Proverbs about Wisdom
The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is filled with both instruction and wise sayings/reminders. The book is an anthology of various sayings that were likely collected over the course of Israel’s history and compiled together as instructions, particularly for young folks (boys mostly or entirely) as they come of age. However, the wisdom contained within the book is applicable to all of us throughout our lifetimes, in most cases.
Over the next several weeks, I would like to simply focus in on Proverbs 10, listening to the major themes that are present in the wisdom sayings of that chapter, for the themes contained in that chapter are also present in the remainder of the book. This last week, we examine wisdom.
The book of Proverbs is ultimately about Wisdom. How can one attain it? How can you live a life that is wise rather than foolish? What can you do with your life to bring life to yourself and to others? Proverbs has a lot to say about this all the way through the entire book. And, in fact, even the Proverbs that aren’t about this exactly are also kind of exactly about this.
For example, a proverb dealing with your money (as we reviewed last week) is still about wisdom because the book is written to help you use your money wisely (and to view your money wisely too). A proverb about righteousness rather than wickedness is trying to show you the wisest way to live. And so on.
But there are many proverbs that are explicitly about wisdom too. In chapter 10, we see 8 verses that explicitly reference wisdom (verse 1, 5, 13, 14, 19, 23, 31, and 32). And ultimately, as you read through each of these Proverbs, we learn something very important:
Wisdom is directly connected to your actions.
They cannot be separated. We so often connect wisdom with knowledge, and in some ways, right so. There is a connection between the two–see verses 14, 23, and 32 of this very chapter to see that connection. But, there is more to wisdom than just knowledge.
- A wise child makes a father glad (v. 1).
- A wise son harvests in the summer (v. 5).
- The wise restrain their lips (v. 19).
- The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom (v. 31).
Wisdom is seen in action. You seek the good of others. You work hard and at the right times. You know what to say and when to say it. Wisdom is all about how you live your life.
Which means that everything else we have already seen in Proverbs 10 is trying to help us learn how to become wise and practice wisdom. To be righteous, to speak well, to know the dangers and the uses of money–all of this can help us to learn and practice wisdom.
And it also means that Wisdom is learning what to do with our actions be they righteous or wicked, what to do with our speech be it good or evil, and what to do with our money or lack thereof.
The book of Proverbs is written so that we may learn Wisdom and so that we may practice it. And in doing so, I hope we will find the God who made us and who has shown us the way through Jesus, who both knew and practiced Wisdom in all that he was, is and will be.
Let us be wise this week.