AUTHOR: Solomon. Most of the proverbs were written by Solomon. I Kings 4:32 tells us that Solomon was the author of 3,000 proverbs. Many of them are here in Proverbs. King Solomon was used by God to write 3 books of the Bible. God used Solomon to write, “Song of Solomon” when he was young and in love. God used him to write, “Proverbs,” when he was middle-aged and in the zenith of his intellectual power. God used him to write Ecclesiastes when he was old, disappointed, and disillusioned.
THEME: “How To Live Wisely for God.”
INTRODUCTION: In the Hebrew society there was a class of people known as “the wise.” These were just as much a class as were the prophets, etc. Wisdom was very important to the Hebrew. There was a basic difference in the Greek and Hebrew philosophies. The Greek philosopher looked at the world and raised the question as to how to account for it. This led him to seek certain explanations as to the fundamental basis of everything. In other words, the Greek tried to find the world and work it up to God to find what God was like.
On the other hand, the Hebrew philosopher did not think from the world to God. He began with God as the source and built down to the world. Instead of looking at the world and arriving at his own conclusion as to what God was like, he began with his knowledge of God as was given in the Scriptures, and he applied that to the world.
These same philosophies divide us today. The liberal looks at the world and tries to figure out God. The fundamental looks at the Bible and applies it to the world. This is the difference in people who believe in capital punishment and people who do not. The Bible believer says, “God is for capital punishment, so it must be right. “The liberal” says, “It doesn’t seem that capital punishment is right, so there must be a god who agrees. The same is true concerning sacrifices, defense of property, etc. The great conflicting philosophies in our day separate on the basis of “Shall we begin with man and figure out what God is like?” or “Shall we begin with God and His Word and believe that, regardless of what our reasoning may think?”
It has been said that while other Scriptures tell us what to do, Proverbs tells us how to do it. Proverbs is to our daily lives what the Psalms is to our devotional life. This is a tremendous book in the teaching of our children and young people. It is a handbook. It tells us how to do what we ought to do. It is a manual giving us instructions.
It is also quoted in the New Testament. Paul must have been influenced by Proverbs, for he quotes Proverbs in Hebrews 12:5, 6 and in Romans 12:20. In the first of these he quotes Proverbs 3:11, 12. In Romans 12:20 he quotes Proverbs 25:21 22. James must have been influenced by Proverbs, for he quotes Proverbs 3:34 in James 4:6. Likewise, Peter must have been influenced by Proverbs, for he quotes Proverbs 26:11 in ll Peter 2:22 and Proverbs 3:34 in I Peter 5:5.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
This is why education without God is a joke. Jesus said He was truth. If you kick Jesus out of education there is no more learning and the only thing you can learn is facts, not applicable truth.
MAIN DIVISION OF THE BOOK: Proverbs 1-9 is Solomon preparing his son for the wisdom he is about to give him in chapters 10-31. It is like he is preparing the ground for the seed. He wants his son to understand and try to grasp the importance of what he is about to give him. Notice that there are 4 hindrances to wisdom found in Proverbs 1-9:
KEY CHAPTER: Proverbs 8 is the key chapter of the book. It is one of the most beautiful in all the Bible. Here wisdom is personified, stands beside God, and talks as a person. She takes form as a person. There are those that believe that since Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the truth, therefore, “wisdom” here is but a type of Jesus Christ and that this Scripture has mainly to do with Jesus. Certainly this is worth considering. For example, the words used in Proverbs 8:27, “When He prepared the heavens, I was there,” coincide with the words in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So perhaps in this personification of wisdom we see the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the study of Proverbs, keep in mind the time of Hebrew history. It was a time of sudden wealth. With this wealth and luxury there appeared new vices and temptations. With these temptations there came the withdraw from God and the ignoring of the virtues of their fathers under which the nation had grown and flourished.
In the lesson for today we do a practical study of the times the wise man uses the words “my son.” Bear in mind, many of the proverbs were written to instruct the son of the wise man. Hence, picture a father talking to a son in a father-son manner. He advises him, and he keeps using the words, “my son,” over and over again. Though they were addressed to one particular son, they nevertheless are applicable to all sons.
PROVERBS 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”
The son is taught to listen to his parents.
GOD TALKS ABOUT THE #1 THING THE CHRISTIAN IS SUPPOSED TO SEEK AFTER.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Proverbs 12:8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
God tells you where to get it from. True wisdom only comes from God.
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
God then tells you how to get this most important thing in the world — You have to want it and thirst after it.
III. THERE ARE ONLY THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE AND THEIR TRAITS ARE LISTED IN PROVERBS:
Simple: a person unaware of God’s principles; unpleated, not complex.
Foolish: a person who defies or ignores God’s principles; one who lives like there is no God. (Ps. 53:1)
CONCLUSION: Young people should be required to read and study Proverbs. Pastor Baker reads some of the Proverbs every day. One of the finest things about the Proverbs is that nearly each proverb stands on its own two feet. One does not have to read a lot of the Bible to get a lot of truth. Each proverb in most cases teaches a truth within itself. This is one of the peculiarities of Hebrew poetry. It is distinguished from prose by that peculiarity of style called “parallelism.” This parallelism may be what is called “synonymous” or “antithetic.” In the “synonymous” there are two statements, each of which agrees with the other. In the “antithetic” the second statement of the proverb contrasts with the first. For example, one proverb says, “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” In other words, this is the same truth turned inside out. In some of the proverbs, the same truth is strengthened by the second statement which says it in another way. In still others, it is strengthened by the second statement which reverses the truth, or turns it inside out.