Introduction to the Book of Proverbs

Why Should You Read and Study the Book Of Proverbs? It is a source for navigating life—how to live, what to avoid. It practically teaches how to make God an essential part of your life. God uses Scripture to teach who He is, your sinfulness, and your need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. All Scripture is God’s Word, and therefore profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training so that believers will be mature and equipped to serve. This book deals with everyday life, which is essential for being and making disciples.

Who Wrote Proverbs? Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs (1:1; 10:1; 25:1; cf. 1 Kings 4:29–32; Eccl 12:9). The last two chapters were written by Agur (30:1) and Lemuel (31:1), of whom we don’t know anything about.

What is a Proverb? A proverb is a compact statement expressing biblical wisdom. Wisdom is skillfully applying God’s Word to life. Proverbs tell what life is like (18:8) and how life should be lived (5:18). They state insights, make observations, and offer advice. Proverbs must be correctly applied—this requires understanding who you’re dealing (people) with and what is going on (circumstances). Proverbs are practical wisdom in the form of (1) Instruction, giving commands with reasons for obedience (22:17–18) and (2) Sentences, making simple observations with no exhortation (22:15). These are gleaned from different settings of life, from the farmer’s field (10:5) to the king’s palace (23:1–3).

What is the Purpose of This Book? To teach God’s people how to live life skillfully (1:2–6). It teaches how to live godly and avoid ungodliness. To be wise is to be skilled at living a godly life. This requires first and foremost a relationship with God, which is what the fear of the Lord means and points to (1:7). “Fear the Lord” is an OT way of saying “saving faith.” It is a controlling reverence and respect for who God is, evidenced in a life of trust, worship, obedience and service. Proverbs taught and shaped God’s people to live godly lives (cf. Deut 6:4–9). Think of Proverbs as a handbook or manual on right living and attitudes that help you live as a believer.

What is the Theme of This Book? Learning to live in the fear of the Lord.

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