous acts done in the name of God show that the perpetrator never knew God (1 John 4:20).

Observation and Application…

Read: Proverbs 16-18
Marked: Proverbs 16:23, The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.

Proverbs is what is known as wisdom literature. In it we learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Through the Word of God our thinking is transformed and our heart is changed.

Of course, we can read and read the Bible and not be impacted by it. It must not simple be read, but it must be applied. As the Word changes our thinking and our hearts, let it teach our mouths as well.

Our mouth can be like an open tomb; with our tongues we practice deceit; and the poison of asps can be under our lips (Romans 3:13). Which of us has not gotten into trouble because of something we’ve said?

So, a wise man learns through the application of God’s Word to control his tongue.

The Purpose of the Law…

Read: Proverbs 13-15
Marked: Proverbs 13:14, The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, To turn [one] away from the snares of death.

Because of the sin committed by Adam and Eve, the whole human race is affected. The Bible teaches us in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Death came because of sin.

Without the law we wouldn’t know what sin is. Paul says in Romans 7:7b, “I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness (for example) unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’”

For the law breaker, a just punishment awaits. For the law keeper, a life free from the penalty of the law. But no one can keep the law perfectly. Breaking one breaks them all (James 2:10).

God gave His law that we might understand transgression. Galatians 3:3 reveals the purpose of the law; it was added because of transgressions. And verse 24 says the law was our tutor (teacher) to bring us to Christ.

In Christ is life and freedom from the penalty of sin, through grace by faith. Not through our own works lest we should boast in our own goodness (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Therefore, the wise will pay attention to the law of God and turn from sin and the snares of death and, in Christ, discover the fountain of life because the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

What is Your Treasure?…

Read: Proverbs 10-12
Marked: Proverbs 10:2, Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, But righteousness delivers from death.

Contrary to what some may believe, death is not the end. There is life after death. But Jesus said what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:21). In Matthew 6:19-20 we are warned not to lay up treasures on earth but to lay up treasure in heaven.

Treasures of wickedness only earn us judgment and result in what the Bible calls the second death; eternity in hell. But treasures of righteousness deliver us from this second death.

Jesus said where our treasures are so is our heart (Matthew 6:21). Where is your heart on the matter? What treasure are you storing up?

Building a House of Wisdom…

Read: Proverbs 7-9
Marked: Proverbs 9:1, Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars;

Verse 10 says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Wisdom begins and ends with God. Like a completed house the Bible is all that is needed to gain wisdom and understanding. A house of seven pillars is a strong house. Seven is also the number of perfection. It is also the number of rest.

Such a house has many rooms because it is supported by a strong foundation. Those who enter the house of wisdom will find it prepared to feed them (V2). It is a house that all May enter should they choose to (V4).

Looking elsewhere for wisdom is foolish because there is no other way of understanding (V6). In the house of wisdom your days will be multiplied and years of life will be added to you (V11).