Proverbs poetically presents Hebrew teachings on the topics of wealth, marriage, family, self-control, and relationships. It distinctly outlines the differences between wisdom and folly as well as diligence and laziness. Wisdom and diligence will bless your life and the lives of those you touch, while laziness and folly bring nothing but failure and heartache to everyone involved. Hebrew wisdom literature provides sound advice in our daily walk with Christ. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction”. Proverbs 1:7) The foundation of knowledge and wisdom is to fear the Lord. As a Christian, knowledge and wisdom are what we seek in our relationship with Christ.
To despise these would mean that we don’t want a relationship with Him, and we would continue to walk in the ways of the world. Solomon’s wise sayings give fair warning about what it means to be wise in learning, and the consequences of rejecting God’s commands. “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall”. Proverbs 10:8) Our hearts need to be diligent in making godly decisions so that God can continue to work in and through us. By choosing to hear God’s commands and following through with carrying them out day to day, we are preparing for our home in heaven. No one sets out to fail in life but when we are not open to applying the Word of God in all aspects of life then we will surely fall. “The crown of the wise is their riches, but the foolishness of fools is folly”. (Proverbs 14:24) The only reward for the fool is more folly which will result in total destruction.
Foolishness may seem fun at the time, but before you know it your marriage has fallen apart, your family is gone, and you no longer have self-control over your actions. In order for our character to point to Christ, we must first have a heart that listens to His commands, actions that follow through with the commands, and by doing these others will witness Christ in us. “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established”. (Proverbs 16:3) Submission to the will of God fulfills your righteous plans.
This will give evidence to those around you that you are walking with God. It’s a testimony to your wife and family that you are committed to being a spiritual leader which points them to the will of God. A fool’s life is characterized by pleasure. The problem occurs when we no longer find pleasure in God, but find it solely in one’s own resources. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, while the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure”. (Ecclesiastes 7:4) Solomon reminds us to think clearly about death.
In doing so it allows us time to examine the direction of our life and time to confess our sins, and find forgiveness from God. Eventually we all die and it makes sense to plan ahead which will allow us to experience God’s mercy rather than spending eternity separated from Him. The wise is honored and their soul is redeemed while the foolish is destroyed. “Notice the way God does things, then fall into line.
Don’t fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked”. Ecclesiastes 7:13) God is sovereign and controls all of creation. Our destiny is in His hands, and only doing things His way leads to wisdom and knowledge. One of my favorites is from Proverbs 3. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. (Proverbs 3: 5-6) Trusting in God means to let go and give Him full control over your life. He knows the plans He has for you and by submitting to Him those plans can be fulfilled.
Don’t try to be wise in your own eyes, but be willing to listen to God and make Him a vital part of everything you do. Let Him guide you because you are working to accomplish His purposes. The book of Proverbs has much to teach Christians today. Its wisdom will help us to avoid trouble and honor God in all we say and do. We don’t want to be the fool that ignores God. He wants His people to be wise, it shows that we seek to know and love God above all else. God views our success as having a good reputation, moral character, and the spiritual diligence to obey Him.