01 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 1
The 1st // Proverbs 1
Knowledge. It’s everywhere. Never in the history of the world has knowledge been so easily accessible. If we want to know something, there’s an app for that. If we want to know how to create something, there’s a how to video for that. If we want to see a historical event happening hundreds of miles away, there’s a website for that. And all of it is right here on our laps, in our hands, on our wrists or even in our eyeglasses.
I teach high school and I’m always amazed by how easy it is for my students to access information. It baffles me, though, that while they have such incredible resources at their fingertips, their generation seems so… dumbed down? They lack empathy and choose foolish selfies, videos of fights and pornographic images over all the great resources out there. It’s evident to me that knowledge and wisdom are two very different things…
Take my generation, for example… People talk about my generation–the millennials–as the most frustrating generation known to man. We’re entitled, narcissistic, prideful. We graduate college and act like we know it all. We assume that education and knowledge equates with wisdom, but when you read Proverbs, you find that that is not the case at all.
America is slowly destroying itself by its neglect of godly wisdom and Christian character. Proverbs promises both to those who will diligently seek them.”
This quote comes from a Harvard commencement speech during the 1970’s. The two qualities that Solzhenitsyn equates with the success of an empire are Godly Wisdom and Christian Character. I have to say that I agree with him… its evident that we have neglected the importance of both in our society and it won’t be long until we suffer the consequences.
Chapter 1 in the book of Proverbs tell us WHY we need to read this book, heed the advice and seek WISDOM above all else.
It’s separated into three sections:
It tells the purpose of proverbs // Proverbs 1:1-7
It warns the reader against surrounding themselves with sinful people // Proverbs 1:8-19
It personifies wisdom as a woman who will call you out in the open if you’re a fool // Proverbs 1:20-33
Proverbs gives us practical advice for how to live our daily life. It imparts wisdom for Godly living. My favorite verse, and probably the most convicting in this chapter is 1:7:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
The fear of the LORD equals the acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty. To fear the LORD is to honor and respect GOD and to obey his Word. The foundation of wisdom is to follow God’s commands and to have faith in Him.
What contests a “fool” in Proverbs? I think a fool here is a know-it-all. Someone who thinks they have it all figured out. Solomon talks A LOT about the fool throughout the book of Proverbs… what typically happens to the fool is not usually good.
Once Solomon introduces the concept of proverbs, he goes on to warn the readers against the invitation of sinful man. It’s clearly PARAMOUNT to him that the wisest men surround themselves with wise people… let’s put it into our terms:
The wisest women are those who surround themselves with Godly women.
If I were to stand on a chair and you were to stand below me on the floor, which would be easier; for me to pull your dead weight up onto my chair? or for you the pull my dead weight off the chair and onto the floor?
CLEARLY it would be much easier for you to pull me down. No matter how hard you try to pull others up [keep trying!] remember that it’s always easier to be pulled down.
This is my favorite part [it’s also kind of terrifying]… Solomon personifies wisdom and makes it come alive… He chooses a woman for this. He turns wisdom into a woman, and he talks about what that woman will do to the fool who ignores her and turns away from her… Wisdom will laugh when when disaster strikes the fool [1:26]. Solomon tells the story of the fool who always ends up in calamity and distress and when the fool needs wisdom the most, she isn’t there. The fool is forced to eat the fruit of his ways [1:31] because he should’ve chosen wisdom in the first place.
Chapter 1 Application:
I’m excited to read proverbs and to seek after Godly Wisdom and Christian Character. Today I’m going to pray that God opens my heart to all that is wise and good over the next month and that he humbles me so that I can best take heed of the advice given to me in this book.
As we read Proverbs, we need to understand that knowing God is the key to wisdom. Let’s listen to the advice given in the text and apply it to our daily lives. My goal is that we don’t just read these words, we live them.