A Trip Through Proverbs – #1 – Introduction

proverbsI love the book of Proverbs.  It is probably the clearest book in the entire Bible in regards to understanding.  It comes right out and tells you how you should and shouldn’t act, what you should and shouldn’t do.  There is so much wisdom in there, but I’ve not heard many pastors preach about it on Sunday mornings.  I’ve been thinking about doing a little series of posts that go through Proverbs and pull out items that catch my eye and expand on them for quite some time.  As I was coming up with topics for a new post, I felt it was time to start that series.

Right from the start, we learn what the purpose of the book of Proverbs is.

The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings.  -Proverbs 1:2

It couldn’t get much clearer than that.  So what can we expect to learn through these proverbs?

Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just and fair.  -Proverbs 1:3

So we know the purpose and what we will learn, but who are they meant for?

These proverbs will make the simpleminded clever.  They will give knowledge and purpose to young people.  Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.  And let those who understand receive guidance by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings and riddles.  -Proverbs 1:4-6

So they are basically for everyone.  Solomon did not leave anyone out of those who can benefit from these proverbs (or by extension, the wisdom in all of the Bible.)  So that includes all of us!

So why?  Why do we need this wisdom, why do we need to dive deeper?

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.  Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.  -Proverbs 1:7

Well there you go.  We learn these things because the Lord wants us.  The fear of God, sounds like an awful thing.  But it’s not, it’s a deep sign of love and respect and willingness (in fact deep need) to obey.

I’m actually looking forward to this as I know I will learn a ton from a deeper dive into the Proverbs.  Stay tuned!


Bible Study Minute – Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in God Completely

Trust in God completely, there is no need to worry.  That is the message we get from Proverbs 3:5.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  -Proverb 3:5

When we worry we are actually saying, “If I try hard enough, I can find a solution to my problem.”  This is the opposite of what this verse tells us.  Worry is our failure to trust in God to take care of the situations that arise in our life.  Worry never changes our circumstances, it just changes us.  The stress and anxiety actually release chemicals in our brain that have adverse effects on our well-being, both mentally and physically.

Removing worry from our lives is easier said than done at times.  But start by thinking and saying “I trust in God completely;  there is no need to worry.”


Bible Study Minute – Proverbs 1:19 – Greedy for Gain

Proverbs1:19I was reading through some other things this morning, and came across the verse quite unexpectedly.  Again as God often does, I stopped to read it, then I had to re-read it and it got me thinking.

How often do we think “Man, life would be easier if we just made more money” or do we wish we had a bigger house, nicer car, or the latest, greatest gadget.  I don’t think that hoping or praying for such things is necessarily wrong, but if it begins to become an obsession, then we run into problems.

Such is the fate of all who are greedy for gain.  It ends up robbing them of life.  -Proverbs 1:19

Such a simple little verse, but says so much.  The fate that is talked about there is mentioned in the previous verse.

But not these people!  They set an ambush for themselves; they booby-trap their own lives! -Proverbs 1:18

Who are these people that those “greedy for gain” are compared to?  Verse 16 tells us it’s those that commit crimes and that hurry to commit murder.  That’s putting them in some company there.

One of the traps we can fall into very easily is being “greedy for gain.”  It begins when the enemy plants a suggestion that we can’t live without something or more money.  That desire feeds upon itself until it becomes an all-consuming obsession.  When obsessed like this, you miss out on the blessings that god is trying to provide us (which is sufficient – 2 Corinthians 12:9) and we miss out on opportunities that God puts before us where we can be a blessing to others.

Personal Application

I personally struggle with this.  Not that I’m striving for great possessions or an absolute ton of money, but I have a tendency to look at everything I do and try to find a way to make money from it.  I have a hard time just sitting back and enjoying something I’m doing.  I’m always looking for an angle to monetize it.  This tends to make my hobbies and what should be times of enjoyment and relaxation into work.  Eventually, I get tired of the stress or the failure of monetizing something and I give up on it and move on to something else.  Never realizing the full enjoyment out of it.  I keep doing this over and over again, never learning from my failures before.  I have a saying that I like to repeat, “Practice makes permanent, not perfect.

I do feel to that if God has intentions of blessing me through some activity or hobby, he will do so.  By my meddling and looking for the angles I’m slowing the whole process down and I’m not receiving the full blessing that god is giving.  If I just sat back and enjoyed myself and stopped worrying about my “greed for gain,” the blessings would come and I could be a blessing to others.