It’s important we pause for a moment and look at the simple structure of Solomon’s book of Proverbs. The first nine chapters are extended descriptions of wisdom, largely in story form with instructions from a parent to a child, using at times images of “Lady Wisdom” and “Woman Folly.” They are there to explain two pathways, one that leads to a wise and good life, and one that leads to destruction. And these first nine chapters are there to help us see why we should care about chapters ten through thirty-one, which contain all the individual sayings of wisdom for which the book is famous.
So, as we head into chapter two today, it makes sense that we take a look at an extended description (versus those smaller individual sayings we will find in later chapters) so we can enter the world of wisdom that Solomon is attracting us to.
My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of Yahweh
and find the knowledge of God.
For Yahweh gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
(Proverbs 2:1-8, English Standard Version)
Here is a loving parent, speaking winsomely to his child, “My son…” And what he longs for his son (and us) to see is the path toward what he introduced in the very beginning; namely, “the fear of Yahweh which is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). He doesn’t leave his child on his own, wondering how to do this. He helps, guides, and instructs. Notice all the if’s tied to action in verses 1-4:
if you receive,
if you treasure up,
if you make your ear attentive,
if you incline your heart,
if you call out,
if you raise your voice,
if you seek,
if you search.
If…If…If…If…If you pursue and get after it, here is the glorious promise, my son, THEN you will understand the fear of Yahweh! THEN, you will find the knowledge of God!
Friend, isn’t this glorious?! God has given us a command—live wisely as the path to a good life. AND, he has given us a promise—I will supply in response to your God-centered desire and pursuit!
The good news is that Yahweh is the source of all wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores it up for his children, he is a shield to his children, he is guarding our paths in this, and watching over our ways.
He is a good, good Father.
So now go, my friend. Pursue wisdom, believing in the Father, and he will supply the desires of your heart.
Pursuing the wise and good life with you,
Proverbs Thirty-One Day Reading Plan
August 14: Proverbs ch. 1
Aug. 15: ch. 2
Aug. 16: ch. 3
Aug. 17: ch. 4
Aug. 18: ch. 5
Aug. 19: ch. 6
Aug. 20: ch. 7
Aug. 21: ch. 8
Aug. 22: ch. 9
Aug. 23: ch. 10
Aug. 24: ch. 11
Aug. 25: ch. 12
Aug. 26: ch. 13
Aug. 27: ch. 14
Aug. 28: ch. 15
Aug. 29: ch. 16
Aug. 30: ch. 17
Aug. 31: ch. 18
Sept. 1: ch. 19
Sept. 2: ch. 20
Sept. 3: ch. 21
Sept. 4: ch. 22
Sept. 5: ch. 23
Sept. 6: ch. 24
Sept. 7: ch. 25
Sept. 8: ch. 26
Sept. 9: ch. 27
Sept. 10: ch. 28
Sept. 11: ch. 29
Sept. 12: ch. 30
Sept. 13: ch. 31
In the book of James, we meet a follower of Jesus who is going to sit us down for a little chat. And fair warning here: James isn’t really too concerned about your feelings, or how comfortable you are with someone you don’t know nor have ever met getting pretty personal with you.
Sunday's Comin' (July 7, 2019)
I think all of us want to be wise. The question is, how do we get there?
Preparing For May 26, 2019
Do you know why the church exists? Do you know who formed the church, and how it was formed?
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.