The Purpose (1:1-7)
- In these first 7 verses Solomon’s words appear to be written to no particular audience. This is for anybody. Here, we find the REASON for the Proverbs as Solomon lists six PURPOSES for his writings.
- To know wisdom & instruction.
- To perceive the words of understanding.
- To receive instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, & equity.
- To give prudence to the simple.
- To give knowledge & discretion to the young man.
- To understand a proverb, enigma, wise words, riddles.
- The INTENTION here is that readers will develop a healthy FEAR (reverence) for God and thereby know how to TRULY live life to the fullest. Solomon says that, before you can know, perceive, receive, give, or understand these things – you must FEAR God.
If Sinners Entice You (1:8-19)
- In this second section, the narrative shifts as Solomon focuses his instruction on his “son”. Possibly biological; possibly a disciple of his. However, what we find here is a warning to forsake ungodliness. Solomon says to his “son” that the enticement of sinners is to be refused at all cost, that he and now we are not to give it any consideration. This is wisdom.
- Psalms 1
- James 4:7-8a
- Deuteronomy 4:40; 5:16; 32:46-47
- When we fear the Lord, we will keep His commandments. When we keep His commandments, we are better equipped to be victorious over sin.
Listen to Wisdom (1:20-33)
- In this last section of Proverbs 1, we see the narrative shift once more. Solomon transitions from his broad audience to his son back to his broad audience. This third section is an allegory.
- Notice the contrast between the second section where “sinners entice” and this last section where “wisdom cries”.
- Wisdom is both figurative and literal. In 1 Corinthians 1:24, we read that Jesus is the Wisdom of God and just as the proverbial wisdom of Solomon cries out to sinners to turn from their sinfulness, so Jesus cries out to all of humanity to repent as well. Just as sinners are free to choose accept or reject wisdom’s invitation, so are we free to accept or reject the Lord’s invitation. However, we are not free to choose the consequences.
- Listen to what happens when Wisdom/God is rejected:
- I will laugh at their calamity
- I will mock when your fear comes
- I will not answer when they call
- I will hide myself when they search for Me
- Like the sinner mentioned in 1:18, they will be destroyed by their own evil ways.
- But the person who listens to the instruction of the Lord will be saved!