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Summary: Introduction to the book of Proverbs, along with a "dramatic" reading which personifies lady wisdom and madame folly.

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We are looking at the book of Proverbs this fall, and wisdom literature (which includes more than just the proverbs). Last weeks sermon condensed into a proverb (non-biblical) “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” (When talking about my family, they used the word: “nut”) And the greek proverbs, also not in the Bible: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

This week’s favorite Bible proverb: an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

Today we are taking a big picture view of Proverbs, and so we read the first seven verses of the book, which serves as an introduction to the book and to the idea of Proverbs:

Proverbs 1:1-17:

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;

for understanding words of insight;

3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,

doing what is right and just and fair;

4 for giving prudence to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the young--

5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,

and let the discerning get guidance--

6 for understanding proverbs and parables,

the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,

but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Introduction: What are proverbs?

Proverbs defined: Short sayings based on real life experience that holds truth for everyday living.

The truth of the proverb is broader than the experience.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” arises from the experience of gathering eggs in the chicken coop, something most of us don’t do anymore.

But we apply that proverb to investing money, and so it means we should diversify our portfolio. Or it means we should keep our options open for the future.

spotlight (rather specific truth, not a general truth for all situations)

Proverbs are general truths - don’t apply to all situations. (salvation -- put all eggs in one basket . . . in Jesus). It takes wisdom to apply proverbs.

Proverbs are just a part of our speech

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. (so familiar, we just say, “when in Rome”)

Easy come, easy go.

Momilies, sayings, proverbs, passed on from our mothers.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Don’t throw rocks in a glass house.

Not all nuts are chocolate covered.

If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.

Proverbs are powerful in that they are memorable, slogans, that shape thinking and influence everyday life. There has been research published on how the Nazi’s used proverbs to shape the thinking of people in Germany.

“The common good takes precedence over self-interest”

“Three things make the best couple: same blood, same passion, same age.”

“Obedience is the foundation of all order.”

The power of proverbs can be seen when Proverbs are used in advertising: You deserve a break today. A Diamond is forever. Diamonds are a girls best friend. Some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s mastercard.

According to the Bible, what are proverbs good for? According to our text:

2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;

for understanding words of insight;

3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,


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