Proverbs 1:8-9

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV

A couple questions:

  1. Children, do you view your parents’ teaching in a positive light? Do you view them as adornments?
  2. Parents, are your teachings worthy of being viewed as adornments?

What may be easily overlooked in these verses is the two-directional responsibility. Yes, children should listen to their parents. But, the parents are obligated to guide their children toward godliness, and not toward foolishness.

Colossians 3:20-21, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged.”

Proverbs 1:1

“To know wisdom and instruction,

    to understand words of insight,”

Proverbs 1:1 ESV

Solomon begins this book with a purpose statement of several verses that concludes with 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

In 1:1, Solomon begins to outline the things that are to follow. That is to say, the goal of this book is represented in what is coming in the remainder of the book.

  • To know wisdom and instruction.
  • To understand words of insight.

If you are interested in gaining wisdom and instruction and in understanding words of insight, you are wise … so proceed to read to book. If you are not interested in those things, you are a fool … but, proceed to read the book anyway. Your heart may be persuaded to pursue wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

  fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7 ESV

The book of Proverbs is dedicated to knowledge, the right kind of knowledge. That is to say wisdom and godliness. Note that the fool despises this kind of knowledge.

The remainder of the book provides a contrast between the righteous and the fool.

Wisdom Personified

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.

Proverbs 1:20-23 ESV

Here, wisdom is personified. I wonder if the intent is to give the reader a more relatable understanding of wisdom. In certain religions or philosophies, wisdom seems to be a thing that is so far out there, or otherworldly, that only a select few can understand what it is or achieve it.

By personifying wisdom, it seems that the writer is attempting to make wisdom relatable, understandable, and attainable … for all.

Challenge: This year make it your goal to befriend wisdom. Make wisdom a welcome part of your daily life. Reading Proverbs each day is a helpful way to do this.

How many times do I have to tell you …?

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”

Proverbs 1:22

Here, Wisdom sounds like a frustrated parent asking a disobedient child how many times they have to tell them not to do something. In this case, wisdom asks us how long we will continue in folly.

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