Paul revealed a
wonderful truth about Christ. He said 1 Corinthians 1:30 It is because of him that you are in
Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our
righteousness, holiness and redemption. (NIV). Jesus becomes that wisdom as His
brother James said James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is
first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy
and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (NIV). In the Proverbs we find the
wisdom of Christ distilled in a very practical form.
Solomon was the author of 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs the Bible tells us (I Kings 4:32). His God given wisdom surpassed all the noted wise men of his day (I Kings 3:12). In our study of PROVERBS this week we look at one of the few Old Testament books that state their purpose clearly at the start. In Pr. 1:2-6 we find a twofold purpose:
Remember we are in the third of the five Books of Hebrew Wisdom Literature. Each is a Divinely Inspired insight on a facet of life.
- In JOB He is our Sure Redeemer. This book gives THE TRUTH FROM GOD ON SUFFERING.
- In PSALMS He is our Shepherd. This book gives THE TRUTH FROM GOD ON WORSHIP.
- In PROVERBS He is Wisdom Incarnate. This book gives THE TRUTH FROM GOD ON LIVING (principles not promises).
- In ECCLESIASTES He is the only hope of contentment. This book gives THE TRUTH FROM GOD ON LIFE.
- In SONG OF SOLOMON He is our Beloved. This book gives THE TRUTH FROM GOD ON LOVING.
Some have said that the three books Solomon wrote may have arisen from the three stages of his life.
- Song of Solomon from the young man in love.
- Proverbs from the wisdom of a mature man at his zenith. And
- Ecclesiastes from and old and bitter man looking back on his wasted opportunities. . .
What we are sure of is
the vast reputation Solomon had for wealth and wisdom. His fleet was known to
the ports of the world. His commercial enterprises brought him vast and rare
treasures. Those ships based in Elat would wind their way from Gibraltar to
Arabia to India. Exotic goods of the fabled East and the jungles of Africa
flowed into Jerusalem. Vast caravans plied the trade routes east and west
bringing the goods of the world to his doorstep. Women from every corner of the
world sought and hundreds found his favor. Romance and love flowed from this
most amazing man. From this era flows the SONG OF SOLOMON.
Then there was the stream of inquirers who came to sit at his feet in wonder as he spoke. At the head of the line was the Queen of Sheba who came 1,200 miles with a vast fortune. She was overcome at his exceeding wisdom and wealth. “The half was never told me!” His actual possessions were so much more than his unbelievable reputation. She went away in wonder and praise to his God. From this era rises the PROVERBS.
Yet with all that. With incredible Divine Blessings. With personal visits from the God of Heaven. With wisdom unsurpassed on the planet. With wealth beyond the greatest kings of the Earth. With wine, women and palatial living . . . nothing ever satisfied him. The hands spread out to God in prayer were pulled back and instead grasped the idols of paganism. The heart of zeal for the Living and True God became cold, distant and empty. From this final era trickles ECCLESIASTES.
Lets look at Ecclesiastes 12 for a moment and see if Solomon may have ended right.
- The Preface (1:1-7)
A. The author and the literary form (1:1)
B. The purpose of the book (1:2-6)
C. The theme of the book (1:7)
- The Words of Solomon on Wisdom’s Values (1:8-9:18)
A. The value of wisdom in giving honor (1:8-9)
B. The value of wisdom in preserving from disaster (1:10-33)
C. The moral values of wisdom (chap. 2)
D. The blessings of wisdom (3:1-12)
E. The high value of wisdom (3:13-20)
F. The value of wisdom in building relationships with others (3:21-35)
G. An exhortation to acquire wisdom (4:1-9)
H. WISDOM PRESERVES FROM DISASTER(4:10-19)
I. WISDOM STRENGTHENS PHYSICAL HEALTH (4:20-27)
J. WISDOM PROTECTS FROM IMMORALITY (chap. 5)
K. WISDOM GUARDS AGAINST UNWISE POVERTY (6:1-11)
L. WISDOM HOLDS BACK DISSENSION (6:12-19)
M. WISDOM PRESERVES PURITY (6:20-7:27)
N. WISDOM REWARDS TRUE SEEKERS (8:1-21)
O. WISDOM PLEASES OUR CREATOR (8:22-36)
P. WISDOM EXCELS FOLLY (chap. 9)
- The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-22:16)
A. THE FOLLY OF INIQUITY (chaps.10-15)
B. THE GLORY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (16:1-22:16)
- The Sayings of the Wise Men (22:17-24:34)
A. Thirty sayings of the wise (22:17-24:22)
B. Additional sayings of the wise (24:23-34)
- The Proverbs of Solomon Collected by Hezekiah’s Men (chaps. 25-29)
- The Words of Agur (chap. 30)
A. Introduction (30:1)
B. Knowledge about God (30:2-9)
C. Observations about life (30:10-33)
- The Words of Lemuel (31:1-9)
- The Noble Wife (31:10-31)
The book of Proverbs gives three basic categories of proper relationships.
- Man to SELF
- Character [20:11]; anger [29:11]; wealth [1:4] and foolishness [6:10-11].
- Wisdom [1:5]; pride [27:1]; speech [18:21]; laziness [13:4]; self control [6:9-11] and kindness [3:3].
- Man to MAN
- Love [8:17]; friends [17:17]; enemies [19:27]; gossip [20:19] and truthfulness [23:23].
- Fathers [20:7]; mothers [31:11-31]; children [3:1-3]; education in the home [4:1-4] and discipline in the home [22:6].
- Man to GOD
- In death [15:11]; fear of God [1:7]; sin [28:13] and rewards and punishment [12:28].
- In righteousness [10:25]; tests [17:3]; blessing [10:22]; commandments [6:23]; humility [3:34]; and trust [22:19].
In proverbs we see Christ as the incarnate wisdom. Follow these verses to see Him in all His glory.
|Proverbs 8:27-29 When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: 29 when he appointed the foundations of the earth: (KJV)||John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him; (KJV)||Hebrews 1:2 by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. (KJV)||Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him; (KJV)||
Luke 3:22 Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
John 17:24 for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (KJV)
|Proverbs 8:14 Counsel [is] mine, and sound wisdom: I [am] understanding; I have strength. (KJV)||1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures; (KJV)||Colossians 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (KJV)||Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:1, 4 Doth not wisdom cry Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice [is] to the sons of man. (KJV)||John 7:37 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. (KJV)||John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: (KJV)||Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (KJV)|
|Proverbs 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what|
his son’s name, if thou canst tell? (KJV)
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall
bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us. (KJV)
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV)
The Wisdom of God in Proverbs is vital for Parenting. The scriptures reveal in Luke 2:52four crucial needs in our children :
- Our children lack wisdom . They must be taught how to discern what is right and wrong, unprofitable and profitable, dangerous and safe and so on. This must be taught for them to mature.
- Children lack stature . They are physically weak and start life helpless. They must be fed, directed to rest and care for their needs. They must be protected or they can’t make it in the world.
- Children lack favor with God . They are born sinners. They are pagans who must be led into the truth and love of God. Without training up in God’s way they will drift away.
- Children lack favor with mankind . They are not ready for society. They start and continue in life totally selfish unless disciplined. They must learn humility and selfless behavior. Left alone children are social misfits.
1. Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970), p. 35.
2. Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970), p. 35.
3. Scofield says that there is no revelation in this book, just accurately recorded words of Solomon.
4. Swindoll, Flying Closer, p. 37-39.