Subject Study of Proverbs
Proverbs is a book that is written to us as a father giving wisdom down to his beloved child. It is God the father giving us practical advice on how to get the most joy out of this life. This book takes the wisdom of God and applies it to our everyday situations that we will face. We will be wise to look at this book as a way of training for life.
In this book of the Bible, there are eight subjects that get mention repeatedly: God and man, wisdom, the fool, the sluggard, the friend, words, the family, and life and death. In this study, we will look at each one to see what God wants us to learn from each one.
First, we will look at the relationship of God and Man. First, in this book of wisdom, that the beginning of all wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord (9:10). Therefore, we can conclude that in order for us to have a right relationship with God, we must fear him.
But what does it mean to fear God? Does that mean we walk around fearful that He might strike us down at any moment if we screw up? No, what the fear of the Lord involves is awe, reverence, love, and trust in God. A healthy fear should produce knowledge, humility, obedience, and blessing. In other words, it is getting a right perspective of ourselves and of God. That God is all-powerful and all-knowing and that we are vastly inferior to Him.
In Proverbs 20:9, Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? Here in this passage we see that we cannot make ourselves good, we cannot forgive our own sins. The only way we can fix our greatest problem is going to God for the forgiveness of our sins. The only thing that will help us produce long-term good fruit is having our sins taking away and a new life through Jesus Christ given to us.
This is further confirmed in Proverbs 3:5-7. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. Here we are encouraged to not rely on our own wisdom or our own understanding, but to trust that God’s way is the best way. To trust anything or anyone other than the Lord results in disaster. Sometimes we are tempted to think, that our situation is special or that we are the exception to the rule and we justify going against God’s wisdom. However, God encourages not to rely on our own strength and knowledge, but to rely on His because He is greatly superior to us. This means that our trust must be solely in the Lord.
Proverbs 22:19 confirms the notion that our faith should be solely in the Lord. That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Our trust in the Lord is to foster, not self-reliance, but faith.
In conclusion, we see that the relationship between God and man works best when man submits to the authority and majesty of God. Or, in other words, when man fears the Lord, he will gain wisdom that will lead to a life more joyful.