A New Series: Proverbs – A Manual On How To Live

Do you remember this? God asked Solomon, “What do you want me to give you?” (see 2 Chronicles 1:1-12). Solomon wanted wisdom and knowledge in order to lead the people of Israel. Because Solomon asked for the right reason, God granted his request. Solomon wrote Proverbs as sage advice for the people.

A proverb, a truth condensed into a few words in a memorable fashion can be applied to a variety of life situations. Proverbs is to be taken in small doses. In my opinion, each should be smothered in prayer to discern its specific usefulness. Proverbs—a manual on how to live.

The Purpose

Solomon explains these words for righteous living are for all people young and old, immature and mature. In the first seven verses of Proverbs 1, Solomon spurts a staccato of useful and prudent information. Read each proverb carefully and thoughtfully.

1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
    to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
    to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
    knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
    Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.(Proverbs 1:1-6 NLT.

The Foundation

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7 NLT).

First things first. Revere God. Awe, as in reverence or fear of the Lord, is certainly not fright. Acknowledge God is sovereign and head over all things. Then comes knowledge, discipline, and wisdom from God. Solomon wants believers to put things in God’s perspective. Proverbs —a manual on how to live.

Prayer: Father, thank you for this book of direct guidance on how to live. Help me comprehend these pearls of wisdom to help me live a righteous life – close to you.

The Riches of God’s Grace

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17 Amplified Bible.

Ephesians 1:15-23 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 1:15-23 NIV
Ephesians 1:15-23 In Your Bible

Paul’s letters to specific early churches overflow with gems for believers today. Paul reveals he has never stopped praying and thanking God for the believers at Ephesus. He assures them God has many things planned for them.

Paul’s Desire for Believers

His prayer is for the Ephesian believers (and us today) to realize the greatness and power of God who will help them:

  • Gain spiritual wisdom
  • Have hearts flooded with light
  • Begin to grow in Christ
  • Ultimately know God in a deeper more powerful way

His encouragement is emphasized in this verse: I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given his people (Ephesians 1:18b New Living Translation).

Presence and Power

Believers must grasp the incredible power they have in Christ Jesus. For Paul, the resurrection is the supreme proof of the power of God. *

Now Jesus is seated in the heavenly realms far above any ruler, power, or authority. God did this for the benefit of the church – his body, you and me. Now, Christ, fills everything and every place with his power and his presence. We need to get a handle on that for our growth.

Prayer: Father, thank you for opening the eyes of my heart. Now, I see more clearly your greatness and what you want me to do.

Questions: What provides the capability or power in us to do things that God wants us to do? Is this also clearer when we look intently on Jesus’ own words in the Gospels?

* The Daily Bible Study Series, Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Second Edition, September, 1958, p. 107