You Can Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

I. Introduction and Purpose (Proverbs 1:1-7)


I. Introduction and Purpose (1:1-7)

1:1-7 In these introductory verses of Proverbs, Solomon son of David, king of Israel (1:1) explains the purpose of the book. Proverbs is intended to make us wise. To be wise is to be disciplined, understanding, just, shrewd, and discerning (1:2-6). It’s the ability to take God’s perspective and turn it into functional application. It’s spiritual understanding applied to earthly living; it’s the God-given ability to make good decisions.

Living wisely doesn’t require a PhD. In fact, you can be a brilliant fool—someone who has a lot of book sense but no common sense. Information is not the only key to good decision-making, then; we need wisdom—the ability to apply the knowledge we have.

Wisdom is to truth as a shoe is to shoe leather. And lest we think we can have wisdom apart from the truth about God, Solomon hangs the key to the book right at the front door: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (1:7).

To have true knowledge is to perceive the right nature of a thing, and it is not possible to be truly wise without fearing the Lord. This doesn’t mean walking around feeling terrified of God. It means holding him in reverence, taking him seriously. Proverbs teaches that all true wisdom and knowledge is rooted in God and his Word, and it urges us to cultivate a fear of God through a relationship with him. The apostle Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus that God would give them a spirit of “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph 1:17), further suggesting that being wise means knowing and fearing God.

Proverbs teaches that the knowledge of God opens the door to wisdom. By contrast, fools despise wisdom and discipline (1:7). A fool is a self-centered person who lives life without regard to wisdom and moral values. A fool rejects God’s perspective. The Bible (and Proverbs in particular) commands us to become wise and condemns us if we don’t.