Summary: Solomon tells us who the book of Proverbs was written for and why.
The fool says in his heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1), lives as if there’s no God and ends up eternally separated from God. The wise acknowledges there’s a God, lives to please God and ends up eternally enjoying communion with God. Those who are wise acknowledge that God is there and He is not silent. How has He spoken?
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. ” - Hebrews 1:1-2 (CSB)
A. God made Himself known through His creative work.
God is the creator of the universe; and wise is the person who accepts the evidence that leads to this conclusion.
“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.” - Sir Isaac Newton
“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” - Milton Berle
The only reasonable explanation for the universe is God.
B. God made himself known through His written Word: the Bible.
Before the coming of the Messiah, we’re told God spoke through His Word in three ways (Jeremiah 18:18): 1)
Priests taught the law of God; 2) Prophets spoke the declarations of God; and 3) Sages shared the wisdom of God. Because even if we seek the holiness of the Law or are inspired by the visions of the prophets, we can still make a mess of our everyday lives, our families, our work places, our communities and our world. So God’s inspired Word includes wisdom literature, like the book of Proverbs.
C. God made Himself known through the living Word: Jesus.
Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation of Himself to mankind.
“And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).” - John 1:14 (Amplified)
The Old Testament says the Messiah would be anointed with wisdom (Isaiah 11:2-3); and the New Testament says Jesus is wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30). Do you remember how Jesus finished His Sermon on the Mount? He said how a person responded to Him is actually choosing between being wise or being a fool.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.” - Matthew 7:24; 26 (NLT)
Jesus is the best counselor for all people in all seasons of life. Through accepting His provision for our forgiveness through His sacrifice on the cross, we can have a personal relationship with Him, and receive the gift of eternal life. And now, through our relationship with Him, we can receive guidance to live wisely. As we look at the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, in books like Proverbs, we can consider and learn from the wisdom revealed by the preincarnate Christ.
Proverbs is good news for bad people. It’s about grace for sinners, hope for failures, and wisdom for idiots. It’s Jesus Himself coming to us as our life coach through the inspiration of Scripture. Jesus is our priest and prophet, but He’s also our mentor. He’s the greatest expert on you and me; and He alone is qualified to have that kind of say in our lives. So let’s see what He has to say in Proverbs.
1. The introduction to this book - v. 1
A. How the material of this book is presented - “proverbs”
A proverb is a little verbal representation of a truth about our daily lives. It tells us something about our lives we can meditate on and learn from before we experience it. The world says, “Live and learn.” Through these biblical proverbs, God is saying, “Learn and live.”
B. Who the person is sharing the proverbs - “Solomon”
Solomon, son of David, king of Israel is the primary human author. He was granted wisdom by God (2 Chronicles 1:7-12) and became famous for his wisdom, writing over 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:29-34). Additionally, in chapter 30, we have proverbs from Agur the son of Jakeh to Ithiel and Ucal and in chapter 31, the words of King Lemuel.
2. The benefits of this book - vs. 2-3 This book will help us . . .
A. Develop right thinking - v. 2 Which comes from learning:
1) Wisdom - What’s wisdom? Wisdom is understanding how life works, and how to use that understanding to achieve good results.