Solomon, Son of David who was King of Israel, is credited for writing most of the book of Proverbs, which is commonly referred as a book of wisdom. The first chapter has three main ideas that hopefully will offer you encouragement in your relationship with God through His son Jesus. Solomon is believed to have been one of the wealthiest and wisest persons to have ever lived. Through his life of abundance he is able to give us a vantage point that few others have had throughout history and his inspired writings are as practical today as when they were written approximately three thousand years ago.
The first of the main ideas in Proverbs chapter one can be summed up with the following passage…
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (ESV)
We learn to fear the LORD by giving Him priority in our life, obeying His commands, making time to spend with Him to nurture our understanding through prayer and study of His inspired words to us in the bible. In short, we are to revere the LORD in a way that shows just how great He is, and just how much we need Him. As with many Proverbs we are shown a contrast in the second half of the verse and in this case it is foolishness to despise wisdom and instruction. Nothing makes a fool more foolish than to be obstinate about learning, to be utterly unteachable, to know so much as to be closed off to any spiritual discernment that is led by the Holy Spirit. Woe to those in this miserable condition as God in heaven will humble them in way that breaks their spirit.
The second major idea in the first chapter of Proverbs is that we are to avoid being drawn into sin, which can be found in this passage…
Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (ESV)
This instruction in Proverbs chapter one shows that we should remember the teachings of our parents and avoid bad influences in our life. The first bits of wisdom we receive, for most children, come from loving parents with care and concern. Whether it is instruction to chew your food completely, or not to play in the road our parents are there, guiding, loving and occasionally correcting us to assure our safety and to care for our wellness. They can also typically distinguish a bad influence from a good one and can make the pivotal difference between entering into and avoiding hazardous relationships. This is necessary because those who are sinning willfully are setting themselves up for disaster and look for others to join them in their sinning as a way to somehow normalize it or make it appear not as bad as it truly is.
So is our sin really that big of a deal? Sin IS real, and it’s REALLY bad, it breaks the heart of God. It is so bad that God sent His only son to die a horrible death in our place. If you still have a hard time truly grasping how bad sin is, try a quick illustration… Go stand in front of a mirror and looking directly into it, force yourself to say aloud the three worst things you have ever done in your life. Things that maybe no one knows but you, things that cause you shame. If you can look at yourself explaining the worst parts of yourself and not feel any guilt or shame it is quite possible that your conscience has been seared. For most everyone else this quickly exposes the true nature of sin, more importantly how bad it really is, and convicts us that we are all guilty. We all need a savior to forgive us of these very hurtful and grievous mistakes. That savior is Jesus! There is no other name under the heavens that is able to forgive sins.
So how has the sin problem been addressed? Since the fall in the Garden of Eden recorded in Genesis chapter three, man has been drawn to sin. It is part of the reality of the fall that we are sinners by nature and sinners by choice. We do what we shouldn’t and often times fail to do what we should. We really don’t need any help or encouragement in this regard. It is only fitting that such an appropriate couple of words describe this condition, the fall. The reality is we are continually “falling away” further and further from what God has intended for His creation. After the initial fall it became progressively worse, so much that God destroyed nearly all of creation in the days of Noah through a great flood. The fall continued and God being continually frustrated with man, gave Moses ten commandments in an effort to show His people the way to live a God centered and God glorifying life. Through adherence to “the law” man was able to make atonement for his sin thereby reconciling or regaining this right relationship with God. As with everything man seems to take on, “the law” became more important than a right relationship with God thus perverting the intent; and so God sent one greater than the law, which was His only son, the Son of Man called Jesus to pay the debt of sin once and for all allowing all that believe in Him to have a restored right relationship with the creator.
The third major idea in Proverbs chapter one is a call to acknowledge correction and pursue wisdom as evidenced in this passage…
Proverbs 1:23 “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” (ESV)
God loves you and wants a long-term loving relationship with you. It is the thread that intricately weaves the storyline of the bible together and gives the great narrative its deep and profound meaning. Just as anyone that loves you will gently course correct your folly and errors in judgment, God also uses the mistakes in our life to get us back on track. His reproof can be the most humbling of all as He has knowledge of the future, plans for our life and the ability to correct our way of thought and action at His disposal.
For those not accepting wisdom through humility and reproof their situation becomes very bad. We are told in verses twenty-four through thirty-two that God will laugh and mock the unrepentant sinner. Because they chose to be unaffected by the reproof that God has allowed in their life they are ridiculed and when they finally get to a point of submission God will turn from them because He knows what is truly in their heart.
In summary, what we can conclude from Proverbs chapter one is that we have a God that loves us enough to correct us and when we put Him as first priority in our lives He will give us peace and understanding. He wants us to keep from sin and those who openly and brazenly cling to their sin and for us as children of God to ultimately submit to Godly authority in our life thereby blessing all those we are in relationship with.
Praise be to God the creator of all things good!
Scott MacDonald is on Twitter @testifyerewhere
Christian, Father, Brother and Friend. Director of TestifyEverywhere.org, looking to meet many people and make enduring friendships. It’s all about Jesus!
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