The key word in Proverbs is wisdom, the ability to live skillfully. A proverb is practical; it gives useful advice in the real world.
The first few chapters of Proverbs, Solomon gives fatherly advice to young people. Solomon was the third King of Israel, the son of David. God had told Solomon He would give him anything he asked. Solomon asked for a discerning heart (1 Kings 3:5-14).
Chapter 1 – The Purpose of Proverbs
Verse 1 – The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, King of Israel:
Verse 2 – To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding,
Verse 3 – To receive the instructions of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity;
Verse 4 – To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion –
Verse 5 – A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
Verse 6 – To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.
A wise man or discerning man, has the capacity to understand what he hears and sees and turn that into the right action to take.
Verse 7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
One of the most uncomfortable types of people to be around is a know-it-all, who won’t listen to anyone else. They resent instructions and refuses to learn from someone else. Solomon calls this kind of person a fool.
Verse 8 – My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother;
Verse 9 – For they will be graceful ornaments on your head, and chains about your neck.
The foundation of knowledge starts with honor and respect for God. We live in awe of His Word and obey it. Now of days, a lot of dads are absent in the home, so they are not there to teach their children about the Lord. Children are then left on their own to learn from others who might not know God.
Verse 10 – My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
Verse 11 – If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
Verse 12 – Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
Verse 13 – We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil;
Verse 14 – Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse” –
Verse 15 – My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your foot from their path;
Verse 16 – For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
Verse 17 – Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird;
Verse 18 – But they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives.
Life is full of choices, beginning at a young age. Our jails are full because of wrong choices. More often than not, the wrong choices of people leads them to associate with people, down a path to destruction.
Verse 19 – So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
“Ill-gotten gains”, is a trap from Satan. It begins when we can’t live without some possession or more money that we are not entitled to. Greed is a spirit and it will destroy anyone it lands on. I’ve seen this spirit land on people and it is ugly. It makes their desire to get what the person wants, get it by any means.
Verse 20 – Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raise her voice in the open squares.
Verse 21 – She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words:
Verse 22 – “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorner’s delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.”
Wisdom is available to all who ask. Our God freely gives all things, pertaining to life. Ask for wisdom and revelation from God in decision-making.
Verse 23 – Turn at my reproof; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
Verse 24 – Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Verse 25 – Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof,
Verse 26 – I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes,
Verse 27 – When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Verse 28 – “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Verse 29 – Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
Verse 30 – They would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
Verse 31 – Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.
Verse 32 – For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
Verse 33 – But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Anytime we think we know more than God about the situation, we are in pride. Pride can also sneak in when our desires become more prominent than God’s. The “fruit of their ways,” are the consequences of having and going our own way. We either choose God’s way or we are in rebellion. There is no middle ground!