These are the proverbs of Solomon. He’s known as the wisest person who ever lived. God spoke to him. There is a warning as well. Solomon stopped listening to the wisdom God had given him and lived for himself. It’s all very well to learn what the proverbs say but if we don’t put them into practice they are of no use. We should be constantly learning. Whoever you are, the book of proverbs will teach you and you’ll be equipped to understand what others tell you. Solomon wants us to know that wisdom matters.
Wisdom – how to live well alongside other people in the real world. Intelligence isn’t the same as wisdom. Wisdom isn’t success.
Chapters 1-9 – advice from father to son
Chapters 10-29 – the proverbs
Chapter 30 – an example to follow
Chapter 31 – advice from mother to son
A life of wisdom leads to righteousness, generosity and integrity, which leads to success and peace. A life of foolishness leads to selfishness and pride that leads to ruin and shame.
This is a book of the general principles of life, not a book of promises. Job, Psalms and Ecclesiastes deal with the brokenness. What matters is what kind of person we are becoming, not what we achieve. Every choice we make affects the person we are becoming. There is no one thing that defines who we are. The path of wisdom is best, even if it doesn’t lead to success. How can you be wise in a situation? Every big and small choice is a step towards foolishness or wisdom. Which direction is your choice taking you?
The only sure foundation for a wise life is an awe for Jesus. It’s taking God seriously. Fear of the Lord means realising that there are ways we should act according to him. It means doing that no matter if someone is watching or not. He alone has the right to tell us. Jesus is the one who knows best. He loves us so much that he came to rescue us. There is forgiveness when we live foolishly. We have no right to judge another person. Wisdom enables us to live well in the real world, but it’s only possible with an awe for Jesus.
Our motivation for doing right is a fear of the Lord.