8th February 2012

Why Study Proverbs?

“To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice, judgment and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion.”
Proverbs 1:2-4 (NKJV)

The proverb goes on to say, “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.”

There is something of great value in the study of Proverbs for everyone no matter what age or stage of education. There is something for the simple (not too well educated), for the young, for the wise (usually associated with old age) and for the well-educated.

I am sure all of us would like to get the best out of life, to ‘live life to the full’.  Do you know that God also wants that for you?  Notice Jesus words, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)  The NKJV says “that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  One of the reasons Jesus came to this earth is so we can have life and have it more abundantly.

He is of course talking primarily of eternal life that is available to all who will believe in him but he is also concerned for our physical life.  He seeks to be a blessing to those who believe.  The apostle John reflects this same desire when he greets Gaius, the recipient of his third epistle, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2)

But prosperity, health and well-being are not without a cause—they are usually the result of right-living.  But how do we know how to live?  As Christians, we have two invaluable sources:  the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.  Even those who do not yet have a relationship with God through Jesus, have the Word of God, the Bible.

God has not left us without help, even if we do not yet know him.  His care for us is not dependent on our worship, or even knowledge of him.  His word contains the words of life.  When it comes to knowing how to live there are sections of the Bible that are specifically directed to help.  They are known as the wisdom writings and are made up largely of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.  In these books we will find the wisdom needed to help us make a success of this precious life that God has given us.

Let’s take this encouragement, open those books, begin to drink in of this wisdom, and see our lives transformed.

Father in heaven, thank you for your love and concern for us as we live out this precious gift of life.  Thank you for the words of wisdom contained in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, in your Holy Word.  Please help us to understand these words as we study them so we might apply them in our lives and enjoy the fullness of life that they provide.

Study by David Stirk

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