June 2, Proverbs 1-3

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The Purpose of Proverbs

The proverbs of Solomon(A) son of David, king of Israel:
For learning wisdom and discipline;
for understanding insightful sayings;
for receiving prudent instruction
in righteousness, justice, and integrity;(B)
for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,[a](C)
knowledge and discretion(D) to a young man—
let a wise person listen and increase learning,(E)
and let a discerning person obtain guidance—
for understanding a proverb or a parable,[b]
the words of the wise, and their riddles.(F)

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;(G)
fools despise wisdom and discipline.(H)

Avoid the Path of the Violent

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
and don’t reject your mother’s teaching,(I)
for they will be a garland(J) of favor on your head
and pendants[c] around your neck.(K)
10 My son, if sinners entice you,(L)
don’t be persuaded.(M)
11 If they say—“Come with us!
Let’s set an ambush(N) and kill someone.[d]
Let’s attack some innocent person(O)just for fun![e]
12 Let’s swallow them alive,(P) like Sheol,
whole, like those who go down to the Pit.(Q)
13 We’ll find all kinds of valuable property
and fill our houses with plunder.(R)
14 Throw in your lot with us,
and we’ll all share the loot”[f]
15 my son, don’t travel that road with them(S)
or set foot on their path,(T)
16 because their feet run toward evil
and they hurry to shed blood.(U)
17 It is useless to spread a net
where any bird can see it,
18 but they set an ambush to kill themselves;[g]
they attack their own lives.
19 Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly;(V)
it takes the lives of those who receive it.[h]

Wisdom’s Plea

20 Wisdom calls out in the street;
she makes her voice heard in the public squares.(W)
21 She cries out above[i] the commotion;
she speaks at the entrance of the city gates:
22 “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance?
How long will you mockers(X) enjoy mocking
and you fools hate knowledge?(Y)
23 If you respond to my warning,[j](Z)
then I will pour out my spirit on you(AA)
and teach you my words.
24 Since I called out and you refused,(AB)
extended my hand and no one paid attention,(AC)
25 since you neglected all my counsel(AD)
and did not accept my correction,
26 I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity.(AE)
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when trouble and stress overcome you.
28 Then they will call me, but I won’t answer;
they will search for me, but won’t find me.(AF)
29 Because they hated knowledge,
didn’t choose to fear the Lord,(AG)
30 were not interested in my counsel,
and rejected all my correction,(AH)
31 they will eat the fruit of their way(AI)
and be glutted with their own schemes.(AJ)
32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them,(AK)
and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 But whoever listens to me will live securely
and be undisturbed by the dread of danger.”(AL)

Wisdom’s Worth

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
listening closely[a] to wisdom
and directing your heart to understanding;
furthermore, if you call out to insight
and lift your voice to understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up success[b] for the upright;
He is a shield for those who live with integrity
so that he may guard the paths of justice
and protect the way of his faithful followers.
Then you will understand righteousness, justice,
and integrity—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will delight you.
11 Discretion will watch over you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 It will rescue you from the way of evil—
from anyone who says perverse things,
13 from those who abandon the right paths
to walk in ways of darkness,
14 from those who enjoy doing evil
and celebrate perversion,
15 whose paths are crooked,
and whose ways are devious.
16 It will rescue you from a forbidden woman,
from a wayward woman with her flattering talk,
17 who abandons the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house sinks down to death
and her ways to the land of the departed spirits.
19 None return who go to her;
none reach the paths of life.
20 So follow the way of the good,
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those of integrity will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous ripped out of it.

Trust the Lord

My son, don’t forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commands;
for they will bring you
many days, a full life,[a] and well-being.
Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
Tie them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and high regard
with God and people.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Don’t be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will be healing for your body[b]
and strengthening for your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions
and with the first produce of your entire harvest;
10 then your barns will be completely filled,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe his discipline;
12 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

Wisdom Brings Happiness

13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom
and who acquires understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver,
and her revenue is better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels;
nothing you desire can equal her.
16 Long life[c] is in her right hand;
in her left, riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant,
and all her paths, peaceful.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her,
and those who hold on to her are happy.

19 The Lord founded the earth by wisdom
and established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the watery depths broke open,
and the clouds dripped with dew.

21 Maintain sound wisdom and discretion.
My son, don’t lose sight of them.
22 They will be life for you[d]
and adornment[e] for your neck.
23 Then you will go safely on your way;
your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie[f] down, you will not be afraid;
you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Don’t fear sudden danger
or the ruin of the wicked when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence[g]
and will keep your foot from a snare.

Treat Others Fairly

27 When it is in your power,[h]
don’t withhold good from the one to whom it belongs.
28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go away! Come back later.
I’ll give it tomorrow”—when it is there with you.
29 Don’t plan any harm against your neighbor,
for he trusts you and lives near you.
30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause,
when he has done you no harm.
31 Don’t envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways;
32 for the devious are detestable to the Lord,
but he is a friend[i] to the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous;
34 He mocks those who mock
but gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but he holds up fools to dishonor.[j]

In Proverbs 1:7 we see this verse:

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;(G)
fools despise wisdom and discipline.(H)

Then, in Proverbs 3 we read this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Two things become apparent as we begin to read Proverbs. The first is we as humans want knowledge and wisdom. The second is we need help in understanding how to beat live our lives.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. In other words, revere God and the things of God and knowledge will start to flow. In 3:7 it says “don’t be wise in your own eyes.” There is this sense that if we don’t fear the Lord we will think we are knowledgeable and wise while we are yet fools.

Ever wondered what your next step should be? Proverbs 3 tells us to Trust in the Lord and He will direct your paths. So many times we wonder about our next steps. We worry about our next steps. All the while Jesus is saying, “just trust me.”

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