Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Proverbs 1 - The Fear of the LORD is the Beginning of Knowledge

LINK: Proverbs 1

BACKGROUND 

Book of Proverbs

"[Solomon] spoke three thousand proverbs" (1 Kings 4:32). Most of the book was written by Solomon but some were written by Agur and Lemuel. These are believed to have been written early in Solomon's reign.

Proverbs is a collection of 900 wise sayings that are very practical and applicable to our everyday life. The Hebrew word for Proverb is māšāl  and usually means a "brief, pithy saying" but can also mean a longer discourse.

Proverbs teaches us about living godly living along these major themes:

Wisdom and folly
Pride and humility
Justice and vengeance
Laziness and industry
Poverty and wealth
Friends and neighbors
Love and lust
Anger and anxiety
Masters and servants
Life and death 

Proverbs contains:
  • Literary forms: poems, brief parables, pointed questions, and couplets. 
  • Literary devices: antithesis, comparison, and personification. 
I'll explain more of what these mean as we dig into them. 

Key verse: 


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; 
fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7) 

Proverbs 1

Proverbs 1 makes a clear statement about the purpose of this book: to impart wisdom for living a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right, just, and fair (1:2-6). 

Proverbs are so that the simple (naive or untaught) can learn prudence before they become fools who despise wisdom and discipline. Prudence means "care and caution in looking ahead, cleverness or sensibleness."  The key to learning prudence is to fear the Lord. 

Proverbs 1:8-9:18 are a treatise by Solomon on the virtues of wisdom. Enjoy this first chapter. Proverbs is intensely practical. If you are reading according to the Bible Book Club schedule, I hope you can savor the words as we head into the holiday season and often need much wisdom when dealing with family dynamics!

NO REFLECTION and APPLICATION today. Enjoy soaking.

PRAYER

Lord, help us to fear You and to walk in wisdom all our days. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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