Gaining wisdom isn't a one & done accomplishment, it's a lifelong pursuit.
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Proverbs 1 (ESV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction
in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give
prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand
a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 Hear, my son,
your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9 for they are
a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
10 My son,
if sinners entice you, do not consent.
11 If they say,
“Come with us,
let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol let us swallow them
alive, and whole,
like those who go down to the pit;
shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
15 my son,
do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
17 For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
18 but these men
lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I
have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock
when terror strikes you,
27 when terror
strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
they will call upon me,
but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently
but will not find me.
they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me
will dwell secure
be at ease,
without dread of disaster.”
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Proverbs 1 Summary
If you're wondering why God gave us the book of Proverbs, you don't need to look very far, as the opening verses make it clear:
To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction... to give prudence... knowledge and discretion (v2-4).
After stating his purpose in giving these proverbs, wise King Solomon begs his son (not just his own child, but all of God's people) to heed this wisdom and to use it as a defense against the constant temptation the world brings.
In v20, we meet for the first time Wisdom, who is personified in the proverbs as a loving lady. Right away we can sense her frustration, crying aloud in the streets, begging her children to come back (v20).
But Lady Wisdom's patience has its limits, and the time will come when rather than calling out after the wayward, she will laugh at their calamity and mock when terror strikes (v26). Ultimately a fool passes the point of no return, where no matter how diligently they seek her, they will not find her (v28).
The good news is that whoever listens to me - that is, whoever listens to the wisdom imparted by God's Word - will dwell secure and be at ease (v33).
We tend to think of wisdom in terms of accomplishment, as if you went to Christian school, professed your faith in front of church, or performed a selfless act of service of some sort that you've gained wisdom, never to lose it.
But Solomon paints a different picture as the Proverbs begin. Wisdom is not a accomplishment, but rather it's a pursuit that lasts a lifetime.
There have likely been times in your life where you followed wisdom closely, when you made godly decisions and had the strength to resist temptation, and there's probably been other times where you were distracted from boring old Lady Wisdom by the slick offerings of sin.
While it's certainly true that a person can wander so far from wisdom they'll never return, praise God today that He holds you back and keeps you within the loving reach of Lady Wisdom.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Knowing your loving Father God is the beginning of wisdom (v7)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength to resist sin and listen to Wisdom so that you may dwell secure (v33)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: