Proverbs: Everyday Wisdom - Admonition & Reward

 
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PDF Manuscript: Proverbs - Everyday Wisdom - Admonition & Reward

You’ve never really thought enough about anything.” In Tim Keller’s devotional book on Proverbs he says that one of the main messages of this book is that “you’ve never really though enough about anything.” In other words, Proverbs helps us to take all of our thoughts and actions and center them on God. And in a surprising way, Proverbs helps you grapple with realities to which you haven’t given enough thought.

I was reminded of this the other day while I was sitting at the dining room table. Theodore was on my lap holding my Bible. He turned to the book of Proverbs, chapter 18 and verse 2 and told me to read it. “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his own opinion.” If my son was older than three, I might be tempted to think he was calling me a fool! But it struck me, regardless of how many times I’ve read that—I haven’t thought enough about how my speech reveals something deep in my own heart.

A Better Version of You?

As we continue in our study of Proverbs, I hope you’re having the same experience I am. Every week I’m confronted with the fact that I need more wisdom. But not because I need more helpful tips, or ethics, or practical advice—although we get that from the book. What I need, what we all need, is a deep wisdom at the level of the heart.

What you don’t need is just a slightly better version of you. You go can to the self-help section of Barnes and Noble and find a treasure trove of books that will help you manage your money better, communicate better, look better—but the wisdom of God is meant for so much more. This wisdom of God, when received, brings a fundamental change to the heart that works its way through our affections.

You see, the book of Proverbs is more than a repository of “how to” principles for successful living. It is part of the grand narrative of God’s past, present, and future work of salvation that is unveiled in Scripture. In many ways, the book of Proverbs demonstrates that wisdom can be accessed only in a relationship with God. Fearing God, or living in a right relationship with him, is the beginning of wisdom (1:7). We cannot have God’s wisdom without God, because as Proverbs 2:6 says, “The Lord gives wisdom.” And the Lord only gives wisdom to those who put their faith in him and thus become part of the covenant people (Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:5–14). We need to view wisdom as not merely life principles, but rather a path to a more God-centered life.

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