Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Purpose of Proverbs

The wisdom of Solomon is manifested to us at its best in the book of Proverbs. These terse and touching maxims from the Holy Spirit are comfort to the soul and correction for the body and mind. Solomon wrote these proverbs for several reasons.

(1) To know wisdom, which all of us need. James tells us that, if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God. We all do lack it to a perfect degree, and the wisdom of God's word is paramount in our lives as a result.

(2) To know instruction, which without we would be blundering anarchists of the worst sort. God has given his word for "correction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

(3) To perceive the words of understanding, of which the Bible teaches us that we have none (Rom. 3:11).

(4) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. We are all ready to hear instruction, but we are not so ready to receive it in our hearts and minds to obey it. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22; cf Prov 21:3).

(5) To give subtilty to the simple. The Hebrew word for "subtilty" means "shrewd, crafty, or prudent." That is, the proverbs give to the simple the wisdom that the learned world tries to grasp but falls so much short of.

(6) To give to the young man knowledge and discretion. The Hebrew word for "discretion" can also be translated "purpose." A man (person) needs a purpose in life, and the word of God will give that to him.

We should give ourselves to reasoning which is developed from God's word. These proverbs will give us opportunity for much deep thought and contemplation. We should read a little every day and be wise servants of Jesus Christ.

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