I’d like to start these study sessions off in prayer. You don’t have to use what I pray, but I encourage prayer before study to request God’s guidance in study.

    Heavenly Father, please bless the reading of your word today. Please fill our hearts with your love and Holy Spirit. Please educate us with your word and may it be food to our souls. Teach us and guide us Father that we might be edified for your glory and our salvation. It isn’t what we do of ourselves,but what you’ve already done for us that is worthy of glory and saves us. Guide us as we study your word and keep us, amen.

Proverbs 1

    “[1] The proverbs of Sol’o-mon the son of Da’vid, king of Is’ra-el;”

I’ve heard of an old adage that says, if you want to be rich, read proverbs. The adage refers not to tangible earthly wealth however, it refers to spiritual wealth. The book of proverbs, and this chapter especially, talk a lot about wisdom and understanding and how important they are. Lets take a look at chapter one. If you’d like, go ahead and read over the chapter and then resume reading here and we’ll go through it together.

*NOTE* if you see an “*” called an asterisk, in between two parentheses, it will be a link to an entry for the word before it in Strong’s Lexicon(I think that’s what it’s called), which is a dictionary for the Greek and Hebrew  that the Bible is translated from. This helps us get a better idea of how a word is being used sometimes. If you click on the word itself however, you’ll be taken to a more generalized dictionary. Also, I may type out the whole passage as written in my KJV, but I’m not perfect so I highly recommend reading from  your personal Bible. I will probably always use the KJV and recommend it, but I know everyone has a preference.

    [2] To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; [3] To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; [4] To give subtilty (*) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

It sounds to me like Sol’o-mon is writing a mission statement for the book. The desire is for readers to:

  1. gain wisdom and instruction and to understand them
  2. learn about wisdom, justice, judgement and equity   (*)
  3. think smarter and more carefully about things

    [5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: [6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings (*). [7] The fear (*) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

This is where we get called out. A wise man will hear and learn. I like this next part: a man of understanding will seek out help to understand a proverb and the riddles of the wise. If we are wise/smart, we’ll seek out knowledge and we’ll learn from the wisdom written here and to come in later chapters and sometimes we may need to ask a friend or an elder christian for help in understanding what we’re reading. I like the wording used in the KJV for that part. It uses the term “dark sayings” which sounds “dark” but its actually just referring to something that is unclear or hard to comprehend, like a riddle.

In regards to verse 7, I like to think you can quote it verbatim and leave it at that. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. With that said, let us always remember that God is thoroughly and unquestionably in charge, he is mighty and powerful and just and he is worthy of our praise. Let us also cling to wisdom and be glad for instruction, because as we’ll see later on, those things are for our benefit.

[8] My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; [9] For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. [10] My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. [11] If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: [12] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: [13] We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: [14] Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: [15] My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: [16] For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. [17] Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. [18] And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. [19] So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Pretty straightforward stuff here. Listen to Momma and Daddy: you’ll be glad you did. Their words will be treasures to you later on.

Don’t go getting involved with the wrong crowd. And when I say that, I don’t mean people who look rough or anything like that. When I say the wrong crowd, I’m referring to people as mentioned here. People who want to get you in trouble. Don’t give into people who try to get you to do wrong, especially for personal gain. Verse 18 lays it out what awaits that type of activity. They are laying their own trap and we reap what we sow. You’ve heard that “misery loves company?” Well it does and the larger the group, the more justified it feels, but that doesn’t make it better.

This next passage is kinda neat, the first time I read it, I’m not sure that I caught the whole thing or what was going on. I’ll let you read it first though :3

[20] Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: [21] She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, [22] How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? [23] Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. [24] Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; [25] But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: [26] I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; [27] When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. [28] Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: [29] For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: [30] They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. [31] therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [32] For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. [33] But whoso hearkeneth (*) unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

So the part I find interesting is, the way I read it and as far as I can tell, everything from verse 22 until the end of the chapter is dialogue spoken by the personification of wisdom. I used to be a bit unsure of where the dialogue ended, which may just be a testament to how dense I am, but I have decided now that all 12 verses after the first two here are spoken by “Wisdom” herself… but what is she saying?

She’s actually giving out a pretty sobering message. She’s crying in the street, she’s calling out to any who will listen. Wisdom is offering to teach us and correct us and immediately afterward, Wisdom is also warning us, that if we wait until we wait around and we ignore her, she will laugh at us, mock us even, for our fear. She won’t wait around for us and we will reap what we sow. But if we listen to wisdom and hear its reproof, if we’ll only listen to God’s instruction and choose to love knowledge and choose the fear of the LORD, we’ll be kept safe and protected from evil.

So Chapter one. Wisdom is important, and from the sounds of it, it’s pretty nice to have, but you don’t just get wisdom from sitting on your but playing video games (or else I’d have a wealth of it). Proverbs is filled with wisdom and wise sayings that we should learn and hide in our hearts if we want to be wise. And it will help us! The wisdom isn’t just “wisdom,” it’s actually really useful advice, and I’d expect no less from the Bible, but the point is, there is a lot to learn in this book including spiritual, practical and ethical knowledge. I’m looking forward to covering more chapters, and we may cover more than one in a week or more than one in a study session, we’ll just have to see.

But wait, there’s more :3

Now, this last passage we covered at the end also has some similarity to another voice in my mind. Jesus asks that we choose him and recognize and turn away from our sin. And since none of us can guarantee that we’ll be here tomorrow or that we have another minute, now is the time. Now, personally, I don’t recall any passages where those who don’t choose Jesus will be mocked him, but I’d rather focus on something else.

Jesus came to save us. He invites us to accept mercy and to be filled with love and, in time, wisdom. If you have never made a commitment to Christ and would like to, I’d like to encourage you to do so. I implore you to surrender to Jesus Christ and his Father, God. All of us have sinned and are therefore imperfect. No one can go to heaven without being made clean according to God’s plan. Our own righteousness is as dirty rags in comparison to God’s glory and perfection, But Jesus came and gave his life as a ransom for ours! He gave his life that we might have life through him forevermore. Surrender to Christ and he will never leave you or forsake you. Admit your sins to him and ask him to forgive you. Make him the King of your life, seek and follow him. If you were to ask me what Jesus is to me, I’d tell you that he is my one, my only, and my last hope. Jesus is my only hope in this world, and a world without him, is darkness. If you’d like to know more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what he’s done for you and me, or if you just need to talk (hey, life is tough), I and the others here would love to hear from you and talk to you if we can at all.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this and maybe learned something with me, God bless!

~Thomas Maltuin