Today is the first Friday in our 2015 Bible Reading Challenge and I’m so excited! I know we’ve only read one chapter so far, maybe two, depending on the time of day you’re reading this post, but I am already loving the time to focus and meditate on the single chapter. Keep in mind that there are no rules when it comes to spending time with God. He just loves us so much that he wants us to get to know him more.
This week I’m taking the liberty of breaking down the entire chapter since time allows. We won’t be able to do that each week as we cover seven chapters by the time we are checking in each Friday. But that’s ok, right? Remember that if you want to take notes for each chapter, the Simple Bible Study Guide with four questions for any chapter of the Bible is a fantastic tool to use.
The Introduction to Proverbs
The first chapter of Proverbs covers three topics. The first seven verses are an introduction to the entire book of Proverbs, explaining why Solomon wrote the book. I believe it is critical for us to understand just how important Solomon believed in the material he wrote. After reading the first few verses of the chapter, my memory was jogged as to how Solomon made his path to wisdom.
Solomon’s Path to Wisdom
If you are unfamiliar with Solomon’s story, he is the son of King David, who intended to build a temple to the Lord, a permanent place for the Spirit of the Lord to rest. But while David made the preparations for the building of the temple, his son, Solomon completed the temple. God was so pleased with Solomon that we find them in conversation in 2 Chronicles 1:
In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. O LORD God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”
How to Develop An Ear for Wisdom
Solomon is known as the wisest man ever to live because he asked God for wisdom. The first question I asked myself after thinking on this passage today was:
Am I praying for wisdom on a regular basis or only in “emergencies?”
And that thought led me to the first way we can develop an ear for wisdom.
1. We can develop an ear for wisdom by praying for it.
The next section verses, from 8-19, is Solomon’s basic life advice to his son in a nutshell. These verses are a warning about people who will seek to do evil, yet make it look innocent. This section provides at least two points to help us develop an ear for wisdom. The first is listening to authority.
2. We can develop an ear for wisdom by listening to authority.
“Come on; just try it. It will be ok.”
“We’re not going to hurt anyone; we just want to take what we need.”
Most of us have encountered situations at some point in life when we’ve realized that we were trying to be persuaded to participate in something we shouldn’t. Whether it was a business deal, a drug hit, or whatever, recognizing lies means we need to know the truth.
3. We can develop an ear for wisdom by choosing to identify and ignore lies.
That brings us to the last section of Proverbs 1, verses 20-33. The last verse of the chapter was the one that really stuck with me after the reading. I looked it up in a few different translations and paraphrases. While I’ve been doing all my reading in the ESV for the last couple years, I found the Living Bible provides a wonderful summary of the chapter:
But all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid. Proverbs 1:33 The Living Bible
Who is “me” in this verse? Wisdom. Isn’t it interesting how Solomon used personification to explain wisdom and how to develop an ear for wisdom? At the beginning of this section in verse 20, he writes that wisdom is crying out to us. I believe the point is that wisdom is not elusive.She’s not mysterious. She’s calling out to us. Sometimes we choose not to hear it.
4. We can develop an ear for wisdom by knowing God’s truths.
Wow- there is so much that can be explored in this chapter! I’d love to hear from you this first week of the 2015 Bible reading challenge!
Questions to ponder:
1. What is the beginning of knowledge and how does “knowledge” differ from “wisdom?”
2. How does wisdom promote security and peace?
3. Which verse was your favorite and why?
Have a fabulous first Friday of 2015!