These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
Know God’s Wisdom
I was so touched by Prov 1-5 that God’s wisdom is knowable. It’s not too far off. In fact, it, “cries aloud in the street” (even in noisy places) – see Prov. 1:20-21. Just waiting for someone to seek her out and cherish her.
When I left for college the only piece of advice my dad gave me was to “pray for wisdom each day.” It seemed a little weird to me at the time, but of course now I know it was from Proverbs. May we pray and seek wisdom daily- the Lord knows we need it!
The Wise Love Rebuke
“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.”
Notice that wise people still need rebuke! The difference is they welcome and love being rebuked (because they care more about following God’s way than their pride). Whereas fools hate rebuke and those who give it. Like the pig who crushes pearls and attacks the one who gives it. Matt. 7:6
I think one of the biggest “tells” of whether someone is truly wise is how they respond when they are corrected. That and what their children (including spiritual children) are like.
This is actually what has struck me the most this time around reading Proverbs. I used to pretty faithfully read a proverb a day (I love the wisdom literature), but I am not sure it really ever caught my attention just how much the wise man is to love rebuke/correction and to respond well when it occurs.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” 12:1
One thing that spoke to me throughout Proverbs is how consistently God says to work hard and don’t love sleep so much, and that is what brings you gain. We look for the get-rich-quick-fix a lot, but that is really unbiblical (and actually is warned against – see Scriptures on inheritances quickly gained). God wants us to faithfully work hard and gain little-by-little.
I know this isn’t part of the journey through proverbs, but today in Act 19:8-10, the Lord revealed something to me. Paul is teaching about Jesus in the OT the Jews Hardened their hearts and they “Became Obstinate.” This didn’t happen instantly, but a gradual process. These were God fearing Jews, ones who showed up to synagogue week after week and over time they came obstinate/hardened. My heart is asking where I am saying, “No” to God, or have I been hardened to God?
I actually do think it relates to Proverbs 26:30-34~
I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
In other words, it’s generally a “slow fade”. Just “a little sleep, a little slumber”. But all of that adds up.
At the same time, how do we return when we realized we’ve slowly faded? God showed me once that the opposite is also true: a little faithfulness, a little diligence, bit-by-bit, and we will be restore
I agree with a lot of what is said above about the book of Proverbs. Every time I read Proverbs I can’t help but think of my workplace, and I can see that God’s simple wisdom in Proverbs is something that is still so relevant today.
There are so many times at work that I am confronted with the option of making small, morally questionable decisions that by themselves would not be a hugely impactful, but over time would lead down a path of destruction.
Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
I love that proverbs shows us that God rewards honest work as well.
Proverbs 11:1 “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.”
God sees everything, and he knows the intent I have behind the decisions I make. I’ve found that holding on to integrity is always harder than following the crowd, but it is also more rewarding and pleasing to God.
Proverbs is a great reminder of staying on track with our routine holy habits. Nothing fancy here, just hard honest work and holy fear of the LORD.
Lastly, I love Proverbs 31 and it makes me grateful for my wife. God has blessed us with good women in our lives!
Power in Your Words
So much practical wisdom but this time around the many verses on finances and also being thoughtful with our words really captured me.
Prov. 18:21- “death and life are in the power of the toungue.”
And even a foolish man is considered wise if he stays silent…
29:20 “do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”
In regards to the finances, I was really encouraged toward daily faithfulness. 23:4 “do not toil to acquire wealth, be discerning enough to desist.” Of course, this is all a heart issue and I just want to make sure I’m not chasing $ or wealth or what the world worships and Proverbs sure does help to stay on track.
Bold as a Lion
Lastly, from 28:1 “the righteous are as bold as a lion!”
That never hit me before but I’m going to try to hold onto that verse!
And what does a lion look like? “a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing” (Prov. 30:30)
Now consider this? Where does your righteousness come from? 100% from Jesus
So where does your boldness come from? 100% from Jesus
The more we realize we’ve been made righteous and don’t deserve it, the more I believe boldness grows supernaturally–all a work of the Spirit.