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More than a Pithy Saying

More than a Pithy Saying

Today, we look at the word proverb to discover what it means and why Solomon used this form of teaching to communicate God’s wisdom to us.

As we learned yesterday, Solomon wrote over 3,000 proverbs during his lifetime but the Holy Spirit decided to only use the ones found in this book to reveal His unchanging truth to us.  It doesn’t mean the other sayings of Solomon aren’t important.  It just means they aren’t inspired.  They’re not “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16).  They’re simply the sayings of a wise man and not the infallible, inerrant words of our sovereign God.¹

And the wise sayings of Solomon aren’t the only ones the Lord considered inspired.  In the Proverbs we find sayings from “Agur the son of Jakeh” and someone known as “King Lemuel” (Prov. 30:1; 31:1), although many feel King Lemuel was another name for King Solomon.  That may, or may not be the case, but we’ll look into that matter in more detail at another time.

Suffice it to say, the Book of Proverbs is a collection of… well, proverbs.  God-inspired proverbs.  And since most of them are from the lips and pen of Solomon, the book is rightly known as the Proverbs of Solomon.  But for me, a better title would be:  The Proverbs of God Given to Solomon to Give to Us.  But that’s just my opinion.


What’s a Proverb?

Which begs the question, “What’s a proverb?”  A proverb is defined as a “short, pithy saying in general use stating a truth or piece of advice.”²   Biblically speaking, a proverb can be defined as “a short saying that expresses a general truth about God for practical, Godly living.”  For us, the Proverbs of Solomon contain the wisdom of God that shows how to live above the sin and degradation of our society and how to understand and fully embrace the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  The Proverbs give clear, practical examples on how to “walk in the Spirit” and not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).  They teach us how to live everyday as an “overcomer” (1 John 5:5) and reveal to us that the “abundant life” Jesus promised is truly obtainable and not just beyond our grasp (John 10:10).  And they present us with a vivid, in-your-face contrast between the painful consequences of choosing the path of the foolish or the wondrous blessings that come with walking in the way of the wise.

But there’s so much more.
 

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Finishing Dead Last

Finishing Dead Last

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. Proverbs 1:1 The book of Proverbs contains some of the over 3,000 sayings of Solomon, who is known as the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 4:30).  Unfortunately, Solomon didn't always heed his own advice and...

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Proverbs 1:8-19 – The Danger of Bad Company

Proverbs 1:8-19 – The Danger of Bad Company

The Danger of Bad Company One of the most overlooked and ignored warnings in all of Scripture is found in 1 Corinthians 15:33.  Here the Lord tells us to not be deceived.  But deceived about what? 1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be deceived:  "Evil company corrupts good...

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Day One:  From Proverbs 1

Day One: From Proverbs 1

But Fools Today, Day One, we are looking at the first Proverb.  And, as often happens, I am arrested by the simplicity of the Lord's words: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov. 1:7). First, let's see...

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Day Twenty-One:  From Proverbs 21

Day Twenty-One: From Proverbs 21

Some truths for today from Proverbs 21. Proverbs 21:2 - Every way (or, path, journey, pattern of life) of a man is right (or, just, straight, upright, correct, ethically or morally pleasing) in his own eyes, but (contrast) the LORD weighs (or, measures, ponders,...

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Day Nineteen:  From Proverbs 19

Day Nineteen: From Proverbs 19

The following are a few passages that specifically spoke to me this morning.  Two great truths and a prayer. First, the prayer: Lord, help me listen to only Your voice and not blindly forge ahead in my own so-called wisdom. Proverbs 19:21 - There are many plans (or,...

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