In the first chapter of Proverbs we read “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Pr 1:7) God’s Word encourages us to attain wisdom and discipline; and as we seek Wisdom, we are actually seeking the One of all wisdom and that is Jesus Christ.
When the twenty year old heir to the throne, Solomon asked for discernment, God instilled all Wisdom in his heart. This young king astounded the older rulers as he swiftly and wisely handled complicated matters.
Having acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, in other words a cautious, careful, judicious, vigilant way of life; our speech and actions would be reflecting Jesus, with His Wisdom as our trustworthy Counselor.
God challenges us to listen and respect our parents as we listen to their instructions. Our heavenly Father also warns us that mockers delight in foolishness and as they ignore God’s wisdom, He turns their laughter into disaster.
In chapter 2 we are asked to store up God’s Word within us and turn our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. God is asking us to apply the Word of God to our walk that we may obtain understanding from the indwelt Wisdom. God tells us that He holds victory in store for the upright, as He is the shield to those whose walk is blameless.
“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men.” (Pr 2:12) Our Father asks us to not forget His teaching and that His Words will prolong our life by many years.
With kindness He instructs; “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Pr 3) Because the Lord disciplines those He loves, we are reminded to not despise the Lord’s discipline nor are we to resent His rebuke.
Like Job, the world is full of tests and our Father assures us that life will offer us many chances for us to trust Him at His word.
We are warned not to set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. God tells us that there are six things that the Lord hates, and seven that are detestable to Him. 1) Haughty eyes 2) a lying tongue 3) hands that shed blood 4) a heart that devises wicked schemes 5) feet that are quick to rush into evil 6) a false witness who pours out lies 7) and a person who stirs up dissension. (Pr 6:16)
Proverbs could not speak more plainly as to what God hates: “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Pr 8:13)
God’s book of Wisdom also says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” In Chapter 8 we are told about Wisdom’s call to us. God calls out with a loud voice to all mankind. To the simple, He encourages ‘gain prudence’ in other words discretion. To the foolish or unwise He tells them to gain understanding. God tells us all to listen, for He has worthy things to say; as God’s lips moved, the book of Proverbs recorded what God’s Way is. “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.” (Pr 8:8)
Chapter eleven encourages us that God delights in those who walk with integrity. Destruction comes to those who say one thing and do another. In His word they live in duplicity. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Pr 11:2) The theme of the book of Proverbs is repetition. When God wants to teach us something we will find that He repeats the lesson, using the same thought in different words, over and over again. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and He who wins souls is wise.” (Pr 11:10) Our Lord warning against pride is repeated for His purpose.
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Pr 13:10) When we wisely submit to the Lord and His teaching, we are taking His advice and life goes well. We are reminded to let our words be few “He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Pr 13:3)
The Book of Proverbs takes us into a life that is so daily; that we can all easily relate to what the Spirit of God is showing us. Our Lord knows that we will encounter strife, stresses and the temptation to speak our minds. His word to the wise is ‘hold thy tongue’.
The brother of Jesus penned some of his lessons in the book of James. “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3) Proverbs is God’s counsel for all, young and old, and for kings and rulers. To be effective on earth we are to exercise self-control “a guarded mouth makes for a serene soul.” (Pr 21:23)
In our obedience to God we honor His name as we create a reputation of humility and wisdom. We are to obtain counsel “the sober judgment of a sane thinking group is more reliable than your own opinion.” (Pr 24:6) We are reminded to not gossip “fire goes out when fuel gives out; scandal stops when mouths are stopped.” (Pr 26:20) God also reminds us that we are to respect those He places in power to govern us. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.” (Romans 13)
LESSON: Get Wisdom
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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“It is finished.”