Monday, July 19, 2010

Proverbs 1:1-19

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; 

for understanding words of insight;

3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, 

doing what is right and just and fair;

4 for giving prudence to the simple, 

knowledge and discretion to the young-

5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, 

and let the discerning get guidance-

6 for understanding proverbs and parables, 

the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, 

but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

9 They will be a garland to grace your head 

and a chain to adorn your neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice you, 

do not give in to them.

11 If they say, "Come along with us; 

let's lie in wait for someone's blood, 

let's waylay some harmless soul;

12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave, 

and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

13 we will get all sorts of valuable things 

and fill our houses with plunder;

14 throw in your lot with us, 

and we will share a common purse"-

15 my son, do not go along with them, 

do not set foot on their paths;

16 for their feet rush into sin, 

they are swift to shed blood.

17 How useless to spread a net 

in full view of all the birds!

18 These men lie in wait for their own blood; 

they waylay only themselves!

19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; 

it takes away the lives of those who get it.

Questions to consider:
  • What is Solomon’s purpose in writing? Who is his audience?
  • What is the basis of wisdom?
  • Why is parental instruction important?
  • What is paradoxical about the principle in verses 18-19?

Possibilities for prayer:

Solomon writes that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This fear does not necessarily have to be fear as it is traditionally understood, since we are often told not to fear because God is with us. But this fear is about a deep and intense respect and honor for God, who is the source of all good things. Today, let’s ask for an increased understanding of what the “fear of the Lord” is, and for an ever-expanding amount of respect and honor for who God is.