We need to seek wisdom and understanding but sometimes this might meen we need to confront ideas that seem like “dark sayings (verse 6). Having a sense of wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) is really a precondition for even starting on the journey of obtaining knowledge (verse 7). We need to pay careful attention to the instruction of our parents and of those from the preceding generation. Their wisdom will adorn our heads with grace (verse 9). We must be careful to avoid those who would entice us toward sin or anything that seeks to gratify our own selfish desires through the exploitation of others. We will be tempted because we live in a world filled with needs. We hunger, we need shelter from at times brutal elements, we need medicine. At times we feel we are at risk of depravity, degradation or isolation and we desperately need comfort and support from others. But choosing a life of sin over wisdom is a trap that will serve us poorly in the end. In fact, if we do reject knowledge, we will do so with wisdom’s ever-present beckoning, imposing its offering upon us at every turn, coming as it does from the pull at our hearts when we feel or experience suffering and injustice, or simply as we notice unread books or an untaken class, or an un-pursued degree. Or when we find ourselves in conversations with others who seem to be further along than us. We can scorn our deficiencies and turn away from these learning opportunities but we do so at our own peril. At some point, our deficiencies will be exposed and we will experience real suffering and it will be too late to really deal with it.
- verse 3-4 subtilty to the simple
- verse 6 – dark sayings.
- verse 7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
- verse 9 – ornaments of grace
- verse 15 – turn away from evil
- verse 20 – wisdom crieth without
- verse 28 – then shall ye call me and I shall not answer
Successfully obtaining wisdom requires immense effort and sacrifice. Think of the most precious treasure imaginable, the most desirable riches you could desire, seek for wisdom as if it were more precious than even that (verse 4) and only then will we find the knowledge of God (verse 5). To obtain wisdom requires one to be righteous and requires a person to seek for goodness for its own sake. You cannot obtain it for selfish purposes but only in the service of God and others (verse 6, 7). The pursuit of wisdom is righteousness and pursing righteousness produces wisdom. These principles are mutually reinforcing. Pursing this type of life will be enriching and “pleasant to the soul.” (verse 10).
There’s safety in this type of life. “Discretion preserves, understanding protects” (verse 11). Wickedness is to “forsake the guide of our youth” (verse 17) when we forget the covenant of our God (verse 17). This is deadness in the end. It’s no way to live and worse can be the end of us (verse 22).
- verse 4 Seek knowledge as if it’s silver.
- verse 5 Understand the fear of the Lord.
- verse 9 – Understand every good path.
- verse 17 – Forsake the guide of her youth and the covenants with her God.
How do we really learn wisdom? It takes time and effort. We have to find a way to get truths and wisdom bound around our necks and written upon the fleshy tables of our hearts (verse 3). We will never be enough on our own, recognizing that in our journey “we have to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, leaning not unto our own understanding (verse 5). How do we do that? We need to be ever-willing to recognize our own weakness (verse 7). We cannot get to hung up with our possessions. How do we do that? By donating them to the poor (verse 9, 10). We have to accept correction, recognizing that it’s a sign of love to be cared for, watched after and guided (verse 11-13).
The goal, always is wisdom. Happiness comes through its pursuit (v13). Wisdom is better than anything on earth, more precious than rubies (verse 15). Wisdom is the “tree of life” (verse 18). Creation is possible only through wisdom (verse 19, 20). We can find confidence in the Lord (verse 26). Wisdom requires righteous living so avoid evil (verse 29, 30, 31, 32).
- verse 3 Bind truth and wisdom around thy neck and upon our heart.
- verse 5-6 Trust the Lord.
- verse 9 – Honor God through charity.
- verse 12 – Accept correction, for the Lord loveth who he correcteth.
We depend so much on our parent’s instructions. We need to listen for the good doctrine (verse 2), pursue wisdom (verse 5), forget it not (verse 5). Get wisdom, get understanding (verse 7). Exalt it and wisdom shall promote you in turn (verse 8). With understanding we can find straight paths, we can run without stumbling (verse 12). The path of the just is recognizable because it is full of light (verse 18) whereas wickedness is darkness (verse 19).
How can we live a good life? Be gentle with others, especially with those who don’t reciprocate it (verse 1). The righteous are pure inside and out and you can see it in the way they talk (verse 2, 4), their tongue is the “tree of life”. You can see it in their willingness to learn from their parents (verse 5), in their willingness to teach others (verse 7), through the way they pray (verse 8), the way they take correction when they make mistakes (verse 10). You can see it in their countenance (verse 13), their attitude toward new knowledge (verse 14), in the way they approach life (verse 15), the way they eat dinner with others (verse 17), the way they treat their parents and others in the preceding generation (verse 20), the way they take counsel (verse 22).
Verse 28 says the righteous studies toward an answer but the wicked just spout off nonsense.
- verse 1 – Soft answers
- verse 4 – Wholesome tongue
- verse 7 – Lips of the wise disperse knowledg
- verse 13 – A merry heart
- verse 17 – A modest dinner with love.
- verse 28 – Righteous study to answer
The Lord requires effort. Prepare one’s heart (verse 1) and watch our tongue, this is of God. We think we’re clean but the Lord will truly make that judgment and we need to allow that to happen. Our works should be consecrated to God in the service of others (verse 3). Lifting oneself above another and especially above God is wrong. Our only hope is through the mercy and truth of God (verse 6) and its within righteousness we can find peace even with our enemies (verse 7). We should always follow the path of right (verse 8) even when we suffer financially for it. Our heart determines our path, rely on God to establish our path (verse 9). God is just (verse 11). Power ups the ante and those with power have greater responsibility given the influence and impact (verse 12). Wisdom is better than gold (verse 16). Pride will destroy us (verse 18). Be slow to anger (verse 32).
- v2 Everyone thinks they are pure, the Lord knows.
- v6 Mercy and truth iniquity is purged.
- v16 Wisdom better than gold.
- v18 Pride before the fall
- v19 Better to be humble with the lowly.
- v32 Slow to anger
1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever
3:11 There is a time for everything, but the world is planted in our heart, and it is hopeless to understand it.
3:21-22 There may be nothing else, so enjoy our work now.
5:13-15 A warning against hoarding riches.
5:18-20 Enjoy what you have
6:7 All of our labor is for us to enjoy,
7:2-4 Funerals are better than parties, sorrow better than laughter, better to mourn than to laugh.
7:14 Enjoy prosperity, be mindful during adversity
8:1 A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine.
8:17 There are things we will never be able to come close to understand.
9:9 Live life joyfully with those you love while your alive. That is our work.
9:11 Everything we get i by chance.
10: 16 Woe to the world when the king is a child
10:20 No matter what, curse not the king, curse not the rich, a bird shall carry thy voice…
11: 5,6 We don’t know anything so just work.
12:1 Remember God
12:13 Fear God and keep his commandments, that is all we can do.