#157 Proverbs 1:1-7 The Purpose and Theme of Proverbs

Joy:
Episode #157 Proverbs 1:1-7

Welcome

Amy:
Welcome to The Christgazing Podcast. We are so glad you are here! I’m Amy Burgin.

Joy:
I’m Joy Burgin.

Amy:
Christgazing, kind of like stargazing, is the act of looking steadily and intently at Jesus. If you are anything like us, you desire to fix your eyes on Jesus amid the distractions and troubles of this world. This podcast makes room for us to do that. Amid a world of many words, we slow down here and make space for the God-breathed Words, the best words, the ones that rightly comfort, correct, and lead us. Each week, we read a portion of scripture several times and create stillness after each reading so we might also be still and know God more.

In late January, the personification of Wisdom from Proverbs 1:20-21 came to my mind. It says, “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech.” When this personification came to my mind, I pictured Wisdom as a young woman who just turned thirteen. A couple of weeks after that, someone I love very much said Proverbs was his favorite part of the Bible. So, today, we’ll begin a series in Proverbs.

Pour Out Your Heart to God

Amy:
Before we read, take time to share your heart with God. Maybe you have a list of questions for which you need answers—or a heart filled with grief, joy, desire, gratitude, anger, peace, or a mix of some of these things and more—whatever is on your mind, name it, and bring it to God in the next minute.

[Pause and pour out your heart to God]

What Does This Passage Say About God?

Joy:
As I read today’s passage, consider the question: what does this say about God?

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Again?

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Take the next few moments to consider what this says about God.

[Pause and know]

What Does This Passage Say About People?

Joy:
As I read the passage again, consider the question, what does this say about people?

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Take a minute to consider what this says about people.

[Pause and know]

Lord, What Would You Have Me Know Or Do Today?

Joy:
As I read for the last time, ask God, “Lord, what would you have me know or do today in response to this passage?” If it helps, put yourself in the narrative.

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Take a minute to ask God, “Lord, what would you have me know or do in response to this passage?”

[Pause and listen]

Blessing

Joy:
Christgazer, the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. And may you keep your face turned toward Jesus today and know him more.

One Response

Amy:
Proverbs 1:7 was one of the first verses I ever memorized. I was 26 years old and pregnant with Joy. I pray I never forget it: “The fear of the Lord is beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

I like contemplating verses 1 to 6. It teaches me that Proverbs is a gift.

Proverbs is a gift for knowing wisdom, instruction, and correction, for understanding words of insight. 
   Lord, we want to receive your gift and know your wise ways.

Proverbs is a gift for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, righteousness, justice, and equity.
   Lord, we want to receive your gift and walk in wise behavior.

Proverbs is a gift for giving prudence, shrewdness, and craftiness to the naive, to those who can be enticed, seduced, or deceived.
   Lord, we are all vulnerable to this. Lord, we want to receive your gift. May our deceiver be the one who is tricked.

Proverbs is a gift for giving knowledge and discretion, a purpose and a plan to the young. 
   Lord, we lift up our youth. May the youth receive your gift, know, and walk in your good purpose and plan.

I also memorized James 1:5 in 1999, which says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” This has brought me such comfort for the last 24 years. I have been and continue to be a woman in desperate need of wisdom. Knowing God gives it generously to all of us who ask without finding fault, without rebuking, disgracing, or shaming us, changes everything.

At the beginning of the episode, I mentioned I pictured Wisdom as a young woman who just turned 13. Wisdom is a gift for all ages. None of us need to walk blindly in the dark. 

This is the Word of the Lord.

Closing

Amy:
You can find a transcript of this episode and all our episodes at amyburgin.com.

We released a book last week titled The Glory of the Total Solar Eclipse. It topped the Amazon charts as the #1 New Release in Science & Religion and made the top 10 Best Seller Rank in the same category.  If you feel led, pick up a copy—I’m praying every reader hears personally from God.

Joy and I will be back next week to go Christgazing together. Until then, don’t forget, when you put your trust in Christyou are one in whom he dwells and delightsa dearly loved child of God. You are royalty in his strong and unshakeable kingdom. Though trouble abounds, Christ prevails, and so do you.

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