:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
:1 The proverbs of Solomon
proverbs – mashal –
proverb, parable; poem; sentences of ethical wisdom, ethical maxims. The Hebrew
term means “a comparison”.
A proverb is a saying that is wise and insightful.
Proverbs are sayings taken from everyday life and are intended to serve as
practical guidelines for successful living.
These are not absolute promises, but principles that generally are true.
They are not keys to an absolute problem free prosperous life, but if you
follow these things, you will find your life doing much better than if you
didn’t do them.
When Solomon became king, God appeared to him in a dream and gave him the
chance to ask for whatever he wanted.
While Solomon could have asked for a long life or lots of money, he chose
to ask for wisdom. (1Ki. 3:9)
(1 Kings 3:9 NKJV) Therefore
give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may
discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of
God gave Solomon his request.
The written proverbs of Solomon are part of God’s legacy of wisdom that he
gave to Solomon.
One of the byproducts of the wisdom God gave Solomon was the proverbs, or
“sayings” that he recorded.
1Ki. tells us
that he spoke 3,000 proverbs.
(1 Kings 4:32 NKJV)
spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.
Though most of the book contains things written by Solomon, not all of the
book was written by Solomon.
:1 the son of David
Even though Solomon seems to have written this book for his own son, Solomon
himself was a son, the son of King David.
I can’t help but think that some of Solomon’s wisdom came from the lessons
he learned from his own father.
David himself wrote,
(Psalm 19:7 NKJV) The law of
the Lordis perfect,
converting the soul;The testimony of the Lordis sure, making wise the simple;
:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding,
:2 To know wisdom and instruction
wisdom – chokmah – wisdom
(found 39 times in the book of Proverbs)
It comes from the verb chakam,
“to be wise” (found 102 times in the book of Proverbs)
There is an important interpretive principle called the “principle of first
The first time an event, thing, or word is found in the
Bible can often be helpful in understanding how the word is used in the rest of
The first time the root word chakam
(“to be wise”) is used is in Genesis 41 where Joseph has just interpreted
Pharaoh’s freaky dream and Pharaoh knows he needs someone “wise” to guide his
kingdom through the coming famine.
41:39 NKJV) Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all
this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
Pharaoh didn’t need a smart guy who could interpret dreams,
he would need a very practical guy who knew how to do things, like saving grain
and distributing it during a famine.
The first time the actual word chokmah
is used is in Exodus, God is giving Moses instruction about the making of the
priest’s garments …
28:3 NKJV) So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I
have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to
consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.
The artisans were men gifted by God with knowing how to
make beautiful things.They were
Our word “wisdom” (chokmah) is
followed by quite a few similar, synonymous words that are very close in
meaning, including “instruction”, and “understanding”.
You’d only try to fight Chuck Norris if you didn’t “fear”
him, if you didn’t have respect for him.
Chuck isn’t a bad guy.He’s someone to be respected.
Last week Daniel Grant talked about how our lives are to be motivated by
both the “fear of the Lord”, as well as the love of Christ. (2Cor. 5:9-15)
Corinthians 5:9–15 NKJV) —9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or
absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that
each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he
has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we
are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 12 For we do
not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our
behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance
and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are
of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if
One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for
themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
God doesn’t just want us to be “afraid” of Him, He wants us to have a
relationship with Him that’s based on love.
In Deuteronomy 6, God tells Moses that He wants the people
to “fear” Him (Deut. 6:2) and obey Him, but He wants more than that:
6:5 NKJV) You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
love – ‘ahab –
to love, both human love for each other, love for things, love for God, and
God’s love for us.
God wants you to understand that He is indeed the Awesome Creator of the
Universe, but God doesn’t want you to live in complete terror of Him, He wants
you to know Him and love Him.
We can love Him because He first loved us.
God loves you so much He gave His only begotten Son Jesus
to die for you.
John 3:16a NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us…
As we begin our journey in discovering what wisdom looks like, you’re not
going to gain any benefit at all if you don’t start with your relationship with
Wisdom that produces a life that pleases God, a life of fulfillment, comes
from having your relationship with God in a healthy place.
It comes from a life that has turned to Jesus.
1:8-19 Which advice?
:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law
of your mother;
:9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains
about your neck.
:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father
Solomon may be writing to his own son Rehoboam, or he could be talking in
general terms to his readers.
Young people, pay attention to what your parents have taught you.
Yet they may not be the only ones you listen to…
:10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
:11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
:12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down
to the Pit;
(Proverbs 1:12 NLT)
swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go
down to the pit of death.
:13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill
our houses with spoil;
:14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—
:13 We shall fill our houses with spoil
People who will entice you to make bad choices will tempt you by telling
you that there are rewards for being bad.
:15 My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their
:16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood.
:17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird;
:18 But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for
their own lives.
:19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes
away the life of its owners.
:17 in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird
You aren’t going to catch a bird by putting a big net out in the open.Even a bird brain is smart enough to see the
net and fly away from it.
A fool on the other hand goes along with peer pressure and makes stupid
choices even though it’s obvious they’re getting themselves into trouble.
:10 if sinners entice you, do not consent
Sometimes “peer pressure” occurs in a person who is looking to feel loved
and accepted, and the wrong people get into their life and promise to love them
if they will follow them in doing the wrong things.
When I was in high school, the issues were things like going out in
smoker’s field and lighting up.There might
have been a little marijuana as well.
Now high schoolers also have to face issues like their sexual identity, or
how active their sex life is.
For someone who doesn’t feel very good about themselves,
it’s not hard to take that vulnerability and make them think they must be gay,
or they need to have sex to be happy.
Teens aren’t the only ones that struggle. Adults do too.
Herod liked John the Baptist, but because of peer pressure, he had John put
to death. (Mark 6:26)
6:26 NKJV) And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the
oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.
There were Jewish leaders (John 12) who didn’t follow Jesus openly because
they were more concerned about what people thought.
12:43 NKJV) for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
It’s important to take inventory of the people in your life and their
influence over you.Paul wrote,
15:33 NKJV) Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
It’s not a bad idea to make sure you’ve got some positive
influences in your life.
:20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.
:20 She raises her voice
Here’s the woman our Proverbs Intro video was talking about.
Several times Solomon will refer to wisdom metaphorically as a “woman”.
We will see it again in Proverbs 8,9.
Does Solomon make “wisdom” a woman because women are smarter than men?I’m not going to answer that. ;-)
Later in life, Solomon would write,
7:28–29 NLT) —28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was
looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! 29 But I did
find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to
follow their own downward path.”
In the end, he seemed pretty bitter towards women.
Solomon had a lot of experience with women.
Solomon knew what it was to be enticed by women.
(1 Kings 11:3–4
NKJV) —3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred
concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old,
that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal
to the Lord his God, as was
the heart of his father David.
You’re going to see Solomon use this picture of a woman in the streets
calling out several times.
Sometimes it’s the gal named “wisdom”.
Sometimes it’s a “foolish” woman.
It seems that some people tend to be attracted to the wrong kind of people.
Like the gal who is always drawn to the “bad boy”.
Which “woman” are you going to be attracted to?Are you going to live your life flirting with
bad things, or are you going to see that your life will go much better when you
pay attention to the “wise” woman?
:21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in
the city She speaks her words:
:22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners
delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge.
:23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make
my words known to you.
:23 Turn at my rebuke
If “Wisdom” warns you to change the direction of your life, and you obey,
you will grow in wisdom.
:24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and
no one regarded,
:24 I have called and you refused
On the other hand, if you are warned by “Wisdom”, and you don’t pay
attention to the warning…
:25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke,
:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,
:26 I also will laugh at your calamity
It sounds like “Wisdom” is one of those cruel people who are quick to say
“I told you so…” when you didn’t make the right choice.
:27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a
whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
:28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me
diligently, but they will not find me.
:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
:30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.
:28 they will call on me, but I will not answer
Wisdom will not answer because the fool doesn’t really want to do what
wisdom is instructing.
:31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to
the full with their own fancies.
:31 eat the fruit of their own way
If we make foolish choices, we should expect a foolish outcome.
:32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency
of fools will destroy them;
(Proverbs 1:32 NLT)
simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own
:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure,
without fear of evil.”
:33 whoever listens to me will dwell safely
As with most of the Proverbs, this is a general principle, not an absolute
This is not an absolute promise that if you make wise choices you will
never have any problems.
It means that as a general rule, you will have a “safer” life.
One day at kindergarten the Teacher said to the class of 5-year-olds, “I’ll
give $10 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever
A little Irish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Patrick.”The Teacher said, “Sorry Sean, that’s not
Then a little Scottish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Andrew.”The Teacher replied, “I’m sorry Hamish, that’s
not right either.”
Finally, a little Jewish boy raised his hand and said, “It was Jesus
Christ.”The Teacher said, “That’s
absolutely right, Marvin.Come up here
and I’ll give you the $10.”
As the Teacher was giving Marvin his money, she said, “You know Marvin,
since you’re Jewish, I was very surprised you said ‘Jesus Christ’.”
Marvin replied, “Yeah, in my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is
There’s a boy who learns.
Here’s one of the qualities of a wise person.
A wise person will “listen” or pay attention to words of wisdom, even if it
means needing to change the direction of their life, or admitting that they
Do you want to grow in God’s wisdom?How will you respond when God gives you direction?
Gaining wisdom starts with a simple step, asking for it.
(James 1:5–6 NKJV)
—5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all
liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him
ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind.
When James says we must “ask in faith”, perhaps that’s tied to the “fear of
Asking in faith implies that you are trusting the Lord.
Asking in faith implies that when God says to turn “right”, you turn
Are you looking for wisdom? Are you ready to ask, listen, and change?