The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young– let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance– for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
I ran through Proverbs pretty quickly but it was so much fun I think I’ll do it again. A great place to start is, of course, the beginning. Too often we skim over the first lines of a book looking to get to the “meat” of it. Here’s a word of advice, when reading the Bible or even a good novel, always pay attention to the first paragraph of the first chapter. The author is very much aware of what tone they are trying to set and they very much want to make a great first impression.
Like the rest of this book, the opening paragraph is very straightforward and susinct. It defines who wrote it, why they wrote it, and how the how it should be read.
If someone asked me why I study the Bible, in addition to indicating my love for God and wanting to know more about him, I would have to point to this verse. I study the Bible “for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.”
Let me put it this way. We just celebrated Easter. A lot of people went to church this weekend for the first time in months (like Christmas) and call themselves Christians. I’ve got no problem with that. I can’t judge a person’s heart or tell them if they are “saved” or not. Only God can do that. What I will say is this: If you’ve really made Christ the Lord of your life, you can’t help but see the effect he has on your life (in a good way). The Holy Spirit is invisible, but that doesn’t mean it is subtle. You can’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind.
Once you feel that, you want to know more. The best ways to know more are to study God’s word and to seek out teachers that understand the Word who will explain it to you. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” – Matt 7:7
I came to that point during college (12 years ago). I’m still studying the Word and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of it. It is a wonderful life long pursuit of enrichment and fulfilment. I can’t explain how much of a blessing it has been in my life. All I can say is this: If you see any good thing in me or my writing or my character, it is because of the Word of God. Period.