Proverbs 1:33; 2:5–12,16, 20–22; 3:1–8 comment (0)
March 6, 2014
By Robert Olsen, Ph.D.
Related Scripture: Proverbs 1:33; 2:5–12,16, 20–22; 3:1–8
Explore the Bible
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
Learn Wisdom’s Benefits
Proverbs 1:33; 2:5–12, 16, 20–22; 3:1–8
Security and Protection (1:33, 2:7–8, 20–22)
When reading Proverbs it is important to keep in mind that this is Wisdom Literature. Wisdom Literature in the Bible gives practical insight into godly living. It is meant to help show believers how to live. When reading this set of verses, it is necessary to realize that these are not 100 percent guarantees. The idea behind this section of Scripture is that those who listen to wisdom, who listen to the law of God, will be free from the calamity that comes from foolishness. Practically speaking, if we obey the laws of God, we will keep ourselves from bad living and bad judgment. If we keep ourselves free from following the teachings of the culture and the world in which we live we will experience spiritual prosperity. If we find our value, worth and meaning from who we are in the eyes of God rather than in the eyes of men, we will have a confidence and an assurance that we will spend eternity with God. If we are only concerned for the things of this world — money, prestige, power, etc. — then even if we achieve these things, they are fleeting. But if we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then we will have an eternal reward. Those who seek the things of God will have eternity to spend in His presence and will not regret the decisions they made. We need not worry about why the wicked seem to prosper, because God will deal with them eventually.
Discernment and Guidance (2:5–6, 9–12, 16, 3:5–6)
Those who seek wisdom will understand the fear of the Lord. Looking to the Lord is where we find true wisdom. The Lord is the one who reveals to us how to think rightly about the world. If we look to the world or to ourselves for understanding we will never truly be able to see the situation properly. God is the grounding for our wisdom. He is the basis for our understanding. In order to know how to act in a given situation, we should look first to God. This is affirmed in 3:5–6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”
Wholeness (3:1–2, 7–8)
The term here for “well being” is Shalom, which means peace or wholeness. It does not mean we will be free from sickness or trials. Christians find true meaning and satisfaction in the Lord. He has provided for us salvation in Christ. This is why Christians who face trials or have sickness are still able to see themselves as blessed — because they realize true blessing, meaning and completeness are found in Christ, not in our circumstances. Many Christians believe they are entitled to a life free from trials and hardship, but when we look at the Scriptures we see that even Peter and Paul were persecuted. Furthermore Jesus Himself, perfect God and perfect man suffered. If our Savior faced sufferings, we should not be alarmed when we face suffering. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” There are many false teachers who teach that following Christ leads to physical and monetary prosperity, but these are false teachers. God may decide to bless us with healthy lives and money, but it is no guarantee. We should be content to follow Christ and live a godly life no matter the results.
Right Relationships (3:3–4)
Loyalty and faithfulness are two cardinal virtues of the Old Testament. Christians are to exhibit these characteristics in our relationships with others. Christians should be known by our attitudes and how we live. We bring glory to God when we live in this way, because it is a demonstration of God’s attributes and attitude toward us. True friendship should not be based on what we can get from others but rather that we are trustworthy and come through in hard times as well as the good times.