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Summary: This is the first is a Bible Study I did on the book of Proverbs. This particular study took about three wdeeks to do, and deals with the question of what is Wisdom according to the Bible.

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THE ENLIGHTENED LIFE – KNOWLEDGE

PROVERBS 1:1-7

KNOWLEDGE IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT IS BASIC TO WISDOM. A PERSON MAY ACCUMULATE A GREAT NUMBER OF FACTS, BUT STILL NOT HAVE KNOWLEDGE AS KNOWLEDGE IS OBTAINED BY EXPERIENCE.

PROVERBS IS UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY, AND IS MATERIAL WE DON’T SPEND A GREAT DEAL OF TIME WITH AND AS A RESULT WE GAIN MANY MISCONCEPTIONS CONCERNING IT’S MATERIAL.

ANOTHER REASON IT IS UNFAMILIAR IS THAT WE HAVE THE WRONG IMPRESSION OF WHAT KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM IS ALL ABOUT. WE LOOK AT KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM AS A COLLECTION OF VARIOUS FACTS AND WISDOM AS HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY APPLY THOSE FACTS. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WHEN DEALING WITH THE ISRAEL OF SOLOMON’S DAY.

PROVERBS IS A BOOK WHICH DEALS WITH THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF WISDOM, WHICH IS DEPICTED AS A DIVINE ENDOWMENT CHARACTERIZED BY INSIGHT, INSTRUCTION, KNOWLEDGE OF DIVINE TRUTH, AND THE RESOLUTION TO APPLY ALL THESE QUALITITES ON THE BASIS OF A SHREWD AND INFORMED MIND.

MANY PROVERBS ARE COMPARISONS. THEY COMPARE A UNIVERSAL TRUTH, IN RYTHMIC PHRASES, TO SOMETHING SIMPLE, SOME FAMILIAR OBJECT, PERSON, OR ACTION. THE COMPARISON MAY BE EITHER TO SOMETHING SIMILAR OR, IT MAY FIND ITS EMPHASIS BY SHOWING CONTRAST. THEY REVEAL TRUTH, NEEDED FOR RIGHT LIVING.

THE BOOK OF PROVERBS REPRESENTS AN ATTEMPT TO DISTIL GREAT TRUTHS INTO A FEW WORDS. THEY DRAW FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF DAILY LIFE IN PALESTINE, HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. SUCH MEMORIZATION WAS, AT THE TIME PROVERBS WAS BEING WRITTEN, PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING, BREVITY WAS HELPFUL. A WELL-TURNED PHRASE BECAME EASIER TO REMEMBER THAN A COMPLEX LAW OR THEOLOGICAL DOCTRINE.

WISDOM IS GOD’S GIFT AND IS FOSTERED BY A CONSTANT SEARCH FOR DIVINE TRUTH.

PROVERBS 2:6: THE LORD GIVES WISDOM. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING COME FROM HIS MOUTH.

WISDOM IS PRESENTED AS A SOPHISTICATED ATTRIBUTE OF LIFE WHICH ENABLES ITS POSSESSOR TO MAKE A CREATIVE AND SUCCESSFUL MARK ON SOCIETY BY GOD’S POWER, AVOIDING MEANTIME THE SNARES AND PITFALLS WHICH BESET THE FOOLISH AND IGNORANT.

GOD DESIRES HIS PRIESTLY KINGDOM AND HOLY PEOPLE TO LIVE IN DISCERNMENT AND PROSPERITY, PURSUEING ETHICAL AND MORAL BEHAVIOR AS A CONSISTENT WITNESS TO THE SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP OF REVERENCE AND OBEDIENCE THAT THEY ENJOY WITH HIM.

THE MORAL TEACHINGS OF PROVERBS ARE MEANT TO RELATE THE BELIEVER’S FAITH SUCCESSFULLY TO LIFE IN SOCIETY. UNDER WISDOM’S GUIDANCE HE WILL FOLLOW AN HONEST, UNSELFISH PATTEN OF LIFE THAT WILL BE HONORED BY GOD AND RECOGNIZED IN HUMAN SOCIETY.

HIS REWARD WILL BE A SENSE OF SECURITY IN THE LORD AND AN INCREASING KNOWLEDGE OF WHO AND WHAT GOD IS AS THE BELIEVER SEARCHES THE DEPTHS OF DIVINE WISDOM AND APPLIES ITS TEACHINGS TO SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONCERNS.

PROVERBS 29:25: IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF PEOPLE, IT WILL TRAP YOU. BUT IF YOU TRUST IN THE LORD, HE WILL KEEP YOU SAFE.

PROVERBS 2:5: THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND HOW TO HAVE RESPECT FOR THE LORD. YOU WILL FIND OUT HOW TO KNOW GOD.


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