It’s been said that two of the most avoided books in the Bible are: Proverbs and Revelation. Yet, they are both rich and full of insight for our life! God desires to impart wisdom to us so we can avoid many of the pitfalls and temptations the devil presents to us in this life. God wants us to recognize evil and reject foolish advice that will eventually destroy us. Living wisely can be achieved by embracing God’s wisdom and walking in His ways…
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
The Reasons for Proverbs
1 The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel, given 2 to grasp wisdom and discipline, to understand deep thoughts, 3 to acquire the discipline of wise behavior—
righteousness and justice and fairness—4 to give insight to gullible people, to give knowledge and foresight to the young—5 a wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction—6 to understand a proverb and a clever saying, the words of wise people and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Listen to Wisdom
8 My son, listen to your father’s discipline, and do not neglect your mother’s teachings, 9 because discipline and teachings are a graceful garland on your head and a golden chain around your neck. 10 My son, if sinners lure you, do not go along. 11 If they say, “Come with us. Let’s set an ambush to kill someone. Let’s hide to ambush innocent people for fun. 12 We’ll swallow them alive like the grave, like those in good health who go into the pit. 13 We’ll find all kinds of valuable possessions. We’ll fill our homes with stolen goods. 14 Join us. We’ll split the loot equally.” 15 My son, do not follow them in their way. Do not even set foot on their path, 16 because they rush to do evil and hurry to shed blood. 17 It does no good to spread a net within the sight of any bird.18 But these people set an ambush for their own murder. They go into hiding only to lose their lives. 19 This is what happens to everyone who is greedy for unjust gain. Greed takes away his life.
20 Wisdom sings her song in the streets. In the public squares she raises her voice. 21 At the corners of noisy streets she calls out. At the entrances to the city she speaks her words, 22 “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible? How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? 23 “Turn to me when I warn you. I will generously pour out my spirit for you. I will make my words known to you.
24 “I called, and you refused to listen. I stretched out my hands to you, and no one paid attention. 25 You ignored all my advice. You did not want me to warn you. 26 I will laugh at your calamity. I will make fun of you when panic strikes you, 27 when panic strikes you like a violent storm, when calamity strikes you like a wind storm, when trouble and anguish come to you.
28 “They will call to me at that time, but I will not answer. They will look for me, but they will not find me, 29 because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. 30 They refused my advice. They despised my every warning. 31 They will eat the fruit of their lifestyle. They will be stuffed with their own schemes. 32 “Gullible people kill themselves because of their turning away. Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference. 33 But whoever listens to me will live without worry and will be free from the dread of disaster.”
Praying Proverbs 1
Lord Jesus, I am reminded through these words how important it is to share precious insight and understanding with those coming behind us: Parent with child, grandparent with grandchildren, teacher and mentor with students, shepherd with flock…Just as You did with the disciples, may I do with those in my life and field of influence.
Because true wisdom comes from Your Word may I always begin there. It is only the fool who despises knowledge and rejects instruction. I do not want either to be wasted on me! I do not want You to laugh at me when I have met with some trouble in my life that could have been avoided had I just listened and followed Your instruction. I do not want to be known as the hard-headed, hard-hearted, disobedient, strong-willed disciple who goes his/her own way, rejecting warning or good advice. Instead I want to hang Your wisdom around my neck like a beautiful piece of jewelry, I want fall in love with Your insight, soak up your advice so my life is shaped by it.
Jesus, although I won’t dwell on past mistakes or sin I ask Your forgiveness for foolish mistakes that have complicated my life or hurt others and could have been avoided had I only embraced Your wisdom. Today I recommit myself to following Your ways, seeking your wise counsel and live a prudent life that opens me up for Your blessing. I don’t want to eat the fruit of sin or foolishness in my life, but instead, enjoy the fruit of obedience and blessing! I pray guide me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to do just that!
I can’t be responsible for others, what they say or how they live, but I can be responsible for myself. Help me recognize and reject those who entice me to live foolishly and make me a good and godly influence on them, instead!
The way I begin each day, with good intention, seeking Your face and looking to You for insight and strength, is the way I want to end each day. I know I can do that alone, by my own wisdom and ways I will go astray, but with Your help and guidance I can run a good race. In your name I pray. Amen