Welcome to the first day of Proverbs, a chapter a day here at Refocused Bible Study! We’ve already started laying the foundation last week for the study of this super practical book of the bible by studying King Solomon, who wrote many chapters in this book. If you missed those posts, you can find them here.
Today we start this book as women who want God’s wisdom. But we don’t want it just for the purpose of knowing it. We want wisdom for the purpose of knowing HIM. I pray that as we approach this book, we will allow the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and show us things in his word that only he ( the One who dreamed us up, uniquely wired our personalities and pursued us in love) can whisper to us. If you are new to studying God’s word or want a refresher, you can read more about how He teaches us through it here.
In the first seven verses of chapter one, Solomon lays out the purpose of his writing, and lays the foundation for this book:
These 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.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Verse seven stands at the bottom of these first seven verses, ironically the foundation of the entire book of Proverbs. Everything else in the book of wisdom stands upon this verse. Let’s study it more in depth.
According to the Strong’s Lexicon, the Hebrew Word for “fear” in this verse is
‘yir’ah” – fear, terror, fearing
awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)
fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety
Are you fearing the Lord these days in this way? This kind of fear or reverence brings us to a place of honest humility. It brings us to our knees, knowing we are and will always be in need of the God who is so much bigger than our minds could understand.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
As I meditated on what it meant to fear the Lord, I heard the preschool director’s voice echo in my memory, “bow your heads and close your eyes, be very reverent to God while we pray.” It may sound legalistic to say that, but she was totally correct in teaching our children the outward expression of an inward fear of the Lord. She was planting reverence in the hearts of our children, and I am so thankful she did.
Reverence for the Lord should start on the inside. If we need a good dose of reverence for the Lord, we can get one by reading one of the replies God gave Job:
4“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
5Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
6What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
7as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
8“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
9and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
11I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’
When he formed the boundaries of the seas, he knew our names, how many days we would live on this earth and which oceans our toes would touch before he decided which day to bring us home to heaven, but where were we?
The mere thought of the vast oceans fixes my need to fear him every single time. He’s so much bigger than we make him out to be.
In My Life
Grow in your respectful admiration of the Lord. Continuing to realize he is bigger and better than we can imagine will naturally lead us into more wholehearted reverence and fear of Him.
As we read the book of Proverbs, I pray we will respond to Lady Wisdom calling to us and listen. No matter how many times we have read these words, I pray they will fall fresh on us and that God will give us specific direction about things we have questions about in our lives right now. I know he will be faithful to do just that, and I look forward to hearing how he leads you through it!
What was your verse today? How is God speaking to you?
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Praying for you,