I know that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. I really believe that. But I don’t think it’s wrong to have a favorite book of the Bible. I’ve really looked forward to this point in the TAWG Blog, because Proverbs is, without a doubt, my favorite book of the O.T. God has a lot to teach us from this little portion of his word. For the next couple of months, we’re going to examine it and the other wisdom books.
The book is divided by 31 chapters, but studying it is a little more difficult than for others. The reason for this is because it’s organized very differently. You can easily outline the book of Romans or Genesis. Proverbs, however, has at least a dozen distinct topics, and much of the time there’s no rhyme or reason to them. You might find a proverb about marriage right next to a proverb about lying right next to a proverb about money right next to a proverb about death. That’s why we’re going to tackle it topically.
The first few verses tell us why we're here, and why this is so important. The book is associated heavily with wisdom, and it’s crucial that we understand what that is. It’s not “book smarts” or intelligence. PhD’s might get an “F” in this course.
Let’s a take a quick summary of what else wisdom entails. It involves “insight” into life, meaning you’ll understand life better. You won’t be fooled as much by appearances and what’s on the surface. It involves self-discipline, gaining control of yourself and not giving in to destructive impulses. There’s definitely a moral dimension to it: “What is right and just and fair.” It also includes “prudence,” which is defined by Webster’s as “sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs” and “skill and good judgment in the use of resources.” There’s also a willingness and ability to grow, to be able and willing to listen to God as he speaks to us through various means (vs. 5).
And finally in this passage there’s the most important ingredient. Wisdom is found not in learning a series of facts so much as it is in relating to a person. Christ is the Incarnation of God’s wisdom, his wisdom made flesh. As we get to know him better and become more like him, we’ll grow in wisdom.
Is this what you want for yourself? For your children? Do you want a successful marriage? A more fulfilling work experience? To know how to manage your money better? How to keep your foot out of your mouth? Then let’s dive in. But before we do, let's take a moment to bask in a great introductory song to this: "The Way Of Wisdom" by Michael Card. I sure wish I could even approach how well he says this.
Lord Jesus, please fill me with you. I need your wisdom, your guidance so badly. Please make me more like you.