Welcome I mentioned earlier this week about using scripture as our daily wisdom. It would be hard to find a book in the Bible more full of wisdom than the book of Proverbs. While Solomon is credited with much of the book, there are other individuals that worked on this book, as indicated by “sayings of the wise” in later chapters and King Lemuel in Proverbs 31.
It is important to indicate that the book of Proverbs is not a book of prophesy. The definition of proverb is ” a short, pithy statement of general use, stating a general truth or piece of advise.” This applies to many parts of the book of Proverbs. However, the Hebrew word for “proverb” can also mean oracle, taunt, or parable. The book of Proverbs often uses very direct language to illuminate life situations that may guide the unwise to more wise life choices. The purpose of the book of Proverbs is stated in chapter one, verses one through seven, concluding with “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction,” (v. 7; ESV). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a fool!
So, I like the book of Proverbs. A book of short simple wisdom to guide our daily lives. But why is gaining this wisdom so important? To answer that, I want to look at the fourth chapter in Proverbs.
Food For Thought I love verse seven in this passage, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.” Well, it doesn’t get more basic than that! If you want to become wise, you have to seek wisdom. In this book, wisdom is often referred to as “she.” I don’t point that out for any reason other than to clarify to those not familiar with the book that the noun form of many ideas or thoughts are often referred to with feminine pronouns. No need to get offended and/or prideful, ladies…its just semantics. For more on the background of the book of Proverbs, check out BibleStudyTools.com.
Having clarified that, look at all wisdom can do for you! Wisdom will protect you and watch over you. You know this is true…it’s wise to wear many layers and keep exposed areas covered when the wind chill is twenty below zero (yes, that’s what we have here!) If you are wise, and follow these directions, you will be protected from frostbite and hypothermia. See? Wisdom!
Throughout our lives we are protected by wisdom. Look both ways before crossing the street. Drink plenty of water. Get enough sleep. Don’t spend more than you make. Mmhmmm…wisdom that will protect you from many things…if you let it.
Verse seven is where it gets a little tricky. At least in the NIV version. The wording of this verse in the ESV does not say anything about “costing all you have.” But I think it’s worth looking at. How many of us have avoided the wisdom or advice we’ve been given because the “cost” was too high? Going back to my -20 degrees story, I see kids, and adults, dressed completely inappropriate for the arctic blast we are currently having here in the Midwest. Even my own daughter has been battling with me about wearing an actual coat versus a hoodie. The wisdom of warmth and safety is overshadowed by the cost of comfort and appearing cool, no pun intended! We see this similar stubbornness when adults are faced with the wisdom of not spending more than they make for the prevention of debt and credit issues. That wisdom apparently costs too much when it comes to having everything we want, materially speaking, and not being able to keep up desired images. It’s a shame, because that wisdom would prevent a lot of heartache, sleepless nights, anxiety, and relationship issues.
At one time, wisdom was a highly valued trait. It doesn’t appear to be that way anymore. Our society finds entertainment and revelry in watching the foolish, even dangerous behavior of others, which only encourages more exploits. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t spent much time on You Tube. Long-term wisdom is scoffed at, while instant gratification is sought and praised. The younger generations are disrespectful and ignorant to the wisdom of older generations, failing to see how the lessons of mature individuals can prevent them from experiencing personal hardship, or even societal crisis and national downfall. Ignoring wisdom has led to ridiculous tragedies, everything from the Tide Pod and Bird Box challenges to violence among races and religions.
It’s time to wise up! And the only way you can become wise is to seek wisdom. Is there any better place to begin our wisdom journey than in scripture?
What are your favorite wisdom verses?
Today’s Bible Journaling Pages
There’s no doubt that the book of Proverbs is full of great wisdom. It is also one of the most enjoyable books for my “new” Bible journaling hobby. I want to share a few pages with you today. As always, my illustrations and lettering are hand-drawn, unless otherwise stated.
On a side note, the “slow to anger” page was inspired from artwork by Melissa Fischer (Instagram @fischtales). Talk about #artgoals! Her work is amazing! While my page is nowhere as good as hers, it did give me a great idea with the turtle and snail. She has a lot of adorable animal illustrations and very detailed Bible journaling pages. I would love for you to check her work out.