Proverbs Chapter 1
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1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
3 To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
4 To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles. - Proverbs 1:1-6


Before we continue, let's establish Solomon's credentials in writing a book that is the authoritative source on wisdom. Before we do that though, let's look at what Paul and Peter wrote regarding the credibility of scripture.


16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17


20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. - 2 Peter 1:20-21


Having established that, let's read the account of Solomon when God imparted to him unmatched wisdom.


In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.”


Question: Can you imagine an audience with God whereas God invites you to ask anything of Him? What would you ask?


Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.” - 2 Chronicles 1:7-12


29 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34 Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom. - 1 Kings 4:29-34


Did you know that wisdom is something that God is eager to give generously?


But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5


(A good time to stop and pray for wisdom). Now we'll continue into Proverbs in pursuit of that mentioned in the first 6 verses.


7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. What is fear? Why is it the catalyst to true knowledge?


28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. - Matthew 10:28


Fear that is being spoken of here is a reverential fear, it's not being afraid of God but having a proper recognition of who He is. A proper recognition of God should provokes a regard for God in that persons life. It moves a person from a position of disdain for God where they do not consider Him to a position of respect for God where He's considered more and more, even to the point of holding the position of Lord in a person's eyes. This type of reverence can include rejoicing as well as trembling (Psalm 2:11, Isaiah 12:6).

So what about "Fools". This may be easier defined by what is written here about them. First notice in this verse they "despise wisdom and instruction", they "hate knowledge" (v22) and correction of any kind (v12:1), they are ready to "quarrel" (v20:3) and make no effort to restrain their anger (v29:11), they are complacent (v32) and trust in themselves (v28:26) rather than God (Psa. 14:1).

Maybe someone comes to mind as you hear that? Perhaps if you're like me, that someone is you. I know I often see myself on the foolish side of these verses. Also note the stark contrast between what wisdom and foolishness

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Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;


It is wise of a person to listen to the council learned by another. If a person can learn from the experience of those who care about them they can keep from having to learn the hard way; which is first-hand.

Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

Those who follow wisdom add beauty and honor to their lives, 3:2 adds length of life and peace to these attributes.

10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

Entice is defined as "attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage". In this case the enticing is at all costs from theft to murder.

11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

A crude and accurate exposure of the enticement mentioned in verse 10. While the one enticing often will use sweet words on the lips, the writer here is exposing it for what it truly is. In the world of business people have often justified stealing from others as long as those people don't know it. They then entice others to do the same (as they have with us). Apart from my experience you don't have to look far to see it. Insurance companies that take the money of the innocent only to use loop-holes to get out of paying a claim needed later. Advertisers will entice you with sex, money, power, etc. basically they will do anything to get your attention and have you cast your lot in with them. "swallow them alive like Sheol" They do it all shamelessly.

13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

An example of what they offer. Many people have come to me in our business telling me I should charge more, when I ask them why, they usually give a variation of the above proverb. Some think I'm being stupid for not and answer my question as to why with a simple "because you can". Because we work for many businesses I have caused some friction by not consenting to their actions. Some businesses it's been exposing greed, some it's been exposing flat out sinful businesses (strip clubs, illegal drug stores, etc.)

14 Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

Misery loves company. Sinners love company in sin. How often have your "friends" tried to entice you to do something you knew was wrong. Have you ever tried to entice someone else to do something you know you shouldn't have encouraged them to do? I have. "Throw in your lot with us" "We shall all have one purse" both have a similar offer of fellowship which is often enticing, but this particular fellowship is calling one to invest in evil and therefore share the spoils of evil. It's a fellowship of darkness. Gangs often entice young men who have not the Light this way.

15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

Verse 15 is an urge to keep from walking the same path of evil, verse 16 exposes that path as one that runs to evil and hurries to shed blood. Verse 16 is exposing the reason for the warning of verse 15. Verse 17 is pointing out that even the birds have enough wisdom when they see such a trap to stay away. We are being urged to recognize the trap and be at least as wise as the birds and stay away.

18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.


The biggest losers are not the victims of the crime but rather the perpetrator in the crime. The consequences to him are far worse than that of his victim. This actually makes them less prudent than birds.


Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. - Galatians 6:7-8


See also Isaiah 17:14. Contrast also Proverbs 28:16 which shows the benefit to the person who hates unjust gain.

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