How-to: Gain Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight (Part 1)

Proverbs (revised)
 
This is PART 1 of a series: Proverbs – God’s Wisdom For Your Daily Life. 

The Beginning of Knowledge

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

To know wisdom and instruction,

to understand words of insight,

to receive instruction in wise dealing,

in righteousness, justice, and equity;

to give prudence to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the youth—

Let the wise hear and increase in learning,

and the one who understands obtain guidance,

to understand a proverb and a saying,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

In our lives as Christians we need knowledge and insight and wisdom for a number of reasons:

  1. to make a good decision or choice
  2. to understand a situation better
  3. to be enabled to pray with more specificity
  4. to know God better
What are some other reasons we need knowledge, insight, and wisdom? Add to the discussion in the comments below!
 

Solomon starts the book of Proverbs, in chapter 1, by telling us his purpose in writing it. In the first 6 verses of chapter 1 he lists a number of reasons; let’s look at them verse-by-verse.

Starting in verse 2 (since verse 1 is just his introduction), there are the first 3 reasons: 1) to know wisdom, 2) to know instruction, and 3) to understand words of insight.

Next, in verse 3, I count 4 reasons: 4) to receive instruction in wise dealing, 5) in righteousness, 6) in justice, and 7) in equity.

So after three verses there are already 7 reasons for writing Proverbs. You could also say there are already 7 reasons for you to read them too.

Moving on to verse 4, there are 3 more reasons bringing our running total to 10. The first one in verse 4 is 8) to give prudence to the simple. The next two reasons are 9) to give knowledge to the youth, and 10) to give the youth discretion.

In verse 5, we see Solomon’s desire and more of his intentions in writing this book. For our running list, we see reason number 11) to let the wise hear his words and increase in learning; reason number 12) to let the one who understands already obtain the guidance we need.

As we come to verse 6, we see the final three reasons: 13) to understand a proverb and a saying, 14) to understand the words of the wise, and 15) and to understand the riddles of the wise.

The preceding 15 reasons from verses 2-5 lay the foundation for verse 7:

hThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Solomon puts his readers on notice, telling them that only fools would despise wisdom and instruction. He clearly states, here in verse 7, the primary motivation for reading Proverbs – the pursuit of knowledge by fearing the Lord.

Join me next week as I break down each verse and its terms – words or phrases that unlock meaning. This way we’ll know what these terms mean and be able to know with greater clarity Solomon’s purposes in writing and the reasons why we should read Proverbs.

Look for PART 2 in this series, next week.  

 

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