Summary of Proverbs 1:
Solomon lays out the reasons for the book of Proverbs, including to be wise, to have understanding, to be prudent, and to fear the Lord. Solomon says to listen to your parents, to ignore sinners, and to be wise and listen to him, so you will learn about life.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 25, Day 2: Proverbs 1:
3) Personal Question. My answer: Once you fear the Lord, as in revere Him and fear Him as Lord in your life and creator and controller of all things, you can begin to live. God should be regarded with respect, reverence, and awe. This proper attitude of the creature toward the Creator is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
4) Part personal Question. My answer: Wisdom is remembering to pray, ask God for things, and wait on His response. It’s to ask Him for knowledge of the world. Wisdom brings safety, ease, and without fear of harm.
5) Part personal Question. My answer: Keep God’s commands in your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Fear the Lord. Honor the Lord with your wealth. Don’t resent God’s rebuke. Have good judgement and discernment. Don’t withhold good from those that deserve it. Have no fear of sudden disaster. Don’t envy. Don’t plot against neighbor or accuse him. The wicked is cut off from the land. If I ask God more for understanding, He’ll give it to me.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 25 Day 2: Proverbs 1:
The point of Proverbs is this: Godly, moral, hardworking, and wise people will reap many rewards. Wisdom starts with the fear of God. Starts. Wisdom is a life-long process of getting to know God. Many of us need to get started!
We did read and study Proverbs 1 in Lesson 24, Day 3.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 25, Day 2: Proverbs 1:
Commentary Proverbs 1:
The Book of Proverbs is a collection of practical life wisdom given mostly in short, memorable statements. Though part of a larger body of wisdom literature that includes Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, the Book of Proverbs is unique.
- The book of Proverbs is mostly a collection of individual statements without much context or organization by topic.
- The book of Proverbs is unique in its theology, being concerned with practical life wisdom more than ideas about God and His work of salvation.
- Proverbs is also unique in its connection with the secular literature of its time. Neighboring kingdoms had their own collections of wisdom literature, and in some places, there are significant similarities to these writings.
There are several sections of Proverbs (22:17-23:14, 22:23, 22:26-27 are examples) that seem to be borrowed from The Teaching of Amenemope, an ancient Egyptian writing. There is debate as to whom borrowed whom, but most scholars believe Amenemope is earlier.
Proverbs teach wisdom
Proverbs teach wisdom through short points and principles but should not be regarded as “laws” or even universal promises.
“Proverbs are wonderfully successful at being what they are: proverbs. They are not failed prophecies or systematic theologies. Proverbs by design lays out pointed observations, meant to be memorized and pondered, not always intended to be applied ‘across the board’ to every situation without qualification.” (Phillips)
He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. (1 Kings 4:32-34)
There are a few other authors specifically mentioned for the book of Proverbs. Solomon may have collected all these other proverbs and set them in his book — scholars are unsure.
“The book tells us that it is the work of several authors. Three of these are named (Solomon, Agur and Lemuel), others are mentioned collectively as ‘Wise Men’, and at least one section of the book (the last) is anonymous.” (Kidner)
Purpose of book of Proverbs
- The book of Proverbs is to give the attentive reader wisdom, instruction, perception, and understanding.
Knowledge and wisdom are different. Knowledge is the collection of facts; wisdom is the right use of what we know for daily living.
“It is probably a safe bet to say that most people today are not much interested in wisdom. They are interested in making money and in having a good time. Some are interested in knowing something, in getting an education. Almost everyone wants to be well liked. But wisdom? The pursuit of wisdom is not a popular ideal.” (Boice on Psalm 111
Simple means gullible
Simple: “The word indicates the person whose mind is dangerously open. He is gullible, he is naïve. He may have opinions, but he lacks deeply thought-through and field-tested convictions.” (Phillips)
True knowledge and wisdom flow from the fear of the LORD.
God should be regarded with respect, reverence, and awe. This proper attitude of the creature toward the Creator is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
The instruction and law given from parent to child will adorn the life of their children, if they will only receive it.
Warning to choose friends wisely
Significantly, this first instruction and warning in the book of Proverbs speaks to the company we keep and the friendships we make. There are few more powerful forces and influences upon our life than the friends we choose. It has been said, show me your friends and I can see your future. It speaks to the great need for God’s people to be more careful and wise in their choice of friends.
Stay away from the wicked and all their plotting.
Tragically, Solomon’s company with sinners – in the form of his wives given to idolatry – became a trap he himself was caught in.
“The greatest tragedy is that there’s so much noise that people can’t hear the things they really need to hear. God is trying to get through to them with the voice of wisdom, but all they hear are the confused communications clutter, foolish voices that lead them farther away from the truth.” (Wiersbe)
The problem with these simple ones was that they loved their simplicity. They preferred their foolish ignorance than the effort and correction required by the love and pursuit of wisdom.
The end result of this love of foolishness and scorn will be death (will slay them) and destruction (will destroy them).
“The eleven other occurrences of turning away are all in Hosea or Jeremiah, always with reference to Israel’s apostasy, faithlessness, and backsliding from God and from the Mosaic covenant.” (Waltke)