Proverbs 1-4



 Today we begin our study in the book of Proverbs. Solomon wrote these Proverbs for his son who would one day be king. This book contains a wealth of wisdom for any person at any stage of life. For years I have recommended that on the months that have 31 days that we read a chapter a day. Since the book has 31 chapters we can get through it in a month but let’s not stop there. Read it again when the next 31 day month comes along. It takes time to learn wisdom. Solomon will start teaching his son at a young age and by the end of the book he will be a young man ready to step into leadership.

 Everyone can benefit from the study of this  book. The response I receive most often when I challenge people to read this book over and over is that they wish they had read it sooner. So let’s get started!


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 NKJV

 Knowledge is the application of wisdom that is understood. We learn wisdom but we don’t really understand it until we apply it. Once we apply it and see how wisdom works out in life we gain knowledge that we know and understand. We can then apply that wisdom to any given situation that comes up in life.

 This chapter takes us to a crossroad, a place where we must decide what we are going to listen to, and where that decision will take us. Joshua put it this way in Joshua 24:15, Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… NASB

At this crossroad there are two ways to go and each has a destination.

There are three Hebrew words for fools used in the book of Proverbs. One is defined here in verse 7. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fool has no use for God's wisdom. At the crossroad he will take a road that leads to dysfunction and away from God.


The word "fear" here means to respect or revere. It means I am going to listen to what the Lord has to say because I think what He has to say will benefit me. This is the other road. Along that road I will face experiences which will prove the Lord true. This is knowledge. Knowledge here is something gained through the senses.

It has been said, "God declares it, Satan denies it, and you decide." This is an apt description of the decision we face at the crossroad. When we decide which road we will take we will encounter experiences that will have a great effect on our future. I believe every decision we make has the potential to hinder our future or is an investment in our future. The decisions and the consequences of the decisions we will face are described in this chapter and throughout the book.

There is another thing that is important here for us to understand. When we studied the book of Exodus we saw where Pharaoh hardened his heart and God hardened Pharaoh's heart. There are two Hebrew words for harden used in the text. When God hardens a heart the word means to establish or make strong. It is a term used in construction. It is meant to be a good thing and many times in the Bible it is translated “strong” as in be strong and courageous. When we make our decision to follow the path of the Lord, we gain understanding and knowledge from experiences we have along the way when we apply God’s wisdom to our decisions. This knowledge adds "weight" to our decision and establishes us in the Lord giving us a strong knowledge and reverence for the Lord. This was God's intent when He placed in our DNA the process of hardening or as was described earlier the Lord hardens the heart. The knowledge we have gained becomes established or strong or hard.

 When Pharaoh hardened his heart the Hebrew word means to "add weight". It is important to understand that the experiences we will go through based on the path we chose to take, will add weight to that decision and our heart will become hard or established in that decision. This is why we describe people as being set in their ways or in a rut. This is also why it is important to make the right decision now as to who we will revere, because who we revere will be who we will serve. And we will begin the process of being established in that decision.

 This brings me back to the other two definitions of a fool.

One is childlike or childish. "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child." Proverbs 22:15. Because there is little or no maturity, knowledge has not been established and can be changed.

The other word for fool is Nabal. This is a fool who has a heart so hard it brings destruction because his heart cannot be changed. You can read about a man named Fool (Nabal) in 1 Samuel 25. That is our homework.

I believe that dysfunctional, godless, worldly thinking will lead to the Nabal hard heart that will bring destruction but until that point there is time to change paths and get our heart established in the Lord. They say old habits are hard to break. That may be true but they also say we can establish a new habit in 21 days. But I have found that the older I get the harder it is to soften that old established heart. How about making the decision to be established in the Lord and leave the old path behind? I am convinced that along that path the Lord will take us through experiences that will establish our heart in Him. A decision we will never regret.


Pastor Dave