Have decided to study Proverbs during my quiet times (with occasional breaks back to Leviticus). After studying Proverbs 31 for awhile, decided to get to the whole book!
Zeroed in on 1:1-7.
Verse 1 - The opening: these are the proverbs of Solomon*, son of David, the very king of
Verse 2 - To know - wisdom** and instruction. To understand - words of insight.
Verse 3 - To receive - instruction in wise dealing (in righteousness, justice, and equity).
Verse 4 - To give - prudence to the simple. Knowledge and understanding to the youth.
Whoa. These reflect RESPONSIBILITY. Also, a readiness to obtain wisdom. To seek it. To learn from it. And to use it to help others.
Who does this, and how does he/she go about it?
Verse 5 - The wise hear and increase in learning. The one who understands obtainsguidance.
Verse 6 - To understand proverbs and sayings. To understand the words of the wise and their riddles***.
Well, the wise person does the things in verse 2-4. But how? These last two verses made me think about hearing. And the difference between active and passive hearing. If one is actively hearing, then they will increase in learning. Passively hearing/listening? I'm thinking that person will not increase in learning. The person in verse 5 hears in such a way that increases his/her learning, and obtains guidance to understand proverbs, sayings, the word and riddles of the wise.
Verse 7 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."****
Fear/reverence for the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. If you are seeking wisdom, it's where you begin. Conversely, only a fool despises wisdom and instruction. Could it be that the passive hearer is a fool? And could the all out not-ever-going-t0-listen-person be a fool, as well?
I'm looking forward into studying this further. Just jotting down some thoughts before I got to bed. Kinda sleepy thoughts, hope they make sense when I'm more awake! Definitely want to pray that by God's grace He would make me yearn to be more wise than foolish. That my heart will set towards Him and His word. That He would continue to teach me with it as He has so faithfully, lovingly, gently has. That I would rely on Christ's strength (and now my "own") as the Holy Spirit works in me.
*1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore.
**What is wisdom? See 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. Hint: it's not the wisdom that this world celebrates.
***Made me think of when the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables in Matthew 13.
****Definitely made me think of the blessed man and the wicked man in Psalm 1. Not that a fool is always wicked, mind you. Just interested in the seemingly parallel.