Friday, January 6, 2023

Solomon’s School (Proverbs 1:1-9)

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. 1:7).

The first nine verses of Proverbs establish the purpose and theme of the book. They tell us about the author, to whom he is writing, how his instruction must be received, and the primary means from which such instruction comes.

The author is King Solomon, whom God granted much insight and wisdom. As a young man, Solomon wisely discerned how much he needed wisdom to carry out his duties as father and king (1 Kings 3). In Proverbs, we have the fruit of Solomon’s prayer as he speaks under the inspiration of “the wisdom of God.”

Solomon instructed the young and the aged. The young are prone to folly and often need to be poked and prodded back onto the path of wisdom. But the wise need it is as well. Solomon writes, “let the wise listen and add to their learning.” A true mark of wisdom is the recognition that there is still much to be learned. None of us comprehend all there is to know. We need to be teachable and open all our lives to the many things we can learn from God.

Only those who fear the Lord possess the ability to accept and apply such instruction. To fear the Lord “is that affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law,” Bridges wrote. “His wrath is so bitter, and His love so sweet; that hence springs an earnest desire to please Him, and—because of the danger of coming short from his own weakness and temptations—a holy watchfulness and fear, ‘that he might not sin against Him.’ This enters into every exercise of the mind, every object of life.” The world despises instruction because it will not humble itself before the Lord. Only when we submit to the Lord can we find the wisdom to lead godly lives.

Lastly, parents are the primary means for instruction in wisdom. God has given them the responsibility to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Children must, therefore, heed their parents’ instruction that they might grow to be prudent, discreet, just, fair, and wise adults, who will bless not only their own families, but their church and their nation. If they abide by godly teaching, and if we all abide by the teaching of the Lord, this instruction will grace our lives in manifold ways.

Read Matthew 7:24–27 and 13:1–23. What does Jesus say about the person who hears His teaching but does not put it into practice? Do you listen to God’s Word and put it into practice? How teachable are you? At the end of the day, consider how many times you consciously sought to conform to God’s ways and not your own.