Erick Irias,  Proverbs,  Special Services

Proverbs 1 | The Source of Knowledge and Wisdom

V1-7 The real source of wisdom

V8-19 Apply wisdom and resist evil

V20-23 Wisdom is calling

V24-31 Find wisdom now as it at hand

V32-33 Wise choice

We will be reading in this book of Proverbs, a father trying to instruct his child. A book to instruct, to teach, to discipline.

V1-7 The real source of knowledge

This section is the prologue to the book. We can find here why this is written. The whole book is a collection of wisdom to be applied in life. A number of useful ideas to live our lives correctly according God’s heart. Advices from a father to his son.

Salomon was wise king as he asked for wisdom to God (1 Kings 3:7-10)

Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

1 Kings 3:7-10

As this book is a poetic book (remember: Job, Psalms, PROVERBS, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon) we cannot study it literally. It uses literature figures as Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Hyperbole… For this reason and because it is a compilation of ideas (not a succession of ideas in a context) we cannot create doctrine from it. However, we can find practical life principles to apply wisdom, to discipline, to instruct.

Is interesting as in the time we will be going through this book, we will notice that Solomon ended up going against his own recommendations and all the wisdom that God gave him (very human right?).

For instance:

  • His heart got hardened because possessions as he was the richest king of all time (1 Kings 10:23)
  • His flesh got corrupted with lust as he had the biggest “family” with 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3)
  • His pride got enhanced with 12000 horsemen and 40000 stalls of horses for his chariots (1 Kings 4:26)

Though David also spoke to Solomon at the end of his life:

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind;

(note: if we really know the Lord, we will serve Him)

 for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.  1 Chronicles 28:9

It is interesting because all these things he spoke about to his son and he was very emphatic to instruct him (and his father David also spoke about it to him). This behavior is very common in our lives when we try to convince others to apply something, but we forget to apply it in our own. We become in this bad model of Christianity that only focus on sermons and teaching with only good information but with no transformation. We want to look-like but not to become.

We can follow the process in these first 7 verses in our lives:

  1. We gain wisdom – v2
  2. Do what is good – v3
  3. Give prudence others – v4

Then:

  1. We gain wisdom v2

To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, Proverbs 1:2

We don’t start preaching to others before of ourselves. That’s why we always have the focus on learn and study first for our own growth and transformation. The teaching to the congregation, our family, friends… should be the result of the application of the topic in ourselves (the teachers).

We are students first and we should be very diligent on it. Ask God that during our studies we can see Him, then see ourselves in the scripture and then ask and be willing to be transformed by Him,

  • Do what is good v3

“To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity;”

Proverbs 1:3

We know that our salvation is not by works but faith. However, the knowledge of Justice, judgement and equity and a transformed life will produce this fruit. We will start to produce fruit as a tree does it. We don’t congratulate a tree for bearing fruit, it’s a tree and SHOULD bear fruit. Again, a real life, transformed by Christ, WILL produce fruit. We are aware now about Justice, judgement and equity. The Holy Spirit is dwelling in us. Now, we will acknowledge that everything comes from God and we will start to be mature in our walk.

  • Give prudence others v4

To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion— Proverbs
1:4

Having eaten this meal -this REAL meal, not milk- chewed it all and let it nurture our bodies, we can now talk about it. Note something here: You are now living it, you are now being an example. You already started to give prudence others. Is very common that humans learn by examples and demonstrations.

I think is our fallen rebel human nature that draw us to this. We don’t like to people tell us what to do, but to they do it first. Therefore, teaching results from a transformed and consistent life. Our “students” (congregation, friends, son, daughters…) will receive the message with a different attitude.

“A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:5-7

God is merciful and gracious, and He uses us to speak wisdom according His will. This an important point:

  • The wise man hears and learn. Attend the wise counsel
  • Understands the Word
  • Knows from where (Whom) this wisdom is coming.

In the moment we realize this, our confidence in our knowledge, strength and sufficiency move to a second plane (or the last plane) as is not important anymore. Our wisdom and strength are from the Lord. That removes an enormous weight from us. We need to be able to be humble and run to Him every time.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

I understand that we like to read and watch christian books, documentaries, movies… But how often we go directly to the Bible for direction and wisdom? We like the references and the names, but we trash the real source of wisdom. We like “the 9 steps to overcome…”, “4 strategies to be more…”, “207 ways to…”. We are lazy and want the answers and the formulas. The danger: most of these books, movies are not even christian. They utilize churchy phrases but is nothing but a mere commercial guide which doesn’t hesitate in take hand of heretic doctrines, lies and evil… But disguised of false wisdom. Everything for making money. And the worst part: we are not even aware of it as we don’t know the Truth, the Word.

Read your Bible, Christian! To be clear, I’m not against of reading books, or movies, or documentaries, music… But nothing will never replace the diligent study of the Bible. You will be able to identify errors and trash false teaching. You will be mature, and the winds of false doctrine won’t take you from here to there.

Jude talking about false teachers:

These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Jude 1:12-13

But more important: read your bible to Know God! To know Jesus! To be transformed!

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of the Lord is the acknowledgement of His supremacy, power, infinite love and knowledge, His perfection. We want to know Him and be transformed by Him.

Paul describes the real source of knowledge:

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

1 Corinthians 1:30

It’s not about mere information. Paul had all the information

circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:7-8

And it’s not earthly wisdom:

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

V8-19 Apply wisdom and resist evil

My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.

My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners. Proverbs 1:8-19

During all our walk-through life we will have multiple teachers -besides the real source of wisdom-. If we born in a christian home our parents will be the first ones (they should be). However, we will have friends, pastors, acquaintances, bosses, coworkers and even strangers who will teach us wisdom. Either by example or by a formal teaching, the Holy Spirit will convict us and transform our lives. Is part of our growing and maturity be more sensitive to it and apply it.

We are IN the world, but we are not OF the world (1 John 2:15-17).

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

It’s the way behave how we show the world and witness Jesus.

As mature christians, we cannot be part of sinful activities nor consent these. Is wisdom to avoid places and persons who are constantly dragging us to sin. However, the biggest sinner I have ever met is me. We cannot go around just blaming situations and others for my own sin. We make our own decisions, and our decision SHOULD be not to sin.

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. Romans 7:15-17

A transformed life produces that you hate your inherent sin that much that you repent and walk near to God. Produces accountability, produces a new way to live. We don’t miss our sin or anything from our past sinful life (now is sinful -yes-, but we have Christ now). We are born again in Christ and we need to look to the prize that is Jesus. Remember example of Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:15-26; Luke 17:29-33)

V20-23 Wisdom is calling

Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

Proverbs 1:20-23

Hey, Christian! Ready to start growing? Good news: The wisdom of God is available! Ask for wisdom and He will give you wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

Your Bible is ready to be open. The Word of God and is perfect.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

This is the way to know the living God. We can read on John

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5

Jesus became human as the full Revelation of the Word; He is the Word. He is the wisdom and modeled how to live it perfectly. He sent the Holy Spirit to us so we could understand and be used by God. We received power from Him.

V24-31 Find wisdom now as it at hand

Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

Proverbs 1:24-31

NOW is the time. There will be a time when would be so late. Jesus’s second coming is at hand. We don’t know when, but we need to live as if today would be the last day. He will be here to take His people and to reign. Tomorrow could be too late for you and me, my beloved friend.

Happens something curious with diets, the gym… We postpone things! The bad news in this case: this for eternity!

How can we be with God in heaven if we don’t know Him? Do you know we will be worshiping and adoring Him for all the eternity?

For me, the most terrifying words that I can hear is Jesus saying to me “I don’t know you”. Again, this is the time.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heavenMany will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

We can read also in Isaiah:

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

V32-33 Wise choice

“For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Proverbs 1:32-33

This is a promise of God: Justice. If you reject His instruction and henceforth, Him, you will perish. But the ones who listens will be safe and they will walk in peace without fear. Will be filled with the Spirit and will have power in His name to live the life doing His will and away from sin.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Choose well, Christian! Make the wise choice!