Read 139.) Proverbs chapters 10 thru 12. The first 9 chapters constituted a lengthy introduction, but also a very powerful admonition, to wisdom. Chapter 2, verse 6 said that the Lord gives wisdom. Chapter 4, verse 7 said that wisdom was supreme, and to, therefore, get wisdom. And, from 8:17, we were told that those who seek wisdom will find her. Then, just last reading, we were told that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and from 8:13, it, “is to hate evil.”
With the advent of chapter 10, we begin to see these proverbs. Solomon was said to have uttered 3,000 of them. Note, first, how that each one tends to comprise one verse, and that each of these verses tend to be of two lines each. That’s not true of all of them, but the vast majority are ordered after this fashion. It makes them eminently memorizable, and that’s what many would do. By memorizing the proverbs of Solomon, and having them in one’s head and heart, a person could approach the issues of life, and as it became necessary to process what was going on, and what was important about it, the counsel of the appropriate and applicable proverbs would come to mind, and one could cite one or more upon the occasion, as well as share their wisdom with another in need of their help.
Read through them deliberately, and even better, aloud. Hear yourself say the words of the wisest man to have ever lived. As you do, perhaps not this time, but at any time, an actual incident from life might come to your mind where the words you are reading would have been helpful. And, if not an incident in your own life, perhaps in the life of another person important to you. As you read, at the very least, mark favorites however you do. Personally, I draw black lines on either side, so as to bracket favorite verses in my Bible.
We begin the Proverbs of Solomon. Take note of how some have a refreshing and uplifting sort of feel to them, while others take one down in a way that they utter a sort of threat, so that one can be forewarned of that which would pose a danger. While many will state a positive sentiment in both lines, as if making synonymous statements; others will express opposite sentiments, in contrast to one another. Read them aloud, and both feel and express the emotional sentiment that each line conveys. A final thought might be that it is necessary to explain that while these are inspired words of the Spirit of the Lord, none constitute actual, or absolute, promises, as we find elsewhere. These are generalizations, which are typically true, but cannot be made to be as absolutes, which must always work out as they read in every single instance. They are proverbs, general statements of that which is to be regarded as the best way, or course, that should lead to the better end. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell