The word Proverbs comes from the Latin word Proverbiums, meaning “common sayings”. The book of Proverbs is full of practical takeaways for life and therefore a wonderful book of the Old Testament to dig into. Lots of gold to be discovered!
Many of the Proverbs were written by Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba. Solomon was king of Israel after David. When God granted Solomon a request, it pleased him that Solomon asked for wisdom to rule over his kingdom. And God gave it to him abundantly. Since God gave abundant wisdom to King Solomon and King Solomon authored many of the proverbs, it would make sense for us to glean all kinds of teaching from this book.
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When I grew up my favorite Bible story was that of King Solomon settling the case of two mothers, each claiming a living baby and trying to stick the other woman with a dead infant. Solomon revealed the true biological mother of the babe by offering to cut the child in half so each woman could have half of him. The mother would rather see her baby given away than harmed and Solomon reunited the babe to his mama. His wisdom made even a ten year old girl admire him as a leader. The story (if you’re interested) is found in 1 Kings 3.
Let’s go ahead and start learning about wisdom from this wise king…
The Beginning of Knowledge
1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth – 5Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Now we get into categorizing the verses. Check out my post on studying the Bible on your own for what the different colors stand for and where I get that info. Verses can almost always fit into more than one category so if you start highlighting according to the Good Morning Girls categories know that your highlights aren’t going to be identical to mine. The purpose is to get you to analyze the scripture and what topic its covering.
- Verse 1= people
- Verse 2= wisdom
- Verse 3= instruction; growth
- Verse 4= instruction
- Verse 5= wisdom; growth; teaching/instruction
- Verse 6= teaching
- Verse 7= God; teaching; sin; wisdom/instruction
Observations & Applications
Verses two through six are one reeeally long sentence. Maybe it’s just the way my brain works, but it’s easier for me if I turn it around. Noun verb then result of the action. Know what I mean?
Who of course is us, you, me, the wise. The action item is to increase in learning and obtain guidance. The result? To know, to understand, have insight. To grow, to teach and pass along said learned information. The result is we get it!! All the riddles (thought provoking questions) and the hard stuff. We’re like Gandalf. 😉
I desperately, desperately long to know more about my God. Think of when you’re dating a guy. He’s interesting. Getting to know him is intriguing and you can’t wait to find out more.
Promise from God
The S.O.A.K. method I use comes from Good Morning Girls (that explained here) but recently I went back through Tim LaHaye’s book How to Study the Bible for Yourself. I decided to add three components of his book to my studies. We’re going to look for a promise from God, a command to keep, and a timeless principle.
What promise from God do we find in this text? It’s comforting to know that overall the proverbs give me guidance. God promises to lead us. I don’t have to run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to do it all on my own.
Specifically in Proverbs 1 we find the promise to understand and get knowledge. Uhh, yes please!
Now would be a great time to grab your FREE Bible study checklist so you can get more out of your study time!
Command to keep
The command I see in this text is fear the Lord. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The original Greek for “fear” translates to terror. We serve a mighty, holy God. Once you fear Him all other influences lose their scariness.
Jesus is the reason we need not stay fearful. 1 John 4 explains that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. God is love. This mighty, powerful, holy, terrifying God loves us so much that rather than punish us he sent His one and only son to save us from our sins. I can’t fully wrap my head around this!
Here are the two timeless principles in this section. Number one? Never stop learning! Listen and learn. This is the opposite of pride that says “I know enough” or “I know it all”. My NLT foot notes say, “One of the most annoying types of people is a know-it-all, a person who has a dogmatic opinion about everything, is closed to anything new, resents discipline, and refuses to learn… Instead, be open to the advice of others, especially those who know you well and can give valuable insight and counsel. Learn how to learn from others.” So well said.
Number two? Obtain guidance. How does this apply to life? Get advise from friends and people who’ve been in your life season before and are on the other side of whatever you’re in the middle of. Pray and look for a spiritual mentor.
Simple, don’t be a know-it-all! HA!
I want to be open to learning from others, take constructive criticism, and be continually molded and sanctified by God. The godly wisdom to be gained makes all of it worth it! Don’t you think?! 😉
Thanks for studying with me!
Part of continually growing for me involves knowing God’s word. Remember to grab your FREE Bible study checklist. It walks you through the steps to quickly, thoroughly study your Bible. Focus better, grow more, and apply your study to daily life using the prompts. Get more out of your Bible study time! Grab it below!
- Pursuing Wisdom; A Bible Study of Proverbs 1
- Proverbs 1 Bible study; A Quick Look at Verses 8-19
- Gaining Knowledge; Looking at the Timeline of the Bible to Learn the Order of the Books of the Bible
- The Battle Plan For Spiritual Warfare Against Doubt and Fear
- Advice on How to Identify False Teachings