Back in May we began a study of the Book of Proverbs. I had no idea we would still be in our study in 2017!
I was challenged that very first week as we unpacked Prov. 1:1-6 and asked the question "Why should we study Proverbs?"
I found these reasons, and I want to review them with you as we continue our study Sundays at 11 a.m. at Open Door.
1. To gain wisdom - the ability to see something from God’s viewpoint. What an essential skill to having a successful life!
2. To gain understanding - responding to life situations from God’s viewpoint. Knowing how to apply God’s principles in day to day living. What good is wisdom if you don't know how to apply it to the situations you face on a daily basis?
3. To receive instruction in wise behavior and right things – original meaning of “receive” had to do with mobility – taking something with you, carrying something. It had to do with taking hold of something – not because it was forced on you, but to welcome it warmly! The word “instruction” in this context means moral training and instruction. God wants us to know how to live!
4. v. 4 - To give prudence to the naïve/simple – to give youth knowledge and discretion - to give purpose and discretion in life
“Discretion” is the ability to make proper decisions, in accordance with the plans God has for your life. That's not a word we hear a lot anymore, but our world is lacking people of discretion!
5. v. 5 - To increase in learning
Solomon's point is that even the wise can become wiser.
The requirement – “hear” these words. It has with it the idea of careful attention – and obedience!
The word translated “learning” means to grasp it, to perceive it, and includes “understanding of truth well enough to teach it.”
Regardless of how much you grew in 2016, there's more to learn!
6. To acquire wise counsel (guidance)
Wise counsel may originally have referred to the steering of a ship and in all of the OT uses it refers to discernment to "steer a right course" (through life).
These six purposes of the Book of Proverbs sound like steps to a great New Year!
I look forward to seeing you Sundays at 11 a.m. at Open Door as we continue our study of Proverbs.