“Many of us love the book of Proverbs for its practicality. Every verse seems to provide us with insight—some way to think or be—that will make our lives run just a bit more smoothly.
And because the book of Proverbs provides us with a poetic road map of how God has designed the world to work, following its practical day-to-day guidance does make our lives more pleasant. But even this will prove a bit hollow in the long run if that’s the only reason we study Proverbs. We don’t want to miss the heart of it—what God is saying to his people through this unique portion of Scripture….
This is a collection of sayings that provide skill in the art of godly living and show us how to reflect God’s glory in the details of our lives and relationships. It’s the difference between going to Proverbs for advice and going to it for wisdom.
Seeking wisdom and not just advice requires more heart work, but it’s worth it! That’s because the wisdom found in Proverbs takes us outside of ourselves and our own lives to someone else—our covenant Lord. It teaches us that wisdom is not primarily about what we do but about who God is and what he’s done for us. That’s the heart of the book and the primary reason to study it.”
That’s a (really) long quote by Justin S. Holcomb but is a great start to this introduction episode!
I'm going to answer a few questions in this episode before we get started with our study.
Why study proverbs? Or, wisdom literature at all?
Actually...what is wisdom, really?
For that matter, what's a proverb and what's important about the language of this book?
I’m making a generalization, I realize, but most of us don’t study wisdom literature in the Bible. We study the gospels, the letters, and sometimes books in the old testament too, like Genesis and major books of prophecy, like Daniel, or Isaiah. But there are a few groups of books that we tend to quote selected verses from, but not really dig into.
One of those groups is wisdom literature.
That's a mistake, because these books have an amazing mixture of practical, useful wisdom delivered with beautiful, powerful language.
If you want to follow along with the broadcast and keep a journal of what you learn along the way and have a place to respond to the application questions I ask in each episode, we’re making free PDF journal pages available each week.