I have always wanted to, started to, never finished a month of reading the book of Proverbs everyday. I have read it, dipped into it. But when I thought about February and what I can study this month I felt for sure it is wisdom. Real Wisdom. So turning to the ‘most wise man who ever lived’ aka Solomon I hope to become wiser, to understand more and to share this wisdom.
I usually read the NLT or NIV versions of the bible, but I am particularly inspired by the Message at the moment (sorry purist friends, I really am enjoying it.. try it, you too might like it! Someone told me that they found it a watered down version. Of course, I read it parallel with the Amplified version when I can’t fully understand.) Not sure why I have to justify myself there. But I did. And it’s ok to read the bible!
Proverbs 1 //Wise Sayings of Solomon // A Manual for Living
1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
I want to be taught the ‘ropes’ I want a grasp on reality more than I already do. And if there are areas of life I think I know, I want fresh wisdom into the ‘rhymes and reasons’ of all. Yes. This sounds like real wisdom to me.
Start with God
7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
8-19 Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.
Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
like rings on your fingers.
Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you,
don’t go along with them.
If they say—”Let’s go out and raise some hell.
Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman.
Let’s pick them clean
and get them ready for their funerals.
We’ll load up on top-quality loot.
We’ll haul it home by the truckload.
Join us for the time of your life!
With us, it’s share and share alike!”—
Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look;
don’t listen to them for a minute.
They’re racing to a very bad end,
hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on.
Nobody robs a bank
with everyone watching,
Yet that’s what these people are doing—
they’re doing themselves in.
When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens:
the more you get, the less you are.
By bowing down first to God, we can become wise – through surrender and humilty we can catch all that He has for us. Wear counsel like a flower – something to be treasured, something on show, that adorns you.
Don’t go along with the bad crowd – how easy to say and believe it, to even teach it. But to live it. To really stay clear of bad companions (!) The gossips, the liars, not just the ones whoa re going to loot ‘old men’ yah it really ays that in Proverbs. ‘Don’t give them a second look’. A first look therefore is for discernment. The second means you are tempted to join. Quick wisdom. For you. For me.
‘The more you get, the less you are” This phrase stands out to me. In the Amplified it states: “19So are the ways of everyone who is greedy of gain; such [greed for plunder] takes away the lives of its possessors.” Therefore, by deceitful living you slowly end your life.
20-21 Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts.
At the town center she makes her speech.
In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand.
At the busiest corner she calls out:
22-24 ”Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance?
Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism?
Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn?
About face! I can revise your life.
Look, I’m ready to pour out my spirit on you;
I’m ready to tell you all I know.
As it is, I’ve called, but you’ve turned a deaf ear;
I’ve reached out to you, but you’ve ignored me.
25-28 ”Since you laugh at my counsel
and make a joke of my advice,
How can I take you seriously?
I’ll turn the tables and joke about your troubles!
What if the roof falls in,
and your whole life goes to pieces?
What if catastrophe strikes and there’s nothing
to show for your life but rubble and ashes?
You’ll need me then. You’ll call for me, but don’t expect
No matter how hard you look, you won’t find me.
29-33 ”Because you hated Knowledge
and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-God,
Because you wouldn’t take my advice
and brushed aside all my offers to train you,
Well, you’ve made your bed—now lie in it;
you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it?
Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots?
Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.
First pay attention to me, and then relax.
Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.”
Wisdom here is personified, imagine her in the streets shouting. Making the cars come to a standstill. “I can revise your life” This is something I want to have ears to hear. I want the spirit of wisdom to be poured out upon me – to know all wisdom has to offer, look she is ready to tell all. But some will ignore and pretend they don’t hear. I don’t want to come into this category. I want to hear wisdom and all she has to shout or whisper into my life.
And then the ultimatum: pay attention and then relax.
To pay attention to wisdom is to then be granted the hope to relax: ”Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.”