In life, skill is what distinguishes success from failure, victory from defeat, and excellence from mediocrity. And skill – or “wisdom,” as the Hebrew is translated – is the overarching theme in the book of Proverbs.
In biblical times, wisdom was often passed from person to person through the use of proverbs – pithy saying that typically capitalized on a comparison or contrast from everyday life.
The master at creating these short sayings was Solomon – he spoke 3,000 proverbs during his reign.
His wisdom was a gift from God in answer to prayer, and his wisdom is encapsulated in his proverbs.
The book of Proverbs, written primarily by Solomon, was designed to produce a nation of people who were skilled at living a life consistent with God’s spiritual and natural laws.
No book in the Bib le sets forth its purpose with greater clarity than Proverbs.
The opening paragraph tells us these Proverbs were given to teach us wisdom and instruction, to enable us to perceive words of understanding, and to give prudence to the simple, and knowledge and discretion to the young.
As we read through Proverbs, especially with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we will learn wisdom – the skill of living – when it comes to relationships, finances, emotions, attitudes, integrity, marriage, and disciplines in every area of life.
Success in the practical matters of life requires reverence for God and obedience to His rules for living.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov 1:7).
We must receive God’s words and treasure His commands within us, inclining our ears to wisdom and our hearts to understanding (Prov 1-2).