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Proverbs – Way of the Wise, Prov 1-3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 09:26


We begin 2018 with our study on the book of Proverbs. Almost every culture has a wisdom tradition or a collection of Proverbs. The elders of the community distilled the wisdom of life and recorded them in short, memorable, and poetic phrases. In Prov 1:1-7, we are given the purpose of Proverbs from the Judeo-Christian tradition – to impart knowledge, insight, wise behaviour, and to form moral ethical character. Proverbs seeks to teach those who are young, to deepen the wisdom of the wise, to pass on discernment, and to cultivate a sense of respectful awe of God.


How do we read and apply Proverbs? One cannot apply a Proverb indiscriminately. Consider this:

4 Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,

or you will become as foolish as they are.

5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,

or they will become wise in their own estimation. (Prov 26:4-5)


It appears that you have to know what kind of fool you are dealing with. Is he the kind that will respond to a reasonable answer or is he the kind that will do nothing but frustrate you further? Proverbs are principles that are generally true and good for life but they are situation sensitive. It takes wisdom to discern the situation and the person, and to apply the right Proverb at the right time. We must not apply a particular Proverb mechanically (without careful thought and consideration) because

A proverb in the mouth of a fool

is as useless as a paralyzed leg. (Prov 26:7)


Finally, what makes our wisdom tradition unique is the personification of wisdom. In chapters 1-9, there are 4 poems of Lady Wisdom who serves as an intermediary between God and humanity. Lady Wisdom calls and invites us to choose her over Lady Folly. The personification of wisdom foreshadows the person of Christ. The apostle Paul declared in 1 Cor 1:30, God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. (NLT)


As we begin a new year, may we grow in wisdom for good godly living and may we also grow in our relationship with wisdom Himself, Christ Jesus.


Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:00