Bible Studies for Life

with Laura Lee Leathers

Sunday,  June 4

Charted Waters

Proverbs 1:7-19

Listen! Do you hear her calling? Her name is Wisdom. You have the choice to listen and obey her call, or you can choose the way of folly. King Solomon, the primary writer of Proverbs and the wisest man who ever lived, tells the reader to listen and seek after her.

God asked Solomon what He should give him. Solomon’s response was simple; “An understanding mind to govern your people” (1 Kings 3:9 ESV). God granted Solomon  his request, along with riches and honor (1 Kings 3:12, 13). With this as his background, Solomon writes directed, pithy statements.

Why was Proverbs written? “To know wisdom, instruction, and have understanding (1:2), to receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity (1:3), and to give prudence to the simple; knowledge and discretion to the youth” (1:4).

Where do we begin? At the Starting Point (1:7). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This verse is the key to the entire book of Proverbs. To fear the Lord is to acknowledge God as Sovereign, the Creator, Father, and Master.

A person is to have respect and reverence for Him. From a biblical perspective, Wisdom is not a noun. It is a person; Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 1:24; Prov. 8:22-31; Matt. 12:42). Wisdom begins with a personal, saving knowledge that starts with repentance and placing faith in Jesus. Daily it is seeking Him, being obedient to His teachings, having a willingness to make right decisions regarding godly living through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to be obedient.

The second part of this verse reminds us that not everyone wants Wisdom. The alternate choice is to act like a fool, one who is morally and spiritually deficient. The fool says, instead, I will do it my way; there is no God (See Ps. 14:1).

The voice of Wisdom calls out to walk the Path of Obedience (1:8-9) through godly counsel. It starts with the father’s instruction and the mother’s teaching (see Deut. 6:1-9). In other words, it means “to pay attention, absorb, and apply what’s being said (Lifeway).” These two things would be “a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” A garland and a chain are visible blessings and can be a witness to others.

The whole counsel of God comes through His Word (John 17:17), the person of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30), the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:33), and general revelation (Ps. 19:1) (Lifeway).

Take a moment to read 2 Timothy 3:4-17. In the commentary, Be Skillful, by Warren Wiersbe, he writes, “Doctrine — that’s what’s right; reproof — that’s how to stay right; correction — that’s how to get right; and instruction in righteousness — that’s how to stay right.”

Scripture never returns void. That’s a promise and it has the power to transform an individual’s life. Proverbs 1:8-9:18 is about parents giving praise for wisdom and its benefits.

Next comes the warning to Resist Sin (1:10-14). Notice the phrase, “If sinners entice you, do not consent” (v.10). The company you keep can take you down a road you never thought possible. Entice means to leave the path of God’s Word. Everyone will be tempted, but God has given us a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:12-13).

“Come with us” and “let us” (v. 11) not only show the peer pressure but what can be accomplished together because of boasting regarding evil: abuse, killing innocent people, and stealing.

Listen, my son, “do not go along with them,” for there will be consequences and you shall have to live with Sins Results (1:15-19). Notice the warnings throughout this section. Why? Because unwise choices can lead to devastating consequences and self-destruction.

Wisdom is calling! Answer her by reading and applying a chapter of Proverbs daily. It will help you grow in godly wisdom!

Leathers is a member of First Church, Madison.