Welcome to a new book in Jumpstart. Proverbs is mostly written by Solomon, David and Bathsheba’s son. Although the dates of the book are not certain, we believe it was written between 1004-926 B.C. Solomon wrote over 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), and those contained in this book are a section of these. The New Testament contains 35 direct quotations from it or allusions to it.
The first six verses give us the purposes of the book:
- For gaining wisdom and instruction (v.2)
- For instruction in proper behavior – doing what is right, just and fair (v.3)
- To give discretion to the young (v.4)
- For the wise to add to their learning (v.5)
- To help us understand proverbs and parables (v. 6)
Verses 8-9 remind us to listen to the instructions our parents give us – they are valuable to us and our lives. When we’re enticed by sinful men (v. 10), don’t give in to them.
Verse seven is the key verse for the whole book:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Do you fear the Lord? That doesn’t mean that we’re scared of Him – but that we revere Him. Afraid to live in any way that doesn’t bring Him glory – careful to not dishonor Him in any way.
Proverbs says this is the starting point of knowledge. To recognize God for who He is and ourselves for what we are – to fear (revere) the Lord.
… but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
To despise something means to reject it – to ignore it. Do you ever despise (ignore) God’s wisdom and instruction from His Word? When we do… we’re… how do I say it… FOOLS! James speaks of this in James 1:22-24:
Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.
Now THAT’S foolish! Who would ever hear what God says and walk away and ignore it? US! That’s who – and it’s foolish. Bow your head and confess this to the Lord, and the arrogance that it takes to do it. Now, ask God to help you to be a hearer and a doer of the Word! It will change your life!
- How do you most often “despise wisdom and instruction”? How can you change that?
- Why is “the fear of the Lord” the beginning of wisdom?
- How can you practice “the fear of the Lord” today?
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor