- The Introduction to the Book of Wisdom
- The Premise of the Book of Wisdom
- The Second Part of the Premise of the Book of Wisdom
- The First Responsibility: “Hear… and Forsake Not”
- The Second Responsibility: “Consent Thou Not”
- The Sinners and the Temptation
- The Third Responsibility: “Walk Not”
- The First Warning
- The Second Warning
- The What of the Second Warning
- The Third Warning: The Judgment
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)
A proverb is defined as “a pithy popular saying”; the word “pithy” means concise, compact, brief. A proverb is an adage, an old familiar saying, a maxim, an expression, a cliché, a commonly repeated statement.
The Hebrew word translated in the Book of Proverbs as the word “proverb” is “mâshâl” (H4912). It is defined as “a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse).” It is most often translated as either “parable” or “proverb.” (In Proverbs 26, verses 7 and 9, it is translated as “parable.”)
Most of the Book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon of Israel (verse 1:1). It appears that Solomon’s primary focus was to teach his son. This wisdom was taught him by his father, King David of Israel. Also, Solomon had asked God for wisdom; and God gave him wisdom (I Kings 4:29-30; 5:12). This wisdom excelled all wisdom (I Kings 4:30). Only the Lord can give True Wisdom (1 Chronicles 22:12; Proverbs 2:6).
Job states “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom” (Job 28:28). (Also see Proverbs 9:10.)
David prayed, “thou shalt make me to know wisdom” (Psalms 51:6).
Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Also see Proverbs 9:10.) And read Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom.”
Solomon said, “Wisdom is the principal thing” (Proverbs 4:7).
Proverbs 8:12 says, “I wisdom…” pointing to God (Christ) as The Wisdom. (See Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; 12:8; Colossians 2:3; 3:16; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15; Hebrews 11:3; Luke 2:40, 52.)
The “man of understanding hath wisdom” (Proverbs 10:23; also see Proverbs 14:33).
“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!” (Proverbs 16:16). And “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul” (Proverbs 19:8).
“Wisdom is a defence” and “giveth life to them that have it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). “Wisdom is better than strength” (Ecclesiastes 9:16) and is “better than weapons of war” (Ecclesiastes 9:18).
Paul prayed that God would give the Ephesians “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).
James instructed God’s people to pray, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). And James also wrote:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:17-18)
“Wisdom is the principal thing”; or Christ is the Principal Person. If a Child of God wants success in this life; that is, if he wants Peace to reign in his heart and mind – then he must know wisdom. To know wisdom, you must receive the words of understanding. See Proverbs 1:1-9:
“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, and judgment, and equity;”
“To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.”
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”
“To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
“For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”
Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Read Proverbs 2:1-9:
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;”
“So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;”
“Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;”
“If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;”
“Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
“He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.”
“He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.”
“Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.”
Wisdom “entereth into thine heart” by the Power of God in Regeneration (Proverbs 2:10); and when it does (or when He does, Christ), then He, or Understanding, “shall keep thee” (Proverbs 2:11b).
God had Solomon and others to write the proverbs found in the Book of Proverbs for our learning and understanding of how to be an overcomer over sin and our flesh daily. Solomon writes in very plain and simple language – it is not a mystery – success is found in Obedience to God’s Word daily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
#1. The first step, of course, is Regeneration; which is a Sovereign Work of God (John 6:29; 3:3-8; 6:63). In Regeneration, you have the mind of Christ given unto you (1 Corinthians 2:9-16); and you also have the ability to obey God (Romans 6, 7, 8), by the Spirit of God living in you (Romans 8:4-13; Philippians 4:13).
#2. The second step is to Study the Word of God:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
#3. Third comes Submission to Christ as your Head, Lord, and Master. You submit to Him as His servant to carry out His Commands, because you love Him.
#4. Then comes Obedience to His Word – by action, or by works.
#5. Finally you must Endure; that is, be stedfast unto the end:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
In summary, as a Regenerated Child of God, you are a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as a Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), you are to glorify God in your body and in your spirit:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
As a Child of God, now having been Regenerated, you not only have the ability to perceive God’s Word, or spiritual things – but you must grow in grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18). This is accomplished by:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” (2 Peter 1:2)
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” (2 Peter 1:3)
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Once Regenerated, indwelt by God (Romans 8:14-16), you don’t get any more of God – but as you study His Word, you gain knowledge of God (Who is living in you) and of His Commands on you as His Child.
The Book of Proverbs is the first foundational book that every Child of God must read, study, and apply to their daily life, for them to be successful in this earthly journey.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
The principles found in the Book of Proverbs are so all-important for growth and understanding, and for the bearing of fruit in the Child of God’s life.
However, after reading and studying, you must obey and endure in these basic principles.
As stated previously, the Christian walk is not a mystery; it is not difficult to understand. But, it can only be accomplished by following Christ, Who is Wisdom. We must walk “even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). We must walk in Him, Who is The Faith (John 15:1-10; Galatians 2:20).
The up-coming posts on the Book of Proverbs will be devotional in style. These are not an exhaustive word study of the Hebrew words used by Solomon, but of “handfuls of purpose” to help the Christian Pilgrim to grow and mature as a Child of God on his daily earthly journey. Also, for him to be full of joy unspeakable, as God honor’s His Word in the obedient Child of God’s daily life.
Not only are the Regenerated Children of God His servants, but they are His friends. And to His friends, He reveals His Word and His Will:
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)