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Proverbs 1-4


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
       Although Proverbs is ascribed to Solomon, son of David (1:1), it is clear that other writers than him contributed (see 22:17; 24:23; 30; 31:1-9).  It is clear from 1 Kings 4:32, that Solomon was a prolific author of proverbs (he is purported to have produced no fewer than 3,000!).
       Proverbs is considered part of the Old Testament section known as Writings (the other sections are, Law and Prophets.  Today this section is also known as the Wisdom and includes Job, Psalms and Ecclesiastes.  Those known as sages or wise men, focused on the practical and philosophical issues of life, whereas the priests and prophets are more concerned about religious issues.
       Proverbs are usually short (those in 10:1-22:16 are each two lines long) and use figurative language (like and as are common words and there are many similes).  The consequence of an action of situation is commonly included, but some proverbs are simply straight forward general observations.
The proverbs in 1:1-1:7, form an introduction to the book, the theme expressed in verse seven.  Proverbs 1:8-19 take the form of an instructional speech on avoiding evil.  Proverbs 1:20-33 is another instructional speech on the importance of wisdom, which is personified in this section. Proverbs 2:1-22 is a further call to seek wisdom in God, as is Proverbs 3:1-35. 
       In Proverbs 4:1-27, wisdom is again personified, and the readers are urged to walk God's way, not swerving to the right or the left.
       Wisdom begins with a reverence for God, whose Word is both supreme and reliable.  In following the sage wisdom he provides through the fathers, the sons gain freedom from unnecessary mistakes and the pain they produce and an understanding of what is most valuable, practical and pleasing to God.
       What have you done to develop your own understanding of God's wisdom for life?  Reading through the Bible (and the book of Proverbs) is a start; however, a consistent effort to learn and study the teaching contained is also crucial.  When it comes to the book of Proverbs, a good approach might be to organized the various sayings into categories: Sayings on Wisdom, Adultery, Human Relations, Self-Control, etc.

       Each day, you should try to pick out a proverb and memorize it, repeating the previously learned proverbs as well.  Try it and you will be surprised how soon you find yourself in a position where the proverbs you know come to mind in situations where they can be applied.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010